(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — More than 600 executives and artists from 24 countries converged in Los Angeles May 1-4 for the first-ever MUSEXPO, an international forum of music and media. Conceived and hosted by Sat Bisla, Steve Smith and Jim McKeon of A&R Worldwide, the four-day event was held at the Wyndham Bel Age hotel in West Hollywood, and presented an unparalleled networking opportunity for members of the music business, featuring influential figures from record companies, radio, management, booking agencies, publishing companies, film and new media.
"The conference was a triumph," states Jason Flom, co-chairman/CEO Atlantic Records Group/president Lava Records. "I must say that I am truly impressed and amazed at the job [A&R Worldwide] did in putting it together. Now I know why you have such a fantastic reputation…because you deserve it!"
MUSEXPO kicked off with an oft-times contentious keynote panel moderated by Larry King, who provoked verbal pyrotechnics between artist Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction/Red Hot Chili Peppers) and the heads of Clear Channel Entertainment, Napster, Universal Music & Video Distribution, the Recording Academy and BBC Radio One. Not unlike the keynote roundtable, the other informative and fully interactive panels — Global Talent Booking, Touring & Festival Promotion; International Distribution & Digital/New Media; Artist Development Via Consumer Media; "International Managers Forum; A&R Worldwide; Radio Broadcasters Breaking Bands; and International Music Meeting also inspired spirited debate, involving not only the respected, experienced international execs on stage but also a wide variety of audience members. But that was just the beginning. Each day's panels were capped off by nightly showcases starring new music-makers at the Key Club, Roxy and Viper Room.
As a result of their performances at MUSEXPO, French chanteuse SoShy, up-and-coming UK act Story One and Australian rockers Shifter have all been offered major label recording contracts. Additionally, a number of other showcased artists (including Jem Cooke, Engerica, Warren Suicide, McQueen, The Resin Dogs, Breed 77, Del Castillo, Mono Band, Goldenhorse, Silent Gray, The Hero Factor, Evermore, Countermine, Verra Cruz, James Carrington, Cass, Choir Boy and Missy Higgins) have received significant global interest from radio, record companies, publishers, managers, booking agents and sponsors.
"We worked hard to control the size, context and manageability of this event to ensure that it's beneficial to everybody, without being overwhelming," notes McKeon, while partner Bisla hopes the real spirit of the convention continues throughout the year.
"Having like-minded people with vested interests in the future of the music industry come together is crucial for all of us," says Bisla. "I hope that the sense of community we shared here will flourish, and that we can all continue the dialogue that was started here."
A&R Worldwide is an influential global artist discovery/development firm whose staff played a pivotal role in the early discovery, development and/or exposure of such artists as Dido, Missy Higgins and Keane outside of traditional channels. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
On the Web: http://www.musexpo.net