Aaron “Memphis” Smith is speaking to a generation. His platform is an altruistic approach to music and celebrating all of its truest forms. The message is simple: “There is no departure without a dream”; and his mission is to see to it that his peers are inspired to make this the most powerful and knowledgeable age of music that the world will ever see. As a native Memphian, Aaron was exposed to all genres of music. Through his mother’s affinity for the craft, Aaron discovered the soul striking melodies of gospel music while growing up in church and the importance of the instrument. With a music selection varying from The Winans to Commission, it was only natural that Aaron developed his passions around non-secular music. As a teenager, Aaron traveled a path that led him to Illinois, where he continued to develop his blessing. Aaron managed to balance his talents between church and Auburn High School, a performing arts school located in Rockford, IL. Aaron’s abilities allowed him to be a scholarship recipient that led him to Rock Valley College under the direction of Ken Stein. Aaron studied Music Performance in a Jazz ensemble form. Aaron’s accolades include, but are not limited to, playing for jazz saxophonist, Harlan Jefferson, as well as working with various artists such as:  LeAndria Johnson, Greater First Chorale, Todd Dulaney, Garrett Body, Ann Nesby, Gina Venier, Paris Bennett and many more. Aaron’s passion for music has allowed him to pave a path for those striving for success within the music industry. With his knowledge, he has formed his own organization titled, D.U.F.C. (Drummers United for Christ) geared toward youth and musicians. This forum allows musicians a close and personal opportunity to meet their favorite drummers in a clinic session. He believes that there are so many life lessons you can overcome with using strategies you use with developing your craft. Aaron feels it is so imperative to inspire and motivate even if you haven’t reached your plateau, it’s important to give back no matter what level of success you’re at. September of 2011, Aaron was granted the opportunity to do his first drum clinic hosted by Guitar Center, “A room filled with so many young and eager musicians that were ready to learn, was an honor and scary all at once”, Aaron says. Shortly after, Aaron’s organization, D.U.F.C., hosted a clinic with featured guest, Tavarius “Varo” Johnson, an awesome and talented drummer that has pierced his way through the music industry. Smith was also able to show his ability to write and produce on newly released artist, Nastasia Lambert’s album “1983 Lohv Diary”, released in 2013. While currently living in Chicago, Aaron is constantly working with new artists and has played on several records. Chicago is a major breeding ground for great musicians; it is impossible not to learn and apply it to what you already have, Aaron says. Aaron’s influences have inspired him in such a way that it has grown rapidly over the years. It begins with guys such as Rexsell Hardy Jr., Chris “Daddy” Dave, Tony Williams, Teddy Campbell, Aaron Spears, Khari Parker, Daniel Frye, Quin Anderson, Phil Collins, Michael Williams, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder, Timbaland, Kanye West, Garrett Body, Pharrell Williams, Robert Glasper and many more. He is also influenced by some of his peers that are also doing great things. Aaron’s latest feat has been strengthening his abilities as a drum instructor and touring percussionist. He is the current Drum Instructor for the largest North American and award-winning store, Vic’s Drum Shop in Chicago, IL. He is also Drum Instructor at New Life Covenant Community Center of Chicago. In addition to cultivating his knowledge as a musical educator, he is also currently lead drummer with independent artist, Melody Angel and will be touring the continent of Australia Spring 2017. It is imperative to Aaron to create and focus more on his own identity within his instrument. Having someone else’s DNA on an instrument shouldn’t be an option; owning your sound and perfecting it is what really matters. He is also focused on building his brand and is working with several different artists as a drummer, writer and producer. With a Christian background, Aaron is aware that God has blessed him with a gift and the importance of reaching others is what matters most. Having the opportunity to take leadership roles as a music director for different assignments, Aaron has been granted opportunities to sharpen areas he was once afraid to challenge himself in. Aaron is currently the drummer for pop/indie artist, Gina Venier, an Illinois native that has a bright future in today’s music industry. “I believe that putting your all into perfecting your craft, not only for yourself, but to reach the hearts of people, is imperative… Being able to create emotion from person to person through your instrument is pretty impressive and rewarding.”