Daily Archives: April 19, 2010

Pop Music Conference – Seattle – 2010 – Day 1

EMP Pop Music Conference 2010 – April 15-18, Seattle, WA.

Best. Conference. Ever. Well at least for me anyways! I had such a wonderful time networking, hearing some great presentations by amazing academics, and getting to meet some rockin musicians, like Janelle Monae!

So, I’ll just give you a general recap, day by day, of the events I went to.

Day 1 – Thursday Keynote speakers: Janelle Monae, Nile Rodgers, and Joe Henry

It was such a treat to see these three amazing musicians onstage at the same time. They each gave their own take on using technology as an artist, everything from the studio, to social media. There were some pros and cons to the immediacy of the internet, as well as, the increased pace at which one can record music, but they all seemed very hopeful and enjoyed their craft.

Mr. Henry gave some fabulous tidbits about how he approaches recording and writing music. He said that the studio is like an invitation to those who are there to work out a song. There isn’ any set way that the song is supposed to be like, but when people are generous with their creativity, that’s when the best kind of music happens.

Mr. Rodgers told the most hilarious stories about all the famous musicians he has worked with, namely David Bowie and Billy Idol. He mused once that Billy Idol and himself went out to a club to go drinking, where they ran into David Bowie. Bowie was sober at the time, and Billy and Nile where already quite drunk. Billy notices David in the corner and starts to walk over to say hello. “It’s David Fu….blaaahg” and promptly throws up. He then wipes his mouth on his sleeve attempts to shake Bowie’s hand.

I couldn’t stop laughing! What a story!

Finally, Ms. Monae discussed her work with artist collectives and finding the things that are important to you as an artist. I asked her for some advice she could give to a starving female artist trying to make it and she said these three things:

1. Find Your Core Values

Basically here, she said to me to know what things are the most important to you, and set them inside yourself. Therefore, when things come your way, good or bad, you’ll know you really want and what you don’t.

2. Make time to be spiritual

Here, no matter your religion, faith, or spiritual life, she said that you need some time to find that inner peace with yourself. It keeps you grounded.

3. Don’t be afraid of failure

Finally, the big one. Don’t be afraid to mess up. Sometimes failure is a good thing, you need it when you get it, and you can benefit and learn from it. Take risks, and fear not.

I’ll take these words to heart! Thank you!

Stay tuned for Day 2 of the conference!

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