Canadian Music Week.
Music Conferences… They often get a bad rap, mainly because of the expectations of attendees. Smart people will tell you to always do research. Know what the possibilities are and devise a plan to exploit them. I had no time to prepare as it was less than 24 hours before I found out I would be going. Going where you may ask?
Most in the industry have certainly heard of SXSW in Austin, TX or A3C in Atlanta, GA. Yet, are you familiar with Canadian Music Week In Toronto, Canada? It’s celebrating 36 years in the game. It brings together sound recording, new media and broadcast for a jam packed week of events. A combination of panel discussions, exclusive interviews, trade exhibition, awards shows, film and comedy alongside Canada’s biggest new music festival leaves you to wonder what more you could you ask for. ESPECIALLY UNDER A 4 HOUR DRIVE FROM DETROIT!
Diversity is what I loved most about this week. People from all over the globe joined in attendance. One on one meetings with people from Japan, Mexico and Italy. People here were ready to do business, discover new music and learn. The panels were great and it was interesting to hear the perspectives of executives from another country. If you want to do business in a new country, it may be a good idea to understand how the ecosystem works there right? There was a heavy interest on publishing which is one of the main revenue streams for a person in this business as a artist, producer, or label. A Spotify master class, how to turn followers into buyers, Blockchain Music, the power of the playlist, there was something to learn about every hour of the day.
Learning new skills and gaining information that can put you ahead of your competitors is always good. But there is something to be said about relationships. This industry as with most is built on the power of your relationships. Once in a lifetime opportunities often come from a simple relationship. I got to meet and hear some great people while in Toronto. Early in our time we met up with IRINI. A German born singer songwriter with Greek roots traveled to London where she is currently based to perfect her craft. DJ Speed had to run her set for her first performance at Canadian Music Week so she came by the spot to go over her show for the upcoming day. While rehearsing a natural bond formed and before you knew it she was apart of the gang for the rest of the stay. Her feel good single “6 In the Morning” is doing exceptionally well on streaming services and her 40 minute set was great on energy and brought you further into the singer songwriter named IRINI.
Real ones connect quickly. Especially when on unfamiliar turf, game recognize game. When we were told we needed to connect with Liroy from Poland it was a chance to build another relationship. Liroy is one of the first true EMCEES from Poland. Not only is he a beast on the mic this man has taken his fame all the way to becoming a politician with aims of presidency in the next 5 years. Changing long standing laws in his country that often target the young and less fortunate LIROY is for the people! A new generation has begun in his country. A very smart man, but from the streets, we had a great time kicking it in Toronto. He has hit stages with the likes of Wu Tang Clan and the legend Ice T. My big WOW moment came with him while outside one of the many venues hit during the week. We are outside talking and a guy walks up and his face looks like he just saw Jesus Christ. He said something to Liroy in a language i didn’t understand and the guy went crazy! Ran back in the club and brought out 3 more friends. They asked him to say something. Liroy did and they went crazy again. “What is going on here” I’m thinking. Liroy goes on to tell me they were amazed at his speech. Like the culture in Canada is watered down and he was AUTHENTIC!!! They started talking about music so long i figured I’d let him kick it with his fans from way across the ocean. You never know how your music can affect people and travel to places unknown now in the digital era. LIROY HAS MY VOTE FOR PRESIDENT!!!