The Akademia is dedicated to identifying and developing top musical talent from all across the globe. Given the apparent speculation and intrigue surrounding the organization, one might be surprised to learn that The Akademia enjoys a 99% client satisfaction rate among active members and continues to add more services and value to those members every month. It’s time to set the records straight.
The Akademia has helped hundreds of artists to reach the next stage in their career. Its members include Grammy award winners and celebrity artists from all over the world. Through their work, many artists have grown their fan bases from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand and have been able to make music their primary source of income. They’ve been able to accomplish this with minimal out-of-pocket expenses for artists by utilizing a vast network of radio stations, press syndicates, video channels and other media sites designed to take artists from relative obscurity to commercial success. Furthermore, as an artist-centered organization, they see to it that their clients retain 100% of the rights and revenue derived from their music.
In today’s tough music industry environment, it would be difficult to find a more effective and supportive organization for career advancement in the arts than The Akademia. Check out some footage from their last gala event in Los Angeles, where artists from all across the globe were honored for their achievements in nearly every musical genre. If you’re an artist seeking recognition for your work and a higher degree of commercial success, visit: www.TheAkademia.com.
Anwar Najmi received his Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and later went on to obtain his Masters in Business Administration. As a young child, he had a deep love for the arts, especially drawing and music. He loved the rock music of the 80’s and was inspired by artists such as Don Henley, Phil Collins & Genesis, Hall & Oates, Starship, Richard Marx and many others. In college, he formed a group called IQ and the Mob and released two albums, containing original rock songs. After moving to Los Angeles, he formed Strykers’ Club and released his third and fourth albums, both rap-rock fusions. Strykers’ Club performed at The Highlands, B.B. Kings, The Mint and many other clubs. His songs were licensed in major television shows such as Friday Night Lights, Black Donellys, and more.
Roujeanne Najmi received her Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of California Irvine and later went on to obtain her Masters in Business Administration. She studied piano for ten years from the age of eight-years-old at the Burrows Course of Music in Los Angeles. She joined choir in college and when she went home for the summer, she sang in her local church choir. After graduation, she met Anwar Najmi while they were both working for a large nutrition corporation. They learned that they had a lot of interests in common and a few years later, they decided to leave the corporate world to form The Akademia. The early rendition of The Akademia was a new higher education model with a broad learning foundation incorporating the physical, intellectual and artistic dimensions. They believed that firm foundations in all three areas were crucial to developing one’s full potential.
Setting out to pursue their dream of The Akademia, they travelled the world. Their adventures brought them to Brazil, the Philippines, Turkey, the UK, France, Italy, Mexico and Singapore. In a few of these countries they owned property and took a deep interest in the local language and culture. Inspired by the idea that Turkey was a bridge between East and West and part of the cradle of ancient civilization, they reckoned it was a good place to begin exploring the physical foundation of their vision. The first Akademia was a large four-story health and fitness complex in the popular port town of Kusadasi, Turkey. As modern fitness and nutrition practices were just starting to gain traction in the country, the facility thrived. Going into the project, Anwar and Roujeanne were no strangers to fitness. Both had trained in gyms regularly since they were teenagers and later studied the martial arts. Anwar obtained his black belt in karate and Roujeanne later obtained her yoga instructor certification. The Akademia Turkey offered state-of-the-art equipment, fitness classes, a nutrition bar, and wellness services. During this phase, they developed a proprietary database system (Primordia) to record their clients’ fitness and wellness goals and successfully track their progress towards those goals. The Akademia quickly became a trusted and respected center in the community frequented by Turks, expatriates and tourists, alike. It was an amazing and life-changing experience for the couple.
Two years after founding the first Akademia, the couple decided to move back to California to start a family. It was also time to marry the physical aspects of their vision with the intellectual. They leased a two-story facility in Beverly Hills on Santa Monica Boulevard that focused on providing this. Students received one-on-one attention with leading PhD professors in their field while training in fitness, martial arts and yoga. The students also were asked to begin identifying and developing their unique personal vision – a dream for their life that was extraordinary and did not necessarily conform to the job market or expectations of society. It was at this second stage, that their daughter Milan was born and their musical project Millennium was formed.
Millennium is an edgy pop rock group formed by Anwar (aka Stryker) and Roujeanne (aka Sapphire). Anwar wrote and produced the songs and is the lead singer and bass player of the group. Roujeanne is the keyboardist and back-up singer. The performance group also includes three other musicians, Gaku Murata on guitar, Eric Sampson on second guitar, and Brad Dawson on drums. They have performed in local clubs around Los Angeles, including Key Club, The Roxy and Venice Beach. While releasing Millennium’s album, Anwar has also taken time to produce other talented artists, such as K King, a neo soul artist, and Young Fit, a rap artist.
Appropriately, it was Millennium that pulled Anwar and Roujeanne into the third and final phase of The Akademia – the artistic dimension. In the years that followed, they completely immersed themselves full-time in the music scene. They met with other artists during their gigs and studio time at Paramount Studios and The Lair. They also met Ken Wilson and quickly became close friends. Ken first began as a mentor to Millennium and later joined the executive team of The Akademia. Anwar and Roujeanne also met a host of other individuals in the industry such as BJ Lobermann, Kevin Black and others who worked at Interscope Records. Through these meetings, they continued to refine their vision for The Akademia, which gradually became reflected in its mission statement: The Akademia is dedicated to recognizing excellence in music throughout the world and supporting musicians interested in receiving a higher degree of market exposure and professional recognition for their work.
