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Heard on CultureShift

Motown Musician Accelerator Connects Emerging Artists with Industry

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Image credit: Meta Stange

The Motown Musician Accelerator accepts four young musicians a year to mentor and help launch their careers. Kaleb the Intern joined CultureShift to talk his experience.

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Musicality attracted Suai Kee to the artistry of Kaleb the Intern, a 23-year-old emerging producer in Detroit, who has gained over five million combined streams from production work on a variety of artists records. 

Kaleb the Intern’s music “sounded like someone who knew something about music was behind it.” - Suai Kee, Motown Music Accelerator

When I heard his tracks, I didn’t hear just  four bar loops,” says Kee, a classically trained pianist and director of Motown Musician Accelerator. “It didn’t just sound like it was all buttons. It sounded like someone who knew something about music was behind it, and I turned out to be right.” 

Click on the player above for the full interview with Kaleb the Intern and the Motown Music Accelerator. Hear his tracks below.

Kaleb is among the four, out hundreds of Detroit artist submissions, to take part in the 2019 cohort of the Motown Musician Accelerator mentorship program – the latest installment of Motown’s expanding legacy. Each week, CultureShift is highlighting one musician from the program.

Over the duration of 12 weeks, artists develop their career by creating a strategy, connecting and networking with record executives, and planning the next year of their career. Each mentee receives a $12,000 budget grant. 

What blew my mind was how small the music industry is. It’s all built off of relationships.” - Kaleb the Intern

Kaleb the Intern, an emerging music producer in Detroit and Motown Musician Accelerator Mentee Meta Stange
Meta Stange

Kaleb the Intern, an emerging music producer in Detroit and Motown Musician Accelerator Mentee

A fellow classically trained pianist who studied under William John Newbrough in New York, before fusing R&B and hip-hop into his musical concoctions, Kaleb describes the Accelerator experience as “eye-opening.” 

I didn’t plan on going into [rooms with top label heads] this early in my career. What blew my mind was how small the music industry is. It’s all built off of relationships.” 

Assemble Sound, the church-turned-recording studio in Corktown was instrumental in the value he holds for developing and nurturing relationships in and outside of the music industry.  

As producers we get everything, the good, the bad, the trauma,” Kaleb says. “There have been sessions where I’ve cried with artists and then laughed. The best thing about it is the relationships and the outcome. When the song is out, you remember those times spent in the studio. To me, that is the best thing about making music.” 


In a Seashell by JermisDope

We had a bunch of fun making that in the basement of a house that a whole bunch of artists used to live in, in Woodbridge called the Stackhouse.” - Kaleb the Intern

Summer’s End by LexLander 

This was for a project that I worked on with my writing partner LexLander – we made it for his album. This is my favorite track on the album.” - Kaleb the Intern

What I’m After by Rambo the Singer

This is the anthem I live by.” - Rambo the singer via Instragram 

This story is a part of Detroit StoryMakers.

WDET’s Detroit StoryMakers initiative empowers local storytellers in bringing Detroit’s stories to life. Support for this initiative comes from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs and through matching gifts from station donors.

Ryan Patrick Hooper, Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host and producer of CultureShift. As a longtime arts and culture reporter.

hooper@wdet.org Follow @HooperRadio

LaToya Cross, Producer, CultureShift

LaToya Cross is a Producer with CultureShift, where she produces in-depth content that spotlights creatives and individuals using their platform to examine, cultivate, shape and shift culture.

Latoya.cross@wdet.org Follow @ToizStory

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