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Michigan Music Alliance B-Side Sessions: Tips for Musicians


The third season of the nonprofit group’s panel discussions featuring industry experts continues Monday, with much more work underway to help strengthen Michigan’s music scene.

You need a team: from merch to marketing to tours and licenses, groups need to build the right group around them. (Photo / Steve Baran)

To say that the Michigan Music Alliance’s online ‘B-side sessions’ have inspired local and regional artists to reach new levels of professionalism and collaboration might only scratch the surface when it comes to improving performance. state music scene.

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The third season of these interactive panel discussions – which continue Monday evening with a session on ‘Building a Team’ – reflects MMA’s mission to empower artists by giving them free tools and career advice from experts with years of successful industry experience.

“Our primary goal is to give Michigan DIY artists access to free professional advice and set the tone for collaboration on new ideas while creating their own enduring musical careers in our community,” said Elle Lively, Executive Director of MMA, a Grand Haven-based nonprofit organization that hosts business training programs and community development opportunities for Michigan musicians.

The program of the next B sides

“The most interesting part of these sessions is that participants control the session by asking questions and getting practical advice on what they want to know. The connections made with former panelists and artists in Michigan have been truly enjoyable to watch. “

The monthly 60-minute sessions, broadcast live via Zoom and Facebook, cover a dizzying array of topics that explore the commercial end of music for bands and solo artists trying to find their way through the thicket of the industry. – from recording to booking to branding tours to capture royalties from the songs they write.

Monday’s panel features a range of distinguished professionals with extensive experience building teams that they believe is crucial for success in the music business.

“The right team is crucial. You can’t do it all yourself today. You must surround yourself with evangelists. It can even start with your friends and family, ”said panelist Jay Gilbert, co-founder of LA Label Logic, primarily serving as a label infrastructure for managers and artists.

“You will eventually become experienced professionals. If you choose a surgeon, you want one who has performed 1,000 operations, not five. The same goes with specialists in areas such as advertising, radio promotion, synchronization licensing, marketing, touring, etc.


On Monday, he will be joined by fellow panelists Steven Foxbury of Yellow Couch Management of Pittsburgh, Holly Moore of HollyDay Management of LA and Eric Griffin of Music City Counsel of Nashville, with Bob Wallis of the Kalamazoo Academy of Rock as moderator. The session starts at 7 p.m. with details here. Those interested can also RSVP here.

Gilbert said online webinars and panels such as those sponsored by MMA are essential for musicians of the new millennium.

Jay Gilbert (Courtesy photo)

“Before, it was so much easier to be an artist. It was mostly writing, recording and touring, ”he noted.

“There is so much more that musicians need to know about and engage with now. These roundtables and tutorials are great for staying on top of best practices, tools, and tactics for developing and engaging your audience.

In addition to providing comments or questions during live discussions, musicians can also submit questions to panelists via social media or by emailing [email protected]

Lively noted that musicians and others in the music world who miss a B-side session can later watch them online through YouTube.

She said the most anticipated sessions among this season’s eight live broadcasts include “Planning a Tour” on January 24 and “Maximizing Studio Time” on April 25.

“This is the third season,” she said, “so we brought back a few popular topics, got more specific with a few of them, and introduced new topics based on feedback from both. last seasons. “

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EDITOR’S NOTE: John Sinkevics is a member of the Michigan Music Alliance Board of Directors.

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