Tracy Washington’s journey into electronic music began at 16 years-old when she was introduced to Kenny Dixon Jr. by a high school friend. She was unaware at the time that this meeting would change the course of her life. Mr. Kenny Dixon Jr. was a world renowned Detroit electronic music producer and DJ and as a team, they would create one of the most respected Black owned electronic music record labels in the world.
Growing up in the late eighties frequenting record stores and listening to Detroit radio, she would never have imagined that she would grow up to not only work in the music industry, but also be a part of producing the kind of house music played on radio stations such as WJZZ and WGPR.
Tracy graduated from Redford High School in June of 1991 and went on to attend Michigan State University where she graduated in May of 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Family Community Service. She spent a year working for the Salvation Army Housing Placement program in Lansing. A chance phone call to Mr. Dixon early one morning presented her with an opportunity to run his new record label, Mahogani Music.
Starting in April of 2002, Mahogani Music was incorporated and Tracy Washington became it’s first Label Director. With no formal training in the business of music, she began learning the basics of running a record label. She was fortunate to have been mentored in tour management by Laura Gavoor of YinSight Management before her untimely passing in 2003. With Mr. Dixon’s assistance she learned to assign catalog numbers, schedule releases, copyright and register music with performing societies, etc. Under her direction, Mahogani Music is now on its 42nd vinyl release. The label has released 12” singles, full vinyl albums, and cd compilations for Detroit artists such as Amp Fiddler, Roberta Sweed, Andres, Malik Alston and The Three Chairs.
It has been a immense learning experience and labor of love to coordinate with so many Detroit artists in releasing music from our city to the entire world. Tracy has spent the majority of the 16 years as the lone employee of Mahogani Music. Her responsibilities are a mixture of managing the label, serving as a booking agent and handling all aspects of international touring.
Tracy has built and maintained relationships with record pressing plants, distributors, journalists, local record stores, clubs and music festivals in the US and abroad. Artists from mahogani music have performed at events such as Detroit’s Movement Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in The Netherlands, Coachella Valley Music Festival in California, and Dimensions Festival in Croatia.
So many young African Americans desiring a role in the music industry as unattainable. Tracy would like to work to change this perception as well as raise awareness of electronic music and the plethora of employment opportunities that exist within the genre. Having worn the many hats from tour management and booking agent to label executive, she believes African Americans” involvement in the industry should not only be limited to the creative. As with many Detroit producers such as Carl Craig, Mike Banks and Theo Parrish, Black music created in the inner city has taken her all over the world. Along with other colleagues in Detroit’s electronic music community, she wishes to establish educational opportunities, camps and internships for the cities youth.
Tracy’s commitment to serving Detroit artists has taken Mahogani Music from being operated from a basement on Birwood to an impressive three story building on East Grand Boulevard in Midtown. In a corporate environment where loyalty no longer exists, Tracy is proud to have served her employer and Detroit artists for almost 20 years. She considers the greatest privilege of her role the ability to be an ambassador for this great city and witness personally how much Detroit music continues to resonate with people around the world.