ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, has announced that two big name songwriter/producers are confirmed for the 11th annual ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO, April 28–30, 2016 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. Greg Kurstin, co-writer and producer for Adele’s song “Hello” and more; and Ashley Gorley, three-time ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year, will each host a master session and share their personal experiences and expert guidance with aspiring music creators.
EXPO attendees will also have the opportunity to sit in on a conversation between Nate Ruess, songwriter and vocalist for the Grammy-winning group fun., and ASCAP President and Hall of Fame songwriter Paul Williams.
Additionally, ASCAP announced a special appearance by the boundary-breaking group that opened up rap for women: Sandra “Pepa” Denton, Cheryl “Salt” James and Dee Dee “DJ Spinderella” Roper of Salt-N-Pepa. The trio will join EXPO for an open discussion about their music, lives and careers.
Kurstin has three songs, including “Hello,” on Adele’s record-breaking album, 25. Over the last few years, he has written, produced and played on hits by big pop stars, including P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Ellie Goulding and Lily Allen, as well as alternative-leaning acts Beck, The Shins, Foster the People, Sia and Tegan & Sara. He is also a member of the indie pop group The Bird and the Bee. A 2014 and 2010 Grammy Award nominee for Producer of the Year, as well as a three-time Ivor Novello Award recipient including Songwriter of the Year, the Los Angeles-born and raised Kurstin is one of the industry’s sought-after songwriters and producers.
Gorley is based in Nashville and has written 22 No. 1 singles for country artists including Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker and more. He is a recipient of the Country Music Association (CMA) “Triple Play” award, which recognizes writers with three No. 1 songs in a single year. In addition, Gorley is a two-time Grammy nominee for Country Song of the Year, and has earned two CMA Song of the Year nominations. He was also named one of Billboard’s Top Ten Writers of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013.
Ruess, vocalist and songwriter for fun., recently released his solo album, Grand Romantic, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart and No. 7 on the Billboard 200. With fun. he collected two Grammys, critical praise, platinum sales of their second album Some Nights and a ubiquitous, record-breaking lead single in “We Are Young” (named ASCAP’s Pop Song of the Year in 2013). The following year, Ruess earned an additional Grammy nomination for “Just Give Me A Reason,” his writing and performance collaboration with P!nk. More recently, Ruess collaborated with Eminem on his song “Headlights,” with Ke$ha on “Die Young,” Zedd on “Stay The Night” featuring Hayley Williams, and co-wrote on projects with Maroon 5 and Ellie Goulding.
Award-winning songwriter Paul Williams has served as ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board since 2009. He is the recipient of an Academy Award, two Golden Globes and three Grammy Awards and is an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His songs include “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “An Old-Fashioned Love Song,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “The Rainbow Connection.” Williams received a 2013 Grammy Album of the Year Award for his contributions to the Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories. This year, Williams was recognized with the Ivor Novello—PRS for Music Special International Award, and with a World Soundtrack Award for “The Apology Song” in the animated film, The Book of Life.
As the first all-female rap crew of importance, Salt-N-Pepa broke down doors for women in hip-hop. They were among the first rap artists to cross over into the pop mainstream. In the late ‘80s, they had major hits with songs like "Push It" and "Shake Your Thang,” and hit the height of their popularity in 1994, when "Shoop" and "Whatta Man" drove their third album, Very Necessary, into the Top Ten.
Now in its 11th year, ASCAP’s “I Create Music” EXPO is a premier conference for songwriters, composers, artists and producers in all music genres. Participants can attend creative and business-focused panels, workshops, master classes, keynotes, one-on-one sessions, networking events, state-of-the-art technology demonstrations and performances. ASCAP EXPO provides music creators with an unforgettable and authentic experience—real knowledge, tools, connections and a community of support and guidance they can’t find anywhere else.
Since its inception, the event has brought together talents and successful industry players. Previous keynote speakers include Justin Timberlake, Tom Petty, John Mayer, Katy Perry, Quincy Jones, Ludacris, Carly Simon, Sara Bareilles, Randy Newman, Jackson Browne, Steve Miller, Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), Diplo, Big Sean, Ne-Yo, Stargate, Bill Withers, Aloe Blacc,Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Jeff Lynne.
For more information on ASCAP EXPO and to register for the conference, visit ascap.com/eventsawards/events/expo/2016/registration.aspx.