DJ panel talks branding.
The Power Summit, the four-day radio mixshow conference staple that's celebrating its ninth year, kicked off Oct. 4 in the Domincan Republic, and featured panels such as Friday's (Oct. 6) "Beyond Just Being A DJ."
The panel was moderated by Sirius radio's Clinton Sparks and staffed by DJ Nasty, KBXX/Houston's GT, Miami's DJ Irie, KWPR/Los Angeles' mixshow coordinator Felli Fell, BET's Madd Linx, WQHT/New York & MTV's Cipha Sounds, and WHAT/Atlanta and Sirius Satellite radio's DJ Drama and Don Cannon.
Standout topics included diversifying your financial avenues to include endorsements, label A&R, station programmers, and marketing consultants. The entire panel unanimously agreed that no DJ's brand is larger than their station, so it's imperative to shrewdly capitalize on your spotlight in a timely manner. "As a DJ you are a walking brand, and you need to constantly expand that brand," said DJ Irie, who spins for the Miami Heat and companies like Maybauch.
BET host Madd Linx also highlighted that national companies like Clear Channel are significantly shrinking their mixshow personnel, and syndicated radio is filling most radio shift slots instead of DJs, so developing a recognizable brand is crucial.
At the pool, The Pack's "Vans" and the Clipse's "Wamp Wamp" set off Jive's showcase, hosted by Petey Pablo. Fresh out of his management dealings with Suge Knight, Petey played several songs from his 2007 album, just after a lanky Dre performed his new single "Somebody," featuring Keyshia Cole in flip flops and socks. After the Pack performed "Vans," fellow Bay-Area native Mistah Fab hopped onstage to perform the remix.
Later, Atlantic Records showed off it's numerous lineup of artists including Saigon (of "Entourage" fame), newcomer Plies, Trick Daddy, Cham, and the company's most recent signing, Mistah Fab. DJ Drama hosted the listening and played several tracks from his 2007 "Gangsta Grillz" album. Mistah Fab's song CD malfunctioned, so he impressed the room of mixers by freestyling for nearly 10 minutes. Standout singles included D.G. Yola's "Ain't Gon Let Up" and Trick Daddy's "Back That," featuring Chamillionaire and Goldrush. Trick Daddy's album "Back By Thug Demand" is slated for a December release.
In the next room, Sony Urban's label G.O.O.D. Music played tunes from Consequence and Fonzworth Bentley, which are both slated for release next year. Rick Ross and Papoose also performed tracks for a crowded room later in the evening.
Saturday (Oct. 7) began with the panel "Starts A DJ Ends With A Brand," moderated by Dome Entertainment's Michelle S, and staffed by MySpace's Roslynn Cobarrubias, MTV2 and WQHT/New York APD Ebro Darden, Pepsi's Bozoma St. John, Davie Brown's Tashion Macon, and Capitol 1524's Mark Shin. Cobarrubias said MySpace quantifies a DJs' importance by the number of friends, comments and bookings they have listed. She added that she's always looking for mixers to work secret shows with.
Meanwhile, Macon shared that Timberland looks for a DJ's national reach, so it's important to quantify your listeners. Darden shared that utilizing content sites like MySpace and YouTube isn't as hard as it seems. "We do focus groups at our station that research listeners between the ages of 15 and 20, and they don't really care about the quality of videos or the music," Darden added. "We don't tell listeners what they want to hear; they tell us what they want to hear."
Moderator Michelle S stressed that mixers should not rely on radio because the industry is quickly shrinking, and openness to technological change is crucial. Dave Brown Entertainment's Earnest Skinner said that mixers must explain how their brand can benefit a brand like Timberland.
With a boxing ring as a stage, Asylum had the most creative showcase, introducing artists Gemini, Willie Da Kid, Kadalack Boyz, Cadillac Don and J. Money, D4L's Fabo, Webbie & Lil Boosie, Lil Flip. It ironically capped off with Jim Jones' (Koch) huge street song, "We Fly High," which played for almost 10 minutes. "We launched this company not long ago at Mixshow Power Summit and it only exists because of the DJs," said Asylum President Todd Moskowitz. "We're going for round two of Asylum."
Warner Music Group sponsored the ninth annual awards showcase and dinner with spirited and dangerous performances by Bohagon, Lil Flip, Lil Scrappy and Federation. Federation ended their performance by throwing a microphone into the crowd and knocking off a piece of the award hall's chandelier, injuring an audience member. The victim was fine after a few stitches and the show went on.