The third season of the nonprofit group’s panel discussions featuring industry experts continues Monday, with way more in the works to help bolster Michigan’s music scene.
To say that Michigan Music Alliance’s online “B-Side Sessions” have spurred local and regional artists to new levels of professionalism and collaboration might just scratch the surface when it comes to enhancing the state’s music scene.
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The third season of these interactive panel discussions – which continue Monday night with a session on “Building a Team” – reflects MMA’s mission of empowering artists by giving them free tools and guidance for their careers from experts with years of successful experience in the industry.
“Our main goal is to give Michigan do-it-yourself artists access to free professional advice and set the tone for collaboration on new ideas while creating their own sustainable music careers in our community,” said Elle Lively, executive director of the MMA, a Grand Haven-based nonprofit that hosts business education programming and community-building opportunities for Michigan musicians.
“The coolest part about these sessions is the attendees control the session by asking questions and really getting hands-on advice about what they want to know about. The connections made with past panelists and Michigan artists have been really neat to watch.”
The monthly 60-minute sessions, which live-stream via Zoom and Facebook, cover a dizzying array of topics that delve into the business end of music for bands and solo artists trying to maneuver their way through the industry thicket – from recording to booking to touring to branding to capturing the royalties from the songs they write.
Monday’s panel boasts a distinguished lineup of professionals with extensive experience in team-building that they say is crucial to success in the music business.
“The right team is crucial. You can’t do everything yourself today. You need to surround yourself with evangelists. It may even start with your friends and family,” said panelist Jay Gilbert, co-founder of Los Angeles’ Label Logic, serving primarily as the label infrastructure for managers and artists.
“Eventually you’ll graduate to experienced professionals. If you’re choosing a surgeon, you want one that has performed 1,000 operations, not five. Same is true with specialists in areas like publicity, radio promotion, synch licensing, marketing, touring, etc.”
EXPERT PANELISTS; A HOST OF TOPICS TO HELP MUSICIANS ENGAGE THEIR AUDIENCE
On Monday, he’ll be joined by fellow panelists Steven Foxbury of Pittsburgh’s Yellow Couch Management, Holly Moore of L.A.’s HollyDay Management and Eric Griffin of Nashville’s Music City Counsel, with Bob Wallis from the Kalamazoo Academy of Rock moderating. The session begins at 7 p.m. with details here. Those interested can also RSVP here.
Gilbert said online webinars and panel events such as those sponsored by MMA are critical for musicians in the New Millennium.
“It used to be so much simpler to be an artist. There was basically writing, recording and touring,” he noted.
“There is so much more that musicians need to be informed about and engaged with now. These panel discussions and tutorials are super helpful to stay up on best practices, tools and tactics to grow and engage your audience.”
In addition to making comments or queries during the live chats, musicians also can submit questions to panelists via social media or by emailing email@example.com.
Lively noted that musicians and others in the music business who miss a B-Side Session can watch them later online via YouTube.
She said the most highly anticipated sessions among this season’s eight live-streams include “Planning a Tour” on Jan. 24 and “Maximizing Studio Time” on April 25.
“This is the third season,” she said, “so we brought back some popular topics, got more specific with a few of them, and brought some new topics in based on feedback from the last couple seasons.”
Get more information online at michiganmusicalliance.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: John Sinkevics is a member of the Michigan Music Alliance’s Board of Directors.
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