MusicBiz 2019 held in Nashville, TN

MusicBiz, an event put on by the Music Business Association, brought industry leaders together in Nashville Tenn., to discuss the future of the music industry as well as build solid relationships that will move the industry forward.  The event took place over the course of three days and saw many celebrities and business people stride into the JW Marriot to tackle issues within the music community.

Day 1

During the first day of the event, Zane Low of Apple Music was in attendance and was interviewed by Hayley Williams, who is the lead singer of the rock band Paramore.  Also in attendance were Amber Grimes, SVP of Global Creative at Capitol Music Group, Mitch Glazier of RIAA and Bart Herbison of NSAI.

Day 2

The second day of the event saw longtime event sponsor CMA present a special country music-focused program following breakfast, with inspiring performances by three rising female stars of country: Kassi Ashton, Danielle Bradbery and Cassadee Pope. Set up as an artist round, each of these artists took turns sharing the stories behind their songs and performing them in an intimate acoustic style. 

After the performances, Music Biz President James Donio addressed the room with his annual conference speech, sharing some inspiring points about the music business and the Music Biz Conference:  "What inspires you about your life in and around music and this business?  Is there something that makes you excited every day? What is it that, along the lines of what Taylor Swift sings in her newest song, "ME!," makes this industry and all of our related professions "one of the things that's not like the others."

"Whoever you are, and wherever your inspiration comes from, the Annual Music Biz Conference was designed to help YOU along your music business journey. I know I have been inspired each and every day of the past 31 years by the chance to work for, and ultimately lead, an organization with the unique opportunity to be at the nexus of these, and so many other inspiring reasons, to want to be a part of the music business."

"By the end of our program, I sincerely hope you will leave with the tools that will transform you into the kind of professional that inspires all those you interact with."

Later in the afternoon, Richard Gottehrer, founder of The Orchard gave a powerful keynote for the Indie Artist & Songwriter Forum. A day full of workshops and panels ended with a Featured Presentation Keynote by CEO of Def Jam Recordings and veteran artist manager Paul Rosenberg. Rosenberg discussed his professional journey, experience in both the management and label arenas, and his vision for the future of the industry at large with Joe Levy, Content Strategist/Editor/Writer/Host.

Music Biz 2019 Conference Awards Dinner
Rock legend Peter Frampton humbly accepted the Chairman's Award for Sustained Creative Achievement at the dinner, saying, "I am having some health problems, but I really am the luckiest guy because my passion for my music has kept me going through many, many years of up and down, up and down, sideways," he said. "Whatever has been thrown at me... it's all part of this lifelong dream. I live every day playing my guitar, writing music, recording and performing. Thank you for this incredible award. I don't deserve it, but I thank you dearly."

Pop star Bebe Rexha and country star Kane Brown were both honored with the Breakthrough Artist Award. During her speech, Rexha called for more diversity in the music industry, saying, "If I can leave you with one thing: we need more women executives in the music business. Only 15 percent of women in the music business actually run labels. The number is really staggering. Women deserve a chance and I will make space for them. Women will be equal to all the f**kin' men. We need more f**kin' women in higher spots so pay 'em extra, give 'em time, respect them. Women are the ones that have always taught me the most important information in my career."

Brown also talked about diversity in the music industry, telling Variety on the red carpet, and the audience in his acceptance speech, "When you go to my shows, everybody looks different - they don't look like they're supposed to be in the crowd, so it's a cool feeling," said the singer, who is biracial. He also gave a big thank you to his team at Sony Nashville who "... gave me a chance and is opening doors for other people who don't think they belong in country music," he said.

One of the people who had a part in helping Brown get to where he is today, is Chairman & CEO of SONY Nashville Randy Goodman, who received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement. Goodman also helped catapult country artist Luke Combs, who performed his number one hit songs, "Beautiful Crazy" and "She Got the Best of Me," during the ceremony.

Darius Rucker was the recipient of the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award in recognition of supporting St. Jude Children's Hospital, the MUSC Children's Hospital, Make A Wish Foundation, American Red Cross and many others.

Other recipients last night were some of the most influential people in the industry: Richard Storms and Alayna Alderman, owners of Record Archives store in Rochester, NY were awarded the Independent Spirit Award; The Orchard co-founder Richard Gottehrer accepted the Outstanding Achievement Award and Giles Martin, son of Sir George Martin represented his father for his induction into the Music Business Hall of Fame.

Jim Donio, the president of the Music Business Association for the last 30 years, was the driving force behind Music Biz. In his annual speech, Donio called upon his peers to reflect on what inspires them in music and the industry.

Symphonic Distribution Nashville Launch Party
Global independent music distributor, Symphonic Distribution, hosted a launch party in conjunction with MusicBiz 2019 on the Acme Feed & Seed rooftop. Symphonic announced the opening of two new offices April 1, 2019 in Nashville and Columbia

"I am beyond at the response we have received since opening our offices.  This party being our official kick-off party along with the Music Business Association' official awards after party brought together friends, songwriters, artists, and other industry players to celebrate new beginnings and a bright future", says Randall Foster, VP of Business Development/Nashville GM.