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! 💥😊🙌🏾

#sxsw #sxsw2022 @nilesrodgers #nileridgers #diyrockstar #musicfestival #prejippie #bloomingprejippie


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. ☘️

#sxsw #sxsw2022 @sxsw #diyrockstar #musicfestival #prejippie #bloomingprejippie


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. 😳🤷🏽‍♀️🙌🏾