Natalie Cole on the red carpet @ NARM 2013 Awards
Music Biz 2013 ends on a High Note
By Valerie Milano
Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today
) 5/11/2013 – “People are now not purchasing just an mp3, their purchasing an experience, so we try and give them that every time we show up.” – Shimon of the rock band Sick Puppies speaking with Hollywood Today. This past week the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) held their annual conference Music Biz at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. The fire began with a slow kindle on Monday as music industry professionals from around the globe arrived and checked in for the four-day schedule of events. Guests had the opportunity to attend more than 40 panel discussions and meetings that covered a range of topics relevant to music distribution; specifically, those that relate to the ever-changing platforms for digital media and the “new” fan who wants much more than an artists sound.
“We’re in an era and an age where the fans wanna feel like they can reach out and touch you; they want a response back on Twitter.” – Neo Soul Artist Raheem DeVaughn speaking with Hollywood Today. The sessions provided an amazing opportunity to gather pertinent information about current trends and best practices, as well as network directly with executives from companies and organizations that are leaders in the music business. Marcus Peterzell, Executive Vice President of Ketchum Sports and Entertainment says to aspiring artists about the importance of partnering with brands, “
Basically take your organic and natural passions and follow them; try to work with products and go after companies that you can say you’re an actual fan and loyal to the product.” His panel, affectionately titled Take a Swim in the Shark Tank
, gave up and coming artists a chance to have their music judged and critiqued by professionals and the opportunity to partner with rental car brand, Hertz. Peterzell, along with representatives from Sony, Capitol Records, YouTube, Spotify and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are just of handful of the 100’s who shared their expertise; all of them welcoming personal interaction and the chance to connect beyond the confines of the conference room. In fact, the real magic seemed to happen at the bar, which was sponsored by Omnifone. Each evening the lobby was abuzz as the conversations flowed as freely as the drinks. This was even more the case at Tuesday evenings opening cocktail reception. Held on the hotel lawn, many out of towners noted it was unseasonably cool and windy for Los Angeles, but if anything that kept the spirits going the networking at an optimum.
came to a close Thursday night with their grand finale, a red carpet reception and Awards Dinner Party. Music industry celebrities like Jordan Sparks and Jason Derulo could be seen mixing and mingling with conference attendees alongside Blues legend, Buddy Guy, who also received the Chairmans Award for Sustained Creative Achievement. “Better late than never, took a long time for me to achieve anything, but it’s always a great honor to receive anything.” – says Buddy Guy. Buddy also received a very special surprise from his protégé, Quinn Sullivan, who blew everyone away with the song he performed in his honor. Hollywood Today also spoke with Breakout Artist of the Year, Emeli Sande, who has been quite busy since the release of her album Our Version of Events
in 2012. “I’ve got the whole day off, for now!” – says Emeli about her plans for the weekend. Greats like Natalie Cole, Tom Jones and John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls were present for the celebration as well. Though most seemed too tired from the weeks festivities to dance the night away, the Omnifone bar was once again the meet up spot for a nightcap and final farewell. Cards were exchanged until the very end, and though NARM is an organization specific to merchandising, this week’s Music Biz conference was a definitive sign that joining their ranks of over 300 members could prove priceless in enhancing your ability to thrive in the business of music.