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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.


Got to spend a couple days with the man behind Canada’s biggest website for hip hop MOE of Reminding me so much of myself I’d have to say PASSION for this hip hop game is what connects us. Where most people want to have a competition and immediately start spitting out accomplishments to prove worthy I started by asking him a couple questions. His answers told me real quick this was a guy who had high integrity, morals and the desire to see people do well by doing good business. I did a lot of listening and its rare that someone in his shoes would be willing to share. By the time we were leaving he was sharing some tips that let me know he genuinely wanted to see me succeed. You will definitely see some international things going down between and in the future.

Moe ( and DJ Speed (Detroit Digital)

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!!!

Uncle P with LIROY


Beast of the Beats Qualifying round on the “ROAD TO MIAMI”




The year end qualifying round in Detroit is 10/16. The top 5 finalists will get an invite to #BeastOfTheBeatsXIIIin in Miami Dec 12-15 [worlds largest producer event] and have a chance to win 7k in software, hardware, exclusive studio sessions & more. Check out and submit to our events at and text us at (646) 846-7793 to stay up to date with all events in your area & more. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks


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How to advance your music career with the CAN-AM Connection : Theo Ellis




Conference\festival season is upon us. Each one presents its own opportunities and each one brings its own set of challenges. Over the years I have heard many people scoff at attending conferences. Most of that comes from an opinion they formed in their head without ever actually attending a conference. This is unfortunate because attending the right conference can truly change your life.


Every year hundreds, perhaps even thousands of Metro Detroit Area musicians take a 1300 mile trek to ascend upon Austin, Texas in March. This mecca of sorts for the music, tech, and film industries is called South by Southwest or simply “South by” for those in the know. For those who aren’t in the know, SXSW is a conference and festival that is by many considered to be THE conference to be at. It’s one of the largest and longest conferences spanning a total of 3 weeks in March. YES THREE WEEKS! It’s filled with “movers and shakers”, executives, and of course artists. Essentially all of the people you want and NEED to meet in order to advance your music career.

So every March people from all over the world flock to Austin in March with hopes and dreams of moving their music careers forward. The ones who don’t go, wish they could go but for one reason or another they choose not to go. For some it is simply too far of a journey, others believe conferences are a waste of time, and for some it’s simply a matter of economic factors. This annual pilgrimage is considered a rite of passage by many, and to some it is official acknowledgment that you as an artist are taking steps to move your career forward.


Still others on this path to career advancement take an even further journey in April to the City of Angels to attend the ASCAP Expo. That’s almost 5000 Miles round trip! Still others will even attend BOTH, and why not? The more people you meet in this industry the better. Or is it? I for one attend anywhere from 3-5 conferences per year all across the globe. Which ones you attend are totally your prerogative, however there are a few key factors I recommend considering before attending any conference. They are Price, Location, and Return on Investment.


Of all the conferences to choose from, there are several I attend every year and look forward to each year. Each one for different reasons. But there two I look forward to more than any other one based upon the aforementioned factors of Price, Location, and R.O.I.


They are Canadian Music Week in May and Northern Power Summit in August. Both are only 3 hrs from Detroit in Drake’s beloved “Six”.


What makes these 2 at the top of my list? What about Sxsw? Midem? A3C? ASCAP Expo?

We will get to that, but to answer that question let’s look at why people attend conferences in the first place.


There are 3 main reasons people attend conferences.

  1. Networking
  2. Education aka attend panels
  3. Showcase (watch or perform)


Let’s look at each as it relates to each conference.


Canadian Music Week

Each year CMW is held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto. It’s a great location and the layout makes it easy to navigate from one area to the next. The networking at CMW is hands down one of my favorite; and probably easiest places to meet or simply bump into people.

Music is an international commodity. To maximize your return on investment you have to be thinking globally. CMW makes this very easy. They focus on a spotlight country each year. This means each year there are attendees from the spotlight country. Are you looking to play a festival in Italy. The person you want to meet is at CMW and waiting to meet you. After all they came to do business in the North American market! You can also sign up for B2B one on one meetings, mentor sessions, and much more! I highly recommend it. It truly is WHERE BUSINESS GETS DONE!


This year the spotlight country was South Africa. I met so many amazing people from South Africa who I now have a connection with and am working on business dealings with that would not have happened had I not gone to CMW this year.


So for networking CMW scores a 10! Now let’s look at the panels…


CMW always seems to do a great job finding speakers who are not only relevant but cool!

