Even in the moments of critical acclaim, Sol has stayed true to his name and avoided the thirst trappings of fame. Never boastful, just a low-key Haitian-American kid with musical melody at a molecular level and with age, he found his stage. There were some EPs that made the rounds, but when he had put in his 10,000 hours, it happened. He became No. 1 on the US iTunes hip-hop chart, No. 4 globally with the masterwork Yours Truly. His SoundCloud streams shot to eight figures, then poof… he dipped and left the industry executives going straight to voicemail. He had been awarded the Bonderman Fellowship and in 2012 he toured the far reaches of civilization with nothing but a carry-on bag. His field notes became the 2013 project Eyes Open and he followed that with another four-course musical meal: The Headspace Traveler, in 2016 which included a headlining 22-city U.S. tour. Before you could refresh your browser he was back in the Caribbean watching global football on satellite TVs. Now on March 1st 2019, his latest offering, the full length album Soon Enough, continued the story.
Emily Nokes is a feminist musician, writer, and artist. She is the singer in Seattle band Tacocat and the music editor at BUST Magazine. Her music writing has appeared in Talkhouse, City Arts Magazine, and local alternative weekly The Stranger, where she worked as music editor for three years. She has been recording music and touring regularly for the past 11 years.
Her recent projects have included the Shout Your Abortion book, which she designed and co-edited, and Tacocat’s fourth full-length album, This Mess Is a Place, which will be released on Sub Pop Records May 3, 2019. Her favorite hobbies are DJing, puffy painting, doting on her cat Tinsel, and getting ready for Christmas.
Cameron Miles Lavi-Jones has been playing and composing music and lyrics since he was three years old. At ten, he convinced two friends to form Gypsy Temple, and the rest is history. Starting with piano but quickly moving on to guitar, then bass, then drums with his father producer Maurice Jones Jr.’s guidance, and eventually learning cello through his school’s orchestra program, Cameron continues to be a well-rounded and accomplished musician and songwriter. His University Washington radio talk show, REAL TALK, features guests from all around the Seattle music industry who talk with Lavi-Jones about interconnectivity and what it really takes to survive in the business. Cameron recently joined the KEXP's Youth Resonance Board and looks forward to being a productive contributor to this important radio station.
The Artist session will spotlight singer and songwriter Parisalexa and team including her manager, producer, engineer and mother as they discuss their creative process and how to succeed in the ever-changing industry landscape.
Parisalexa is Seattle’s premiere triple hyphenate-singer-songwriter-producer- who continues to forge her own forward-looking brand of R&B tinged pop. Her 2018 releases ‘Bloom’ and ‘Flexa’ topped The Seattle Times’ 2018 critics poll and her latest single, ‘Water Me’ earned a national nod from NPR Music.
Gaby Alvarez began her music industry career in 2011 as a publicist at a boutique agency where she worked with a wide array of clients including Alice Cooper, Anthony Hamilton, Dolly Parton, and Ellie Goulding. After working on a number of national press campaigns, she made the jump in 2014 to artist management. She presently works with Parisalexa, Ivan & Alyosha, Overcoats, San Fermin, Active Bird Community, SONTALK, Baum, Samia and Twen.
Elan Wright and Nima “Skeemz” Abbassi copilot this laboratory they call the Ruby Room. They launched these generative get-togethers - dubbed “Nima Fridays” - back in 2013, when they took over the studio from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
As musicians, songwriters, producers and engineers, Wright and Abbassi have left fingerprints on almost every hip-hop, soul, R&B and electro-pop album, EP and single to come from Seattle in recent memory. Whether or not you’ve heard of Dave B or Raz Simone, these artists and more are bringing Seattle music into the modern era, pumping out elegant, effervescent pop songs that stand alongside any major-label hit factory or celebrity recording studio.
Wright and Abbassi are the artists behind the artists, the editors and alchemists who convert raw musical ore into musical gold. They’re results-oriented, as evidenced by their copious recordings available everywhere online. They’re also concerned with less tangible commodities, like confidence and camaraderie - the foundational elements of a healthy music community. The Ruby Room is the physical nexus of their efforts, an open-door clubhouse for music nerds. Arriving at this moment inside the Ruby Room took years. Years of jam sessions with dozens and dozens of musicians (several walls inside the studio are tiled with Polaroids of every artist who’s rolled through, 188 and counting).
Years of fine-tuning the proper low-pressure atmosphere and cultivating a wide network of singers, rappers, instrumentalists and producers from a fertile but largely unrecognized hip-hop scene. Years to establish an easygoing vibe and dedicated work ethic. After all that groundwork, moments like this - when a blank page transforms into a fully realized, professionally polished song - happen here frequently.
