Dani Stephenson, the founder and president of Straight Forward Music Group and the driving force behind Straight Forward Giving, is once again making a bold move to impact the next generation through ComUnity, a platform designed to help educate and inspire underprivileged communities worldwide. By tapping into the power of music, ﬁlm, and entertainment to inﬂuence young minds, Dani hopes to bring .ComUnity closer to every person who aspires to make a good life for themselves. Through the emerging platform, people can be equipped with the right set of skills that will help them as they pursue their dreams.
“A key driver that will start to turn the tide on youth turning to crime in underprivileged communities is by eradicating the stereotypical classism approach industries have in recruiting staﬀ and start empowering the next generation from all backgrounds and communities,” Dani shared. “It’s
important we start installing conﬁdence in the youth, making them realize, they also have the power to achieve anything in life if they put in the hard work, whether they have a Bachelor's Degree or not. That they also have a voice and that people are willing to listen, and that they have a choice to achieve whatever they have a passion for, the key is changing the thought process of communities into a positive uniﬁed mentality,” he added.
Growing up, Dani remembers how he struggled with his lack of access to relevant and helpful information that would elevate his skills.
Growing up, Dani remembers how he struggled with his lack of access to relevant and helpful information that would elevate his skills. Thanks to the internet, the present generation can access all the information they need to learn new skills. Dani cautions, however, that there are also false and dangerous kinds of information proliferating online. .ComUnity is designed to provide the younger generation with an open-source access to knowledge, that is also a one-stop shop for all the educational information, assets, and courses they need to succeed in life. The initiative creates opportunities for internships, educational workshops whilst oﬀering access to recording studios and mentors.
“It’s important that we start encouraging industries to give everyone an equal chance in job placements no matter the background, preserving class and race, inspiring communities and individuals to gain the knowledge and resources to learn, grow, and ﬂourish. My mission is to oﬀer my time, knowledge, resources and infrastructure within the entertainment industry to those that want it, oﬀering mentorship whilst creating employment opportunities for as many people as possible,” Dani explained.
Just recently, Dani collaborated with legendary painter-artist Terry Pastor, who is best known for his iconic work on David Bowie’s well-known artwork for Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust. To help support the Prince’s Trust and Straight Forward Giving, Terry is creating a digital render of the iconic art pieces to be auctioned. He hopes to become an integral part of
raising funds to help future events that will impact communities worldwide.
“It's a pleasure to work on such a meaningful project which will help many people around the world. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to put my art to good use for a great cause,” Terry revealed.
Dani’s music group, Straight Forward Music Group which he founded in 2009, is a multi-awarded organization, which includes several Grammy Awards, Brit Award, BET Award, Mercury Award, Soul Train Music Award, Q Award, ASCAP Award, BIM Award, Brit Asia Award, and MOBO Award. He has worked with many of the biggest names in the music industry, including J Hus, Don Diablo, Drake, Kanye West, Dave, Wiz Khalifa, Beyonce, MANN among many others.
His most recent accomplishments include composing music for Marvel Studio’s latest ﬁlm, Eternals. He executive produced the Eternals title track, “Nach Mera Hero,” performed by Celina Sharma, the rising star of Mugal Group.
Connect with Dani Stephenson on Linkedin to know more about his advocacy and charity work. Follow his Instagram account for updates on his latest projects.