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South by Southwest 2022 Sessions Takeaways

this post is for information on Sessions

general observations, artists, and food, check out this blog post:

Day One

March 14, 2022

  • Was spent getting in and checking into our hotel.

Day Two

March 15, 2022 Second full day of SXSW


Session Name: No Label, No Problem: Indie Artists Steps to Success

Andreea Gleeson, Vickie Nauman, Lie Ning, Hessel von Oorschot

Our first session is “No Label, No Problem: Indie Artists Steps to Success” at Native Bar; this space reminds us of the vintage stores at Kensington in Toronto, where we assumed the size of the place would be small, but found that the space goes on and on (with indoor and outdoor spaces, including the ballroom that the session was held in).

The session’s main takeaways were:

1. Gatekeepers are removed and with the help of algorithms indie artists are allowed to connect directly with fans. Tools are key. As an artist, you can connect easily with a broader audience.

2. When you become overwhelmed by the myriad of choices of tools to use/master, ask yourself what is this particular tool doing for me and do I retain my rights? Can I take the audience from one platform to another?

3. Keeping your entire catalog online and having as much of the metadata completed as possible will help the independent artist make more money in the long run. Your music use can be tracked and you can get paid easier.

4. The artist on the panel suggested that fun remain a key component for manning your D.I.Y. ship; suggesting that, if managing the tools drains all the fun, then think about bringing in partners who can help with that.

5. Finally, one of the panelists had an issue with the idea of “do it yourself “ when he says that you’re not doing it yourself, because they are tools/resources available to you. However, as another panelist reminded him, there may be a time when, as a new artist, you must carry quite a bit of the weight of “doing it yourself” until you figure out who to bring in and at what price.

Having one of the presenters routed in virtually was a little annoying, because it broke the flow of the conversation to actually include him in.



Session Title: Next-Gen Entertainment: The Metaverse and Music

Adam Arrigo, Oana Ruxandra, Lucas Shaw

Virtual concerts. Wave of future. Not enough light on speakers. Seemed as if they would rather talk amongst themselves then engage with audience. Room’s hot. We left.



Session Title: Music Supervisors vs Composers vs Synch Libraries

Peter Bradbury, Mark Gordon, Hannah King, Anna Garcia Lascurain

  • Telling the differences between these 3 forms of music “services.”

  • A benefit is that the composer hit “narrative beats,” which help the story telling, but in key places.

  • Library music brings complete ease of use; budget and rights are all wrapped up when you purpose. Music created with the production in mind. The variety is wondrous. Used to be considered the stepchild of composer and commissioned music, but now, since music can be found in massive libraries, so the options are endless.

  • Music that commercially-produced is music licensing. Lyrics are one asset of this variant. Also, licensing music specifically from a particular era will bring a scene home, especially a well-recognized track and will capture the interest of the viewer. Or, if it’s a new song, this is a discoverable moment and expose the viewer to new music.

  • That all shared clips to illustrate their points.

They were entertaining and engaging and really were a highlight of the conference so far.



Session Title: Where does the songwriter really sit in the songwriting equation?

Hannah Karp, Merck Mercuriadis, Nile Rodgers

  • Acknowledges that they are kicking up a dust storm right now (by buying up iconic artists’ music catalogues).

  • Reminds us that songs are as valuable as gold and oil, so songwriters should be a stable economic bet; people will continue to listen to music whether they’re high or low.

  • They are on an educational mission to persuade consumers to put pressure on record companies to pay artists/songwriters equitably.

“We (songwriters) haven’t had a raise in 75 years.” —Nile Rodgers

It’s the second full day at South By Southwest 2022. We met Nile Rodgers! 💥😊🙌🏾


Day 3

March 16, 2022


Session Name: Helping Artists Navigate the Modern Internet

Tom Gimbel, Bill Gurley

Asked artists what works now.

