What is CORE Music?

Lately, I’ve found myself gravitating toward a number of tracks off the album Forbidden by Todrick Hall. I was first introduced to this visual album by a dear friend and colleague, and I found myself easily fixated on any number of deep, yet broadly accessible messages shared with unmatched poise and clarity. The visual album is about 90 minutes in total, and worth the full watch (multiple times over, if you ask me). It activates more functions of music than I could see before interacting with them firsthand; it communicates feelings and experiences I know almost too well, but in a way that propels my relationship with them farther than I could do alone.

I’ve been asked many times in varying contexts, what is CORE Music? It’s also a question I’ve asked myself since settling on the name for the powerful, yet intangible journey many of us have taken over the past few years together. The short answer is that CORE Music comes from the deepest, clearest source of self possible for the artist(s) at the time; it’s a syntheses of our experiences and influences. This definition is intentionally not specific to one genre, but affords the ability to distinguish between what is and what isn’t across musical traditions.

Music is created for a myriad of reasons, but there is a humanly discernible difference between music that radiates from one’s soul, and music that emerges from a more superficial or removed environment. We usually can’t put our finger or our words on what the difference is, and sometimes musicians are so masterful that we as consumers are fooled. But the kind of attachment that results in us listening to the same song on repeat… it comes from a soul place. It matters beyond its own existence, because it grapples with itself fully and opens space for listeners to pour their own selves deep inside. Its significance rings from its purpose as emanated from its creators, and also from its function to powerfully transform listeners. As Lady Gaga notes in her recent documentary on Netflix, songwriting is a process akin to emotional open heart surgery for those fully participating in it.

In the most responsible ways possible, CORE Music Program engages young people in this intimate process, in order to move through what we’ve termed Artist-as-Self Development. In the process of reciprocal listening and sharing through our diverse traumas, we embark on journeys, individual and collective, to heal ourselves.

What we choose to express and communicate through our art, however, is not necessarily a play-by-play of our healing processes. Our music and purposes are far grander than healing alone; we create music to celebrate our existence, to challenge the cognitive dissonances we encounter in our lives, and to manifest our truest selves into the world for communal engagement and visibility.


CORE Music: it’s music for the people, by the people.
It’s a method to the madness, and a journey beyond one mind’s comprehension alone.


This is CORE Music.

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