The Infinite Project
Off the record – with Elevated Records!
A story about the journey of students who didn’t let opportunity slip away.
Written by: Shayla Card-Nowlin, on July 28th, 2016
What do you do when your school district is crumbling ?
What do you do when your people are being killed; and left for dead in the streets?
What do you do when you look outside and see nothing but an abandoned neighborhood that you are dying to escape?
You go in the studio to escape your reality; and simultaneously vent about it. You dedicate your life to these songs, until you no longer have to deal with walking past abandoned buildings and getting news about your dead homies. That’s what you do. And that’s exactly what we did on The Infinite Project.
It all began when rapper, Big Sean, donated an Adidas-sponsored studio last Spring, to his Alma Mater, Cass Technical High School.
That upcoming Fall, a curriculum would be created around the studio; in which students would gain music-industry experience.
The industry program consisted of four categories: Songwriters, Artists, Executives, and Producers/Engineers. Many students signed up, but only about 40 students made the cut.
Everyone was so excited to begin their business venture until… The District put the program on hold. For months. Some students took their talents home, while others refused to let the studio become a museum; and recorded off-the-record music there after hours.
After a long battle, the studio would finally re-open for use. Students hurried back, not knowing what the future will hold, but only what the present brings – a mic, and a booth. Artist development expert, Brandon Smith, also played a huge role, as he was overseeing the program. Students worked non-stop until they had 13 tracks ready for Adidas to hear.
The Woman Behind the Label
When the program started back up in the Spring, Executive Shayla Card-Nowlin, was moved up to the CEO position. Her and other executives agreed to name their label “Elevated Records”. Shayla has been working in the businesses field since the age of 15; and has had a passion for music since she came out the womb. Even though she graduated High School in the midst of creating the Debut tape, she still returned to the school to make sure things were in nothing less than perfect order.
There were times where herself and other students would get to the Studio as early as 8 AM, and would be the last to leave. They were even having recording sessions on Saturdays. As CEO, Shayla sacrificed a lot to make the creative process possible for others; but she couldn’t have done it without executives Madison Kearney, and Erin Cross.
All three Executives collaborated in order to create a solid foundation for the songs; such as: Branding each Artist, Public Relations, Editing, Managing, and much more. They may not have photo shoots or songs, but they are still stars behind the scenes nonetheless.
The songs on The Infinite Project were written for and by High-School students, therefore you will hear the growing pains of love, loneliness, daily grind, and progressive activism.
One of the songs, titled “Last Words”, focused on the last words of victims of Police Brutality, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The track was produced by Isaiah Pelt and Orlando Johnson, with the input of another producer known as TG. A piece written by Shayla is also included in the song.
“These are the last words, as blood soaked Philando’s white tee” is just the first line of her piece.
Another memorable song from the tape is “You Were Here” by God Aking Allah. God wrote about his father leaving him, yet returning once again, all while losing his Grandmother, who cared for him.
Everyone’s favorite track seems to be “Count It” by Fred B, as Micah Lee Morris blesses the song with her background vocals. “Count It” is really what Detroit is all about. The Grind.
Finally, Mariah has a laid-back, yet straight-up love song titled “Lie 2 Kick It”. This track also has a feature from Fred B.
I would like to thank everyone involved. After being cooped up in a Studio for hours on end, expressing ourselves, encouraging one another; we are no longer “business partners”. We are FAMILY. And I love you all.
I wish us all many more blessings. And to all those listening; there is more to come.
Check out The Infinite Project below! :