Said they were going to share five things that artists must do:

1. You must lean into streaming. The data is your pay as an artist.

Great infographics. Good actionable tips that stresses artists leaning into their own power of being “the boss.” Use the data and the lowered barrier to entry as a lever to push you forward—well-beyond what the major labels will do for the artist. However, NOT having a major label’s muscle behind you will leave you in a sea of others who are doing the same thing. The label takes what’s ALREADY special and exposes to the masses.

2. Praise your peers.

This helps consolidate your audiences, which helps both artists. “(Folks) underestimate community.” —Gimbel You can ten x your efforts, using today’s tools. Collabs are great too, which can bridge the gap in different countries. These collabs can cross out of music and into fashion, food, actors, etc., which exponentially grows one’s reach.

They never got to points three through five. Before they knew it, it was time for questions.

Important takeaway: “Your audience becomes your evangelists.” —Austin City Limits



Session Name: Spotify for Artists: Masterclass

Regina Escamilla, Jennifer Masset, Jeff Stempeck

They are going to show us ways to increase our reach on Spotify.

· There are 406 million subscribers and on 184 countries on Spotify.

· Podcasts are a new growth market and have made new acquisitions.

This is a highfalutin ad.

Spotify for Artists

· Is in 26 languages

· Shopify is on-board for Spotify.

· “Artist Pick” let’s you change it every 2 weeks (to highlight tracks).

· Canvas is where can add a short video to your track. Can share these to Instagram.

· Promo Cards that allows you to customize graphics on social. Fans can make them as well.

· Lyrics are shareable; a partnership with Music Match.

· Noteable is the central hub for songwriting community.


· “Fans First” is a limited beta

· Spotify Singles is where they bring artist in to re-imagine songs.

· Radar is the global emerging artists platform.

· Track IDs are co-curated playlists.

· Fresh Finds is an emerging artists playlist.

· Equal and Frequency are their diversity programs.

Spotify Ad Studio, where you create your own ads on Spotify.

· *Marquee is. Full screen sponsored recommendation.

Panelists made no effort to connect with us lowly folks in the audience. You can look at the body language from the photos and the videos to see how apathetic their demeanor was. Decided that anything they told us in this session was on the website, since they simply went down the list on the Spotify for Artists online menus…..



Merch & Building Financial Relationships with Fans

Jack McGruer, Tersha Willis

  • When you can sell 50 items is a good time to start selling merch.

  • Run a QR code at a live show, so that those artists who tour don’t have to lug around merch.

  • Some of their points echo what we have just learned from our artist mentoring program involvement, so at least we feel as if this session is confirmation and reinforcement.

Announcers were dry and stand-offish, as usual. 😳🙄🤷🏽‍♀️ But at least they gave good merch….



Session Title: How to Conquer the Multisector and The Next Frontier of Music


Panel was slanted toward finding ways to pay and get paid as an artist or a record label. Eventually, led to Ghazi having created a payment platform to pay anybody in any country, which is great, but is two clicks down the road for us, so…. After 15 minutes in, I had tapped out, so we left….



Artist Mentoring Session with Alec Stern

This is the first time we are engaging in an artist mentoring session. —There was a bunch of extra hoops to jump through in order for us to get this slot, but we are happy to do it, if it helps move our brand ahead. 😳🤷🏽‍♀️🙌🏾

For more information about artists and the SXSW experience, check out this post:


Day Four

March 17, 2022

Happy St. Patrick’s Day at South By Southwest 2022. ☘️


Session Name: The Future of Music Discovery

Scarlett Burke, Jared Gutstadt, David Hudgins, Jimmy Jillinek

  • “Make it up as we go” is the name of the podcast.

  • Each episode is about the journey of a song. It’s based in Nashville. Nile Rodgers is one of the featured artists on the Elle King song. Shooter Jennings is involved. Has helped bridged a gap between synch in LA and Nashville, which has not already existing.

  • They are planning to pitch it for a tv show next, since tv writers are involved.

  • The music comes last on a podcast, but can be a doorway to discovery.

