Annul 2011 “Bay Area Producers Conference” Exclusive Interview
What’s up my name is Gabe Schillinger and I am the spokesperson for the Bay Area Producers Conference, as well as a member of the production team The Legion. Thanks for giving us the chance to talk about what we’re up to this year with the conference. It’s much appreciated!
Q. Big Noise: Who is the founder of the Bay Area Producers Conference, when was it established?
A. BAPC: Mario “Rio” Flores is the founder of the conference and the first one took place in 2009.
Q. Big Noise: What’s the story the BAPC? What lead to the inception of the event?
A. BAPC: The whole thing basically started after me, Phil Cox, Eric Garcia, and Mario headed out to Sha Money’s One Stop Shop conference out Phoenix, AZ. Phil and I were producing under the name The Slapboyz at the time, and Rio and Eric were handling management duties. Rio was inspired by seeing how Sha Money (cofounder of G-Unit) brought so many people together.
He recognized how much an event like this could benefit The Bay, not only bringing the Bay Area music scene together with itself, but also bringing in industry professionals from places like New York, LA, and Miami to see all the talent that’s out here. Now, over 3 years later, it’s incredible to see how far the conference has come, attracting participants from all over the U.S. and internationally too!
Q. Big Noise: Who should we expect to see at this years Bay Area Producers Conference?
A. BAPC: We have A&R’s from G-Unit, Slip n Slide, Warner Music Group, Notting Hill Pub. We have S-One, the producer of “Power” for Kanye West, and “Best I Never Had” for Beyonce coming out. Narada Michael Walden is going to be there, who is one of the most successful producers of all time, having won several grammies including Producer of The Year, and having worked on a ton of platinum albums for artists like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin and many more. Plus DJs, entertainment lawyers and a whole bunch other industry professionals. You can check out everyone at bayareaproducersconference.com
Q. Big Noise: Today’s mainstream scene seems to leave little room for originality, any thoughts?
A. BAPC: It is extremely difficult to push something through that doesn’t sound like something that has already been a hit. I believe this is the result of labels being too scared to financially push anything they consider to be a big risk, and also radio not being willing to put something into rotation unless it instantly tests well.
If more original music is going to stand a chance for getting big radio play, it needs some gambling from the labels, and some time to grow from the radio. But, even with all of those obstacles, I still think it’s possible and occasionally does happen that something really fresh breaks through. Also, with technology how it is today, it’s possible for an artist to get any music out that they really want people to hear. Any artist or producer can bypass the labels and make their music available to anyone that is looking for it.
Q. Big Noise: Can you break down the formula for success in today’s music business?
A. BAPC: Man, if I knew how to break it down like that, I think I’d be making hits every day! No, I’m not sure that anyone has an exact formula. It’s a combination of talent, networking, persistence, and unfortunately, luck plays a role too. But luck doesn’t do you any good if you are not prepared for the opportunities that present themselves, and then take full advantage.
Q. Big Noise: Where do you think the future of hip-hop music is headed?
A. BAPC: Hip Hop has been blended with and morphed into pop music for over a decade. I think it will continue to evolve with what’s popular, as well as continue to expand in different directions and sub-genres. I’m not too worried about Hip Hop, I think it’s gonna be just fine
Q. Big Noise: Who would you guy’s like to see at next years BAPC, producers / artists?
A. BAPC: There’s a long list of people we would love to have come out. How about Jay-Z and Timbaland? Let’s start with those guys…
Q. Big Noise: What are your thoughts on samples, sample clearance and hip-hop producers?
A. BAPC: I think if you are an up and coming producer and you want to hold on to your publishing and not cut yourself off from licensing opportunities, you should focus on not using samples. At least don’t rely on samples as the only way you are making music.
Q. Big Noise: Seems to be a nice mix of underground and mainstream artists at BAPC, intentional?
A. BAPC: Yeah, we are always trying to expand the scope of the conference. From underground to mainstream, and across different genres we want to bring all these guys together to network, educate each other, and be successful.
Q. Big Noise: What advice would you give for up-and-coming artists and producers attending BAPC?
A. BAPC: Talk to as many people as possible. Bring your materials and make sure your contact info is clearly marked on everything. If you’re bringing CDs, get a hundred blank CDRs printed with your name, logo, and contact info. This will help you stand out from the CDs with sharpie scribbled on them. When you’re networking your first question should be how can I help you, not the other way around. That’s how mutually beneficial relationships are formed. Also, know who you’re talking to whenever possible. So take a minute to google the panelists, or at least check out their bios over at the BAPC website.
Q. Big Noise: Any comments on the technology game as far as music promotion goes, social / web?
A. BAPC: There’s really no excuse any more for not getting yourself out there. There’s so much you can do on your own to promote what you’re doing. Put the time in, and keep up with what’s going on. If you don’t know, or it’s not something you’re really good at, get somebody on your team who does know.
Q. Big Noise: How can folks get a-hold of BAPC for – music, booking or promotion?