As a Grammy voting member, I attended the 58th Grammy Awards this year and had a blast! While I enjoyed the Premiere Ceremony, the live telecast, meeting stars and hobnobbing at the after-party, my main goal was to network. As an indie artist and music producer, these events are a great way to approach key decision makers in a more relaxed setting. These people are a lot more approachable when they are not on the job.
I sat next to a guy at this year’s Grammys and we were talking about the Taylor Swift performance. I started talking about how I’m really glad that even though she transitioned from a country singer to a pop singer, she didn’t do it at the expense of her great songwriting. The guy echoed my sentiments and proceeded to tell me that he worked with a publishing company. He told me the name of the company and I recognized it as being a company that handles the music publishing for a big gospel artist I know. I mentioned the name of the gospel artist and the song he wrote and the guy immediately said “oh, you know that artist? We love him. His song was big for us.” I then told him that I was a music producer and artist also in the Gospel genre. He seemed excited about that and asked me for my business card (as he gave me his) and asked me to send him some music. Just like that, I got a number to a key contact at a music publishing company that I probably would never have gotten by googling it!
It’s not enough for you to throw your music and your brand out there, hoping to be noticed. It’s important to put yourself in the right environment to be seen and heard. Now you may not be able to go to the Grammys, but there are a lot of great events for artists to go to and learn and network. For instance, the ASCAP ‘I Create Music’ EXPO is a great conference to network and have your music heard by industry movers and shakers. There are other prestigious award shows that you don’t need an invitation for because you can buy tickets to the event. For the BET awards, you can actually pay to get the entire VIP treatment (Red carpet, hanging out with stars). This is a great way to get press, promote yourself and network with music industry heavy hitters.
Going to these events may appear pricey, but you have to look at it as an investment. Are you ready to invest in yourself? If you can’t invest in yourself, who will?