When listening to friends exchange summer vacation stories, the words “conferences” and “workshops” probably won’t jump out in the trip highlights anywhere — until you talk with the Marmoset team. But it’s anything but boring. Here’s why.
This week we’re calling Hawaiʻi our home, settling in and sponsoring the annual Hawai'i Songwriting Festival. With 2018 being the fourth year in a row of proudly being affiliated with and sponsoring the festival’s initiatives, we’re eager for yet another opportunity to dig even deeper into supporting the music community on island time.
The heart of the fest is education. It’s an event for bridging a local community with actual industry professionals while providing an exposure to resources that may not exactly be locally present otherwise. It’s an opportunity to learn beyond what some may not even have fanthomed when pursuing the music writing dream.
In order to ensure our impact is far reaching while involving all areas of the community, Marmoset is providing around 15 scholarships to local Hawaiians. These deserving attendees receive an opportunity to attend the fest’s informational workshops and panels, along with speed mentoring (rapid fire round of collecting feedback and career advice from those working in music).
And while songwriting might be mentioned in the festival’s headlining title, there’s much more going on below the surface. Just look to the Copyright Overview, Music Business Basics workshop being led by music attorney, Jula Brotman; it’s an example of something that’s imperative to familiarize oneself in, but may not be so easily broached otherwise (especially for newcomers). It’s invaluable insight to rough and tough topics — the business side to making art.
It’s also another reason that makes us leap into action and lend the kind of support this festival deserves. When it comes to advertising, we’ve live and breathe the concept; it’s a big part of what our Creative Music Licensing team does day in and day out. Proponents of artists, we aim at helping those we represent earn a living by licensing their music from everything from television to movies to commercial projects. It’s also why our CEO and cofounder, Ryan Wines is leading the How to Sell Out: Music in Branding panel. The workshop circulates techniques on navigating this unique kind of terrain, how to smartly sell one’s music without selling oneself short.
The panel also features three special guests contributing to the topic — Kate and Khaled of MUNNYCAT and Frankie Simone. We caught up with Kate and Khaled while they were kicking it at Waikiki Beach to talk more about the fest and their participation:
"For us, we’re most excited to empower and inspire girls to start producing for themselves. Like a lot of the songwriters coming to the conference, we grew up isolated from the LA music machine, but it was a gift because we were able to find our own voices as artists and producers."
"We hope they can realize that it’s a gift for them too. We think it’s so important for young girls to know that everything they need to make a living in the music industry is already inside of them. If we can inspire them to be a little less afraid to be weird and a little more self-sufficient, then we did our job."
"Neither of us have ever been to Hawaii, so we came out five days early to take in as much of the beauty and culture as we possibly can! We’ve heard about how magical this event is from songwriter friends for years now and are over the moon that we get to experience it! We’re excited to get closer with our Portland Marmoset family, Ryan Wines, and Frankie Simone and also to make lots of new lifelong friends. We’re really pumped about learning more at the panel on royalties, the speed mentoring sessions, and Kenny Loggins, of course. Man, this is gonna be amazing!"
With other Marmoset artists also attending and participating at the songwriting fest, we connected with emerging pop artist, Haley Joelle before she jet set to the festivities. As someone who's attended a few times before, we wanted to collect her thoughts on the event:
"When I first attended the festival two years ago (I was 16), that was when I didn't have a producer yet so my music sounded a lot different."
"The festival not only made me realize that as a pop artist I needed a producer but it also gave me access to producers that I could work with. I also learned the value of co-writing! Two years ago I'd never co-written a song before and now I co-write all the time. The most amazing thing about the festival though is the ratio of attendees to staff members.The staff members are so accessible all the time during the festival, which is how I've been able to make connections with some of them and get really useful feedback on my songs. "
"This festival is one of my favorite things I've ever been to in my life and it's really close to my heart because it was basically the start of where I am now. I found out about it through another music conference so when I was 16 my dad and I decided to go and check it out. That year I wound up being a finalist in the songwriting competition so I got to perform in front of everyone (including all the staff members). That night was when I met Richard Harris and about a month later I flew down to California to work with him. He introduced me to co-writing and the 2nd song we wrote was "Meet in the Middle" — which was my first #1 earlier this year!"