We are thrilled to have long time SMWNYC partner SOUNDCTRL joining us here in LA as the Hub Sponsor of the Entertainment Hub at the Egyptian Theatre. Founder Jesse Kirshbaum and his team have programmed an exciting lineup of events including Where Music, Social & Tech Collide (Invitation Only) hosted by The Recording Academy and SOUNDCTRL, Bandpage’s fireside chat with J Sider, and a keynote with Beverly Jackson of the Grammy’s.
For those who aren’t familiar, can you tell us a little bit about SoundCtrl and some of the exciting projects you are focused on?
SoundCtrl’s aim is to be the #1 news source for this new culture that is emerging. It is a group of people dedicated to pushing innovation in music. Anyone who loves music should care about music and tech’s convergence. It’s not just a nerd world, but a lifestyle now. SoundCtrl is not just a blog; we put on events including CMJ, Internet Week, and Social Media Week. Our crown jewel is FlashFWD. Our 4th annual FlashFWD awards is coming up next May and we’re programming it now. We’re also talking about investing in companies we believe in down the line because we are good at picking winners.
What made you want to get involved with SMWLA?
Funny story – I’ve been on the Global Adisory Board of Social Media Week since its inception. My dear friend Toby Daniels started Social Media Week out of the bedroom of his apartment many years ago. He’s been on the board of SoundCtrl since its start and really pushed me to help launch the organziation around the time of Social Media Week.
I always love to support Social Media Week in every way I can. It’s a brilliant platform that continues to expand. It seemed like good timing and a good place to do something in LA. And I will say, so far the LA programming seems stronger than ever this year.
At SMWNYC you discussed the Grammys use of social media, and you’ll do it again at Social Media Week LA. What makes the Grammys so appealing?
First of all, I don’t know if everybody knows this, but The Grammys last year still holds the record as the #1 single event in the history of social media, even more than the Super Bowl. Secondly, in the business of music, what is more prestigious than winning a Grammy? All my life I have revered that organization. But really, why I wanted to do something at Social Media Week with the Grammys is they have a wonderful core Digital Team. Beverly Jackson is one of the most intelligent and charismatic speakers on this topic. She stole the show at Social Media Week NY and I know she won’t disappoint this year. And Lindsay Gabler gets it and is a dream to work with. Plus, Billboard just ranked her for the second year, one of the most interesting industry tweeters.
One of SoundCrtl’s main missions is to publicize up-and-coming ideas connected to the music business. What are some new, perhaps under-the-radar trends you think everyone should know about?
The business moves so fast these days. It’s hard to pin point trends that everyone needs to know about. I still look to Billboard News for my day-to-day industry insider information and really keep my finger on the pulse of the business.
I will say, it’s very exciting what is going on in the EDM space [Electronic Dance Music] and how it’s really the first music genre breaking into the mainstream via social web and digital era. Dance music has been around for a long time, but with the internet and how things are spreading virally, the DJ’s and the business is turning into a brand on its own. EDM has turned into music for the younger generation and a lot of that has to do with social media.
Recently there has been a great rise in self-produced content in the music industry. Do you think there is still enough to be gained from professional production, or do you think it’s more important for musicians to produce their own albums?
I think now more than ever it’s one in the same. If you’re producing music, you can do it anywhere. There is less of a need for larger studios. What is interesting is more the apps to remix and redesign music so that it can fit people’s individual taste. Companies like Mixify, Ptch, and Beatport are really doing that well.
There are a lot of options out there, what are some of your favorite vital tools for up-and-coming musicians?
We think this is a huge market in music tech industry. It is actually one of the categories in our FlashFWD Awards show that we put on every year. The nominations for Best in Artist Support that we selected this year were: BandPage, Kickstarter, Bandsintown, and CASH Music. There were too many to pick from and we ended up opening it up to the community for submissions and voting. In the end, BandPage won and that is why we are interviewing the CEO, J. Sider, at Social Media Week LA on Thursday, September 27th.
Looking forward, any exciting things on the radar this fall attendees can get involved with or support?
We’re doing an amazing event in NYC on October 17th called Sound Interactive at The Cutting Room, a brand new venue. We have a full day planned including a start-up village, demo stage, and killer performances. Also, our 4th Annual FlashFWD Awards will be in May and we have a whole series of events coming up in between. Follow us on twitter @soundctrl, and connect with us through our website and facebook to be a part of our movement and growing community
In addition to the events mentioned here, below is a taste of some of the music focused events featured during the week. You can also register for our Music focused day at the Egyptian Theatre, Thursday, September 27:
Tuesday 9/25 at 6:00 pm Songs From A Room
Wednesday 9/26 at 10:00 am One Million Downloads: Activating The Power of Open Source Culture
Thursday 9/27 at 10:00 am Keynote beverly Jackson: Director Of Marketing And Social Media At The Grammy Awards
Thursday 9/27 at 10:30 am Bandpage: A Fireside Chat With J Sider, CEO & Founder
Thursday 9/27 at 12:00 pm Genreless: Decoding Music Fusion in the Digital Era
Thursday 9/27 at 4:00 pm Social Media Meets Live Entertainment
Friday 9/28 at 2:30 pm Islands in the Stream: The Disruptive Forces Behind Live Streaming