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National Association of Recording Merchandisers & Artist of the Year Awards

May 12th, 2013 · No Comments

Buddy Guy, Chairman's Award For The Sustained Creative Achievement recipient

Buddy Guy, Chairman’s Award For The Sustained Creative Achievement recipient

  By Fredwill Hernandez Los Angeles, CA(Hollywood Today)5/12/13/— NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) ended its (4 day) Music Biz 2013, with a bang. What was so interesting, was how I personally saw Jim Donio, NARM President, frequently peek into the panel rooms, in my opinion to check on attendees and to see how panels were going. I found this interesting because it shows the passion and love Mr. Donio, has for music, the conference, attendees, and for what he does.  So while the panels were endings, anticipation was set on the red carpet arrivals, and the evening’s Meet & Greet sessions.  The meet & greet sessions, which were sponsored by Sony Music, Universal Music Group Distribution, and WEA, had the likes of Booker T, Jessica Sanchez, Emili Sande, Sick Puppies, Trevor Jackson, John Rzeznik (of the Goo Goo Dolls), and Tom Jones, among many others.  I personally was excited about running into Natalie Cole, during the red carpet arrivals, being that I had photographed her (for the first time) at the red carpet arrivals April, 25, 2013, in Miami, Fl., during the (inaugural) Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, a historic event in which she performed and excepted the Premio Pionero de Desi Arnaz (Dezi Arnaz Pioneer Award) on behalf of her legendary father, the late Nat King Cole.  History was repeating itself again, this time was even more special, where I had the opportunity to converse with her, show her the picture and article. She opened up and told me about her new album in Spanish, and how she has guest appearances by the likes of Dominican songwriter, producer and singer, Juan Luis Guerra, and Cuban trumpet extraordinaire Arturo Sandoval. The album titled, Natalie Cole en Español , will be released next month on the 25th of June. During the meet & greet, I also had the chance to take a photograph with her. After the meet & greet, the Awards Dinner Party go underway as, Master bluesman Buddy Guy, a six-time GRAMMY winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, was honored by Rachelle Friedman, J & R Music & Computer World, NARM’s Chairman Of The Board, with the NARM Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement which recognizes superior artistic achievement within the industry.
Emeli Sande at Awards Dinner Party

Emeli Sande at Awards Dinner Party

Soul-Pop up-and-comer Emeli Sandé was also honored with NARM’s Break Through Artist of the Year Award and Ted  Cohen was also presented with the NARM Presidential Award by Jim Donio, President of NARM, who elaborated that, “without Ted Cohen’s influence, the music industry would be a much different place today.” Even though it was a magical night, the three conference days that led up to it, were just as exciting. I did not have a chance to attend all the panels, but the panels I did have a chance to attend were very informative, engaging, and the panelist made themselves available to attendees. During the How Mobile is Changing the Future of Live Music and its Promotion panel (held Thursday, May 9) one of the panelists elaborated on   something he tried which seem to work. “I notice ticket sales weren’t going as I anticipated or expected, so I decided to give away a guitar a week leading up to the concert and I immediately saw ticket sales increase,” said Kavi Halemane, The Collective.  “I have noticed that by giving the fans certain incentives, like this guitar give a away, or even offering the opportunity for the fans to meet and greet the band before or after the concert works. We are not swimming in money, and therefore are looking to partner with brands to bring those unique fan interaction experiences before and during the shows. All we want to know is who’s willing to pay for things, who’s doing what and why?” During the same panel, panelists Creighton Burke, VP of Mobile Strategy for North America Concerts Live Nation, who’s also an app developer, made it known that he is willing to help and work with up and coming independent artist, not just with artist who have contracts and deal with Live Nation.  All panelists agreed with this approach and philosophy. “Live Nation is a conduit between a live event (the concert) and the artist itself,” said Burke.  “We have doubled ticket sales from the previous year, and most of the tickets we sell are through mobile phone alert pre-sells. We generally play within that space before and leading up to the concert or performance.”
Natalie Cole &HT's Fredwill Hernandez

Natalie Cole &HT’s Fredwill Hernandez

Another exciting panel was the Keynote Presentation: The Future of the Biz on the Future of the Biz (held Wed.- May 8), presented by Billboard, which showcased the perspectives of young executives from Billboard’s 2012 “40 Under 40” Power Players list. This panel was moderated by Phil Gallo, Senior Correspondent, Billboard, had the likes of Joe Bellioti, Coca-Cola, Ethiopia Habtemariam, UMPG and Motown Records, Rebeca León, AEG Live/Golden Voice, Tricky Stewart, Epic Records. When music record producer extraordinaire (who also serves as President of A&R Epic Records) Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, was asked what in his opinion makes a hit record? “A good record, will always be a good record no matter what, you never really know what the public or consumer will like, or what can become a big success after going viral. I however, do my best in anything which has my stamp or name on it,” said Stewart. “This year I will have 25 records released, including Celine Dion’s new album which I am currently working on.”   The panelists also elaborated on current things each has done in their respected roles and how they are adapting to the changing music business. Anyone who’s serious about their career (artist/s) or the music business should have attended this years NARM, for it was an opportunity to learn or hear what has changed and how the industry and those who work in it are adapting, as Reyna Trevino, President and CEO of Trevino Enterprises, who was a panelist during the Music A-Z “What Labels & Artists Need To Be Successful” panel (held Monday, May 6), personally told me during a brief conversation during the Awards Dinner Party on the obstacles she is facing. “I am barely starting out with Desireé (Estrada)…but as with all artists in this industry starting out…you never know what will happen. This music business is risky…and you have to be willing to take that risk…nothing is guaranteed. We have had great reception so far with Desireé… her single is due out May 21st-“Don’t Speak”(rendition of Original No Doubt’s single). Finance of course always comes into factor…currently the relationships I have established throughout the years are coming into play with her project. We have PR, Marketing, Video play, booking…but of course Radio (one of the major elements of a music project) is still needed. Hopefully we can create a big enough Buzz to assist us in getting funded for Radio.” Photography: Fredwill Hernandez

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