Justin Timberlake, Timbaland surprise students at Stax Music Academy

Timberlake and Levi’s donate state-of-the-art songwriting lab

Justin Timberlake, Timbaland surprise students at Stax Music Academy
Justin Timberlake and Levi's donate state-of-the-art songwriting lab to Stax Music Academy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Imagine being a high school student, sitting in class and in walks Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.

That’s what happened in August as the Memphis native and his musician friends surprised students at Stax Music Academy in Memphis.

Timberlake partnered with Levi’s on the Levi’s Music Project. Together, they donated a state-of-the-art songwriting lab to the school where students can hone their songwriting skills.

Justin Timberlake and friends surprise Stax Music Academy students, donate state-of-the-art song lab

Since 2015, Levi’s has partnered with artists and local communities around the world to develop the Levi’s Music Project, bringing music education resources to community-based programs and the next generation of young musicians.

Timberlake, Timbaland, Danja, Rob Knox and Elliot Ives spent two days working with students on their songwriting and performance. Together they polished songs students worked on for weeks. Students then performed a concert for their friends and family inside Stax’s iconic Studio A.

Timberlake and Levi’s also restored and updated Stax facilities and donated “The Song Lab” -- a remodeled facility meant for songwriting workshops and featuring stage-ready instructments and recording, audio and production equipment donated by Guitar Center, Gibson, Native Instruments, Shure, Universal Audio and Korg.

Timberlake also worked with students to develop an all new songwriting class and established a scholarship so more Memphis students can attend Stax.

Since 2000, more than 4,000 children from the Memphis area have attended Stax Music Academy, housed next to the former location of Stax Records where legendary musicians like Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes recorded hits.

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