Big Picture student lands agreement with multi-platinum music producer

The sweet sound of music was in the air when one student received a unique opportunity to work with a top record producer.

James Spencer IV, an 11th grade student at Nashville Big Picture High School, signed a production agreement Jan. 23 with multi-platinum, Grammy Award-nominated producer, Tay Keith’s production company, Dramatized. This opportunity opens doors for Spencer offering a closer glimpse into the evolving music scene as well as to learn more about the business-side of the industry as he works toward the goal of becoming a music producer and, hopefully, one day owning his own record label. 

“I’m excited, just really excited,” said the 16-year-old who recently completed an internship at Notes for Notes, an after-school recording studio housed in the local Boys and Girls Club.

Keith, a Memphis native best known for producing rapper Drake’s “Nonstop,” was on hand for the signing. He said he was happy to be working with Spencer as well.

“I’ve had my eye on a couple of producers in Nashville and he just rose to the top,” said Keith, who has also produced songs for hip hop artists such as Travis Scott and Eminem. “He listened well, paid attention to what we told him and was just a very humble person to work with.”

Spencer is focused on his education. After high school graduation he plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee – the same university Keith graduated from and where he established a scholarship fund for students. “Education is important, and we want to make sure James stays on that path,” Keith said.

Spencer celebrated the day with his parents, teachers, mentors and school principal Dr. Brenda Diaz. Diaz was equally proud of the up-and-coming music producer.

“I feel like our work is not in vain,” Diaz said. “Big Picture is a school that believes our students’ passions will drive them to greatness. When you make connections with real-world learning, students can reach their dreams faster.”