Barnes and Mullins

Barnes and Mullins

Roland and Champion Joined 4x GRAMMY Award-Winner James Fauntleroy’s Beat Garden to Support South LA Youth Through Music

Roland and Champion partnered with 4x GRAMMY award-winning songwriter James Fauntleroy at Beat Garden, which he hosted, on January 21 to support South LA youth with music education. A Champion® x Roland x 1500 Sound Academy streetwear collection capsule debuted for the first time ever at the event, with proceeds benefiting SoLa Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games to provide more students with the opportunity to learn crucial skills such as: building their own computers, various coding languages, music production and more.

In preparation for the Beat Garden event, where youth participants learned to create a beat using professional Roland gear, James Fauntleroy, co-founder of 1500 Sound Academy, took inspiration from a technology assembly he attended in school, which largely inspired his successful career. By creating the inviting space filled with technology and plenty of “gardeners” to help plant that seed for kids today, he hopes to spark that same passion, especially for kids who would otherwise not have had the access to it.

“When I was young and growing up in South LA, we did not have exposure to this technology at all. One day, a guy came to our school and held a technology assembly. It was not that long, and he did not go that deep, just enough to open my eyes to the possibilities out there with coding, programming and this entire world of emerging tech at that time. That hour completely blew me away and changed my life forever. I was hooked! I always knew that when I had the chance, I would come back and do the same for the kids in my community,” said James Fauntleroy.

“We were really moved when James brought this story and his idea to us,” said Brian Alli, vice president of strategic partnerships at Roland. “Along with our friends at Champion, we have all worked to bring his dream to fruition. In addition to the capsule Roland and Roland Lifestyle dropped with Champion® and 1500 Sound Academy, we were excited to offer free music creation software at Beat Garden and even an augmented reality surprise that James gave away.”

James Fauntleroy planted the seed of computer literacy with South LA-based students through the basics of music production, while providing a space to create their own beats using various Roland instruments and tools including Roland Cloud, AeroCaster, AIRA Compact and more.

“SoLa Tech Center serves as a digital access point in a technology desert of South LA,” said Ajay Mani, instruction and culture manager at SoLa Impact. “We’re so happy to have partnered with Roland, Champion, James Fauntleroy and 1500 Sound Academy to bring arts, media and entertainment careers from the industry experts to the youth, with the goal of bridging that divide and ending intergenerational poverty.”

The Champion x Roland x 1500 Sound Academy capsule is now available via Roland Lifestyle.

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