Inside a quiet strip mall on the northwest side of town lurks a music giant.
TerryJosiah Sharpe hides in front of a large soundboard, moves his cursor over a screen and presses play. The music coming out of the speakers would make even the most avowed non-dancer’s hips shake.
Sharpe accompanies the lyrics and plays imaginary keyboards, drums and guitar. Her face contracts and expands through a range of emotions.
Today’s track, “Rainbow,” an original pop song featuring Colorado Springs singer Zhê, was written by Sharpe and his team of musicians at new music studio Anthem Music Enterprises. It’s what Sharpe calls an impact anthem – iconic songs he creates for nonprofits – and was crafted for Inside Out Youth Services, a nonprofit that strives to create a safe space for LGBTQIA2+ youth and their allies through education and outreach in El Paso County.
“We sit down and find out what their voice is and create a song that fits their mission,” Sharpe said.
“We put a marketing plan behind this song so we can raise awareness, or at least get people to have a conversation about what this cause is.”
For Inside Out, where the work centers around risk prevention and heavy topic conversations, creating the song was a golden opportunity.
“It was an opportunity to celebrate queer joy in all its forms,” said Liss Smith, communications manager for Inside Out. “They intended to get our vote. It felt like a collaborative effort. The phrases of the song come from listening sessions with young people – they are literally the voices of Inside Out.
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Anthem, a multimedia music gallery, is a one-stop-shop for musicians and other creatives who need to create content or record music or voice. Set designs are available for videos, promos, or performances, and a large back room with a stage and lighting is available for corporate meetings and album-listening parties. It’s where Sharpe’s younger brother, singer-songwriter JJ Sharpe, recently celebrated “J,” his first multi-genre album recorded at Anthem.
“The beautiful thing about music, and especially here in this city, is that there are so many different transplants that there are so many different influences on the voice of this city,” said TerryJosiah.
“Over the past three years, we have helped shape the voice of the city in music. It’s not that no one has tried this, but everyone is so scattered.
TerryJosiah doesn’t just create new music for nonprofits, he’s also behind the production company Urban Classic, a mix of urban artists and classically trained jazz musicians. original urban with a touch of classic pop. What started as a drumming circle turned into a year-long residency at The Gold Room, where a rotating band of 28 musicians, mostly from Springs, performed three-hour improv performances. The event then landed in downtown Epiphany, which was closed this year and left Urban Classic without a current home. The group will perform on October 7 at the CO.ATI food hall downtown and on November 12 at the Ent Center for the Arts to celebrate their debut album which will be released on November 11.
“It’s electrifying. We bring an experience equal to no other act in the city,” said JJ, a core member of Urban Classic. “We feed off the crowd, the engagement and the emotion. We bring the crowd into the show – you get involved in it, you don’t just watch it.
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Terry Josiah, who grew up in San Diego, has been a musician since childhood, though he took a big detour along the way at 18 when he joined the military after 9/11.
After six years and two tours in Iraq, he got out and went to college in Texas, where he won college songwriter of the year and got a spot on an artists’ label. independent.
Six months of touring was enough for him to realize that he preferred to be behind the scenes helping others pursue stardom: “Being able to help uplift other people has been a tremendous joy for me.
After moving to San Diego, he embarked on a life of entrepreneurship, including making music for nonprofit organizations. Five years ago, TerryJosiah moved to Springs with his wife, Kristen Faith, who founded Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence, a nonprofit, and is now CEO of The Nonprofit Makeover, which helps nonprofit organizations traditional nonprofits to increase their presence and offerings through digital marketing. online planning, coaching and fundraising. They were courted by local philanthropists who thought the couple’s work would be a boon to the Springs.
“The vulnerability is what he brings out the best,” Quron Witherspoon, who goes by the name Q the Rebel, said of TerryJosiah.
Witherspoon is a Los Angeles-based executive producer on Urban Classic. “When you have someone comfortable being vulnerable, you are going to have special things,” he added.
Anthem started at Terry Josiah’s dining room table three years ago and expanded to his basement, where he spent the last two and a half years before moving into his brick-and-mortar apartment building. at 975 Garden of the Gods Road. It soft-launched in July, officially opened on September 1, and is booked through October.
“Creating a music company is about more than just the music,” said TerryJosiah. “Music is the easiest part. Everyone involved is very skilled in what they do in terms of creation. It’s being able to make heard what we think needs to be heard.
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Zhê, who occasionally sings with Urban Classic and also bartends and sings at the downtown Icons club, met Terry Josiah when he arrived in town and taught songwriting at the Colorado Springs Conservatory.
“He cares about art, expression and values that bring people together and shine their light,” she said.
“It’s beautiful to see the people he’s brought into this space. It’s become so family-friendly and it feels like a safe and comfortable space.
Building community is TerryJosiah’s #1 intention. That and making sure people see great musicianship and solid shows.
“Then they believe in what’s happening because they feel it,” he said.
“Art is only the translation of emotions. If we can get people to feel those emotions, I feel like we’ve succeeded with art.
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