Dec/14
2010

Midem 2011

beach (Cannes)

I’m back from my trip to Cannes for Midem 2011 and I have a story to tell.

This years Midem was smaller than any of the previous years I was in attendance. Having a smaller list of delegates (people there to do business) had pros and cons. The Pros were that less people made it easier to locate companies that did a specific type of function. For example DJ’s, artist management, music importers, record labels, ectera. Also with less people the companies in attendance were more serious about closing deals. The Cons were that with less people there was less diversity in companies and less opportunities for independent labels to compete with the majors.

There were several good panels and presentations that gave insight for artists to market and promote their music. One keynote speaker said, In five years there would be no need for major record labels and almost all music will be digitally distributed. That’s a powerful statement considering the majors have been running the music industry for the last 80 years. One of the best presentations was done by Ariel Hyatt founder of New York publicity and P.R. firm “Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR.” She went in depth about the process of building a buzz from the ground up and what musicians can expect along the way. Afterward she distributed a DvD called “Building a Buzz and Selling Your Music Online.” For any artist looking to conquer the digital landscape this is a must see DvD.

I went to allot of the after parties this Midem just to see what new talent was being showcased. I saw way to many pseudo-punk, rock, and electro bands that could be lumped in with whatever audio trash that’s being played on the radio. Don’t get it twisted they weren’t all bad, they just weren’t impressive. The best concerts this Midem were from artist who came with different styles.

Ras Kwame and the Mad Professor both gave dope shows. They mixed Hip-Hop, Dub, Reggae, Grime, with all types of other music to keep the party jumping until four am. Saul Williams gave a killer performance with his five piece band promoting his new album “Volcanic Soul.” Saul is not your typical rapper, he has just as much infamy for being a poet as he does for being a rock star. I like that catz style, he’s an artist that can’t be labeled one “type” then compartmentalized and confined to a box.

There’s just as much business getting done at the after-parties as during conference hours. Once the drinks started flowing, people got chatty and business cards were passed around like currency. The drink of choice this year was Grey Goose mixed with anything. I think they were one of the Midem sponsors cuz they would give free shots of it mixed with a fruit juice that tasted like Hawaiian Punch. While standing at the bar waiting for a drink I ran into Miami artist Pitbull’s manager (cool guy). He was with these two fine Latina's that looked Cuban, Borican or Dominican.

They both wanted drinks and as they relayed their order I noticed that one of them spoke with a British accent. They came from Miami the manager told me. So looking at the girl you would expect a Spanish accent, or at least American. I was blown away by her British accent cuz she looked like she was fresh off the boat from some island. Her accent and image were polar opposites and I curious about the story behind it. I turned away from the group to take a business card and chat with a guy who did world music. When I turned back they had got their drinks (it was an open bar) and were gone. I ran into the manager several times that night but forgot to ask the question. Its one of those memories that make the mind wonder...what’s the story was behind that?

Aside from the business, concerts, food and night life the weather was spectacular. I left Holland when it was freezing, cold and raining. I arrived in Cannes and it was warm enough for people to wear shorts and tank tops. I enjoyed the weather so much I took pictures. Not just of the weather, also the beach with the numerous street artists (painters, jewelry makers, wire sculptures) displaying their craft trying to make a dollar. The best art on the beach was the fully clothed life sized Buddha sculpted out of sand. Words don’t adequately describe the detail and craftsmanship it took to make that piece if art. I have pictures of the Buddha and the sculptor in my Midem 2011 photos. take a peek... I’ll wait.

sand budha

Admit it...its dope! Overall Midem 2011 was successful, cuz I closed deals with the companies I needed to. I made new business contacts and learned more about how to navigate the digital landscape. Its only been a week since my return and its already time to prepare for the New Skool Rulez conference in April. The hustle don’t stop, until my casket drops.

Until Next we Speak, Be Well

Tha One an Only

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