Meet Dr. Blake Brandes
Dr. Blake Brandes is a youth motivational speaker, hip-hop educator, music producer, and student leadership expert. Blake received his PhD in Hip-Hop and Global Youth Cultures from the University of Kent. He believes in the importance of education and the power of hip-hop to connect with young people in a meaningful way. This allows him to effectively convey the value of academics, passion, and other tools of success that will help teens achieve their goals.
Growing up, Blake faced bullying and depression, and as a teen who loved hip-hop but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do in life, he understands what it's like for students who are trying to find their life purpose. He also struggled to make schoolwork relevant to his life, especially in subjects that didn’t naturally interest him.
Then he discovered how to “remix his reality," and take proactive steps to create a life he loved.
Blake began to combine his passion for hip-hop with his studies and discovered a new level of engagement in his schoolwork. Building on this powerful discovery, he began regularly incorporating hip-hop into his academic career, and even performed a freestyle rap during his interview for the Marshall Scholarship, which he was subsequently awarded. This allowed him to obtain his Master’s and PhD in England.
During his graduate work, Blake lived out his passion for music as a manager and producer of Top 40 radio songs in Europe, and continued making music after he became chief program officer for a national non-profit focused on helping kids. As a freestyle rapper and beatboxer, he is able to combine his love of music, speaking, and improving the lives of young people into a message about Remixing Your Reality in order to achieve your dreams.
Currently, Blake tours and speaks with K-12, college, and graduate students at assemblies, workshops, and conferences around the world.
Blake is also the co-founder of Motivational Millennial, and co-hosts a weekly podcast that features leaders, musicians, entrepreneurs, artists, altruists and other Millennials who share their passions, the beauty in the pursuit of their dreams, and how they overcome challenges on their paths.