Journalist, singer, songwriter, rap artist, percussionist, designer and a cancer survivor of Retinoblastoma
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Music Industry Panelists at GRAMMY Camp - Basic Training Los Angeles
Despite hosting over 700 students and countless music industry professionals, GRAMMY Camp - Basic Training had just a few powerful messages for its attendees: work hard, be true to yourself, and don’t take no for an answer.
A sort of educational music business summit, GRAMMY Camp - Basic Training brought together students from Los Angeles-area high schools and artists, producers, songwriters, entrepreneurs, engineers, and more for a day of music and career exploration.
“I always hear people say, ‘I’m waiting for my big break,’” songwriter and producer Jimmy Jam said to students during a panel. “I want you to take the word ‘waiting’ out of your vocabulary. You should be saying, ‘I’m preparing for my big break.’”
Jam was joined by “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” music director Rickey Minor, singer/songwriter and “American Idol” contestant Didi Benami, and songwriter and producer Evan Bogart, among others.
Bogart stressed originality and honesty as key to succeeding in the music industry.
“You have to be open and honest with your partnership and with yourself,” Bogart said. “Not all work is good work, but standing for who you are as an artist is smart work.”
Several sessions featured unique participation by both panelists and students. One, which featured an array of music directors, producers, and instrumentalists, concluded with a rousing performance of singer/songwriter and “American Idol” contestant Lacey Brown’s hit “Let It Go.” Another on music production included a contest to find the most talented singer in the room. Lots of shouting and cheering ensued.
The final event of the day was an hour-long performance by members of the GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Session.
Perhaps Kevin Ricard, a percussionist, summarized the theme of Basic Training best:
“Be versatile and make yourself marketable,” he said. “Create a pathway for yourself. Being single-minded about what you want to do will lead to a career.”
Julian Ring is an alumnus of GRAMMY Camp and a music journalist living in the Bay Area. He also served on the GRAMMY eTeam. Julian has written for GRAMMY.com, The Wall Street Journal, and The Oakland Tribune. Kevin Burke is an alumnus of GRAMMY Camp NY and the guitarist for Long Island-based pop-punk band, No Good News. He studies guitar, audio engineering, and music theory at Long Island High School for the Arts and attends Garden City High School part time. You can listen to his music at http://nogoodnews.bandcamp.com/
Julian and Kevin are GRAMMY Camp music journalism students who were selected to cover GRAMMY Week 2012 as part of the GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Session media team. To find out more about GRAMMY Camp and to apply for this summer, click here. Deadline is March 31, 2012.
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