  • Scarlett Burke is the co-creator of this podcast series. These songs had a natural story arch, but what wasn’t going to be released for radio, so decided to use it as a story soundtrack.

  • Having podcasts be a means of discovery for new music is a new invention. It exposes the artists to a new audience.

  • The songs will have a life of their own—ESPECIALLY because it’s a Sirius XM product.

  • Helps fit the model of disparate songs—free of a traditional release or album.

  • Helps folks find more “touch points” for people to engage with your music through your story.

Make NO mistake, this IS a commercial. 💥😬

The audio/video folks in this session sucks! Not only was the session late—due to tech issues, but the mic was clicking, then turned off and the person was nowhere to be found. Also, after the podcast trailer, they did not switch to the standard SXSW banner slide. 😳🤷🏽‍♀️🙄



Session Name: Music and the Movement

Nathaniel Rateliff, Kari Nott, Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson

Rateliff wanted to see changes in his small town. However, they seemed to be having a conversation among themselves with experiences that us audience members could not access.

This was our “opportunity” to find another session….



Session Name: The Dope Black British Jazz Landscape

Cherise Adams-Burnett, Adem Holness, Janine Irons, Adam Moses

  • Realized that they needed to get young folks involved and a live component to foster jazz in London.

  • They are pioneering their programs that they want to impact their areas with (by teaching how to teach to musicians who instructing youth on jazz music production and performance).

  • They had to pivot entirely during the pandemic shutdown. However, they made it work, but continue to struggle, financially.

  • One of the students wants to preserve the ability to tell their own story, so that they are not exploited—without being properly supported.



Session Name: The Power of Personal Identity in the Music Industry

Maria Gironas, Brandon Holman, Sydney Lopes, Nick Maiale

The panel promises us that it’s going to “get weird.” We’re holding them to it. 😳🤷🏽‍♀️🙌🏾

  • Begins by saying that NOT having one’s identity folded into your job is a key point.

  • “Your net worth is your network.” —Says this is a fucked up idea.

  • Key takeaway: Figuring out who has your best interest at heart is hard when you're in the music business.



Session Name: 30 Years of Kill Rock Stars on the Culture

Shamir Bailey, Slim Moon, Steph Phillips, Allison Wolfe

Since we’re looking for visionaries, so that’s why we’re here.

  • One of the panelists, Allison Wolfe, hosts “I’m in the Band” podcast.

  • Creating an identity toward being your own person is a key driver of the community.

Looking forward to seeing Big Joanie and Shamir in their performances at SXSW 2022.

For more information about artists and the SXSW experience, check out this post:


Day Five

March 18, 2022


Session Name: Is a War Between Labels and Publishers Coming?

Olivier Chastan, Steve Greenberg, Bill Hochberg, Agnes Kacicki

  • Rates are skewed to favor the record labels. Former costs are not a factor anymore, so why do they take so much of the pie? The burden of the risk USED to be in the labels, but technology has changed all that and should have alleviated much of these costs.

  • We value the end product versus who came up with the original idea, which may be a way to view the lopsided valuation.

  • Involving the digital streaming platforms changes the landscape, which is something that is unprecedented.

  • Difficult to say that the split should be the same, because songs may be borne from different, unusual ways, so that these need to be looked on a case by case basis.

  • Publishers are pressured into providing more return on investment, because they are taking in more A & R duties.

  • Believes that newer deals have fairer splits for artists.



Session Name: Dreamers Never Die: The Enduring Power of Metal

Sebastian Bach, Geezer Butler, Wendy Dio, Eddie Trunk

  • Talked about the impact of Dio’s life and the experience of the movie on him that premiered at South By Southwest.

  • Entertaining conversation about the longevity of heavy metal, Sirius CM, and how it affects new generation of listeners.

  • Are there enough new metal bands to fill the void?



Session Name: Keynote: Beck

Beck, Amanda Petrusich

  • He talked about the Los Angeles impoverished neighborhood that he was from. It’s the neighborhood represented in the movie “Training Day.”

