I arrived at No Longer Empty around 5:30 and was completely amazed by what they did with the old Tower Records. Art and music are beautiful combo and as I have said before, album art, on whole, is a lost craft, so hopefully this exhibit will inspire people.
However, I’m not here to talk about art. I wanna talk about leveraging Internet prowess into $$$. Who better to talk about the social media and music than Andrew Katz from Pepsi (also, our wonderfully kind sponsor), Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson from the legendary Roots crew, Marisa Bangash from Uncensored Review, and our moderator James Andrews aka The Key Influencer, who was a former exec at Columbia Records.
To warm up to the SOLD OUT crowd while Ahmir was getting here after the Fallon taping was Soundctrl Co-Founder Jesse K to chat about our plans to team up with Pepsi for FlashFwd at SXSW, so if you want to go to the festival for free, apply and spread the word to get 50 nominations. After Jesse’s shtick, he handed the mic over to SoundCtrl board member and Social Media Week founder Toby Daniels and then to Paul Farkas from another one of our event’s sponsors dotMusic.
Around 7:30 Ahmir arrived and he brought his A-game arsenal of deep industry insights and hilarious one-liners (like the one in the title). But all kidding aside, the truth is that The Roots are one of the most adroit business establishments in the music industry because of their work ethic, authentic lives shows, desire to reach fans directly in person and online, as well as the tribe they have built on Okayplayer as James indicated in his first question to Ahmir.
Marisa had more of an expertise in licensing. The main insight that was reaffirmed for me was that song placement must be an organic fit for the band and the brand, movie, TV show, video game, or whatever the medium might be. However, as Andrew stated, Moby took $200k from Jeep and donate half of it to an environmental organization, so there is most certainly a gray area.
A topic touched on by both Ahmir and Andrew was the role of brands because, as Andrew indicated, “Bands and brands were meant to go together”. This topic was covered extensively in this piece by NBC.
I don’t want to ramble, so check out what other people were saying about the event on Twitter. View some other pics here. And do yourself a favor, don’t miss out on another SoundCtrl event and make the trip down to Austin for SXSW for FlashFwd presentation.