Societies and industries exist because groups of people cooperating can achieve vastly more than what a person can do on their own. The people who’ve advanced humanity throughout time fearlessly led by example, pushing to do their best so hard that they pushed beyond expectation and caused some type of change in the world.
Realizing your full potential comes from education and practice. There is an absolute best version of everything and everyone. Fear and jealousy, which is the fear of not feeling/being as valuable as someone else, are enemies of success and imagination. Creativity is the idea we aim to teach and quality/luxury is the theme (or language) we use to communicate that message.
Excellence comes from a sense of urgency, not a rush! So we need to constantly self-examine and pace ourselves to accomplish our goals. Our mission is to create a culture of high achievement and excellence through our example and message.
Music Education Institution
1500 Sound Academy is a trailblazing music education institution that strives to produce passionate sound creators through mentorship, positive mindset, and professional development.
Movers and Shakers
1500 Sound Academy’s founders consist of the legendary musical ensemble, 1500 or Nothin’ - James Fauntleroy and Larrance “Rance” Dopson. Both are Grammy award-winning industry leaders who have worked with many high-profile artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Nipsey Hussle, and Justin Timberlake. Twila True is a renowned entrepreneur, executive, and philanthropist.
Learn more about their backgrounds and what they bring to the academy.
James Fauntleroy II is an American singer, songwriter and record producer from Inglewood, California. He is best known for featuring on tracks by high-profile artists such as Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole, Vince Staples and Big Sean as well as writing songs for artists including Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake. In 2014 and 2018, Fauntleroy won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.
Larrance Dopson is a Grammy Award Winning producer / instrumentalist known for singer Ella Mai’s song “Boo’d Up” that charted at number one, further winning ‘Best R&B’ song. Dopson also won Grammys for “These Walls” and “To Pimp A Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar. He was nominated for Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton’s, “Say Something” and Nipsey Hussle’s “Victory Lap”. He’s been musical director for Usher, Khalid, Jay-Z, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Migos, Rick Ross, and others. He has written and composed on several records including Mi Declaración which resulted in Maluma’s first Latin Grammy for ‘Best Pop Contemporary Pop Vocal Album’.
Twila True is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. Twila has become a business powerhouse, owning and operating, investing and incubating, multi-million dollar companies in beauty, entertainment, fashion, fine jewelry and real estate. Currently the co-founder and CEO of True Family Enterprises, a privately owned family office she began with her husband, Alan True, to manage their portfolio of companies, invest and incubate new ventures. In addition to her businesses and investments, Twila’s charitable ventures include the creation of an orphanage assistance foundation in China, and a Native American personal development foundation in the U.S.
Doug FenskeDirector of Education
Doug Fenske upholds a Grammy-nominated, six-time platinum, 16-year career in music engineering and production. He has worked on a string of commercially and critically successful albums, including Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE, Chris Brown’s Exclusive [The FOREVER Edition], Jamie Foxx’s Intuition, and Jordin Sparks’ Jordin Sparks. Doug has also spent time in the studio with Bruno Mars, Andre 3000, Ne-Yo, Ryan Tedder and LL Cool J.
Fenske earned his B.A. in Speech Communication from Eastern Illinois University, then graduated from The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences. He has passionately held various roles in music production education since 2012 and currently serves as the Director of Education at 1500 Sound Academy.
Andy AlmadaDirector of Strategic Partnerships
Andy Almada got his start in music at Golden West College learning and recording big band jazz with composer great Tom Kubis. In addition to completing his education in the audio program, he graduated from UCI with a BA in Sociology. Returning to Golden West College as a professor, Andy was a school representative for the Grammy U Los Angeles chapter and expanded the program to Orange County. He is a studio owner/operator and a member of AES and NAMM.
Jeanette TampanDirector of Enrollment Management
Jeanette Tampan was raised in Inglewood, California and fell in love with music as a dancer and varsity cheerleader. She graduated from Concordia University with a BS in Business. Jeanette is experienced in relationship building and helping others succeed in their career paths. She is proud to be a part of the 1500 Sound Academy family and passionate about helping each student build a solid foundation that leads them to finding their way through the music industry.
Jamie Blake is a producer, songwriter, performer and music educator. As a musician, he specializes in playing drums and using the Ableton Push as a chromatic instrument. He has shared the stage as a DJ and live performer with artists such as JMSN, Smino, Joe Kay, ESTA, Sango, Snoh Aalegra, Dave B, Flamingosis and more.
Jamie is an Ableton Certified Trainer, has a B.A. in Audio Engineering from The Evergreen State College and earned a Masters in Music from Berklee College of Music.
Lauren catapulted into her first career job in the industry with Ne-Yo's Compound Entertainment production and management company. Lauren's primary focus lied within the A&R and Creative Realms while taking on some artist management duties. She received her first credit on Ne-Yo's 6th album "Nonfiction”, and second from her work with soundtrack from the hit show “Empire” and several Motown acts within the label. From there, she went on to work at ASCAP as the Associate Director of Urban for two years. Currently, Lauren is the Director of Urban Marketing at Interscope Records.
Lauren graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism - Public Relations, African American Studies minor.
Yilun (Jason) Zhang, born and raised in Beijing, China, came to the United States to pursue his dream in music. After attending Berklee College of Music, he came straight to Los Angeles where he met 1500 or Nothin’. He is now a gold selling producer, recording engineer, mix engineer and guitarist. He has worked with several chart-topping artists around the world like Chris Brown, Ant Clemons, Jack Harlow, Jesse Reyez, and Jay Chou.
