University Housing at Georgia State University welcomed “State of the Industry,” a panel consisting of three individuals heavily involved in the Atlanta music scene, on Nov. 12.
Record producers, Sonny Digital, Que, an up-and-coming rap artist, and Sean “Famoso” Mcnichol, the Director of Creative at Disturbing Tha Peace Records, discussed the dos and don’ts of the music industry.
Evan Owens, a senior at Georgia State University and a co-founder of Lyftd Clothing Co., lead the panel. He recognized the magnitude of students at GSU who aspire to work in the music industry in both the business and the creative realms.
With this recognition, he planned and executed what he deemed a “beneficial and successful” event which allowed students to gain insight on this industry. Another goal for the “State of the Industry” program was to educate individuals on the many ways to be in the music industry other than being an artist, whether that be through writing, managing, or producing.
Owens, gave each guest an opportunity to introduce themselves, and after the introductions, he began the discussion in Q and A form. From there, the audience listened in on honest feedback and humorous remarks from the panelist.
When asked to give one piece of advice (physical steps) to those who are interested in a path within the music industry, the informed panelist believed hard work and dedication was the key to success.
“Work and stay working,” Que, said.
Famoso chimed in about the importance of using what is in front of you.
“Utilize the resources closest to you. Using social media is vital especially on the artist side,” Famoso said. “Keep people around you if you want to be on the business side… You’re never gonna want to say ‘what if’.”
Later in the program, Owens asked the special guests to give their personal Dos and Don’ts of being in the music industry.
Believing in the power of relationships, networking, and keeping a level head, Que said, “Don’t burn no bridges and Stay humble.”
“Be responsible with your money,” Famoso said in regards to inconsistent payments for your projects and underhanded deals made within the industry. “Make sure you have a good lawyer.”
Sonny Digital added to the others comments.
“If you gone break into the game, learn about taxes,” Ditgital said. “Don’t forget about Uncle Sam.”
To wrap the program, Owens gave the audience an opportunity to ask their own questions. One of the heavily discussed questions was in reference to the amount of successful lyricist in the Atlanta area. There was a general consensus that the overall essence of Atlanta prevented meaningful and moving artistry of that nature from thriving in the city. The three panelists firmly and openly stated that our city is known for its club scene, and people do not want to be moved emotionally in or on the way to the club, when they are looking to let go and have a good time.
Though Eminem is his favorite rapper because of the lyrical value in his songs, Que admitted, that he would rather listen to Future or somebody, when he’s going to the club.
Following the program, the three panelists stuck around for a small meet and greet with the audience members to answer questions and give additional advice. In the midst of all the chaos, Owens gave his final statement.
“The panel was beneficial to the students,” he said. “Sonny Digital was a good addition. Everyone just was honest […] there wasn’t any sugarcoating.”