By Daniel Higgins. Three artist development experts gathered in Houston last night (Aug 18) to discuss how to break developing bands in the modern music industry. Led by NARIP Houston Executive Director, Barry Coffing, experts included Vice President of Artist Management of Music World Entertainment’s Gospel Division Chris Ayears, Band of Heathens’ Ethan Bessey and Flycat Music Group Founder / NARIP Marketing Manager Ohmare Washington.
L-R: Flycat Music Group’s Ohmare Washington, NARIP’s Barry Coffing, Band of Heathens’ Ethan Bessey,
Music World Entertainment’s Chris Ayers. Photo courtesy of Jordan Kastenbaum
The panel discussed topics ranging from how to engage with fans to Topspin to budgets. Each of the speakers panelists provided information for everyone whether they have been in the industry for 50 years of 5 minutes.
- You may have the best song in the world but you need fans to make it a success. Engage with these fans and watch your fan-base grow.
- Anyone can say he is a manager. Always ask about their background. – Ohmare Washington
- As a writer, if you can hold on to your publishing you will benefit. This will pay dividends down the road. – Ethan Bessey
- You have to give the fan more than a CD. Napster changed the industry. Give added value. Give a free download. – Chris Ayears
One of the best tips of the night came from Ayears, who said to make sure you stay after every show to meet every person who bought a ticket (even if the show was free) to say hello and shake their hand. Don’t leave!
Ayears referred to Joel Osteen, senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, as an example of a man who knows how to build a “fan base.” Leading perhaps the largest church in America today, Osteen’s ministry reaches over seven million broadcast media viewers weekly in over 100 nations around the world. Osteen, says Ayears, preaches to literally 50,000 – 60,000 people on Sundays and stays in the lobby to shake everyone’s hand. The line of people may wrap around the building three times, but he won’t leave. “No wonder he’s got so many fans!” said Ayears.
Coffing reiterated the truth to this, mentioning an Earth Wind & Fire show he attended at which members of the band refused to leave until the last fan had been personally greeted and thanked for coming.
L-R: Washington, Bessey, Ayears, Coffing. Photo courtesy of Madalyn Sklar.
Taking a lesson from social networking expert Madalyn Sklar who gave a pre-panel tutorial on how to boost a following using Twitter, the event was Live Tweeted (#NARIPHOU). Here’s what people had to say about NARIP’s event:
- Had a great learning experience @ the NARIP seminar in Houston last night! Great advice from everyone. – @rainchildband
- Hanging out and learning music industry stuff at the Break The Band event with #nariphou. – @JustinBogart
- What a great event in Houston. It was fantastic information from guys who really know about breaking a band. – @BarryCoffing
Said one attendee, “you couldn’t have had a more diverse group with the same problem (how to develop new talent). And they had three different ways to solve it and get things done: one with unlimited funds, one indie, and one guy in the middle. This was the best NARIP Houston program yet!”
NARIP’s next event in Houston will be a Music Biz Brunch on September 17 at Wire Road Studios. Click here for more details and to register now.
Remember to join the NARIP Houston Group on Facebook!
A sound recording of this event will be available soon. Click here to stay informed about future NARIP events in Houston and elsewhere, and NARIP audio programs.
Check out NARIP’s gallery for more pictures from the event!
Special thanks to Richard Boyd of Houston Community College.
NARIP Houston Board:
Barry Coffing, Houston Executive Director
Bobbie Beasley, Marketing Manager
Heidi Massin, Director
Jane Vandiver, Board Member
Lisa Schneider, Director
Madalyn Sklar, Board Member
Martin Murff, Board Member
Ohmare Washington, Marketing Manager
Roxell Richards, Sr. Director