As part of Punch Record’s BASS 2014 Festival, a festival held across various venues in the city each year commissioning new work for emerging artists, Bass Informs (Day 2 of the 14 day festival), was an evening of back-to-back panel discussions and talks with internationally renowned leading industry panellists with a range of expertise. Held at a local college in Digbeth, the event served as a great opportunity for young artists and professionals to hear from some of the best in the business on how to get ahead in the industry, and proved very successful.
The panellists of the evening included the likes of Troy Taylor, a 3 x Grammy winning and BMI Producer of the year award winner having worked with global superstars such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige. Martin Moulton, a 15-year industry veteran, former BMG Entertainment A&R & Product Manager who worked the Bad Boy catalogue. Shezar, a rising star in the UK scene collaborating with Naughty Boy, Emile Sande & Wretch 32, plus proud older sister of Labrinth. Baby J, of Baby People, an experienced producer who has worked internationally for the last sixteen years, and finally Will Guyatt, the European Communications Manager for Instagram with over a decade of experience in PR.
The intimate positive vibes of the evening were evident from the offset, as one of the first questions asked was not to the panellists, but instead to the eager audience of hopeful young talent, who were asked by panellists what it is they want from this experience and what they are aiming for within the industry.
What’s more, the panellists openness and honesty with everyone played a very important role on the night, as they shared their past experiences of how they got into the industry and the struggles they went through, in particular the story of producer Baby J, who after years of hardship and knockbacks was finally recruited by Wu Tang Records A&R in New York, after sending them 3 demo tapes. Since then his music has gone on to be daytime play listed on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Choice, and whole host of other platforms. An interesting topic of discussion also arose during the first panel talk with Troy Taylor, who expressed the importance of having a hunger to learn, by frequently telling the audience the write down names, take notes of what is being said and study.
“Even if you sign to a label, you’re still an independent artist”.
This quote sums up the last point, and every single panellist agreed with it. As an artist, you are a student of the game, and as Baby J put it, a big powerful machine of a record label can’t make the build up play, but they can score the goal. As an artist, YOU have to put in the work, you have to study and you have to want it. Panellists stressed the over-dependence on the hype initially created when signing for a record label for an artists success, as, in reality, this should be the point in an artists career where it’s make or break, a very small percentage will actually have success with the label, signing a contract in no way guarantees it.
Despite the vast mix of experiences and backgrounds amongst the panellists, when asked by Miss DJ KC, presenter, DJ and host for the evening, what are the fundamental characteristics that are necessary to succeed in the game, 3 key attributes were repeatedly mentioned; Relationships, Knowing Yourself & Persistence.
Overall the evening was a great success, attended by music lovers, artists, songwriters and producers from all types of genres and backgrounds, and the event also saw the ‘New Skool Rules” auditions taking place, which had long line of aspiring talent queuing patiently for their chance the record with a Grammy Award Winning producer in the US as well as perform at the European Music Festival “New Skool Rules” which is run by Dutch Businesswoman and panellist on the night, Henca Maduro.
BASS festival will be bringing the city a lot more exciting events so keep an eye peeled for the latest reviews, news and updates!
Images courtesy of Punch Records