The 2017 ASCAP Expo
The 2017 ASCAP Expo was absolutely amazing! I had the opportunity network with and learn from some of the most knowledgeable and the hottest music creators with work out right now and over the past few decades. Some of the music creators attending the conference have had hits, not just number ones – HITs, over the past 4 decades. A writer can only put out 40 years of music and produce hit after hit if they are doing something right during the creation of their content. Fortunately, ASCAP had the vision and foresight to bring together both highly experienced songwriter with new songwriters and others that are passionate about the creation of music. I can assure you it was a life changing experience. Some of the featured guests included Vincent Berry, Rachel Azil, Desmond Childs, Ashley Gorley, Aloe Blacc, Bibi Bourelly, Pricilla Renea, Malik Yusef, Jean Baptiste, Gizzle, Jonelle Monae, Michael McDonald, Ryan Leslie, MR. STEVIE WONDER, and many others that have made a significant impact on music.
The purpose of the ASCAP Expo is four-fold: (1) put you in the room with other music creators, let you know that songwriting has no face, stimulate your creativity, and put you in the room to learn from songwriting and music creation experts.
(1) To put you in the room with other music creators like yourself– “Muzoids” as the ASCAP President Paul Williams calls us. Although you may feel like it at times, you are not alone on your songwriting journey. The ASCAP Expo helped me to understand this. Music creators come from all over the world to attend the ASCAP Expo in Los Angeles, fueled by their passion and their love for the creation of music.
(2) To let you know that songwriting has no face. It has no specific age, race, nationality, background, gender, and it does not come from a specific geographical location. Through the ASCAP Expo and similar events, I have met people from all over the world and from various different backgrounds with one thing in common, the genuine love and passion for the creations of music. Songwriting is open to all and as long as you are willing to do the work to cultivate the skills sets you need to be successful (i.e. reading books on the songwriting process, learning to record yourself at home, learning how to work with others in the music creation process, writing down your ideas for songs), you can become a really strong writer.
(3) To stimulate you creativity and motivate you to keep creating content. It takes guts to create music, put yourself out there to be judged every piece of music you create and/or co-create is a small piece of you, even if it’s not the part of you that you lead with every day, it’s still a part of you that you offer to the world. It takes courage to put yourself out there (some songs more than others) and at times it can feel like you’re standing naked in a room full of strangers. Well the ASCAP Expo offers you the opportunity to connect with other individuals around your same level in the music creation process. It’s amazing, especially when you compare stories about how you stepped out on faith to attend the conference an pursue your dreams of being a successful songwriter in general! I can honestly say that attending the ASCAP Expo and connecting with others like me helped me to increase my faith in myself both as an individual and a songwriter. It helped to increase my faith in my visions, dreams and goals no matter how crazy they initially sounded.
(4) To give you those music creation and songwriting lessons that you can only get from other music creators. There are some lessons that you can only get from the people who have experienced what you’re going through and there are some things that you can only get straight from the source(s). There are some things that you can only get directly from songwriter to songwriter. It’s the communication through body language, sound of voice, facial expressions, and similar ques that can only be communicated when you’re in the room with the person. Even though we come from all walks of life, music creators have a certain way of communicating with each other spirit-to-spirit and soul-to-soul. And let face it, most music creators are empathetic and emotional people because we use our feeling and emotions to write and create content. We make other feel things. We translate and transfer emotions and feeling through our writing and our music. The ASCAP Expo provides the opportunity for music creators to be in the same room with others like us, connect with our peers, and learn from the experts in our field that have made through challenges and hurdles.
The 2017 ASCAP Expo was so great that I’m already thinking about the 2018 ASCAP Expo. I can’t wait to see what the next Expo will holds.