This summer, international music industry conference Midem will celebrate its 50th anniversary June 3-6 in Cannes, France with an exclusive keynote from artist, producer and executive Timbaland on June 4. He joins previously-announced keynote speakers such as UTA Head of Music Worldwide Neil Warnock, Quentin Tarantino’s music supervisor Mary Ramos, Alibaba Music Group Chairman Gao Xiaosong, Pandora founder/CEO Tim Westergren and Glassnote Entertainment Group founder/President Daniel Glass at the event.
In addition to his speech, Timbaland will also serve as an ambassador for the second annual Midem Artist Accelerator program, which gives 12 up-and-coming acts selected by Midem’s Artistic Committee access to mentoring sessions with industry professionals and the ability to perform during the four-day event. Timbaland will share his own experiences and advice with the as-yet-unnamed artists at Midem.
“We are more than honored to welcome Timbaland as a Midem keynote speaker and as Ambassador of this year’s Midem Artist Accelerator,” said Jérôme Delhaye, Director of Reed Midem’s Entertainment Division, in a statement. “As a legendary music producer, he has left his mark on our industry and has much to share that will no doubt be of particular value to the upcoming artists in the program.”
This announcement comes as Timbaland continues to expand his resume beyond his role as artist and producer for the likes of Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott and Jay Z. Since January 2015, he’s served as the executive music producer for Fox’s breakout hit show Empire and is exploring a number of opportunities in the film, television, branding and advertising worlds through a recently-announced partnership with licensing company Jingle Punks, including a new ad featuring original music for the NBA Playoffs. He’s also readying his next LP, Textbook Timbo, due out this year via Epic Records, and is involved with tactile audio company SubPac, which he tells Billboard will “change music forever.” Those are expected to be topics covered in his keynote.
“I am really pleased to join Midem for its 50th anniversary to discuss the mechanisms of producing a hit record in today’s music business,” he said in a statement. “I am also thrilled to join the Midem Artist Accelerator and help the selected artists take their careers to the next level.”
Before resurrecting his Textbook Timbo LP — initially announced back in 2013 — Timbaland had been promoting an album called Opera Noir, which was thought to be his first album since 2009. “Opera Noir is already complete and will be coming later this year or early next year,” he clarified to Billboard. “There is a TV/film element to the Opera Noir release, so we need to get that ready first.”
And never one to be idle — clearly — Timbaland has also been in the studio or rumored to be working with Missy, Timberlake, Drake and Diddy on each of their separate albums on the way. “I’m not one to talk about other artists’ projects, as that’s really on them and their team or label to announce [that] they have new music coming,” he mentioned. “That being said, [I] definitely have been working with the artists you’ve mentioned on some music.”