Panel discusses road to successful music career


Music executives, publicists and hip-hop artists gave aspiring artists and producers in the Perry Paige auditorium the opportunity to listen and network with some of the music industry’s most well-known contributors. Students interviewed panelists on how to make a mark in the music industry.

Florida A&M hosted its fourth annual Black College Music Conference, with WANM’s own radio personality DJ Dee Dee Rock as the moderator. 

The panel line-up consisted of Christopher Martin, better known as Play, from the hip-hop duo Kid’n’Play and rapper Yung Berg.

Also in attendance was Amir Windom, FAMU alum and A&R representative for Atlantic Records, Aaron Arnold, alum and CEO of Music is My Business, Aneishe Julia, marketing specialist for the BET College tour 2010, Reenee Williams, marketing and public relations specialist for 360 digital, and BET’s College Tour DJ Sixth Sense.

The panel informed students on the positives and negatives of the music industry, and stressed the importance of new artists creating their own images.

“Don’t be afraid to create your own platform,” Arnold said. Arnold took a leap of faith by leaving corporate America and taking on a six month non–paid internship with Sean “Diddy” Combs. He worked his way up into being a part of Combs executive team as an assistant.

Recording artist Yung Berg shed light on being an artist in the industry and keeping the desire for music.

“If you really love what you’re doing, don’t give it up,” Yung Berg said.

Windom gave more advice to new and upcoming artists.

“It is important to learn the business,” Windom said. “Always know exactly what you’re signing.”

Julia and Williams commented on the marketing and public relations side of the music industry.

“You have to think success, if you want to be a success,” Williams said.  Both agreed that social networking, while sometimes a necessity in the business, should be separate from an artist’s personal life.

“You have to be smart on how you position yourself on those platforms,” Julia said.

Students left the conference with a more in-depth knowledge of the of the music industry, and what it requires from artists and producers.

Cristian Sanchez, 19, a second-year political science student from Miami, said.

“Hearing them talk about the industry and how it’s changing is powerful. You really have to love music and all that comes with it,” Sanchez said.

Michael Young-Harris , 19, a second-year history major from Minneapolis, Minn., is a lover of hip-hop and was excited to hear music from the artists and producers as opposed to the consumers.

“I gained a whole new prospective on the industry and how it works,” Harris said.