Backed by rapper Diddy, REC Miami set to nurture aspiring music professionals

Photo courtesy REC Philly
·3 min read

With REC Miami’s upcoming launch in Little River, local creative professionals will have resources and opportunities in their own backyard to help them chase their entertainment-business dreams.

The people behind REC Philly, a similar entertainment incubator in Philadelphia, secured a $2 million investment from rapper and music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs to open a site in Miami early in 2023 that he envisions as a “one-stop shop” for creative entrepreneurs.

REC Philly founders Will Toms and Dave Silver decided to build their Miami outpost at 285 NW 71st St. in the Little River neighborhood because of the community’s proximity to arts hubs like Wynwood and the Design District.

At 13,000 square feet, Silver said REC Miami will be 20% larger than the Philadelphia flagship location, where members have access to recording, photo and dance studios and event space to use for their businesses.

Programming, such as panels and fireside chats, also will give REC Miami members networking opportunities and insights to hopefully make it as entertainment industry entrepreneurs. Toms plans on those events being fixtures at REC Miami.

“There’s so many people who are gifted and have these talents, but really it’s the fear that prevents them from pursuing it,” he said. “Once they have a little bit of confidence to do it, it’s the inability to get connected to what they need to be successful. There’s access to that information to help you understand the business and being able to go around like-minded individuals in our ecosystem.”

Content producer Matthew Henry never envisioned working as a self-employed music creator. However, his experience networking through REC Philly enabled him to leave his full-time job as an accountant at investment firm Vanguard and follow his passion. Now 31, Henry’s work ranges from touring with musicians and creating video content to managing a nine-person TikTok team.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” Henry said. “I feel like I wouldn’t be here today without the opportunities I got from them. Someone took me to a REC meeting one day. It was a bunch of creatives in a warehouse in North Philly with no heating. It felt like there were a bunch of people trying to do cool creative stuff and help each other grow.”

When Lynzie Riebling of REVOLT MEDIA & TV, a media company owned by Combs, participated in a REC Philly panel, she was impressed by the venture’s concept and workflow. Riebling connected Toms with Combs Enterprises President Tarik Brook. After Toms and Silver planned and brainstormed with people on Combs’ team, the idea for REC Miami was born.

“They do a lot of like camps bringing in top industry professionals all together to make music and write and be creative,” Silver said of Diddy’s team. “One of the reasons why they did our partnership was to have a central location [in Miami] to gather young creators to create inspiring pieces of art.”

Miami residents interested in learning more about REC Miami can go to joinrec.com/miami for more information about a virtual town hall session on Oct. 13. Details will be shared about how creative professionals can participate when the Little River site opens.