Detroit Electronic Music Conference returns at Washtenaw Community College after two-year hiatus

Washtenaw County’s Amplify Project has partnered with Detroit nonprofit Spin, Inc. to reinvigorate Spin, Inc.’s annual Detroit Electronic Music Conference (DEMC) at Washtenaw Community College (WCC). The conference took place on March 2 after a two-year break following the closure of its previous venue, the Dime Underground in Detroit, in 2020.

Amplify Project co-founder Dr. Rod Wallace says the project's partnership with Spin, Inc. came from a shared passion for "using music production as a tool of education." Amplify’s mission of "supporting the cultivation of musical talent and growth of the modern music movement," as well as Wallace’s connections with WCC, allowed Spin, Inc. to continue the tradition of affiliating DEMC with an educational institute.

"We thought it was a natural fit," Wallace says. "We were able to do some really fantastic things."

The free conference featured production classes, beat sets, and panel discussions, as well as a number of opportunities for attendees to network. Wallace says one of Amplify's major goals for the event was promoting "networking across before networking up" – encouraging attendees to connect with other local musicians and producers to share valuable professional as well as social and emotional skills.

"We never want to make music in a vacuum," Wallace says. "When you eliminate the restrictions that come from thinking about it solely as a business, you can get to a place of appreciating the process and the people."

Wallace says that bringing DEMC to WCC allowed Amplify and its partners, Ypsilanti’s Grove Studios and Ann Arbor’s Leon Speakers, to uplift the talents of a number of local artists and producers who "reflect the diversity of the music coming out of Washtenaw County." But Wallace also wants to keep the event’s Detroit roots at the forefront to continuously acknowledge the numerous "musical innovations" that have come out of the city.

"Detroit has ushered in at least four revolutions of urban music over the past 50 years," says Wallace. "We wanted to keep the Detroit brand at the front to make sure ownership stays with the city."

Wallace says guests at this year's DEMC had "a lot to do" and were "very happy" with the event overall. He is currently in discussions with Spin, Inc. and other partners to determine where DEMC will be held in the coming years.

"There are a number of areas around us who would be interested in supporting this event," Wallace says. "Amplify will continue to carry the same message and provide programming that will benefit artists and young people, so keep an eye on us."

To learn more about the Amplify Project, visit To learn more about Spin, Inc. and DEMC, visit

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

Photo courtesy of Rod Wallace.
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