(Write-up and picture courtesy of City Arts. Full article here: www.cityartsmagazine.com/hidden-gem/)
Alonda Williams is a senior executive with over 20 years of leadership experience across technology, education and the nonprofit industries. She has led teams for several Fortune 50 companies including Microsoft, Verizon Wireless and Qualcomm where her performance has been awarded and recognized with high honors. While Alonda has deep subject matter expertise in Product Management, Marketing Communications and CRM, she is equally passionate about People Development and coaching others for high performance. She is known for her direct yet collaborative style.
The Knowledge & Leadership session highlights learning opportunities and local programs that enhance your skill sets in music production, performance, youth leadership and more! Hear from mentors who advocate for young musicians and peers that have participated in programs like More Music at the Moore, The Residency, JazzED and more. Come share your thoughts on what it means to be a young leader in music!
Kelly is the Education Director at Seattle JazzED, a non-profit organization dedicated to racial and gender equity in jazz education. She is the former Director of Concert Bands and Jazz at Washington Middle School, where she taught since 2008. A graduate of Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington, she is rooted in Seattle's celebrated tradition of music education.
Kelly is a frequent adjudicator at local and regional jazz festivals, including the Lionel Hampton and Reno Jazz Festivals. She also presents and teaches at regional and national music conferences including JEN, MMEA, HMEA, ASTA, CWU, Arts Schools Network, and Berklee City Music.
In 2016, Kelly was named the University of Washington GWSS Alumni of the Year for her work on gender equity in jazz. In 2018, Kelly served on the 'Expanding Opportunities to Learn Jazz in After-school' Taskforce at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Kelly plays trombone in Banda Vagos, a traditional Mexican Banda, performing throughout the Puget Sound area on a weekly basis.
Kelly recently published: "The Educational Jazz Band: Where Are the Girls" by Kelly Clingan, VOICE of Washington Music Educators, October 2017.
Sarah Strasbaugh is an arts producer and community liaison working within the Greater Seattle area for the last 14+ years. Currently Sarah’s work at Seattle Theatre Group involves producing large scale performances as well as intimate workshops, community events and everything in between. From Music and arts Festivals to film to theatre, Sarah’s work has been centered in the community. Her balance of logistics, artist relations, event production, and a passion for inspiring art experiences are at the heart of her career.
Meysha Harville is an educator, writer, actor, and spoken word artist from Youngstown, Ohio. She is the the Program Manager for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's youth hip hop program The Residency. Meysha is passionate about creating equitable opportunities for young folks to access music and music education.
Her great uncle was a member of the Crowns of Glory, a gospel group sampled by Artists such as Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Anderson .Paak, and JID. Her father was a producer, organist, and singer that never got to fulfill his career. Music runs through her veins.
Talaya has been singing since her Sophmore year in high school after being a pre-professional tap dancer for 8 years. During her time at the Residency, she has picked up songwriting and as of 2018, production as she was told by a fellow producer that he didn’t know “how to make beats for girls”. This statement set her on fire, and she chose to begin making her own beats and instrumentals. That was late 2017, and since then she uses space and time as a 3 demensional canvas, panting depth into her music using powerful instrumentation, lyrics, and production. She has also recently begun to dive into the world of mixing and mastering, that of Audio Engineering. She plans to open her home studio by 2020.
The Cross-Disciplinary session will put a spotlight on artists who are not solely musicians but whose creativity is vital to the music industry. Audience members will learn about music video and content creation, merchandise production, graphic design, stage and lighting design, concert photography, podcasting and writing in the music industry.
Experienced talent buyer and event producer with a demonstrated history of working in the music, arts and entertainment industry, Meli Darby recently accepted the position as Special Events Program Coordinator at the Office of Film + Music.
Darby also founded ReignCity Presents as well as was the booker for The Crocodile and Nectar Lounge. Darby is skilled in negotiation, event production, music management, marketing, advertising, and branding & identity.
Christine Geronimo is a grassroots marketer. Much of her work over the past 10 years has revolved around merchandise and the local music community. She understands the importance of marketing through branded apparel and seeing the growth that it provides to independent artists.
Christine is owner of Midnight Supply Company, a screen print shop, and cranegeronimo, a merchandise fulfillment business.
Brian Oh is a Director of Photography (DP) based out of Seattle. His career started off in photography but he transitioned to working in video full-time in 2015. Since then Brian has worked with various clients from big corporations such as Amazon to music videos for local musicians. Brian’s work has been featured in Elle, Nylon, Mass Appeal and so much more.
A socialite, supporter and hustler by nature, Casey Carter has been on a self-made journey since 2009 after turning her passion for music, events and celebrities into a blog and brand. Fast forward to now, she is the co-founder of independent music website TheBlowUp.co which launched in 2015, and also the host of newly launched podcast The Glow Up. Casey continues to work on event production for parties, concerts and celebrations as well as collaborate with artist for exclusive content. More importantly, she is working with her community of creatives to continue to build a strong spotlight on the up and coming.
