ASCAP’s I Create Music Expo has been on a roll since its inception in 2006, rising in attendance by 5%-7% each year. Anticipating 2,000 to 2,500 Expo-goers for its latest April 18-20 installment at the Hollywood Loews, event organizers credit its success to nimbly staying on top of industry trends.
Advancing technology is building demand for music, with booming online services pushing to fill its pipelines, and emerging straight-to-fan digital distribution lowering the barrier of entry for artists.
The Expo will feature 75 exhibitors, also an uptick from last year according to organizers, and attracts songwriters, producers, composers, executives and other music creators.
“People are engaging with music in more ways than ever,” says Randy Grimmett, exec VP of membership at ASCAP. “This is an exciting time for people to hone their craft.”
Although tech muscle makes it easier to start creating music, ASCAP realizes it can still be tricky for artists to create a successful business out of their efforts.
“We’ll definitely be featuring how songwriters can use new media to their advantage, and also speak to its challenges,” says Grimmett. “You might be a young kid who is really into social media, but no one may have explained to them how to make it as a songwriter.”
Grimmett is especially pleased to present a conversation between Lionel Richie and Ne-Yo, believing the dialogue between the veteran star and the newer-generation talent will strike a chord in a fast-changing music landscape.
Another highlight is the legislative panel Securing Fair Compensation Online: How You and the U.S. Congress Can Make a Difference, featuring Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and songwriter Brett James (Jesus Take the Wheel, When the Sun Goes Down). It will moderated by ASCAP president and chairman of the board Paul Williams.
“Each year we keep increasing the number of attendees because of the new elements and ideas we are adding,” says Grimmett. “The more informed people are in making a living as a songwriter, the better they’ll be served in their ASCAP membership.”
12:55 p.m.: Composer Geoff Zanelli discusses his craft.
2 p.m.: Pop princess Katy Perry sits for an onstage interview.
3:30 p.m.: Diplo and rapper Big Sean ponder the vicissitudes of the biz.
5:30: p.m.: Lionel Richie and Ne-Yo in conversation
9:45 a.m.: DJs RJD2 and Ken Jordan discuss longevity in the world of dance music.
11:45 a.m.: U2 producer Steve Lillywhite conducts a master session.
2:30 p.m.: Director Joseph Kosinski and M83’s Anthony Gonzalez on scoring “Oblivion.”
4:30 p.m.: We Create Music panel featuring Akon, Mike Posner, others
9:45 a.m.: Variety’s Jon Burlingame moderates a master session with composer Nico Muhly.
2:15 p.m.: Helmer-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and composer Nathan Johnson discuss the music of “Don Jon.”
2:15 p.m.: Beatmaker No I.D. presents a master session.