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Rising Stars: Meet Elliot Gann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elliot Gann.

Hi Elliot, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My work started in college at UC Santa Barbara where I started the Hip Hop Club @ UCSB, through which I put on Hip Hop events (MC/rap Battles, Popping Battles) as well as doing outreach workshops with Hip Hop artists in the community at local schools. From there I continued to go on do Hip Hop Education work in the community in the Bay Area when I went to graduate school for Psychology and conducted my dissertation research on Therapeutic Activity Groups employing Hip Hop Therapy. Based on my love for beat making, Hip Hop, youth work and healing/therapeutic modalities, I began to develop my Therapeutic Beat Making (TBM) model and took over the non-profit, Today’s Future Sound, and growing it. Through intensive virtual collaboration, I was able to travel to Lima, Peru, and Australia to do teaching/cultural diplomacy and artistic work, thereafter heading to Senegal with the Next Level program through the US State Department and UNC Chapel Hill. Concurrently, I began to collaborate with Texas State Professor of Social Work and author of “The Healing Power of Hip Hop,” Dr. Raphael Travis. To this day we have presented together across the globe, published two articles and conducted a research study on TBM and continue to develop it, as well as advocating for the therapeutic and educational uses of Hip Hop and beat making. My work and presenting has also taken me to El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, South Africa, China, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and beyond, where I have presented on this model and taught, as well as organizing beat battles and taught locally.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have certainly been challenges along the way, including resistance to the idea of Hip Hop being therapeutic and educational, and not being taken seriously. I’ve also faced financial challenges since I’ve taken the road less traveled and have been doing unorthodox therapeutic/educational practices, particularly for a psychologist.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in the intersection of mental health, education, cross-cultural/cultural diplomacy work and music/Hip Hop. I specialize in the use of beats/beat making that weaves all of these things together, and I’m extremely proud that I found a way to synthesize this and provide a rationale for the culturally-responsive application of therapeutic and educational applications of Hip Hop. I’m equally an artist, activist, and clinician/therapist way that I’m authentic and taken seriously in these different worlds. I do my best to bridge and connect them. I’ve also gone to great lengths to create community and spread culture, but in a grassroots way, across six continents in countless communities where I’ve put on over 500 Hip Hop events and taught more than 75,000 people since 2015.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
I love the food, music, and culture. I’m a big fan of the breakfast burritos and BBQ, not to mention ice cream. The live music along with indie music culture and Hip Hop is great. I dislike the heat, but during the Winter and not-as-hot months I find it much more bearable.


  • $250/hour consultation

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Sarah Arnold, Brian DeSimone

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1 Comment

  1. Alaa Saleh

    February 23, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    I love this! Thanks for giving Dr. Elliot Gann a chance to speak about his experience. We appreciate it!

    – Alaa Saleh
    Administrative Assistant
    Today’s Future Sound

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