Tom Silverman Interview
TOM SILVERMAN INTERVIEW
Contributing Writer : Rashon A. Massey
Since TheRFW began, I have had the esteemed pleasure of being able to communicate, learn and grow from many of the key players from both the music and technology industries.
One crucial turning point in the structuring and building of TheRFW came when I attended the 2009 New Music Seminar in New York City, NY. Co-founded by Tom Siverman, the New Music Seminar became the breeding ground and breaking point for bands and brands such as Nirvana, Dave Matthews Band, SXSW, CMJ and many more. From 1982 – 1994, the New Music Seminar grew to become the largest intensive music conference in the world, and this all happened simultaneously as a little known community named hip-hop exploded and took over the world. This is greatly attributed to both the seminar and Silverman’s Tommy Boy Records playing an active roll in discovering and launching the careers of Queen Latifah, Afrika Bambaataa, Naughty by Nature and several other well-known music influencers of today.
“So many great artists are out there that aren’t getting through for some reason. I was […and been] racking my brain, why aren’t they getting through? Is it because people are overwhelmed with choices? Has music become too active and not passive? There isn’t a broadcast medium like radio driving traffic anymore,” spoke Silverman in an afternoon phone chat. “So that’s what we [New Music Seminar] work on is to try to help artists break through and give tools to help that.”
The seminar took a hiatus from 1995 to 2009 simply because Silverman felt as if the gathering was becoming redundant. The music industry had reached a leveling point, and there was not much of a reason to continue without being able to change the conversation that was occurring between industry experts and attendees. Then, at the change of the century, the global community saw the rise of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing services such as Napster, Kazaa and LimeWire, and in the couple years following, we witnessed a decade that would usher in social networking. With such tools surfacing, by the end of the 2000s, an undeniable impact and conversation needed to take place in music.
Today, iTunes has surpassed WalMart as the highest selling distributor of recorded music, and people are still blaming the fall of record labels on illegal downloading.
“Single sells out sold album sales 3.6 to 1 last year. In the digital world, digital tracks are out selling album sales 15 to 1. 15 tracks that sell for every album that sales,” shared Silverman. “The single business is a huge business that artists need to look at. They need to find a way to break a single, a song that defines them and then try to cut an album.”
“If you can have a comfortable life supporting yourself playing your music, how great is that? You may not be making 100k a year, but you are doing what you want, and that should be enough,” Silverman goes on to share, and that is the foundation of the modern New Music Seminar.
Taking place in Los Angeles from February 14 – 16, the New Music Seminar returns in 2011 stronger than before. With five movements, intensive workshops, panel discussions, three artist showcases and a plethora of who’s-who of the music industry, this is the place to be whether you are a new artist or established act looking to take their career to the next level, utilizing tools by yourself without the backing of a record label.
“The New NMS has adapted the symphonic model to get across concepts, borrowing from the Ted Conference to teach intensive lectures. We’ve added a songwriter workshop with Tom Jackson who will select a band, work with them and improve their show. We’re doing the Artist On The Verge. These are artists with a fan base with momentum and have some velocity, so they qualify to make a Top 3 to win 50k and all kinds of industry prizes.,” Silverman went on to exclaim with excitement about the 2011 L.A. conference.
“Now is a better time than any to be a musician, and personally, I am always looking for what’s the next thing? How do we get there? I get bored with stuff easily, and I get satisfaction in seeing stuff someone else might miss and showing people such as hip-hop or pioneering the new music seminar. Seeing hundreds of the people come through the seminar and grow to be the leaders of the music business for the next twenty years gives me great joy.”
For more information on the New Music Seminar, visit NewMusicSeminar.biz
February 3, 2011 – New York, NY – New Music Seminar (NMS) announces the exclusive “After Grammy Jammy”, NMS Opening Night Party at The Music Box in Los Angeles, CA on Monday, February 14, 2011, the night following the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.
NMS Opening Night Rock ‘n’ Roll red carpet celebration will kick off with a cocktail reception from 6:00-8:00pm featuring MTV America’s Best Dance Crew DJ, DJ MIA from 7:00-8:00pm. The night will feature all-star performances by Sean Garrett, The Little Death, Blaqstarr, Of Verona, Jessie and The Toy Boys and Ben Hunter from 8:00pm-midnight.
