Topics ranged from diversity and gender politics in music to signing your first record deal. Guests across the weekend included Deadmau5, Nile Rodgers, Ben Howard and Nao. Lesser known but equally fascinating speakers included reps from Ninja Tune, Disturbing London, Sony and Spotify. I headed down last Friday on behalf of Smiths to check it out.
The conference boasted an impressive line up and the centre was packed with everyone you could expect to meet at a music event; hipsters, 14 year old singer-songwriters, jazz artists, metalheads, hairy folk singers and a few legends.
The purpose was networking and it was most certainly adhered to. There were constant introductions throughout the day, business cards flew around like Pokemon Cards in the year 3 playground. If you are a musician looking to promote yourself I would definitely recommend copping tickets for next year: just be sure to arrive with a game plan as it can be very overwhelming.
After a loop of the vast centre we entered the Discovery Theatre for Spotify Presents: Artists Masterclass by Drew Liam, a young, hip millennial artist and label rep. We learned how Spotify uses algorithms to curate artists for playlists and all about the ever developing creative partnership between artist and label.
Next, the main attraction of the day, Spotify Presents: Who We Be TALKS_ podcast, hosted by DJ Semtex with Antz (@imjustbait) and Abdi (@weareblk). Focusing on the role of social media as a medium for record labels and the increasing irrelevancy of job promotion elsewhere at the event. Despite my perceived characters of the guests, the talk translated well into a mature, interesting and fleshed out discussion. The growth of promotion within social media was a main topic; the rise of platforms such as instagram and twitter have allowed the artist to cut out the middleman and speak directly to their fans. It was a lively discussion and I’d recommend giving it a listen, it will be available on Spotify on the 15th of November.
Leaving the warmth of the Discovery Theatre we toured the venue once more – catching a couple of live sets from independent musicians set up in the hall underneath a large staircase. BBC organised songwriters to play for a couple of songs at a time which really added to the atmosphere.
Companies Yamaha and Pioneer DJ also had rooms booked out for the testing and selling of their gear. Lastly we dropped in to catch the end of Huw Stephens talk to Jonathan Dickins i.e. Adele’s manager. He gave advice on how to succeed in management which i’ll never forget.
To anyone considering attending – the lineup of speakers really couldn’’t be faulted here. BBC Introducing Live provided fascinating discussions and I have no doubt next year will follow in it’s footsteps. If you are planning to go, don’t expect banging live music, or trendy underground artists, this event is about making it big on the world stage. One last tip, remember to plan your day because the information at the event was a little difficult to find.
Information for next year’s event can be found here BBC Introducing Live.
Words, Peter Riddell – @peterriddell1
Images, Harry Forte – @harry_forte