Ben Chaykin is an award-winning multidisciplinary new media designer with an emphasis in experience design and creative technology. In the decade he's lived in Seattle, Ben has collaborated on projects and produced events around the world spanning from a robot-activated emoji adoption center, a twitter-controlled self-playing piano, an airplane party, a beer shower, and countless amounts of good, old fashioned dance parties. He's teamed up with dynamos like Nightshift, Digital Kitchen, Electric Coffin, Red Bull, Adidas, Twitter, Fader, HBO, and Microsoft.
The Business session will explore the various roles of an artists team including management, booking agents, publicists, entertainment lawyers, A&R and more. The audience will learn about topics such as marketing on a budget, revenue streams for artists, song rights and ownership, and more.
Zach Quillen helms the management team and record label behind the 4 time Grammy Award winning hip-hop artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Zach got his start in the industry working at a local music venue while attending Florida State University. After graduating, he moved to New York City to work as a booking agent at The Agency Group, building the touring careers of hip-hop acts like Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Curren$y, Big Sean and more. In 2010, after 10 years at The Agency Group, Zach relocated from NYC to Seattle to concentrate on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis full time. Over the past 8 years, based in Seattle, Zach and his tight-knit team have been responsible for launching one of the most innovative and successful independent music operations of the last decade. Over 100 million records sold world-wide, 10 platinum singles, 4 Grammy's, 2 Billboard Awards, 5 MTV VMA Awards, and millions of concert tickets sold.
Ben Secord is the Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagement for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. In his position he leverages their platform, resources, and unique role as artists and influencers to have an impact on issues they care about. Both artists are committed to advancing issues of racial and social justice, and through their M&RL Equity fund, they support dozens of organizations and initiatives committed to those values. In 2015, along with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and in partnership with MoPOP and Arts Corps, Secord helped launch The Residency, one of the pre-eminent arts opportunities for young people in the Puget Sound region. Secord also serves as a strategic advisor for the 30/30 Project, an initiative started by Ryan and his mother Julie, who has lived with HIV for more than 30 years. In addition to his role with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Secord serves on the Reconnecting Youth Advisory Council with United Way of King County and is a member of the Host Committee for Upstream Music Festival.
Your Lawyers should Rock! “Rock ([rok]; verb): 1. To be exceptional; 2. To go above and beyond what is expected; 3. To add remarkable value; 4. To provide service that leaves a positive lasting impression. Commonly used phrase: ‘You Rock!’”
Joleen Winther Hughes is the founder and CEO of HMLG, the law firm that provides in-house counsel service to clients who are innovators in business. Joleen’s deep ties in the music, gaming and technology industry began in Seattle and quickly expanded worldwide.
With decades of industry experience spanning tech, gaming, music, entertainment, consumer products and media, Joleen has successfully facilitated thousands of strategic transactions across industries. With experience and practical insight, Joleen serves in many roles including general counsel, C-level legal executive, strategic advisor, board member, investor, policy advisor and professor.
Inspired by innovation, Joleen has thrived advising some of the world’s best innovators. She structured the first legal digital music service, created legal and business models for on-line streaming content aggregation, VOD, mobile platforms, casual gaming, apps, digital distribution, SaaS and e-commerce. She also oversees corporate strategy, including financing and business structure, across borders.
Prior to her legal career, Joleen owned a music production business during the 90’s grunge era and was part of the original staff at Silver Management and Curtis Management, were she supported bands like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam (Mother Love Bone), Soundgarden, and Screaming Trees. Joleen was the original booking agent of the Seattle nightclub RKCNDY, and she also managed many local bands during the 90’s.
You can hear Joleen talk to business badasses on her podcast, “The Lawyer Who Rocks,” which is available wherever you find your podcasts, or on the HMLG website www.hmlglaw.com/blog/the-lawyer-who-rocks .
Aurelio Valdez is a Mexican-American Seattle born Hip Hop artist with a potent style. With a range of topics spanning from politics and history to identity and his upbringing, Aurelio’s music focuses on what it means to truly embody Hip Hop culture by empowering himself and his people. Influenced heavily from those who pioneered the culture such as Nas, 2pac, and KRS One, his alluring lyrics provoke thought and reveal his love for Hip-Hop culture with every track. As a nineteen-year-old self-taught writer and vocalist, Aurelio has performed at venues all over Seattle, including the Sky Church at MoPop and Northwest Folklife Festival. His debut EP “Aguila” has gained a lot of traction in the Seattle area.
Alongside his artistry, he is an ongoing activist heavily involved as one of the youngest Board of Directors for arts corps, a nonprofit organization aimed to revolutionize arts education by igniting the creative power of young people through culturally engaging learning experiences located in West Seattle.
