Students met in the Global and International Studies Building Monday afternoon to listen to The Sessions, an interactive presentation for people pursuing careers in the music industry. The Sessions have the words enrich, educate and empower on their website, flyers and banners.
The panel of experts included Entertainment Attorney and Music Business Consultant Paul Quin, Founder and President of Traction Business Coaching Rick Drumm and Tour Manager Carlos Guzman.
The Sessions gave students advice on their musical careers. The room in the GISB was full of students.
“Someone said earlier, ‘define what success means to you,’” Quin said during his presentation. “That’s a really important question if you’re launching yourself into a music career.”
He said if a person decides that success for them means being as rich as Lady Gaga, they need a record label, but that it may be a different story if they’re just talking about supporting themselves or a family.
“Do you think that’s changing now with people like Chance the Rapper?” an audience member said.
Chance the Rapper, who won three Grammys this year, was able to become famous without signing on to a record label.
“We have no less quality music being released in 2017 than in 1974, what we call the golden year,” Quin said. “The problem is it is being lost in a sea of mediocrity. Chance lucked out. It’s a waterfall. It’s Niagara Falls.”
He said he would be remiss to tell someone that they would be the next Chance the Rapper.
In addition to advice about success, Quin also gave the students advice on the legal side of the music industry.
He recommended the first thing students who are interested in a career in music do is hire an entertainment lawyer. He also said they need to understand contract language. He gave students a fake contract and asked them to find the glaring error in it. He said if they couldn’t find it, that was a lesson in itself.
“Does anyone know where copyrights come from?” Quin said.
“I don’t,” someone in the crowd said. “Could you explain more?”
“It comes straight from the Constitution,” Quin said.
He said it was the only part of his job that dealt directly with the Constitution. He asked students more questions about copyright following a brief description that melody and lyrics were able to be copyrighted.
“Can you copyright mood?” he said. “Feel?”
Quin finished his presentation by explaining how Ed Sheeran is being sued for his songs “Thinking Out Loud” and “Photograph.”
Guzman, who worked as a back line technician for Stevie Wonder and a stage and band manager for Hank Williams Jr., stood up quickly from his panel to talk about the production side of the musical business. He said all they have to do is continue doing good work and wait for a phone call.
“There will be someone who will give you a chance, and when you get that chance, you have to nail it,” he said.
Other panelists included Rascal Flatts drummer Jim Riley, Red Light Management Artist Manager Andrew Genger, Drumming’s Global Ambassador Dom Famularo and Songwriter and long-time Vocalist of the Saturday Night Live Band Christine Ohlman.
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