Photo Lil Monsterr
By Adrian Tonon, Jabari Jefferson and Andre Reed
Ten years ago making it in music in Detroit was moving to Los Angeles. Currently we have the opportunity to retain and attract artists who can sustainably work, live and play in the City of Detroit. Meet four music industry leaders who are intentionally developing home-grown artists and a music economy workforce.
Suai Kee / Motown Accelerator
Motown Accelerator’s goal is to help artists take their careers to the next level. We give them one-on-one mentoring, music industry connections, and management skills to have lucrative careers well beyond the 12-week accelerator program. Encouraging artists to deepen their Detroit roots by working with local creatives and engaging with their hometown supporters are the groundwork for the type of sustainability we want to see thrive in the city. In response to the 2020 pandemic, our programming has evolved and restructured to help hundreds more artists. In 2021, we’re expanding on our mission by offering specific, much needed career advancing services to hundreds of artists. Applications are open for our third program and we’re very excited to continue working with alumni and meet the next cohort.
Artists who enter the program are given a $20,000 creative budget grant. They sign no contract, retain their royalties, all revenues, and rights. Motown Accelerator, a gener8tor program, believes in communities investing in their brightest and best. So we’re setting up artists with capital and opportunities to be champions in their city. The grant and 0% equity model create an incredible opportunity for them to utilize the program to boost their careers, then cycling their earnings back into their crafts and communities. For more information, visit www.motownaccelerator.com
Nicole Churchill / Assemble Sound
Assemble Sound approaches sustainability in an all encompassing way. We’re proud to offer artist favored splits in the sync world and creative label services to support releases in a way where the artists retain their ownership and copyrights. By offering a free educational program so that all artists and aspiring music industry professionals can learn together and grow together, sustainably. Our approach has definitely evolved along the way, we’ve had to modify percentages, bring in brand partners, expand the team and update our blueprints to handle the growth and support the success of the artists we work with.
We push creative collaboration and economic cooperation hard because we believe the marriage of the two is what creates a sustainable creative eco system. For example, by encouraging Detroit’s content makers to “license local” we’re creating a brand message that brings attention from clients outside of just our backyard. Bridging the gap between this community and the opportunities available to artists in major entertainment markets is and will continue to be our goal.
Marcus Miller / Menace Media
Menace Media approaches sustainably by identifying the artist/musicians core values. What are the goals of the artist? What are they trying to achieve in their career? Each answer is inherently different but valid in their own way. Success depends on what the artist/musicians define as successful and that’s what we tend to focus on. By knowing the artist goals we are able to construct laser targeted marketing/advertising campaigns that will funnel the right traffic to specific releases whether it be a single, album, or PR campaign. We’ve evolved by growing with our artist. Mindsets and artistry are constantly evolving from the core of our artist we work with and that’s ideally what we are aiming for. To stay relevant in today’s standards are having to constantly offer your consumers a new piece of you they can relate to. The answer to this is staying true to your artistry and adding great marketing behind that to personify yourself.
Menace Media core values are creating sustainable growth for our artist. Growing in this industry means not only creating a lane of your own that your fans can identify with, but also creating marketing funnels that can be monetized so that this career path is something you can live off of. Consumers are here to buy into your brand. What do you as an artist stand for? That is the first step to figure out this journey. Solving that piece of the puzzle not only sets you apart but gives us the opportunity to create a solid, on brand marketing strategy to reach the audience that will grow with your artistry for years to come. We want the artist we work with to inherently create revenue streams from not only their music but their branding as a foundation. We exercise this by constantly being in touch with our artist idealistic values of their brand and growing with their audience. And we do all of this with the utmost integrity and dedication.
Filthy Rockwell / Rayshon Gore-Willis / The Filthy Americans Art’s & Preservation Center
The Filthy Americans Art’s & Preservation Center sustainability gives artists and musicians historical core values. With us being coined as the “preserves of culture” our center is where artists are enriched and surrounded with pure nostalgia. From being exposed to vinyls, murals, and unique analog artifacts. If you don’t know where you started, how do you know where you’re going? We’ve evolved by being able to offer a unique space for merchandise and history that’s all homegrown from Detroit and specifically curated to honor Techno, Hip-Hop, Funk , skateboard culture and many more.
At The Filthy Americans Art’s & Cultural Center our core value is independence and collaboration. By educating artists/musicians on how they can monetize their work and actually make a living without taking the new normal route that is “streaming”. We work closely with artists and expose them to more traditional options like producing physical copies and other merchandise that could reach their target audience more personally. So maybe you shouldn’t put your latest work on a specific streaming platform, you already may have the 300 fans you need to make your art into a career. We strongly believe in the roots of collaboration because music is a “we” thing not a “me” thing from the writers, producers, engineers, to vocalist;everyone comes together to create something special. If you stop by the center on a Saturday you may walk into a jam session that we allow everyone to be a part of.
Bartenders play a crucial role in a 24-Hour Economy. Like many other industries, bartenders were forced to pivot and innovate during government mandates, oftentimes not knowing where their next paycheck was coming from. Join us for the seventh series to hear from four celebrated bartenders who have rose above adversity and are bringing new flavors, energy and excitement into 2021