Brighton Music Conference Report

 

On the 28th of April 2017 my class attended a conference in Brighton about an hour away from London by train. The conference was a conglomeration of press conferences and new technology showcases from various companies.

I attended all of the press conferences on that day, not all in their entirety, but most of all of them. I also came through a Maschine showcase and played around with some of the synths on show in the theatre room.

The first talk was a music business themed talk with ACM Music Business tutor and Artist Manager, Dave Cronen. the talk focussed on campaigns for electronic artists and how they can build up to the release date with methods including but not limited to: sales, marketing, promotion, live dates setup and third party relationships.

I personally don’t remember much from this talk, our group was split upon departure and the half I was in ended up arriving later than everyone else so I missed a huge chunk of that conference. I remember in the last ten minutes however there was a Q & A and a lot of people were asking about specific methods of marketing and networking. I remember the most important thing I took away from that conference was to be as personal as possible. Mr. Cronen insisted on always talking and making business in person if possible, because personal encounters are more memorable and valuable than emails, especially in today’s market.

The second talk was about ho to make a living as an artist or someone working in the sector and included many guest speakers such as:
ANDY ELLIS – MODERATOR (EDUCATION AND OUTREACH MANAGER, PRS FOR MUSIC)
JARROD BIRD (PUBLISHING MANAGER, INVOLVED PUBLISHING / ANJUNBEATS)
THROWING SHADE (DJ / PRODUCER / NINJA TUNE / NTS RADIO)
BHAVESH PATEL (PROGRAMME MANAGER, PRS FOR MUSIC FOUNDATION)

This talk was about being realistic with revenue streams and the tasks involved with earning money as someone in the creative sector. I don’t remember much from this talk either even though I took notes, however I do remember some things that Throwing Shade said. Two things stuck out to me, one was that women may not be taken seriously as producers because of their gender which surprised me but also made sense and two was never to work with someone unless you sign some sort of contract. Throwing Shade explained that work should never be done for free for someone you don’t personally know, and projects concerning money and copyright should ALWAYS be documented for accountability purposes. I personally think this will stick with me for my career as this seems more than extremely sensible to have everything traced back to something written if legal problems arise.

The third talk was a discussion on streaming and how it’s affected the music industry. I was half asleep for this so I really don’t remember much at all. Not because it was boring, but because I decided to stay up late the night before making beats. The gist of the talk was that streaming is a game changer but has changed since its introduction but is still viable if used correctly. Adapting to the industry it seemed. Here’s the blurb from the BMC website:

“As distributors, Horus Music is in frequent contact with streaming companies, and those that use them to consume music. Streaming has had a hard time over recent years and it’s about time some of the big questions were answered. Regardless of where you are in your music career, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of streaming and to know how to use it to advance your career.”
NIKKI HALLIWELL– (HORUS MUSIC, DIGITAL MARKETING EXECUTIVE) MODERATOR
TREMAINE RICHARD – (NOEL MUSIC MANAGEMENT)
STEVE MAC – (RHYTHM MASTER / DJ / PRODUCER)
ALEX MORLEY (ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC, EVENTS MANAGER)
JACK BRIDGES (BEATPORT – DIRECTOR OF ARTISTS, LABELS & SOUNDS)

The fourth talk was a  Q & A with Hospital Records. A lot of things were touched upon which I missed because I actually fell asleep during this. It was a good nap. I gathered after the talk that the heads of Hospital records spoke about the inception of the company and they got running on their feet as a label. The people involved were:

CARL LOBEN (DJ MAG – EDITOR) – MODERATOR
CHRIS GOSS (MD)
AMY JAYNE (HEAD OF PROMOTIONS)
NIKKI ELLIS (PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR)
MEGAN BEAN (SYNC/HEAD OF LEGAL AND BUSINESS)
SAM BIRKWOOD (SYNC/PUBLISHING)

Chris (I believe) spoke about the humble origins of the company and how they hustled to become known and respected in the EDM scene especially since they grounded themselves during a time when drum and bass hadn’t yet been a thing. Persistence is key.

The fifth talk was a producer Q & A:

“Career advice, production tips and more from four of electronic music’s most respected producers” 
DECLAN MCGLYNN (SAMPLE MAGIC) – MODERATOR
PROK AND FITCH (TOOLROOM / RELIEF RECORDS)
PAUL HARTNOLL (ORBITAL)
JUST HER (CROSSTOWN REBELS / CONSTANT CIRCLES)
RIDNEY (DISFUNKTIONAL / TOOLROOM)

I was only able to attend the second half because I left and then came back when the room was full, and I had to wait to get in.  I didn’t catch much of the talk, but there were lots of questions from the audience. One question was concerned with mastering, and whether or not one should learn to do it themselves. Just Her commented that she has a mastering engineer that she works with and admits that it can be a skill learned by the producer but it is indeed advantageous to have a “fresh” pair of ears approach the track as it is being finalized. As well as this a mastering engineer will have a specific studio set up and plug-in pack specialized for the job and so unless one can afford these things and time to learn the craft it is advisable to be on good terms with an engineer in possession of these things.

I did not attend the entirety of the next talk and I don’t remember much from the last one (a drum and bass talk) but the in between talk was a novation showcase that greatly intrigued me.

Novation was revealing their latest line of synthesizer (Peak) and another device called the circuit mono station. The talk was incredibly entertaining and the two hosts were enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the devices and their capabilities. The first host demonstrated the abilities of the mono station and did so in an entertaining yet insightful manner as he fluidly showcased the possible combinations of awesome the device had to offer. After he was finished the second host went into the synthesizer and in detail explained all of its functionalities and forms of use. The talk intrigued me greatly and I went to get hands on with the devices afterwards as well as taking pictures to remember for later as I wanted to see how much they went for. If I had the money I would definitely buy these devices, solely based on the excellent showcase I had witnessed of their application.

The roster:

http://www.brightonmusicconference.co.uk/academy/

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