ASCAP Expo: The Hot Topic is the Future
Local Networking For Musicians

ASCAP Expo Wrap Up: Business And Creative Communities Close Conference

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By Geoff Nudelman of Telos Studios.

The final day of the Expo was a great representation of the finish line of the creative process as plenty of successful collaborators were lined up to share their success.

Four businesspeople from the hip-hop/rap space opened the day sharing ways to build a successful team for an artist. Co-Head of Contemporary Urban at ICM Partners, Robert Gibbs, discussed how he built tours for some of the biggest names in the scene. Power publicist Chris Chambers, Principal at The Chambers Group added that he and Gibbs regularly collaborate on media plans, appearances, and publicity strategy for common clients. Attorney Matthew J. Middleton, who handles many of the legal deals and process that come through for their clients, completed the circle. It was a prime example of the type of team a high-level artist could have.

Plenty of jokes and jabs were shared between composer Nico Muhly and director John Krokidas as they discussed their contributions to Krokidas’ forthcoming film, “Kill Your Darlings.” They spoke about long nights and weekends spent in Muhly’s Lower East Side apartment throwing ideas around for the film’s score. “Nico has this laidback environment that lets you explore without having to be right all of the time,” Krokidas said. 

Muhly explained that for such a “deliciously filmed” project, he emphasized a balance of complexity and simplicity both in sound and technology when putting the score together. Muhly also spent much of the past year arranging two pop songs, one for Usher’s “Climax” and the other for fun.’s “We are Young.” “Both were nominated for Grammys,” Krokidas said, “that’s not a coincidence.”

“We just went from a designer boutique to a Walmart,” said Bandzoogle CEO David Dufresne about two different websites in the afternoon’s “Website Demolition Derby”. A couple representatives from his company along with Hisham Dahud from Fame House and Kyle Bylin from Live Nation Labs dissected pre-submitted websites and offered constructive feedback. While some sites were better than others, the consensus was that no one was really getting the maximum out of his/her social media presence and better site integration was needed. Dufresne used Bandzoogle’s “Artist Strategy” chart to illustrate the importance of using email lists to grow a fan base across one’s entire digital presence. “I have a friend who calls email lists an artist’s ‘pension plan’.”

It seemed like the entire point of the ASCAP Expo was to promote collaboration, and that it did. It offered a cross-section of the business and creative sides and was put into a lens that made sense for the speed at which the industry is changing. Look for a more comprehensive review on the Expo, Pop Awards, and IMS Engage later next week.