Interview with Glenn Philips

Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket joined the WCS Annual Music Conference to share his thoughts about songwriter and the music industry.  We all had a fabulous weekend sharing stories and catching up with all that's occurred in the past year.

Watch the interview here.....

Thank you again, Glen for joining us this year!

Dan Kimpel, Music Connection Magazine

Networking Now with Dan Kimpel           

I went in intrigued and excited, but I honestly had NO idea what I was getting myself into with this seminar. Dan is a bundle of hilarious energy – and after spending an hour with him, there is no question as to why he’s become a favorite teacher at universities and conferences worldwide. His story, coming from a small town in Ohio, growing to the force he has become in Los Angeles, was just as interesting as his incredible tips for making networking less awkward and more real.

My favorite story of the afternoon (and believe me, there were many) was one that centered around a former part-time job he had in 2006 – working as a song screener at Taxi. He sat next to a skinny young brunette girl with glasses every day, and they would work side-by-side listening to songs. Dan mentioned that the girl always seemed sad – and he knew through contacts that she had been dumped by her label a few months prior. He never mentioned it – and just was kind (and I’m sure comedic) in their brief time working together. Years later, he was working a red carpet event as an interviewer, and in walks a star – not taking interviews of course. They recognized each other, and she called out to him – “We made it!” – who else? Katy Perry.

Dan’s tips include:

-       Get OUT there. You’ve gotta be present!

-       Arrive at events early, chat with people in the parking lot, the bathroom, the valet – everywhere!

-       Walk the periphery of the room 3 times when you arrive, so people get familiar with your face.

-       Ask open-ended questions about people. Get them talking about themselves!

-       Don’t ever apologize or excuse your way into talking with someone. You have to present yourself with confidence and good energy. People want to surround themselves and work with people that they perceive to be on a similar level to them.

-       Use positive language – “What is the best way to get in touch with you?” instead of “Uh, can I get your card?”’

You want more? I know I do. Get one of his many best-selling books. I just picked up my copy of his new book, It All Begins with theMusic at the conference…

Written by  Whitney Nicholle

    Where is the Music Industry Headed?

    Where is the Industry Headed? A panel recap…

    Written by Whitney Nichole

    “People keep saying the music industry is in trouble. Music isn’t hurting – the labels are! Music is thriving!” That encompassed the passionate and innovative panel’s discussion, which opened the WCS Conference on Saturday morning. The panel included a wide cross-section of the industry, with Mike Zapruder coming from Pandora, Larry Batiste who has built an incredible musical career, Andre Pessis – songwriter extraordinaire, Kelli Richards of the All Access Group and then Judy Stakee who built her long and successful career as a Senior VP of Creative at Warner Chappell and has more recently applied her skills to the Judy Stakee Company.

    It’s always difficult to look into the future and predict anything – but there were a few common themes that each panelist agreed whole-heartedly on.

    First and foremost: We are moving into a digital world. Hell, we are already in the middle of a digital world! It is ALL digital. Music in the cloud, streaming, mp3s, internet radio.

    Personalization & Mobility: These days, everyone is used to getting exactly what they want at that minute. They want to hear a song? They pull it up on their phone. You want to watch a TV show? Go to Youtube on your iPad. Gone are the days where we listen turn on FM radio in our car and land in the middle of the song. In fact, the way we listen to music has changed – as Mike Zapruder pointed out. The beginning of the song is SO much more important, because now – we choose the song, push play and listen from the start of the song. Learn to adapt.

    The standards: A website, mailing list, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Get them all under control and use them efficiently. Easy, right? Suuuuuure.

    So that can all be overwhelming, right? So gather your materials, then get someone like Kelli Richards or Judy Stakee and set up a meeting. There are so many industry professionals who built careers in-house, working with labels that don’t exist anymore. Where are they now? Out there, working independently doing the SAME stuff. Find those people, consult with them – and they can help you navigate. Or as Mike mentioned -- ask yourself what you want your project/your song/your career to do for you. What opportunities do you want it to open up for you? Then go from there. Create your own path.”

    Judy said it best, “Do the unimaginable. Do what you want.”

    2011 Grand Final Winners

    Anticipation filled the air tonight at the Grand Finals held at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley.   Members from all chapters gathered together tonight to cheer on the "BEST SONG" and songwriter from each song competition location up and down the west coast.  The music varied from each performance, from ballad to pop and rock to folk.  No matter the genre, the room was charged with an incredibly talented group of individuals.

    Perhaps you decided to stay home and watch the MTV Video Music Awards and hear  the news through facebook and twitter? However, if that's the case you truly missed out on some powerful songs, lyrics, voices and people.  There was nothing staged about the Grand Finals - nothing rehearsed and so incredibly moving and powerful that the evening will remain deep in the soul for those who did attend.

    Included in our illustrious panel of judges were: Andre PessisJon Bendich and Steve Seskin.

    But want to know the winners!

    First Place:  Bobby Jo Valentine - performing Fly

    Second PlaceChristopher Smith performing Stumbling Stones

    Third PlaceAmber Fenex performing Crash

    All three now have the opportunity to perform at the WCS Music Conference on September 10th & 11th!  Come hear the talent and be swept off your feet once again.

    Amirah Ali wins 2nd Place at ISC 2010

    I truly love getting  all the news from members about the competitions, events, awards and lifestyle changes that have occured - often precipitating and propelling them into their future career in music.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the wonderful WCS Member (and co-manager from Berkeley) Liza Marie Sparks.  Her struggle touched my soul deeply - and Liza, if you are reading this right now, please know that all at WCS are thinking of you and wishing you and your family all the best.

    Since then - awards and media coverage have been flying in  the door for our members and one in particular, comes from afar.  Amirah Ali - a two year WCS Member, originally from Malaysia but now Chicago and Houston. She has been sending in her songs for review by CD to our song screenings. Amirah joined WCS, but has never attended one of our events in person.  She joined the song pitching panels by sending in mp3's of her music  to us, which we are thrilled to do for members from afar. Distance has not hampered her enthusiasm for the support and guidance " Ian Crombie was always very encouraging and acceptive of all the updates and news I would send to him about my songwriting and he would try to help me  participate in the song panels although I was in Chicago or Houston. For  that I am very grateful". Despite not being present, Amirah did succeed with a publisher contact as they were impressed with her work.

    Amirah has only been performing since August 2010 when she returned from Malaysia and has been busily recording ever since.  The song for which Amirah won second place in the World Category is called Katakanlah.  It was written in the wake of the desecration of the houses of worship in the Klang Valley last year and expresses her strong belief in freedom, equality and love.  There were over 15,000 entries to the International Song Competition (ISC) and Amirah was obviously very highly regarded by the numerous talented musicians who participated in the ISC 2010 judging. Amirah was also a finalist in the John Lennon Song Writing Contest, in the World Music Category for 2010  as well as being featured on the Anugerah Bintang Popular (Popular Star Award) for Malaysia Most Popular Female Singer 2010. 

    I asked Amirah if she had any thoughts she might like to add:

    "The beauty of differences gives birth to the masterpieces of love, and through the masterpiece of love lies the freedom of both worlds." 

    Heres further information about the winners for 2010  as well as information regarding submitting your music for 2011

    And Finally -- Congratulations Amirah, from all of us at WCS!

    Cameron Stymeist (The Reel) wins the WCS Song Contest