Unable to gather in person due to COVID-19, Otis Redding Foundation went digital with the 13th annual Otis Music Camp. OMC 2.0: The Virtual Experience was held June 8-12, with the continued mission of enhancing and motivating young minds in music and the arts. To ensure that kids did not miss out on the immersive music camp, ORF partnered with innovative companies such as BlueJeans and SoundTrap to release its latest version. 26 campers had the opportunity to converse and learn from industry greats in various aspects of the music industry, including: songwriting, marketing/PR, entertainment law and everything in between.

OMC 2.0’s success took a village to orchestrate.  However, all hands on the virtual platform made the experience one never to be forgotten. Camper DKOMX (Dakarai Williams) ensured the vibes were right with a morning mix to start each day at 8:45am. Coach Jayme Allilaw got campers warmed up with vocal exercises, stretches and insightful tips for longevity. Coach Flint Dollar offered crash courses in music theory describing how musicians and composers make music and various composition methods.

This year, campers were tasked to make their voices heard by writing songs around the themes of Ban Hate, Love All Over the World, and Empowerment. OMC Coaches Dawn Jackson, Josh Garner, Kimberly Epps,  Saxton Keitt, Tyler Rogers, Vinson Muhammad and Zach Wilson aided the campers as they wrote the soundtracks to push for change. 

Joiterius Marshall, Director of the Otis Redding Center for Creative Arts, Dream team and OMC Coach, presented the art of marketing/branding. Campers were challenged to build a digital Press Kit suitable for promotion and marketing of their personal brands. The New Jersey based PR execs Aliya Crawford and Karen Lee of W&W, presented the master class in the subject and will choose the best press kit submitted by the campers. 

This year a popular segment of camp, Georgia Artists of the Day, was presented as a podcast. The podcast, led by the campers and coaches, Matt Miller and Jayme Alilaw, featured influential musicians from across the state. During camp, the podcast team and infamous Rap Room had the opportunity to sit down with Grammy award winners Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, Khujo Goodie of Goodie Mob and Atlanta rapper Deante Hitchcock to interview them on their humble beginnings and what the future holds. 

Each day campers received live discussion and Q&A from artists or industry practitioners such as: songwriter Billy Mann, recording artist Alex Aiono, marketing expert Isaac M. Hamm (IM3 Media), Nashville Attorney Derek Crownover (Loeb & Loeb, Inc.), recording artists Bren Joy and Eric Burton (Black Pumas), Tom DeSavia and Michele Smith (Concord Music Group), Ron Andre Elvis Telford (Creative Titans Music), and ended with a surprise guest appearance from “Club Quarantine” DJ, D-Nice.

Check out photos below of the 2020 virtual experience, and visit https://otisreddingfoundation.org/2020-virtual-otis-music-camp/ for more information on OMC 2.0.