Last week, the Summer NAMM conference brought over 14,000 musicians and music industry professionals from all over the world together to learn about the latest innovations in Nashville, Tennessee. While NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants) is well known for showcasing the latest and greatest in musical instruments and recording technology, this year’s event also included many educational panels sure to be of interest to attendees from all aspects of the industry.
On Saturday, July 15th, I attended the “New Sounds of Music City” panel, featuring an all-star roster of panelists, including:
Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President of Music Strategy, CMT
Tracy Gershon, Artist Manager, Redlight Management
Ale Delgado, Label Manager, Infinite Cat Records
Sinclair, Nashville-based Pop Recording Artist
Josh Collum, Co-Founder, Sorted Noise
Dexter Palmer, CEO & Founder, 24-8 Management
The panel focused on how Nashville is evolving into a more welcoming home for genres outside of country music, and how both artists and industry professionals can take advantage of the changing landscape. The panelists shared countless pieces of wisdom, but I narrowed down some of the very best into my top 5:
There’s a niche for everything
Nashville is only becoming more and more supportive of all genres of music with each passing year. For example, Dexter Palmer is putting on the first annual Deep Tropics festival in August, a music, art and style festival with a tropical theme featuring Gramatik, Bob Moses and more.
Spotify is only a fraction of what it will be 5 years from now
Streaming is not a fad, and artists and managers alike need to be serious and strategic with how they approach streaming platforms.
Artists can benefit by embracing the positive aspects of how fans now consume music
While there are of course financial ramifications to streaming, Sinclair emphasized how she views it as a positive that anybody can listen to her music whenever they want.
Creating lasting fans takes work
Meeting fans at shows is not enough. After meeting them, artists need to connect with them online and have new content immediately available to hold their interest.
Balance the line between accessibility and mystique
In today’s social media era, fans want to know what artists are doing at all times. Don’t be afraid to share, but don’t be afraid to keep a certain level of privacy either.
I would highly recommend NAMM to anyone looking to learn from some of the best and brightest in the music industry. For information on their upcoming shows, visit https://www.namm.org/.