International Music Summit, the premier platform for thought leadership in electronic music, has concluded the fourth edition of IMS Engage, partnered with Pioneer DJ and W Hotels at the W Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA. On April 21, the global and local industry came together for a day of conversation between leaders of music, technology, film and futurism.
IMS Engage began in 2012 as an innovative new addition to the IMS portfolio of events with the aim to showcase how deep and widespread electronic music’s influence runs across the world. In 2016, IMS Engage attracted over 350 delegates.
“It’s an exciting time to be in Los Angeles. There’s a new sound coming now that will be indigenous, local and unique,” says Pete Tong, Broadcaster/Artist.
IMS partner Ben Turner states, “A fascinating day of talks from some of the industry’s most intelligent and insightful minds. From Marc Geiger’s vision of the digital future, to John Singleton’s approach to film synchronization to the rag-to-riches world of James Barton, this was perhaps our most intriguing set of pairings to date. IMS takes pride in trying to move the conversation forwards about the electronic music world and it was clear today that the industry feels as strong and positive about the future than ever before.”
Speakers at IMS Engage 2016 included a diverse variety of leaders: World-renowned broadcaster and artist and IMS partner Tong began the day with a conversation with respected voice in music and author of The Lefsetz Letter Bob Lefsetz, the two discussed EDM's branding challenges, but Lefsetz was bullish about the health of dance music overall, and Tong highlighted the growing indigenous American acts and the rising tide of live electronic artists. The following pairing of James Barton, President of Electronic Music at Live Nation, and Lee Anderson, VP of East Coast at AM Only, explored the ecosystem of promoters and agents, issues of artist billing and the importance of live revenues to all artists.
The morning session ended with words between Ted Cohen, Futurist at TAG Strategic, and Mike Knobloch, President of Music at Universal Pictures. Knobloch echoed the importance of collaboration for artists working in film and the issues that still exist regarding licensing music to film.
Later, IMS Engage saw the unique pairing of Arthur Baker, renowned music producer, in conversation with Oscar-nominated film director and screenwriter John Singleton, the director behind the celebrated film Boyz In The Hood. Before diving into his discussion, Singleton took a moment to play “Purple Rain” in homage of Prince. Singleton touched on his journey as a director, and underscored the importance and impact of music in film, as well as the challenges and opportunities that sourcing music for indie films on a budget present. The final discussion of the evening brought together Head of Music at WME Marc Geiger and CEO of Sonos John MacFarlane, for a fascinating foreshadowing of what's to come in streaming services and music consumption.
International Music Summit announced the newest addition to its portfolio of events the morning of IMS Engage with the inaugural IMS College-Malta, a new educational initiative set to take place July 1 – 3. IMS College aims to bring together the world’s bright, young minds for an intensive, 360 learning experience to give the next generation of electronic music creators and professionals the tools and knowledge to assist their career. IMS College-Malta will consist of a range of seminars, panels and interactive sessions—paired with a party schedule throughout the weekend.
Though tragic news of music legend Prince’s passing broke on the morning of IMS Engage, speakers paid homage and remembered important career moments with the iconic figure. Cohen, who previously toured alongside Prince shared a special memory of his time with the icon.
He comments, “He was always absorbing what was going on around him. My job was to bring attention to new artists, but with Prince, there was little I needed to do.”
IMS Engage concluded with the annual Networking Cocktail Party held on the rooftop of the W Hollywood following a day of insightful conversations. Led by Tong, Becky Tong and a special showcase from Grabbitz as part of “NEXT UP,” a new emerging artist partnership between Billboard and W Hotels.
International Music Summit celebrates in its ninth year in Ibiza later this year from May 25 - 27 and has grown to become a leading presence in electronic music, expanding across the globe with editions in Ibiza, Los Angeles and Shanghai.
IMS is dedicated to inspiring and supporting the community with innovative conversation and lasting connections that help drive the future of our industry forward.
To hear all the conversations at the IMS Conference, visit SoundCloud.