Kita is a Los Angeles based DJ most reputable for her energetic sets and dynamic taste and technique in open format style DJing, earning her a notable repertoire of career highlights and growing popular demand in the world of music. She is known for her collaboration in throwing an eclectic party called Hood Rave which is a popular underground party that centers around black and queer people. She has toured both nationally and internationally. She has also DJ’d for brands and establishments such as Nike, T-Mobile, Vans, Warner Bro’s Music, Undefeated, HUF, The California African American Museum, The Gagosian, and Camp Flognaw.
Chuck Sutton is a multi-talented artist, producer, performer, and educator from Montclair, New Jersey. With over a decade of expertise in Ableton Live, his unique sonic style, instructional content, and DIY devices have made a significant impact in the online production community. Since 2017, he's created videos for Ableton, iZotope, Antares, and Serato, encouraging both new and veteraned producers to reimagine the tools at their disposal. In 2019, he independently released his debut album, "i know what I'm doing*," organically amassing over 6 million streams. In 2021, his single "All or Nothin" premiered on season 5 of Issa Rae’s award-winning HBO series "Insecure," establishing his presence in both the music and television industries.
A motivating, solutions-driven Business Executive with a knack for achieving success in ambitious and competitive environments. An experienced educator and mentor focused on creating opportunities for young artists both in the classroom and professional studio environments. A tireless problem-solver with unmatched follow through and dedication to achieving collaborative, win-win solutions.
Elias Clarke CambellInstructor
Elias Clarke Cambell, also known as A Modern Artist, was born in Costa Rica, before being raised in Brooklyn, NY. He was a recipient of the Morehead-Cain scholarship, the first merit scholarship program in the US. Elias graduated from University of North Carolina with a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in multimedia productions and a Masters Degree in Animation and New Media, from NC State’s College of Design.
Elias looks forward to bringing Music and Entertainment to the areas of Education and Healthcare in hopes of creating a smarter, healthier, more creative and enjoyable environment for all.
Alexandria (Alex) Dopson, the sister of Larrance Dopson, takes pride in being an original member of 1500 or Nothin'. She has had the privilege of lending her vocals to the Grammy-nominated album "Victory Lap" by the late, great Nipsey Hussle, featuring prominently on tracks such as "Dedication" and "Real Big". Additionally, she has provided background vocals for acclaimed artists such as Beyoncé, Lauren Hill, Snoop Dogg, Bobby Valentino and more.
Alex's talents extend beyond being a captivating songstress and professional vocalist. She is also a gifted songwriter, artist developer and vocal coach. Her extensive work includes collaborations with renowned artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Saweetie, Dave East, Gunna, Ari Lennox, Ashanti, Alicia Keys, The Isley Brothers, and numerous others. She shares her expertise by teaching the Songwriting course at 1500 Sound Academy.
Ray MedinaTeaching Assistant
Raymond Medina is a music producer, songwriter, tracking engineer, and mixing engineer from Orange County, CA. He is a graduate of the Los Angeles Recording School and is an alumnus of the 1500 Sound Academy. He is proficient with both Ableton and Pro Tools and has worked in multiple studios in the Los Angeles area. He is currently working and assisting behind the scenes with a few of the top charting songwriters and music producers in the music industry today.
“Pops” Lawrence DopsonFacility Manager
“Pops” Dopson started his career in the Music Industry in 1967 professionally. He was Lead Singer in the group The “5” Wagers in Chicago. For 15 years he worked with artists like The Temptations, Earth, Wind & Fire, Emotions, The Impressions, Barry White and Smokey Robinson.
He loves teaching vocal and harmonic training to both new artists as well as professional artist’s in todays industry. He truly enjoys his position at 1500 Sound Academy as a mentor to all who works there. “Pops” and his wife Brenda had a vision for his family’s future and that has translated in his son’s Rance endeavors. He is proud of all of the accomplishments 1500 or Nothin’ has achieved and the success of their new location in Inglewood.
Giancarlo FiscoFacility Coordinator
GianCarlo was born and raised in Culver City, California. His interest in the music industry really began to grow back when he would DJ at my high school at lunchtime. This lead to interest in production software such as Ableton Live, as well as the various ins and outs of recording music in studios. “I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of the 1500 team for a handful years now, and the knowledge I’ve gained truly is priceless. With how much 1500 has grown since I started, the possibilities for the future seem endless.”
Dylan Del OlmoRecording/Mixing Engineer
Dylan is a mix/recording engineer from Playa del Carmen, Mexico. He has recorded & mixed multiple chart topping projects including Roddy Ricch’s Diamond Certified single “The Box” as well as the Grammy Award winning album “Black Radio III” by Robert Glasper. Other notable collaborations include: Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith, Jay-Z & Nipsey Hussle.
Industry Insight and Experience
More than big names - these talented teachers and leaders have years of industry experience to share with the students at 1500 Sound Academy. They offer a wealth of knowledge on a myriad of vital topics, from writing, producing, and mixing to recording and negotiating contracts. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn from highly celebrated guest lecturers - we are honored to have hosted some of the industry’s most famous artists and insiders.
Mike & Keys
Jean Marie Horvat
“Pops” of 1500