AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Monday, Mayor Steve Adler and Shamika Wilson, mother of Draylen Mason, were joined alongside several others to announce the Draylen Mason Music Studio, which will be named after the young Austin musician who was killed in the 2018 Austin bombings.
The 135-seat music studio is the centerpiece to a new $10 million building, the new home to KMFA 89.5, an independent classical music radio station serving more than 100,000 listeners.
Wilson, the mother of 17-year-old Mason, a talented bassist and one of two people killed last year, said this is the best way to celebrate his young life.
“As Draylen’s mother, I am so filled with peace and joy that his story did not end the day he left this earth,” Wilson said. “Right now, heaven is rejoicing.”
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said he met with Wilson and her family following the bombings. He agreed – this new music destination will be a place for Austinites to connect over music and share with one another.
“One of the lessons we learned in the bombing was that we needed to get to know our neighbors better,” Mayor Adler said. “Knowing your neighbors better also means getting to know the real talents and bright stars. And that’s what Draylen was.”
Patrick Slevin, the executive artistic director fro the Austin Soundwaves, one of the music groups Mason belonged to, said the young man’s legacy continues with current students and musicians.
“There was not a single person in that program that wasn’t touched by Draylen. Even if you didn’t know him, you knew him,” Slevin said. “He loved the limelight and the attention. We know that he is smiling and happy that his name is a part of this very important program for us.”
The new state-of-the-art building with be in east Austin, just north of Lady Bird Lake. People will be able to watch radio broadcasts, attend live performances and socialize with others.
Renderings, compliments of STG Design, show spaces for “broadcasting, socializing, hands-on learning and viewing areas for both physical archives and high-end servers.”
The mayor called it an iconic space.
“This is one more way to ensure that his presence is with us forever,” Mayor Adler said.
APD still hasn’t publicly said its investigation into the bombings is complete.
In March, Chief Brian Manley said the homicide until still had more work to do before closing the case. He did not set a date on when that investigation would be complete.
The chief also said he felt strongly the bomber’s recorded confession should not be released. He worries it would inspire others to commit similar crimes.
In January, the FBI closed its investigation. Officials concluded there was no evidence the bomber was fueled by an “recognized ideology.”