Tay Keith on building the first Black-owned Hip-Hop studio in Nashville, Tennessee

Abu Mubarik February 27, 2023
Tay Keith. Earn Your Leisure Podcast (YouTube)

Nashville, Tennessee is the capital of country music and pop songs. As a result, the state is home to big pop and country music studios. Seeing some of America’s big pop and country artists come from Tennessee was what inspired Tay Keith to want to have a stake in the music industry there.

“Nashville is known as ‘music city.’ Why’s it known as a ‘music city’? Because it’s the home capital for country music and pop,” the Grammy-nominated producer said in an interview with Earn Your Leisure

“The thing is you have all of these big pop records and big country artists blowing up out of Nashville, Tennessee. Why can’t it be a first Black-owned Hip-Hop studio in the middle of the two? So I was like, it’s a big fish, small pond.”

This led him to create the first Black-owned Hip-Hop studio in Nashville, Tennessee to amplify his hip-hop influence there. “As far as Hip-Hop, that’s my niche. I’m a Black Hip-Hop studio owner in Nashville, Tennessee,” he said.

Keith has produced some of the biggest records in America, including Beyoncé’s “Before I Let Go” rendition, Travis Scott’s and Drake’s “Sicko Mode,” and Moneybagg Yo and Lil Baby’s “U Played,” among others.

Keith noted that he purchased the property for the studio with the help of his realtor. The building happens to be his first commercial property. Explaining further, he said he spent an extra $50,000 into renovating the building after putting 15 percent down. 

“I feel like you spend $100,000 on jewelry. You spend 200 racks on cars…, buy property,” he said on the podcast show. “You could go commercial…[and] ain’t gotta just go buy cribs…the least you can do is rent them out.”

Keith is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State. Interestingly, he happens to be the first in his family to earn a degree. In 2019, he expressed hope that his accomplishment will set the tone for future children in his family to aim higher than him.

“It was one of the best experiences and feelings in my life. Just walking across the stage and me being the first one in my family to accomplish it — setting the tone for future children in our family: my nieces, nephews, little cousins, even my kids in the future. It just set the bar high for them, and it gave me a feeling of joy to say “I did it!” he said.

Construction of his studio in Nashville is in progress.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 27, 2023


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