Miami Activists Barter Services For Studio Time

Miami seems like the perfect place for the artists, activists, and entrepreneurs to connect and grown collectively.  Umi Selah, a founder of Dream Defenders, dreamed of owning a home studio since a young age.  His passion for activism with arts was matched by his partner Aja Monet, an educator and poet from New York City.  Together they are building a circle of influencers that will leave a lasting impact on Miami’s music culture.

Smoke Signal Studios was created to be an outlet for any artist trying to express their ideas – opinions – of the state of their community.  The power couple turned their two bedroom castle into a space to cultivate leaders of the kingdom.  The expectation is that artists will use this resource to develop and distribute their arts for the betterment of society.  The space really creates a vibe for brainstorms and collaboration.  Classic vinyl records, artwork from local artists, and a soundproof recording room make Smoke Signal Studios ideal for cultivating creative energy.


For every hour that someone spends in the this studio to record to make music, we hope for them to give an equal amount of time doing radical, political education or giving a training or workshop to other folks with the same skill set that they can provide. Let’s say you’re a really good guitar player, and you’re here for an hour to use the studio. You could give an hour of guitar lessons to the community or to our young people.”

Selah and Monet have developed this barter system to be mutually beneficial for the community and those trying to share their arts with the community.  The studio has not officially opened to the public, but they have already received visits from respected artists Vic Mensa and David Banner.  Last week, there was a celebration in the back yard that brought out activists, artists, musicians, all sorts of creatives to network and become familiar with the new habitat for powerful local artists. Smoke Signals Studios is here to transform the value system for Miami’s music scene.

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