NEW YORK CITY, NY | June 22, 2015 -New Music Seminar (NMS) is a forward-thinking, annual music conference and festival acting as a catalyst for change in the music industry. Taking place in NYC from June 21-23, 2015, NMS is dedicated in exploring new ways to support artists, exchanging of business ideas, and showcase the next generation of stars. The conference portion held at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel kicked off with an exhilarating array of movements on Sunday, June 21st ending with an outstanding turnout for the opening night New Music Festival featuring none other than Melanie Martinez.
Day one began the task of tackling key challenges and discussions on how to restore the music business back to its former glory through numerous movements with well-spoken and informed players. The Do It Yourself 2015 movement, conducted by Dick Huey of Toolshed, kicked off the day. Attendees witnessed players across the industry including Emily White (Co-Founder, Whitesmith Entertainment), Ariel Hyatt (Founder, Cyber PR), Han Kim (Artist Manager, Outerloop Management), and more discuss what is necessary to succeed on your own as an up-and-coming artist in this industry. Hyatt added, "Focus first on getting real fans who really love your music." Next up was The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Music Success, where attendees learned the ins-and-outs of contracts from all different facets of the industry. Debbie Newman, Esq. (Consultant/Attorney, MUSICSTRAT) moderated this panel and the conversation involving key terminology, negotiation points, and what to look for as an artist entering into various agreements. Jennifer Newman Sharpe (Attorney, JNS Law Offices), Steve Gordon (Entertainment Attorney, Steve Gordon Law), and Robert Celestin, Esq. (RAC Law Offices) shared their insights and advice with the highly attentive audience including observations on the numerous changes occurring within the industry today. For instance, Robert Celestin noted that "A&R doesn't stand for Artists & Repertoire anymore - now it's "Arithmetic & Research," something important to understand for those looking to start or advance their careers in music.
The Touring For Road Warriors panel was equally exciting while exploring a new side to the industry: traveling and all that comes with it. Dave Lory (President, DJL Live Music Productions) conducted this movement and discussed the key aspects of touring, such as preparing, budgeting time and money, working with a booking agent, handling transportation issues as well as how to make more money or how to find a new audience. Players for this movement included Jake Gold (President, The Management Trust) and Martin Atkins (Chair - Music Business Department, SAE Chicago), while learning tips and tricks on how to be a touring professional, summing up the discussion. The Songwriting Masterclass was the last movement of the day and conductor Holly Knight was enthusiastic about her opportunity to share what she does best. The Songwriter Hall of Fame honoree and producer showed attendees how she transforms songwriting in a truly inspiring way. Even jamming out on the piano to show her musical abilities and break down each measure to pure enjoyment.
Yesterday also marked the beginning of the music festival portion, New Music Nights, with the Opening Night Red Carpet Event at Webster Hall. Attendees were treated to a special headlining performance by Atlantic Records recording artist, Melanie Martinez. Martinez is best known from her stint on Season 3 of The Voice, where her raspy, signature sound carried her to the Top 6. Since then, she's been working on original music and her wildly dramatic single, "Dollhouse," landed at the top of the Billboard charts. Martinez took her flair for the dramatic to the next level with her performance at New Music Nights, but still took the time to record the crowd wishing her dad a Happy Father's Day. It was a sweet addition to an already passionate performance. To add to the Opening Night excitement, guests got a taste of some of the best up and coming acts from the Artist on The Verge Top 3 Showcase featuring Belmont Lights, Fictionist, and Grace Weber and and in the Marlin Room the rising stars; Alessia Cara (Def Jam), Bad Veins (Dynamite Music), and Jay Stolar (Kingston Records). The following two nights will be filled with performances from NMS' A&R Committees carefully curated Artist on the Verge (AOV) Top 100 list at iconic venues DROM, Cake Shop, The Delancey, and Pianos.
A full detailed list of upcoming movements for NMS 2015, with descriptions and times, can be seen here, and a complete list of speakers can be seen here.
Later today, Monday, June 22nd, comes the highly anticipated Songwriters Movement that features celebrated actor/director/songwriter, Dennis Leary, as a key speaker. He will be discussing the role of music and his songwriting process for his hilarious new music-based TV comedy series, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, during the panel. In addition, the show will have an exclusive pre-screening at NMS at Webster Hall's iconic Marlin Room on June 23rd, 2015. The series premieres on July 16th on FX Networks, and the pre-screening will feature the first three episodes of the breakout series. A quantity of tickets to the event have been set aside and will be distributed to participants of the New Music Seminar.
Tomorrow, June 23rd, SoundExchange will present an entire day focused on rights owners, royalty collection, entertainment law, and advocacy from the Fair Play Fair Pay Act to the Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act.
Artist on The Verge is an annual curated list of the Top 100 artists on the rise. The first five years of the AOV Top 100 classes have included current successful artists such as Macklemore, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Banks, Action Bronson, Schoolboy Q, Joey Bada$$, Meg Myers, Thee Oh Sees, and Fitz and the Tantrums. Below is a list of this years 2015 Artist on The Verge class:
Ace Cosgrove, AJ Smith, Alessia Cara, Animal Years, AYER, Bad Veins, Beecher's Fault, Belmont Lights, Bizzy Crook, Chaos Chaos, City of the Sun, Dear Rouge, Dinner And A Suit, DJ SANiTY, End of an Era, Fictionist, Fort Lean, Frances Cone, Frances Rose, Grace Weber, HIGHS, IN THE WHALE, Janita, Jay Stolar, Julia Weldon, Lewis Lane, Lilly Wolf, Little Racer, Lovebettie, ONWE, Paper Fleet, Phosphene, Shirley House, SPZRKT, Summer Heart, SYKA, the Collection, Tribe Society, Twiceyoung, Valerie Orth, Whyte Planes, XNY
All live photos shot by: Loren Wohl