Grammy-winning duo James Fauntleroy and Larrance Dopson teamed up with entrepreneur/philanthropist Twila True to form the 1500 Sound Academy. The Inglewood, CA-based music academy supports professional development and creativity for aspiring musicians through courses and seminars from artists like Diddy and Kendrick Lamar.

Fauntleroy tells ABC Audio their ultimate goal is to “equip our students with a better path.”

“We certainly hope that not only will we be able to impart our beliefs and our perspective on becoming successful and being of service, but we hope that the people we’re sending out into the work force and creative community also spread that message,” says Fauntleroy. “Without calling it a movement, we hope to move people to encourage an environment of just treating people better and sharing information and opportunities.”

Fauntleroy has written Grammy-winning songs for Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and more. He says he also had a special relationship with the late Nipsey Hussle, who once deconstructed his Victory Lap album for an educational seminar at the Academy.

“Nipsey was a big inspiration as far as imagining Inglewood and imagining our people as something beyond what the world tells us it is,” Fauntleroy shares. “Nipsey was a huge inspiration just as a human being and a person as far as the work ethic and everything is concerned.”

He says Nipsey played a big part in the academy’s success early on in 2018 by bringing the facility lots of media “attention.”

“Everything without us asking and without anything in return other than helping us and helping somebody with a common goal,” Fauntleroy says. “He was a big part of our story and our journey and certainly the energy of our school.”

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