Cashmere Agency's Ryan Ford @ SXSW. (Photo: Erika Ramirez)

After moderating SXSW panel "From the Blocks to the Blogs," Cashmere Agency's Vice President Ryan Ford chatted with us of SXSW, from what he's looking forward to to the rumblings of special appearances.

Billboard.biz: What's the best band/artist you¹ve seen yet?
Ryan Ford: I was really impressed by 2 Chainz at the Fader Fort. Cashmere Agecny had the opportunity to work with him while he was still Tity Boi and with Playaz Circle on Def Jam. It's really amazing to see how an artist that has been bubbling under for years can reinvent themselves while simultaneously staying true to their core base. Its amazing to see how many different types of people now know who 2 Chainz is and were rocking hard with him at the Fader Fort.


Who are you most excited to see?

I'm really excited to see Mystikal. He's hip-hop's James Brown. I've been a fan since way back but never had the chance to see him live. He did a bid and was away for awhile but from what I've seen he hasn't lost a step. He's on YMCMB now and is one of the headliners at the Vibe House show that Cashmere Agency is doing with Adidas andAllHipHop.com. I'll get my chance there.

What¹s the best panel or keynote you¹ve seen?
I'm a little partial obviously but I really feel like the panel that I moderated was a great one. It was called From The Blocks To The Blogs and we discussed the future of the multi-cultrual audience and their interactions with social media. The urban audience is such an important component to growing and utilized these various social media platforms but yet I go all over the county to new media panels and we are rarely the topic of discussion. SXSW recognizes us for our music celebrities and industry tastemakers, now we see them really starting to give us credit during the interactive portion. That's refreshing.


What¹s the best gossip you¹ve heard?

That Eminem is coming out at the Shady 2.0 show. I don't really thinkthat's much of a stretch though. It is his label. I'm also hearing thatSnoop Dogg is in town and is going to pop up a few surprise appearances.And I know where one is at but I can't say yet. LOL.who have you met/do you hope to meet that you're really excited about? Man, I need to meet Sean Parker again. I had the chance to meet him briefly with the Stampede Management team, Snoop Dogg and Mark Zuckerberg at his F8 Conference after-party in San Francisco a few months back. Ireally dig how he is attacking the online space -- just going full speed into projects that he believes in, partying and making billions ofdollars doing it. What's more hip-hop than that?


Who/what do you think people will be buzzing about after SXSW 2012 is over?

That's an easy one. Friday and Saturday's Cashmere/Vibe House residency is boasting the best and most comprehensive lineup of urban artists at SXSW. We brought our Respect the West showcase back to SXSW for the third year in a row because we are based in LA and get to see many of these up and coming artists in our offices all of the time. Its really nice to see someone like Kendrick Lamar, who has been a part of all of our Respect The West showcases grow into one of the most talked about artists at the festival. Three years ago he really didn't have a chance to perform as many showcases but we believed he and Jay Rock had a unique way oftruthfully representing the West Coast. They've been a part of ourRespect The West shows ever since.

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