By Alex Horowitz & Kevin Cornell
On September 19th and 20th, 2015, artists from all walks of life gathered at the legendary SIR Studios in Hollywood, California for the first ever Indie Artist Forum presented by TuneCore.
Hosted by the ever charismatic singer-songwriter Kelley James, The Indie Artist Forum was an opportunity for independent musicians to come together and discuss the day-to-day realities of making a living as an artist in an ever changing music landscape.
Along with TuneCore’s live event series, TuneCore Live, the Forum is another step for us towards taking a more active part in supporting, engaging in, and shining a light on the independent artist community.
For those that couldn’t make it, (and those that could, but want to re-live the good times) here’s a quick recap of what went down.
Indie Artist Forum attendees were treated to intimate live performances by some of the most exciting names in independent music, including Dylan Chambers, Terra Naomi, David Garza, Jesse Boykins III and Caitlin Eadie.
As much fun as we all had being entertained by our fellow artists, at the end of the day, the Forum was all about learning how to better navigate a career as an independent musician. From star pop musician and songwriter Bonnie McKee, to former head of Twitter Music Bob Moczydlowsky, to legendary producer, manager, and British Invasion rocker Peter Asher (who received a standing ovation after his keynote speech), Forum attendees were given the rare opportunity to learn from and ask questions of some of the top minds in every facet of the music business.
No question the Forum’s keynote guests and speakers had a lot to offer all of us in terms of experience and advice, but it turns out we had just as much to learn from each other. Much of the weekend was spent interacting with fellow artists, and sharing stories, struggles, and inspiration.
TuneCore Live at Bardot
On Saturday night, after the first full day of the Forum came to a close, all in attendance were invited to a night of continued networking, drinks, and live music at Bardot for September’s installment of TuneCore Live. Sponsored by Swisher Sweets, CeleBuzz and Mirrored Media, it was the perfect way to keep the momentum going.
Up first was San Francisco’s Split Screens – the brainchild of musical/visual artist Jesse Cafiero. The crowd eased into the
evening with Split Screens’ intoxicating, poppy jams, which included his popular single “Close Your Eyes” that was recently licensed on FOX’s series Bones.
Next, as more folks began to filter in, TuneCore Artist Joel Taylor took the stage with his band. The LA-based singer/songwriter took
us on a rollercoaster ride of tempos, themes and influences – and even got the room going with a wonderful Bruce Springsteen cover!
To cap off the evening, the ever charismatic Desi Valentine hit the stage with a four-piece backing band. Kicking up the funk, soul and pop, Desi kept the party moving and dancing. Speaking of covers, the crowd was treated to a fun twist on Oasis’ “Wonderwall” from Valentine and his band!
Check out our photo gallery from this month’s TuneCore Live at Bardot.
As Kelley James pointed out on Sunday, giving back can be hugely impactful for an artist. Artists in attendance on the final day of the Forum had the opportunity to learn about one fantastic outfit for musicians to give back — a company called CoachArt. CoachArt offers artists and athletes the opportunity to put their skills to good use by volunteering to spend time with, and teach a new skill to, chronically ill children and their families.
For artists in the LA/SF area, here’s where you can learn more about volunteering opportunities with CoachArt.
This was our first Indie Artist Forum, but it surely won’t be our last. Huge thanks to everyone that came out, and to those that didn’t, we hope to see you next time. Thank you to all our sponsors, including WorldArts, WURRLY, A&R Worldwide, Swisher Sweets, Bompopradio, MSCLVR, Dash Radio and Mirrored Media.
Check out our photo galleries from the inaugural TuneCore Indie Artist Forum below!