Producer, songwriter, and rapper, Sean Garrett has 17 #1 hits and has worked with today’s biggest stars including Beyonce, Jay-Z, Usher, Fergie, Ciara, Enrique Iglesias, Mario, Ludacris and recently announced he is working on Justin Bieber’s next album. Focusing on his own music, Garrett has recently release his single, “Feel Love” featuring J. Cole on Columbia Records.
Rock/soul/blues band, The Little Death, features Laura Dawn (lead vocals), Moby (bass, guitar), Daron Murphy (guitar, bass, & harmonica) and Aaron A. Brooks (drums.) The band recently released their self-titled debut album to rave reviews from critics: “…incomparably soulful debut album…The Little Death’s sound is unmistakably inspired by classic blues. Voluptuous melodies and evocative lyrics are laced with a robust rock-and-roll edge.” And “One of New York’s best-kept sultry secrets….top notch players and volcanic generosity…singer Laura Dawn’s staging and rocket-fuel is punk…and her powerhouse voice channels blues and gospel…she’s a riveting performer, her own blend of Tina Turner and Janis Joplin…”
Hip-hop artist and DJ Blaqstarr has worked with M.I.A., Diplo’s Made Decent family, and fellow Baltimore MC, Rye Rye whom he discovered. Blaqstarr is releasing Divine EP, his first release for Neet Records, M.I.A.’s label through Interscope.
Los Angeles based Of Verona have been named MSN Music & Clear Channel Online “One To Watch” Artists and Yahoo! Music has names them one of their “Who’s Next” Artists. The four-piece rock-pop-electronic band has garnered positive buzz for their live performances.
Dance/electronica sensation, Jessie and The Toy Boys, who’s recently release single, “Push It” — produced by Jimmy Harry (RuPaul‘s “Supermodel) and No Doubt‘s Tony Kanal is garnering favorable comparisons to Gwen Stefani and Kylie Minogue, among others.
New Orleans singer-songwriter, Ben Hunter, combines elements of jazz, folk, rock, Mardi Gras Indian chants and Caribbean rhythms to create a unique and unforgettable sound. Hunter is gearing up for the release of his new album, “Delta Dub,” recorded at the famed Jack Ruby studios in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
DJ MIA has worked with the Black Eyed Peas’ Apl.de.Ap, whose Jeepney Music release DJ MIA’s first mix tape, as well as appeared in videos for Eminem, Nelly, Blink 182, System of a Down, Hoobastank, Black Eyed Peas and JC Chasez. She was also a featured DJ on MTV’s Celebrity Rap Superstar and Nick Cannon’s MTV Wild’n Out.
The world’s first DJ/Guitarist/Producer Dan Morrell, has opened for acts such as Kanye West, Diddy, Justin Timberlake, Black Eyed Peas, LMFAO, Kelly Clarkson, Akon, T-Pain, Akon, Rhianna, Shakira, Run DMC, Sean Paul, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, and Missy Elliott, and more. Dan Morrell will close the night out with a set starting at midnight.
Indie 103.1 on-air personalities, Wayne Jobson, Liz Warner and Tedd Roman will be the MCs throughout the evening.
For the full line-up and schedule go to www.newmusicseminar.com
The Music Box is located at 6126 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood, CA.
Registration for the New Music Seminar will be open from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. **You must be registered to attend the NMS Conference for entrance to the NMS Opening Night Party.
NMS Conference Tickets are currently on sale for $295 and available at www.newmusicseminar.com.
See Final Schedule & Speakers here: http://www.newmusicseminar.com/blog/event-details/schedule/
About the New Music Seminar
From the co-founder and director of the original legendary New Music Seminar comes a conference with a mission; to create a just, sustainable and profitable music business and to help artists break through the growing glut of artists and releases to success. Artists have never had so much power to control their own careers and build their success. This affordable event gives music business executives, technologists, and artists the knowledge, tools and connections to step into the tomorrow’s music business today.
The two-day, three-night conference includes a symphony of five “movements” (focused discussions) over the course of two days, eighteen18-minute Intensives (presentations) from key industry leaders, 25 mentoring sessions, 3 nights of music showcases, High-Level Industry Summit Meetings as well as the NMS creative workshops focused on Live Performances, Vocal Performances, Producing and Songwriting, with ongoing networking opportunities throughout.
The New Music Seminar is the must-attend conference for the emerging new music industry. The Seminar will address both the artists’ dilemma of breaking out from the ever-growing glut of music releases and the development of a new business model for a sustainable music business.
YOU GOT TO BE THERE… JOIN THE REVOLUTION!