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WURD Speaks: Generation Next RecapJun 14, 2012 | News Archive
We teamed up with Philly360.com and the Philadelphia Recording Academy Chapter to bring you a celebration of black music, paying tribute to the past and making room for the present. We can definitely all agree that we are in a digital age, post Beyonce era, rap with meaning type of music industry.
It you weren’t at WURD Speaks: Generation Next organized by us (900AM), Philly360 and the Philadelphia Recording Chapter, then I am sorry you missed out. It was an evening of genuine discussion about the music industry from it’s decisionmakers and performances by the next generation of artists in Philadelphia.
The eclectically decorated Painted Bride Arts Center, which is a place that provides a space for modern and urban art of all mediums, hosted the event. Amir Khan, leading Marketing and Branding Director of RadioOne; Brandon Pankey, Entertainer and Producer; and 900AM’s own Al Butler, host of Night Al, spoke on the first panel about the business side of the music industry and how it interacts with today’s music industry. Laiya St. Clair served as a great moderator, navigating the audience and panelists to discuss music industry secrets of competitiveness and the upward battle of success. On describing the state of the music scene today, Brandon Pankey said it is changing due to the digital space. And many can agree with that. Social media and the internet provides a pathway where artists can develop their own fan based measured by views on YouTube, page likes on Facebook and of course, Twitter followers. Traditionally planned concerts and publicity houses who are suppose to shape an artist's image are becoming less of a factor due to this hustler environment created by the internet and having no regional limits. We have platforms like MyArtistDNA ( a LEVAS Communications company) and Soundcloud that makes it easy to sell and distribute music worldwide.
Amir Khan from RadioOne also added that radio still is a factor even in the changing media landscape. He says that radio localizes the artists and makes it more appealing on an individual level despite Pandora’s success.
After the business and music industry panel finished Singer Gogo Morrow and her dancers took the stage, performing several risqué numbers. Yes, the Painted Bride had issues with the air conditioning, but Gogo definitely brought some fire to the theater. She introduced herself singing Chrisette Michelle’s If I have my way, she did a sultry female version of Drake’s HoustaAtlantVegas, plus a few of her original tracks. It is safe to say that we are in a post Beyonce era. Gogo Morrow's songs are very revenge- esque! Her notes were enough to make you a fan; but I have to admit, her dancing could have been a little uncomfortable to audience members. Queue the chairs, the floor numbers and the edgy hair choreograpghy swinging every which way. But, you’ll get over it. Expect nothing less; she toured with Lady Gaga.
The second panel focused on the artists and the music industry. Dilemma, producer to Meek Mills and Chill Moody; Corey Latif Williams, GRAMMY singer and songwriter, who has worked with Musiq and Faith Evans; Chill Moody, rapper; and of the lovely Gogo Morrow, took the stage to debrief on their experiences with the industry and their challenges, thus far.
On the biggest challenge of being a musician, Chill Moody said it was finding the right set of ears to judge his music. He also said that his college degree in Speech Communications and Public Relations helped him in igniting his brand as an artist because of how he has to constantly persuade people. Moody actually graduated from Millersville University and he recently performed at the Roots Picnic! The panel ended with a feel good performance by Chill Moody that made me start dancing. It was evident from the energy in the room that Philly’s Next Generation of artists looks and sounds promising!
Directly following the panel discussion and performances was a networking reception that paid tribute to jazz and R&B legends. Vintage vinyl records hung from the ceiling, album covers from the likes of Patti Labelle, John Coltrane, The stylistics, just to name a few, dawned the walls of the open bar room. Lots of fabric was incorporated in the interior design courtesy of Terrance! Philly’s music industry scene came out, including Jade Alston, Carol Riddick, and radio host Dyana Williams. Big shout outs to DJ Cincere who had everyone dancing, and The Brown Kitchen who provided the delicious food and open bar! Stef Renee hosted part of Night Al and produced an amazing Black Music Month documentary with Mike Dennis from Reelblack (Click here to watch on YouTube soon). Overall, it was a great event and there will definitely be more to come! Stay tuned in…
Posted By: Melissa HendersonNews