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Swisher Sweets “Artist Project” Detroit Recap.



I’ve walked up the stairs of the legendary St. Andrews Hall entrance many a time, yet last Saturday those stairs instantly opened into a Swisher Sweet takeover. “Artist Project” banners lining the upper balcony, staff donning Swisher Sweet tee’s, and a stage backdrop ensuring crowd eyes know exactly who was putting on for their city!

After getting situated upstairs I met up with fellow extraordinaire Uncle P. Before taking in the talent from our seats we explored a bit having some fun at the Swisher Sweet photo booth.

After the booth it was back to our seats to take in the events opener. Gracing the stage as the evenings first performing act was Taylor J. The midwest rapper slash singer juggles both facets with ease & has been steady on the rise having 2018 mapped out in his favor. With collaborations already under his belt  alongside the likes of Gucci Mane, Nipsey Hussle, & Cyhi the Prynce it’s readily apparent that Taylor J isn’t disappearing anytime soon. “Blessed” seen below is a recent demonstration of Taylor J diverse musical abilities & a great foray into his music for any newcomers out there.

Next to storm the stage was Detroit native herself LaBritney whose career has been marching forward. She is set to join the the cast for the fifth season of “Love & Hip Hop Hollywood” but today she was giving her all for the Swisher SweetsArtist Project. The singer owned the stage giving the St. Andrews Hall crowd a memorable performance packed with energy & homage to her own hometown. Earlier this year LaBritney teamed up with another of the 313’s stars Kash Doll for the single/video- “Actin Funny” seen below.

The self proclaimed Problem Child of Detroit was next upfresh off his latest album “Sacrifices”. Snap Dogg has been cementing his name everywhere this year & representing Detroit to the fullest. After losing his twin brother a year after fighting a 25 year charge at the age of seventeen Snap Dogg is no stranger to struggle. Now through rap he has fueled a rise from that very struggle with a growing catalog of records that have been spreading like forest fires. He packed the stage & brought a hype entourage backing his powerful performance & leaving a lasting impression heading into the the nights headliner. Here’s one of his latest off “Sacrifices“available on all major streaming & download outlets.

Needing no introduction, Fetty Wap arrived to close out the evening for Detroit’s Swisher SweetsArtist Project” event. Performing a collection of records from the past & present the “Trap Queen” megastar & grammy nominated artist also gave Detroit some new music off his brand new album “Bruce Wayne” out everywhere now. It was a fitting finish to a great show thanks to Swisher Sweets. Off his now available “Bruce Wayne” here is some audio for the record “Westin” off that very project.

Here’s a gallery of the nights performers packed with some great moments from all of the “Artist Project” talent. After browsing some great shots from the evening be sure to head on over to and vote for your favorite opening performer.


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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Detroit’s Own Lazarus Kicks Off National Tour With Wu-Tang Clan in Detroit!



Detroit's Own Lazarus Kicks Off National Tour With Wu-Tang Clan in Detroit!

Following last years mega-hit “Decapitation Chamber” feat. Ghostface Killah along with multiple performances worldwide with the legendary Wu-Tang Clan Detroit’s own Lazarus is back on the road with the group. Kicking things off this time around at home you can catch Lazarus with Wu-Tang Clan Friday evening at the Freedom Hill Amphithe36 Cater for the Wu-Tang Clan: 36 Chambers 25th Anniversary Celebration Tour.

Tickets are still available here: 

After kicking things off in Detroit eleven more stops are on the list across the US. For our national readers be sure to catch the tour in your local area!

May 31Detroit, Michigan

June 1Chicago, Illinois

June 2Cleveland, Ohio

June 7Simpsonville, South Carolina

June 8Raleigh, North Carolina

June 9Nashville, Tennessee

June 12Boston, Massachusetts

June 14Uncasville, Connecticut

June 15Atlantic City, New Jersey

June 16Brooklyn, New York

June 21Seattle, Washington

June 22Mountain View, California

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