Gaston College BPT student and aspiring rap artist records album of original music

Elijah Michael Dixon, a student in the Broadcasting and Production Technology program at Gaston College, is in the process of recording an album of his own rap music at the program’s studio on the College’s Dallas campus. The album will include some songs that Dixon wrote 5 years ago, when he was 16, but most of the material has been written within the last 3 or 4 years.

The album was originally intended to be Dixon’s capstone project during his final year at Gaston College, but he was unable to finish it due to changes in the semester that were necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A capstone project serves as a culminating multi-faceted academic and intellectual experience for students. “Elijah was determined to complete this album even though it would no longer be part of his grade for the class,” said Kate Carmody, Program Chair and Instructor for Broadcasting and Technology Production. “This is truly a testament to his dedication and belief in the album. I am so pleased that our recording studio will help him make his concept a reality.”

Dixon’s music is introspective and his songs reflect his artistic journey. “The album will be called ‘A Mix Tape by EMD,’” he said. “It is literally made up of different songs about my internal fights, personal struggles, and perspectives on putting myself through the process of learning who I am through music. It’s a living, breathing exploration of my positive relationship with a higher power. I’m also proud that my father, Patrick Gamble, produced a third of the music in the album.” 

Dixon hopes to complete the album, which will consist of approximately 15 songs, by the end of 2020 and will release it on streaming platforms like YouTube. Although he aspires to a career in music, he intends to keep growing artistically while being pragmatic and responsible about earning a living. He currently is employed at an Amazon sort center in Charlotte.

Fellow student Sarah Scruggs is the recording engineer on the project and is creating the album cover art. She and Dixon are in the recording studio for a few hours twice a week. Scruggs, who will graduate from Gaston College in 2021, enjoys all aspects of audio, video and broadcast production and is also a freelance artist and photographer. Having met in a class taught by Nick Cable, Instructor in the Broadcasting and Production Technology program, Scruggs and Dixon worked together on previous projects, including the production of a music video. “We share a creative and artistic vision,” said Scruggs.” I really enjoy our collaboration and I’m very excited to be producing this album with Elijah.” 

“Sarah and Elijah worked together previously on a music video for Elijah’s song ‘Wonder’ and I believe it’s one of the best-produced projects to come out of our program,” said Cable. “Both the song and the video came together perfectly, and all of their talent really shines through with that project. I expect no different with this upcoming album. I’ve heard bits and pieces while in the studio and it all sounds fantastic. I’m really looking forward to hearing the final product.”

As Broadcasting and Production Technology students, Dixon and Scruggs have participated in one of the best hands-on programs in the Charlotte area. The state-of-the-art audio recording and video production facilities have the latest cameras, software, lights, microphones, and other equipment that students will use in careers in broadcasting and production. Most of the equipment is available for check-out as students work on their creative projects, and students may be permitted to use the on-campus facilities if, like Scruggs, they pass a qualifying test. 

Local musicians often record in the Gaston College Broadcasting and Production Technology studio, as it is one of the only college-based facilities in the area and it is well-known for the quality of its equipment and staff. 

For more information about the Gaston College Broadcasting and Production Technology program, go to Broadcast Production Technology.

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