Wayne Watts, founder of Dream, Create, Inspire, is the epitome of optimism and dedication. Founded in 2016, the organization brings together the music community through open mic nights, songwriting workshops, networking events and concerts. The Dream, Create, Inspire Tour stops by Atlanta for a collaborative launch concert of hip-hop artists at Cox Hall at Emory University on May 7.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Watts was raised in a music-driven household. His mother played rhythm guitar, and his father played bass in a funk band called DIT Band. At eight years old, he began to perform for his family and friends, but it wasn’t until 17 that he finally recorded his first album, That’s My Boy, under the name DK. Watts holds a degree in communications from the University of Maryland and spent most of his days playing music.
After graduation, Watts fully immersed himself in the music industry in as many ways possible while working as a substitute teacher — nightly studio sessions, trips to music conventions and more filled up the pages of his calendar. Watts eventually found a way to combine the love of music with teaching students through Dream, Create, Inspire.
The organization has roots in nine different cities including Philadelphia, Memphis, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Baltimore, Denver, Austin and Atlanta. During the Atlanta performance, Dream, Create, Inspire songwriting workshop participants will perform songs that were created during the workshops.
ARTS ATL sat down with Watts to discuss a lifetime of musicianship, goals for the organization and more.