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Akin Adebowale
Intent on a career in the music industry, Adebowale enrolled in UGA's Music Business Certificate Program, which is co-sponsored by the Terry College. But he's not waiting for graduation to immerse himself in the industry. Thanks to his mentor, Terry alum

Akin Adebowale appears to be destined for greatness, based on the fact that whenever he has the opportunity to do something creative, he takes advantage of it. Intent on a career in the music industry, Adebowale enrolled in UGA's Music Business Certificate Program, which is co-sponsored by the Terry College. But he's not waiting for graduation to immerse himself in the industry. Thanks to his mentor, Terry alum Bryan Calhoun (BBA '92), who is a vice president for SoundExchange, Adebowale is designing and managing online media for recording stars such as Kanye West, Young Jeezy, and Lil Wayne. Recently, Adebowale managed the online distribution and art for a Drake single, "Best I Ever Had," that broke an all-time record at the iTunes Music Store. His many on-campus activities include three years of service in numerous capacities for UGA's African Student Union; he co-produced the highest-grossing ASU event in UGA history. During his freshman and sophomore years, he walked on and scored points for Georgia's track and field team. He is also a mentor himself for elementary school students at Athens' Gaines Elementary School through the African Student Union's annual Tales By Moonlight program. He has co-directed two major service programs for ASU — the Jubilee Partners Initiative for Refugees and a book drive for the Victor Mbaba Foundation. He was part of the creation of the art studio at the Boys and Girls Club of Athens and the Music Business Program's tribute to Otis Redding. After graduation, he plans to continue working with Bryan Calhoun, whose D.C.-based organization collects and distributes digital performance royalties on behalf of recording artists and copyright owners when their recordings are performed on digital cable, satellite TV, the Internet, and satellite radio.

Expected graduation:

May 2011

Degree Objectives:

Bachelor of Fine Arts with emphasis in expanded forms and digital media; certificate in music business.

University highlights, achievements and awards:

My experience at UGA has been such a blessing in many ways. I have been involved with the UGA African Student Union for more than three years as historian and master of design. I co-produced the African Student Union's Africa Night 2009 at the Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, which was the highest-grossing ASU production in UGA history with an audience of more than 900 people. I was producer and editor of the Music Business Program's Otis Redding Tribute Show Video, and I was selected to speak in front of the Redding family and friends at the Redding tribute. I was selected to speak to incoming freshman as a representative of the Music Business Program at the Georgia Daze Program. I also work as graphic designer and media production specialist for Randy Groomes, director of diversity relations at UGA's Terry College of Business, and I designed the artwork for the first annual Terry Business Case Competition and the 2009 Terry Business Academy.

Current employment:

I am the manager of online presence for Bryan Calhoun, who is a vice president at SoundExchange and president of Label Management Systems, LLC. Bryan is also the manager and consultant for artists such as Dead Prez, Drake, and Kanye West. For this work, I design websites and graphics, control digital media forms, and manage online networks for artists, management teams, production teams and media companies and agencies.

Hometown:

Douglasville, Ga. (Chapel Hill High School)

I chose to attend UGA because...

I felt it was the perfect place to grow as a scholar, artist, and businessman. UGA truly is the whole "shebang." UGA and the Athens area are full of so much education, culture, diversity, and art. I think these things mold the greatest individual. The varieties of concentrations and organizations/activities enable this institution to be the southern mecca for the free-minders like myself.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

...managing and promoting campus events. I've been blessed to have the opportunity to design many of the promotional graphics and videos all over the Tate Center, MLC, residence halls — and of course, the Internet.

When I have free time, I like to...

...write and compose music. I cherish having a fun time with my friends, and I often involve myself in deep discussions about social topics.

The craziest thing I've done is...

...try to conquer my fear of roller coasters by riding Space Mountain at Walt Disney World. I rode it and was scared out my mind. I got off the roller coaster, found that my fear intensified, and I've never ridden a roller coaster since.

My favorite place to study is...

...in my room at East Campus Village. I styled my room by creating a mini recording studio and decorating the walls with famous albums (mostly from the eighties). I just love the environment when I have the lights low, modern jazz or classic soul playing, and some cool air flowing through.

My favorite professor is...

...Bruce Burch of the UGA-Terry Music Business Program. He is a great mentor to those who aspire to greatness. He is always atop his game and equipped with extensive knowledge. His high energy will inspire a whole classroom, and you can always depend on him to point you in the right direction. It was because of his networks and recommendations that I work with major names. Mr. Burch always believed in my work and passion. He saw what I could do and decided to do what he could do to bring my work to a higher level.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...

...multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick, the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. I hear his music, read his poems, and wonder how one man could be so intelligent, brave, poetic, innovative, insightful and creative. I would love to discuss what drove his artistic and political views.

If I knew I could not fail, I would...

...heal, enrich, and empower those who suffer from sickness, poverty, and helplessness in the world. I don't want to sound like a beauty pageant contestant, but it is genuinely true. It is very sad to know how so many people suffer today, and if one could change it all without fail, why not?

After graduation, I plan to...

...take my skills to even higher levels by focusing on my part in the production and design industry. Specifically, I plan to become a full-time assistant for Bryan Calhoun and take on bigger projects. My creative media company will be able to grow and serve the major clients I already work with and more. With this solid experience under my belt, I then plan to attend graduate school in Atlanta for a master's degree in digital media.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...

...giving Zelma Redding, widow of the late Otis Redding, a hug after speaking to her family and friends at a tribute show breakfast held here at UGA. She gave me hug and told me that the sky is the limit, stay focused, and accomplish what lies even beyond my dreams.

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