  • Gave insight into his lyric-writing process, where he might infuse it with poetry to obscure the literal messages.



Session Name: How Do Artists Make Money Now?

Tiffany Gaines, Naithan Jones, Andra Liemandt, Matt Ott

  • Decide if the money you bring in gives you your own personal value. Do you have personal mental health support?

  • Talked about the power of community in the artist’s journey. Along with NFTs.

For more information about artists and the SXSW experience, check out this post:



Artist Mentoring Session with Nicole Churchill (Assemble Sound)


Day Six

March 19, 2022

Sixth full day of SXSW22


Session Name: What’s Your Life’s Soundtrack? How Music Creates the Score to Our Lives

Sara Evans, Richard Lui, Nicholas Petricca, Dr. Joanne Pike

  • One of the last few sessions of the conference. Combines health care and music communities.

  • Talks about the Alzheimer’s experience.

Poorly titled and a bad way to start the last full day of sessions, in our opinion.



Session Name: Elevating Communities That Created Pop Music

Sway Calloway, Gina Chavez, Henry Donahue, Kelefa Sanneh, Noelle Scaggs

  • Featured Sway and others, re-telling how they “discovered” their early music identities.

  • Each participant shared their journey to music and their early roots in their communities. Talked about Juan Atkins and how he started making techno. Says you never know when the next musical movement will happen, but usually created organically by kids expressing themselves and outside of the spotlight. They become disc in ember Ed to their origins.

  • How do you expand the network, so that you are exposing ways to do this kind of work without knowing the person through someone else? That’s Scaggs’ goal; to unwind the mystery. Understanding what skill set is necessary to be successful at being a manager is her goal. Folks are less aware that there are a team of highly skilled folks who make the outward-facing Art happen. Typically, this info was learned through trial and error.


Here are the timestamps for the video:

0:44 Voodoo Doughnut 🍩

0:50 Gus’s Fried Chicken

1:55 First Session

2:02 Second Session

2:14 Prime Video Lizzo Activation

2:43 Abraham Alexander performs

3:03 Iron Cactus Restaurant 🌵

3:43 Voodoo Doughnut 🍩

4:43 Third Session

5:16 Fourth Session

5:42 Work Sample

5:47 Work Sample 2

5:54 Hollyy performs

6:02 Fifth Session

6:37 Bruce meets Nile Rodgers 😊

6:43 Uke lady performs

6:56 Slack Activation

7:12 North Italia Restaurant

7:33 Happy Chicks Chicken Restaurant mural

8:30 Sixth Session

8:46 Line for Dr. Martens’ Activation

8:57 Four Brothers Food Truck

9:38 Seventh Session

9:55 Film Posters

10:09 Eighth Session

10:24 Torchy’s (on North Congress)

10:40 Strawberry Guy performs 🍓

11:05 Voodoo Doughnut 🍩

11:25 Sign Twirler

11:35 Ninth Session

12:02 Tenth Session

12:20 Eleventh Session

12:28 Punch Bowl Social Restaurant

12:58 Twelfth Session

13:07 Thirteenth Session

13:22 Fourteenth Session

13:35 Seratones perform

13:46 Fifteenth Session

13:54 Jazz lady performs

14:02 Beck Keynote

14:18 Macy Rodham performs

14:34 Gus’s AGAIN!

14:51 Sixteenth Session

15:04 Sixth Street is getting crazier

15:26 Seventeenth Session

15:42 JM Stevens performs

15:51 Kaina performs

16:02 Heading to SoCo

16:14 San Jose Hotel Live Roster

16:42 Torchy’s Tacos (in SoCo) 🌮

17:36 Lucky Robot wall 🤖

17:43 Line outside Yeti

17:56 Dende performs

18:17 Babii performs

18:26 Big Joanie performs

18:37 Sixth Street getting even crazier

18:48 Shamir performs

You may like:


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