I had chance to go out to the MBMA 20th Year Event this past weekend and it was a great time. This year, among the people being recognized were Alexander O'neal, Bobby Lyle, Brother Jules, Next, The Bennett Family and Rhymesayers Entertainment. The night stayed high energy with an assortment of performances, including some of the aforementioned artists, as well as Toki Wright and fDeluxe (formerly known as The Family).
My day with MBMA started out earlier at the panel discussions where a lot of great information and ideas were exchanged. I was asked to be the Moderator for the "2011 New Artist Critiques" Panel. I had a great team on the panel who brought a variety of perspectives, a wealth of experience, and plenty of knowledge; Tim Wilson (Urban Lights), Miss Georgia (KMOJ Radio), Norbert Kreuzer (Institute Of Production & Recording), Paul Peterson (Minneapolis Media Institute), Ben Obi (Savannah Street Music), & Timotha Lanae (Twin Cities Artist).
One part of the panel was direct artist critiques. Artists were able to give us a track to play and then feedback was given from the panel. Beyond that, I wanted to make sure we didn't just focus on the creative aspects of being an artist, but also how to be better about promoting yourself, networking, online marketing, being professional and so forth. All in all, we were able to cover a lot of ground in our hour an 1/2.
After that, it was time to grab some dinner, get caught up on some work and then chill out for a bit before hitting up Pantages for the main event.
Stepping into the event definitely felt star-studded and official. Guests were escorted on to the red carpet by a lovely young lady and their first stop was a quick photo shoot with the press and then followed by a quick video interview. Then into the beautiful building, that is Pantages.
The place was definitely packed, with people mingling, conversing and getting their refreshments to prepare for the show. The night went real smooth. It started on time, stayed on schedule, and flowed really well. Highlights for me were watching Bobby Lyle tear it down on the keys, hearing the beautiful voices of the Bennett Family, Toki Wright rocking the party, and Alexander O'Neal pouring out his heart with a song from his upcoming album. It reminded me that I needed to spend more time exploring all the different history and diversity of the Twin Cities music scene, beyond just Hip Hop, but the Jazz, Gospel, and Soul/Funk roots as well.
All in all, this was a well done event and great experience. Shout out to Pete & Kim Rhodes and all other parties involved for pulling this event together and still going strong on their 20th year!
Me Accepting the Rhymesayers Entertainment Entrepreneurial Award:
Toki Wright representing Rhymesayers and The Twin Cities:
The 2011 New Artist Critiques Panelists: