Review and Photos By Codi Glancy
The National Recording Academy is best known for its annual Grammy’s Award Ceremony. What most don’t know is that it’s also a family of musicians and businesses that strive to work together and help one in the constantly changing music industry. It’s truly a great way for those who are aspiring musicians or for those who want to work in the business to learn the ends and outs of being professional and successful throughout their career.
This past Saturday, the Atlanta Chapter hosted a panel and workshop called “Grammy GPS: A Road Map for Today’s Music Pro” at the beautiful W Buckhead. Musicians, managers, producers, and lawyers came together to discuss how they have made their mark in the industry. They also shared helpful tips for those who attended.
The day started off with a Music and Entertainment Law Panel, featuring Scott Goldman (VP of the Grammy Foundation), Omara Harris, Rich Levy from Live Nation, acclaimed entertainment lawyer Margaret Marshall, Kawan Prather (Atlantic Records), and Bobby Rosenbloum. During their panel, the group talked about their experiences and struggles that made them who they are today. They discussed why lawyers are needed for musicians and entertainers and gave the audience helpful guidelines in either obtaining a lawyer or how to become one.
The next panel was the Grammy U Kick Off. Focused towards the college student members of the Recording Academy, this panel consisted of management experts who gave detailed advice on how to break into the business side of music. Valuable tips like having a strong understanding of the industry, experiencing multiple internships, building a social roster of helpful individuals demolished the “It’s not what you know, but who you know” myth. Most importantly, the panel made it a strong point to be assertive and don’t fear rejection, to fight for the career you want.
The Producer Super Panel and the Vocal Tech Workshop took place after lunch. The Vocal Workshop consisted of Dr. Michael Johns and recording artists Ledisi and Ne-Yo. They provided the audience with instructions on how to manage a strong voice by being healthy, training your self and remaining aware of any strains or issues. The Producer Super Panel was my favorite of the day. Butch Walker, Steve Lillywhite, Byran Michael Cox, Brendan O’Brien and Justin “Just Blaze” Smith all took part in a fun discussion about the roles of a producer, how the industry has changed, and how to become a successful producer. Each of them has experience in a slightly different genre so it was interesting hearing how producers have different commitments depending on rather it’s R&B, Pop, Rap, or Rock.
The amazing day ended with legendary engineer, Geoff Emerick. Best known for his work with the Beatles, Emerick discussed his newest book and intimate stories about his career and time with the Beatles. It was inspiring to listen to him speak first hand about being in that environment. He even played “Strawberry Fields Forever” and explained how he spliced the tape on the word “To” in the second chorus to join two separate vocal takes together! Pay attention next time and see if you can notice it.
The Recording Academy is an amazing program full of knowledge and inspiration. For information on how to become an Atlanta Chapter Grammy Member please visit www.grammy365.com. Current Students (ages 17-25) can sign up for a 1-year Grammy U membership for just $25, non-students, musicians, and industry professionals can join for just $100 and will enjoy many great perks. To become a Voting Member please visit the website for a list of qualifications.