CMW Virtual Conference
DAY 1: Virtual Conference
Tuesday May 18th, 2021
Applause and appreciative shouts used to be the barometer for an artist’s live performance. These days, it can be car horns, or a scroll of comments. The determination to perform has proven powerful, inspiring musicians to play at drive-ins, to sell tickets to virtual shows from their own living rooms, or to perform with bandmates in collaborative isolation via Zoom. Some venues died. Others tried to work within protocols (Toronto’s storied El Mocambo briefly re-opened to socially distanced audiences of 50). And for some - like the online-oriented Sofar Sounds - it was showtime! We’ll look at the downs and some surprising ups of the pandemic performance experience.
Is a musical robo-future inevitable? Ian Montone, founder of the ultra-successful management company Monotone Inc., isn’t a Luddite about tech. But if he could change anything about the business, it’s the notion of music as “content,” to be used to sell things. Montone, whose company handles the careers of Jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Dixie Chicks and Pete Yorn, believes that major companies and their algorithms ignore the indies at their peril. If the industry is to survive and thrive, it’ll need old-school tastemakers and curators with a passion for music and the ability to communicate it. His is a tactile take on the music we like and why we like it.
Moderator: Joel Baskin
The Grammy's, SNL, The Tonight Show, and worldwide tours. They are what every artist, manager, agent and record label dream of for their artists. But how do you get ready for the big show when it's finally time for their shot?
Late at night, on airplanes, on tour buses, in front of laptops, and at rehearsal studios, the backing musicians for any artist are hard at work. But who helps decide the song arrangements to bring their music to life? Who helps hire the band, assist with transitions, and create special moments on tv and on stage?
How do they do it? How do you become a music director? What do they actually do during a typical album cycle? How are they hired? How do they interact with labels, management, collaborators and television producers?
Welcome to the inside world of the musical director. No challenge is too great, no timeline too difficult, no collaboration too complicated. It's the music directors job to have it all make sense, sound great, look great, and do all that they can to bring the artists vision to life.
Join three of the most successful music directors currently in the game for a roundtable discussion where they share their tips of the trade!
Interviewer: Ryan PressIt’s not everyone whose Grade 11 teacher tells his mom to let him quit school and follow his dream. But even as a teenager who carried his keyboard everywhere, the Atlanta-based Dallas Austin turned heads in the music world. While still in school, he produced Klymaxx member Joyce Irby’s Motown debut. The Motown work got him a gig producing Boyz II Men’s debut, which led to recruitment by L.A. Reid and Baby face. The founder of three record labels, Austin has gone on to work with TLC, Gwen Stefani and Madonna among others. In this special Fireside Chat, a producing talent who could not be ignored offers up life lessons on how to get noticed and get results.
There’s little doubt the concert-going public is losing trust in the process, with bots and resellers negating any first-in-line advantage passionate fans once had. The fact that governments in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. are addressing it in law reflects consumer anger. But politics is messy. And in Ontario, the Tory government has already watered-down its Liberal predecessor’s legislation (spiking plans to put a 50% cap on ticket markup). All three governments continue to ban “bot” sales, putting the onus on ticket sellers and resellers to guarantee compliance. Meanwhile, some feel government intervention will drive business to the black market. If that’s the case, then what can the industry do to police itself and repair public trust? This session will analyze trends, legislation, best practices and revenue – and consider how best to promote transparency and to level the playing field for consumers.
Moderator: Matt GormanThe world has changed, but the industry endgame is generally the same – introduce your songs to as many ears as there are to hear them. However, what has the pandemic taught us about listening habits, marketing strategies, building fans, and ultimately, “breaking out” and building a successful (and sustainable) career in music? Although the answers are not always clear, join this panel of managers, label reps and lawyers for insight and tips on building successful careers in a pandemic world.
Moderator: Portia Sabin
The music industry was built and monetized on the art and culture of black and brown musicians. And its inequitable past puts a traditionally white-run business in a unique position to lead in the movement for racial justice and equity. There is no industry without people of colour, and giving more agency to the creators is just the start of a process that could make music a beacon of change. However, the old guard cannot be passive recipients of knowledge if true change is to be made. White influencers need to engage each other and provide leadership and tenacity. Racism is not a problem that can be solved without a commitment from everyone, and this panel will be a candid conversation about the part white proactivity must play in changing our industry and our culture.
Interviewer: Patti-Anne TarltonCurrently, Debra Rathwell – an inductee this year in CMW’s Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame - is orchestrating the three-year Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour for AEG. Her own yellow brick road has seen her work with a history of legendary tour companies (Ottawa’s Bass Clef, Montreal’s Donald K. Donald, New York’s Metropolitan Entertainment) and a who’s-who of concert legends. As Justin Bieber’s promoter, she’s been part of every show he has ever done. She was there for Montreal’s Guns N’ Roses riot at the Big O, Central Park shows featuring everyone from Andrea Bocelli to Bon Jovi, and the Woodstock anniversary concerts in 1994 and ’99. Now the Executive Vice President of AEG’s Global Touring, Debra has a world of experience and tales to tell. We’re all ears.
The world may have fallen apart but collaborating with other songwriters from around the world has never been easier. Songwriters and publishers discuss how they approach co-writing sessions, the pros and cons of writing virtually, where the songs they’ve written have gone in the world, and what the post-pandemic songwriting process may look like.
Host: Merck Mercuriadis
If ever someone deserved to have his name permanently engraved, it’s the man who inspired CMW’s annual Nile Rodgers Creators Award. Rodgers is both a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, a producer, songwriter, musician, composer, arranger, and guitarist who has worked with Jagger, Bowie, Madonna and Daft Punk, on records with more than a half-billion sales.
Award honouree, superstar producer Timbaland, is a connector of great artists. From JAY-Z to Justin Timberlake to Sam Smith to Missy Elliott to Beyoncé, the man with the unique beats has influenced music like few others. Imagine a world without JAY-Z’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life or Justin Timberlake’s newly notorious “Britney break-up” song Cry Me A River. He even connects corporately, creating Mosley Music Group with L.A. Reid and teaming that up with Def Jam. His latest entrepreneurial enterprise is the sponsor of this Exclusive event, BEATCLUB.Hipgnosis Fund founder & legendary Music Industry Game Changer, Merck Mercuriadis hosts this exclusive in-depth interview with the two superstar hit-maker producers. At the end of this amazing experience, Nile will present Timbaland his namesake CMW 7th annual Nile Rodgers Global Creators Award.
7:00 PM — 11:00 PM
Tuesday May 18th
DAY 2: Virtual Conference
Wednesday May 19th, 2021
DAY 3: Virtual Conference
Thursday May 20th, 2021
DAY 4: Virtual Conference
Friday May 21st, 2021