They have had Spike Lee, Andre Harrell, Ghazi, and Jermaine Dupri to name a few. These are people you WANT to learn from! Each of them successes in their own right.

This year the Producers Panel featuring Jermaine Dupri and Sylvia Massy was standing room only. Everyone from up and coming artists to some of the top music industry executives were in attendance. Last year there was an excellent panel on blockchain technology. Whether it’s the latest industry trends or technology, CMW has you covered.

So for panels CMW score’s a 10! Now let’s look at showcases…


There are always several showcases from the spotlight country which are amazing. I have heard music in languages I couldn’t understand yet the music moved me. It is truly a testament to the power of music. In addition, they do a great job showcasing Canadian talent and supporting their own. And of course there are the headliners. Years past have included Earl Sweatshirt, A Boogie wit a Hoodie, Marshmellow, Azelia Banks, and 2 Chains. So if you’re looking to catch a showcase or 2 it’s worth it, and it’s all included in the costs of your conference badge.


Which brings me to costs. As I mentioned before, 3 factors to consider when attending a conference ae Price, Location and R.O.I.

Last year the cost was $599 Canadian Dollars which works out to around $450 US Dollars for CMW conference\festival pass. Compare that to $1300 USD for SXSW, or $399 USD for A3C. However, you would still need to get to Atlanta or Austin, each of which will set you back around $250 on average if you fly a cheap airline out of Metro Airport.

By contrast, you can take a train round trip on Via rail from Windsor to Toronto for $110 CDN which translates to $82 USD. So CMW passes the Price test.


Next let’s talk about location. Austin is cool, Atlanta is cool, but nothing is like Toronto and its only 3 hrs away! There is so much diversity of culture and entertainment in this city. While you’re not attending the conference I suggest taking in some of this great city. Everyone is polite and friendly, and it’s easy to navigate. Speaking of friendly, the fine folks working at CMW go out of their way to take care of the attendees. If you attend a B2B meeting you will no doubt meet the incomparable Kathy Hahn. Kathy deserves an article of her own, but she and Jaqueline Davis do an excellent job organizing the meetings and keeping everyone on task.


That leaves R.O.I….

For about $1000 USD you can travel 3 hrs by car or train to one of the best conferences in the world to meet and conduct music business on a global scale.

Need I say more?


But what if you’re not a music “business” and just a singer\songwriter still trying to figure this music industry out?


You’re in luck because Duane Gibson has created a conference just for you. It’s called the Northern Power Summit (NPS).


What is NPS?


It’s a conference catered toward urban artists and professionals. It takes place in August each year. Their objective is to provide education and tools; as well as access to individuals, to help artists develop their careers internationally. Each year NPS gets bigger and better. This year the keynote speaker is Michael Wansley better known as “Wanz”. Even if you don’t know the name, you know the voice…and more importantly the song. Wanz sang the hook for the Ryan Lewis and Macklemore hit “Thift Shop”. Other notable speakers this year include Detroit native and multi platinum, Grammy Award winning songwriter and music producer Chris “Deep” Henderson, whose hits include Jamie Foxx & T-Pain’s “Blame It” along with a host of others from artists like 50cent with G-Unit, and Trey Songz to name a few.


This is THE conference  for singers\songwriters and artists to come together and learn. It’s a place to meet other young professionals who have something to share that you might learn from.

It’s where you can learn about everything from distribution to publishing, and everything in between.


And once again Price, Location, and R.O.I are why I recommend it.


The fee for this conference is $50 CDN. That’s $38 USD!!


As for location …..We’ve already covered location it’s in TORONTO!! As for R.O.I. it’s a two-day conference and $38 covers your pass for BOTH DAYS and the knowledge you gain will help transform your music career…How’s that for R.O.I.? It’s not too late to purchase a pass for NPS19. It’s taking place August 16-17.


Lastly…never forget you ARE a business and music is a global commodity.









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The Finest Radio Show Presents Dear Music Friday, June 14th @ D-Tribute



The Finest Radio Show Presents Dear Music Friday, June 14th @ D-Tribute

This Friday The Finest Radio show presents Dear Music performances via Clear Soul Forces, Finale, Leaf Erikson, 3269 Chise, Aweseome Dre, Moe Davon, Joe Commisso (COMMi$$ION), Tru Klassick, Queen Breyon, and Josef Coney Island. It’s quite the night of hip-hop in store for you at D-Tribute on 18830 Woodward Ave in Detroit, MI. Doors 10PM-4AM $10 ENTRY. Hosted by Chris Walker!


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