Backbeat: FlashFWD's Fourth Annual Awards Ceremony Honors Questlove, Remembers Recently Departed

From left: Alex Kirshbaum (co-founder, SoundCtrl), Questlove (FlashFWD SoundWAV Honoree), Cedric King

Last Wednesday night (May 22), SoundCTRL’s fourth annual FlashFWD awards brought music and tech entrepreneurs alike together under the roof of New York City’s Gramercy Theatre to honor their contributions to the music industry.

Artist Robert DeLong opened the show with a Wiimote -- the wand-like controller used to interact with Nintendo's Wii gaming system -- brandishing it as a musical instrument on his hit song “Global Concepts.” Comedy duo Itsthereal played host and had the crowd laughing nearly the entire time, particularly during a bit honoring those music companies that are no longer with us (Wearehunted, the OLD Myspace, Spinner...). Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ also performed in between presents.

From left: Chris Gannett (CMO, ZUUS Media), Bonin Bough (VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at Mondel International), Steve Goldstein (CEO, ZUUS Media)

Lindsey Gabler of the Grammys introduced Songza, who was honored for music discovery. 3d concert gaming application Gigit received some love as well. The app allows users to create and design their own live shows featuring prominent rappers such as Talib Kewli and Royce da 5’9’’. Gig-it is set to launch in the next few weeks.

From left: Tat Wza, DJ Funkmaster Flex, Eric Davich (Co-Founder, Songza), Elliott Breece (Co-Founder, Songza)

Swizz Beatz showed up as a surprise to introduce the 2013 FlashFWD award nominee, Questlove. Questlove was a man of few words, simply saying thank you and stating for the record that “D’Angelos album is finished.”
Jesse Kirshbaum took the stage to wrap the show up, pointing to the fact that the independent Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Billboard chart success is proof that the industry is not dead. He thanked many of the brand sponsors, like Trident Gum, for continuing to invest in and support music.

ItsTheReal, Jeff Rosenthal (left) Eric Rosenthal (right), hosts of the fourth annual FlashFWD Awards