BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- A Bowling Green music studio and audio engineering company built on microphones, beats and aspirations, taking time out of the recording schedule to introduce the world of music to the nearby youth, thanks to Studio 17 owner and CEO, Clay "Bama" Aydt.
"To see people take those opportunities, that means the world to me. That's what I'm here for, that's what I'm doing this for. We bring them in to give them a bottom line lesson in music, just to kind of give them a sense of music and being in an actual recording facility, a professional facility at that," Clay Aydt stated.
Getting his start in the music industry back in the early 2000's, Clay "Bama" Aydt started as a rapper, turning in to an entrepreneur as the years progressed.
"I moved here in 2003. In 2004, I met Little Round, Brad Davis, as some people know him, he's the one who really got me in to music. We started working on beats, recording ourselves, and before I even went to school, me and him figured out how to run a recording studio ourselves, and we did that at his mom's apartment many of years. I went to Atlanta in '08 and I recorded at some of the biggest cities in Atlanta. Well down there, I had a mentor named Rafael Capone. Looking back over my career, and seeing what he did for me and how he inspired me, knowing I've been able to pass that along to somebody else and provide somebody else with that opportunity that I saw that I wanted, that means everything to me."
Built from determination, continuing growth and an urge to reach out to local camps and after school programs like the Warren County Day Treatment Center and the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Summer Fun Camp, Studio 17 continues to show children and young adults to what makes music, music.
"Clay came in and talked about his studio, asked the kids if any of them would be interested in coming in to record some music, and it went from there," Recreation Director of the Warren County Day Treatment Center, Clay Smalley stated.
"Any time they get in to the studio, their heads get this big, talking about I'm going to be the next Tupac or the Next Jay Z, instead of saying I can do this, this is easy, letting them know that all the things that involve music and laying down a track is not as easy as they think it is. It's work. Just glad that Clay Aydt is giving us the chance to come out here and to build these kids dreams up and giving them the opportunity to just relax and do their thing," Smalley added.
"It's just an opportunity to see something different, experience something new," Summer Fun Camp Counselor Quinten Haynie stated.
This isn't an opportunity that I had that when I was a kid. Nobody took the time to bring us to something extra other than the football field or playing basketball," Haynie added.
And one of Clay's right-hand men, Broche Taylor, finds giving back to the community in an educational way teaches him a thing or two in the studio as well.
"This is one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had on the music side. Giving the kids a place to come and getting teenagers off the streets who want to do music, things like that, you're leading them in a positive direction," Studio 17 In-Studio Head Audio Engineer, Broche Taylor mentioned.
Although Clay and his crew pride themselves on teaching the youth about the music industry, Studio 17 has a few more noteworthy projects in their booths.
"5th year anniversary is coming up next year, so, very excited about that cause as a small business.The recording workshop of music and film, they have contacted us and made us fully accredited through them and the RIAA for a mentorship program. I'm not the best at taking compliments, but it's a treat to me cause it means I've been able to sustain and help the community in some sort of way," Clay Aydt added.
A Bowling Green music studio, producing more than just albums.
Along with the accreditation from the RIAA, Studio 17 is currently working on a potential accreditation program with Clay Aydt's original alma mater, WKU.