How did you arrive at making the choice to create the Music Atlanta Conference? Was it a deliberate decision or a gradual and natural evolution? Who was influential in your decision?
I arrived at the choice to create the Music Atlanta Conference as I realized the need to create balance between rappers and singers in urban music. Although times have changed and the hip-hop generation is here and present, music and society needs singers to be as prevalent as they were up to the ’90s. The decision to make a difference was very deliberate but also gradual. Timing is everything and now is the perfect time for R&B, soul and gospel to re-establish its place back in the mainstream. Atlanta has served as a successful music base for urban society and thus has been influential in my decision to fashion my conferences from its past like Jack The Rapper Conference and the focus on family. The Essences Festival has also been a huge influence with it’s dedication to vocalist. South by Southwest highlights elements of musical technology playing a huge part as well.
Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see or use as examples for you to emulate?
My peers and mentors include Ernie Singleton, Juanita Stephens and Kendall Minter.
What separates you from others in your field? What is unique to the experience that you will create with this music conference?
What separates me from others in the the field is my belief that I must find ways to impact the lives of others. I want my existence and contribution to have meaning. Sometimes we allow our egos , pride and selfishness to blind us from seeing how we in the industry got to the point we are at. The Music Atlanta Conference will allow us music industry professionals with titles to use our voice to make things better for the culture. It will also provide me the opportunity to bridge the generation gap, while incorporating some of our new media structure and vehicles. I call it bridging old school rules with new school tools.
For those considering entering this arena, what skill sets do you recommend mastering? What traits are most conducive to success?
I suggest that they having great music, great communication. The traits most conducive to success include an eye-catching appearance or personality, excellent performance skills and determination.
Who do you consider an integral part of the process of making this idea a reality?
Persons integral in this process are: Nicole Massiah , DJ Eddie F and Randy Fling of rolling out magazine
Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about music conferences and performances? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them?
Yes, there are widely held misconceptions but there are also some truths. Most of these events are serving as recruitment and showcase format. I felt that my role in the music industry is to bring back the true business and networking format to get people to focus more on relationships building. It seems that everyone wants to perform in front of a label or executive because they feel they will influence a reaction to make someone respond faster. However the reality is the goal should be to get more familiar with who they are doing business with and to increase their level of self independence.
How did you map out the goals of the Music Atlanta Conference? How do you measure its success?
I mapped the goals of the Music Atlanta Conference and its development with the assistance of key players in the industry who share a similar vision, passion, and commitment to the music business. The success for Music Atlanta’s inaugural year will be measured by an analysis of how well we were able complete the goal to expose the idea of the conference and be embraced by the music community.
Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it.
Two of my top role models include Bill Cosby and Quincy Jones
Please define the brand of Music Atlanta.
The Music Atlanta Conference brand is defined by it’s commitment to education, community, and better music. The spirit of this is captured by it’s dedication, quality, and continual growth towards longevity in the music business.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I wish we really understood how each one of us as individuals affect our community. Sometimes we are the same cancer that is kills our people by the way we influence our people.
If you could change one thing about the conference, what would it be?
I would have us in year two with having more corporate support.