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Home » Music, The Scene

Energy levels peaked at 2012 Toronto International Music Summit

Submitted by on May 30, 2012 – 11:46 amNo Comment

The first annual Toronto International Music Summit showcased a myriad of seasoned artists to a sold out crowd aspiring musicians seeking advice from the experts.

The summit took place at the Fairmont Royal York hotel, and was moderated and emceed by the gregarious Anthony McLean, host of CBC’s The X, who motivated the crowd from the get-go with his artist-laced experience and zealousness for the industry.

Not only did the audience get to hear from executives in the music business such as lawyers, producers, talent managers, and vocal instructors, but they also got to hear the real down-to-earth perspectives from Toronto rap mogul Kardinal Offishall, and celebrity video producer Director X.

Kardinal left the audience in awe with his inspirational speech on staying true to your own while learning to fly on your own wings, and not standing on another’s shoulders.

“I made it out of the ghetto, but I’ve never been ‘above’ it,” said Kardi. “The thing about knowing yourself, is that we’re always learning, always growing and evolving.”

Telling the anecdote of how he came to rap with Akon and the Konvict Muzik crew, he also explained how he had to branch off on his own after to continue on as a solo artist.

He continued to say that it’s a never-ending process, and knowing what you’re about means not only what you’re willing to die for, but more importantly, what you live for.

“Know what you believe in, just think of the things that came together to make you who you are and stay true to it in your music.”

Kardi expanded on that notion, explaining to the crowd the importance of travelling and understanding the world outside your own backyard to make internationally acclaimed music, not just stuff for the local bred scene.Director X served up food for thought about how to not only produce visuals and create a lasting image as an artist, but also the way the mediums have evolved.

“Much Music used to play videos on TV, but now it’s all about YouTube and other media,” X told the heeding crowd. “It used to be you’d get airtime in the countdown, but now if they don’t click that link, nobody’s watching it, so it presents new challenges.”

New technology allows up and coming artists to do a lot more with a lot less, and keep the quality that 35mm film had, but for the cost efficiency, it’s differences the average viewer wouldn’t notice. To be noticed, however, you have to stand out, and that’s what these new mediums allow budding artists to accomplish.“A rock guy will look like a rock guy, and hip-hop guys will look like hip-hop guys, but when you step back and look at the big picture, it looks like a blob, so ‘how are you going to stand out?’ is the real question.”

TIMS partnered with Audio Blood Media and Songwriters Association of Canada among many others to bring an eight-hour conference filled with industry types and media barons rubbing elbows and networking, providing opportunities for young musicians to make contacts and plant seeds.

Publicist and founder of Audio Blood, Sari Delmar, says these opportunities are few and far between for young artists, and the summit provided much for them to take away.

“Being involved with the summit was a great opportunity to connect with the Toronto music community. It helped to bridge the ever growing gap between young aspiring artists and the industry,” explained Delmar.

She also said that being involved in the conference and being able to lend a hand to young artists left her with an air of humility.

“Speaking on a panel was a humbling chance to remember where I came from and appreciate my work.”

Although many U.S. counterparts wanted to contribute to the summit and conference, Tanya Michell, director and organizer of TIMS wanted to reinforce the Canadian aspect of this event for its inaugurating year.

“For the first year we wanted to reinforce the Canadian foundation of the music industry,” said Michell. “This is really about preserving artistic vision, and some of the best comes from here.”

Not only were there opportunities to hear from a cluster of artists and suits from the music business, but vocal instructors gave a wide range of issues and solutions not always outlined in a singer’s career.

International voice instructors, Brandon Brophy and Ryan Luchuck, explained the fundamentals of singing, and how to iron out kinks to maximize auditory potential.

And oh yes, there’s an app for that. The Vocalize U app provides professional vocal development tools used by renowned Hollywood vocal coach, Dave Stroud.

The summit concluded by pouring over to the Hard Rock Café, where a sampling of Toronto artists performed, including local pop singer/songwriter Anastasia A, winner of the ReverbNation’s TIMS contest, giving her the spotlight. She was complemented well by the first unsigned Canadian female artist ever invited to perform on BET’s 106 & Park, Linda Luztono.

The evening concert was emceed by veteran radio DJ, Devo Brown of Kiss 92.5 FM, and showcased rock acts The Little Black Dress, Dane Hartsell, and Vaness aLegacy.

Staying true to the Hard Rock’s breast cancer fundraising campaign, Pinktober, gift bags and prizes were given to members of the crowd for coming out and showing support.

All in all, for its freshman year, the TIMS really left a lasting impression on the music community in Toronto, and will surely be back with more acts and panellist for its sophomore year.

Story by Devin Size; Photos by Tee Onek

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