Anwar and Roujeanne started out with the belief that firm foundations in all three areas – physical, intellectual, and artistic – were crucial to developing one’s true potential. Unconsciously, their path had led them through precisely that journey. Though the Los Angeles Akademia was incorporated in February 2008, its many stages and incarnations since have become important building blocks for a strong and vibrant organization. Anwar Najmi is the President and Co-Founder and Roujeanne Najmi is the Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder. Together with Ken Wilson, Marc Feldman and others, they form the executive team of The Akademia. It is through the monthly music awards that they are able to gather, organize, and listen to all of the music submissions from artists all around the world. Through their integrated radio, press, video, licensing and retail media properties, it is their goal to recognize talented artists throughout the world and to guide them onto a path towards success. Much work lies ahead, but the journey thus far has been deeply fulfilling and strongly rooted in the couple’s commitment to helping others achieve their dreams.
Perhaps there are other artist-centered organizations out there in the world, but none have surfaced into the foreground as quickly as The Akademia. Founded in 2008, they now are building the history, successful track record and longevity as a bastion of musical talent and marketing muscle. But what sets The Akademia apart from the rest? Here are three reasons why this organization is becoming the haven that musicians from all over the world have been seeking.
- They actually listen to everything.
Breaking news: Record labels do not listen to 99.9% of the music that is submitted to them. In reality, they’ve long since abandoned the concept of the ‘development deal’ and have chosen instead to invest all of their capital in 2 – 3 popular acts – paying huge sums for commercial radio airplay, festival performance spots, television appearances and more. That is great if you happen to be the one-in-a-billion lottery winner pop star on their roster, but what about the hundred million artists out there with talent who want to share their gifts with the world? Their voices deserve to be heard. The Akademia works with thousands of musicians internationally. They listen to all of the music that comes through their gates from every country around the world, from Finland to France, Haiti to Malaysia, Canada to Ukraine, and Brazil to Australia. They listen to every genre of music. In short, they listen to it all. Art isn’t about keeping your work on your disk drive or studio for your solo enjoyment. It wants to be shared, recognized and appreciated by others. The Akademia knows this and it is their mission to provide artists with the recognition they deserve.
- They have a grand vision.
The music industry has changed significantly in the past two decades and not for the better. As one old-era executive recently commented: ‘There is still money in the music game but you have to know where to pick up the pennies.” That is sad. And it is literally pennies that are offered to artists when they get their checks from Spotify, Pandora or YouTube. Sure, these companies and other streaming services are cool for the people listening to the music, but from the musician’s perspective, they’re getting the raw end of the deal. The Akademia understands this and has made it its mission to completely rewrite the rules from the ground up, putting the focus back on the artist. You see, people will not have the privilege of enjoying great music if the artists who create it are not able to survive. While most people would gladly live in a world without many of the modern-day professions, nobody wants to live in a world without music.
- They are artists themselves.
How do they understand the mindset and plight of today’s artists? Why do they fight for the little guy in the cut throat business of music? Because they are artists themselves. They have a deep understanding and appreciation for the passion and perseverance required to create and pursue music every single day, and over the span of decades. For the sake of sharing their music, they’ve been in the same position as many artists are today, stumbling in the dark, spending massive sums of money towards unproductive ends, sending their music into the void, paying to play at local clubs, trying to boost their Facebook or YouTube likes in vain. Throughout this experience, they’ve learned a thing or two. There is a better path for musicians, and with the right combination of old-school record label knowledge and new media technology, they are creating it. Like any new business model that upends the old system, The Akademia has faced its share of criticism. Yet, the proof of the validity to this new approach can be seen in their rising the ranks of successful musicians all across the globe.
Need more proof? Check them out for yourself at www.TheAkademia.com.
March 14, 2014
By Karin Francisca
Anwar Jamal Najmi is an award-winning singer-songwriter, composer and producer who has recorded five albums, placed songs in the international top ten, and secured song placements in Hollywood feature films and hit television series.
As an artist, he witnessed firsthand the decline and collapse of the record business, brought on by what he describes as two decades of endemic corruption, exploitation and overall lack of regard for the creative individuals who had built the record business into a multi-billion dollar industry.
In 2008, Anwar and his wife Roujeanne reached into their own pockets spending $1 million to found The Akademia. The mission of The Akademia was simple: To identify talented musicians throughout the world who were passionate about developing their art and to give those artists the support and resources required to make their artistic visions a reality. Having cultivated numerous industry contacts through the years, Anwar persuaded six senior record executives, handpicked for their integrity, to lend their knowledge and expertise to The Akademia cause.
The result has been a quiet revolution. From its relatively small endowment, The Akademia has grown rapidly, using innovative thinking, new technology and an artist-centered approach to build a new platform for developing and commercializing the work of an exciting cadre of talented artists. At its core, The Akademia offers an impressive suite of services to its members in the areas of radio, press, video, global DJ servicing, live performance and publishing. In all respects, it looks a lot like a major record company- with the key exception that artists keep 100% of the rights to their creative product.
Having accomplished many of their own creative goals, it was natural for Anwar and Roujeanne to begin reaching out to help other artists navigate through the new music environment. ‘We made the costly mistakes so that other artists don’t have to,’ states Anwar. Judging by the increasing number of Akademia entrants, the new generation of artists appreciates the guidance and support.