Aurelio has also been involved with Amplifier, a nationwide organization dedicated to emphasizing social movements through art; he even had the amazing opportunity to lead March For Our Lives under Amplifier in Seattle. Aurelio is currently an undergrad student at Seattle Pacific University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in both Political Science and Sociology. He’s also taken on the important task of being Social Justice Director and Intercultural Coordinator for the 2018-2019 school year.
This session features an interactive panel from various D.I.Y endeavors, including venues, artists and curators. Panelists will engage in discussion around their start in D.I.Y communities and delve into why D.I.Y is a vital piece of Seattle's past, present and future of music and arts culture.
Sharlese Metcalf began her radio career at Green River Community College in 2001 hosting their Northwest music focused show Local Motion on KGRG. She attained her Broadcasting Certificate from Green River, and was offered a job at Jones Radio Networks. There, she worked on Classic Country and Top 40 shows as a production assistant. While at Jones Radio, she was given a KEXP internship to work on the show Audioasis as an assistant to the host and booker. In 2009, She became an Audioasis producer, and in 2012, was promoted to host and KEXP's Music Community Events Coordinator. In 2018, Sharlese resigned as host of Audioasis and now works as KEXP’s Education Coordinator and a rotating host Expansions, KEXP’s electronic show. Additionally she works as DJ and promoter events at clubs around town as Depth, Studio 4/4, Audiodrome, Videoasis and Just One More Thing, serves on the board for Northwest Film Forum and the Seattle Music Commission and is a member of the collective TUF.
19 years working in the DIY music and arts scene. Jason has worked with a variety of different non profits and teen centers.
Dan Ahrendt is a Seattle DIY booker, promoter, and musician most recently involved with the creation and running of Kame House. He produces and performs vocally driven electronic musical amalgamations as Tengu Yawn. His predominant concerns within DIY music and culture are the use of local wealth to continuously invigorate local arts, the propagation of safety within them, and the integration of seemingly disparate communities.
Emma Lee Toyoda is a queer non-binary sunflower grown in Seattle, WA. They make empathetic punk tunes and co-founded ENBY PARTY, a non-binary centered music label/collective/mini-festival. ELT is passionate about elevating marginalized voices in their community and beyond.
Carey Leigh has been booking DIY shows for 20 years. Started booking warehouse and house shows with some friends in Spokane. These skills proved valuable when booking her own bands local and national tours. Since 2009 Carey has been booking local, national and international bands at various venues around Seattle.
The Money session is an opportunity to learn about how to make money in the music industry. Participants will engage in discussions with industry professionals around different ways to be lucrative including identifying your audience, merchandising, artist platforms, licensing agencies, touring, session artists and crowd funding and more.
Nick Turner works at Sub Pop Records selling records to independent stores in the US, and doing A&R. He’s been doing things in the Seattle music scene with varying degrees of success since 2001, when he somehow landed a job at Fallout Records, and around the same time volunteered at The Vera Project’s first show. Since then he co-founded and, for over ten years, co-hosted KEXP’s punk show, Sonic Reducer; worked at Belltown record store Singles Going Steady; did event management and fund-raising at The Vera Project, eventually co-leading the organization as Development Director; and intermittently booked and played punk shows at DIY spaces around town.
Jodi Ecklund is known as a true leader within the Seattle music scene. She has been booking and promoting local and national bands in various capacities for the past 20 years. In 2012, Jodi came on board as the talent buyer at Chop Suey and redefined the programming, saving a beloved music venue from demise. Her talents subsequently awarded her the City Arts Artist of the year in 2015. Jodi is the Founder of the highly successful ‘Mo-Wave Festival.’ Mo-Wave is Seattle’s only queer music and arts festival and was named best festival in its first year by Seattle Weekly. Jodi excels in creating ongoing dialogue with artist and community leaders. She is as passionate about cultivating and preserving the Seattle music scene and adopts a collaborative approach to maximize talent exposure. Ecklund’s devotion to the community and her expertise in dealing with artists, labels and venues is unparalleled. Possessing the confidence and time-earned skills makes her a trusted and sought after anchor in the Seattle music scene. Jodi most recent accomplishment is the Clock-Out Lounge where she is the Co-Owner and Talent Buyer.
Chris Russell is a Brand Specialist and Business Development Manager at Noise Complaints, a Brand Agency.
As a brand strategist, Russell works with artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and big brands. He'll help you develop a strategy and vision for your brand, then successfully plan campaigns and tell integrated stories that will make your brand recognizable in a crowded market.
Noise Complaints ultimate goal is to get the client to a point where they’re able to pitch themselves and build opportunities to get paid to do more of what they do best, create.
Produced in Partnership by the Seattle Music Commission and