Abebe Lewis is an example of how to use the family business of music to branch into a successful venture.
Abebe's father, Ian Lewis, is the leader of the reggae band, Inner Circle. The
band is best known for the "Cops" TV show theme song tune, "Bad Boys."
The song, which was very popular during the 1990s, was also used in the
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence action/comedy film "Bad Boys" and the
sequel "Bad Boys II."
Ian moved to Miami in the '90s and opened up Circle House Studios and that's where Abebe learned about the family business. Abebe not only did music engineering at Circle House, he brought talent both big and small who have produced hits that we still listen to today.
have a real good eye for talent, a good ear for music and a good judge
of character because of the things I do and the people that I deal
with," said Abebe Lewis, traffic manager and engineer of Circle House
Studios, which is located in Miami.
Before music, he was a
rising basketball star at American High school back in 1994. He
attended Florida A&M University for a short period of time before
coming back to South Florida.
Lewis got involved with
music around the age of 19. He learned musical engineering at Circle
House studios in 1997. It wasn't until he met Ted Lucas for the first
time that he started inviting music artists and producers to Circle
House Studios to do work. Lewis has producer credit for three songs on
Trick Daddy's first album, "Based on a True Story." Flo-rida, Trina and
Pitbull all created hits early in their careers at Circle House. The
latest big hit that was made there was "Happy" by Pharrell.
of music, Lewis promotes clubs. He has partnered with Headliner Market
Group to bring some high profile artists like Nas and more to Miami. He
learned club promoting and how to fill the room from Peter Thomas of
"Real Husbands of Hollywood" and "Real Housewives of Atlanta" fame.
In the early 2000s, "Miami Live" was a party that took place Wednesday nights at Santo Miami Beach, a night club on Lincoln Road in South Beach that has since closed down. Each Wednesday,
popular artists performed their hit records with a live band. Abebe
teamed up with Producer Derick Baker (aka Big D) and Michael Madd to
execute this idea.
Currently, Lewis hosts a music engineering class for aspiring local producers every Tuesday morning at Circle House Studios. He teaches both the technical side of making music but the etiquette, as well.
Current students are exposed to tips and tricks on mastering
and tracking music. Not only are the students working on old material
from popular artists, they get surprise visits from them, too.
"Last week I was chopping' it up with Abebe. We came into this room and Rico Love and Trina was working in here," said Freddy B, former engineer at Poe Boy Entertainment. "Abebe is a facilitator. He is always dropping jewels on me and I appreciate him for that," said Freddy B.
graduates of the engineering class are in successful positions. Ryan
Evans completed the class, and now he is working with R&B star Jason
Derulo. Ben Billions interned at Circle House, and now he is producing
for DJ Khaled.
"Being here has added fuel to my fire. My vocals are now at a higher standard after seeing what they do here," said DJ Fono, a hip Hop-House music DJ from Delray Beach, who is a part of the class.
Lewis' next move is to expand the school. He wants to take more music engineers and other music savvy individuals and make them sought after products of Circle House Studios.
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