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The business of music is intrinsic to Midem, but the music itself also takes centre stage. This fourth in a series of thematic posts looks at the artists and concerts aspect to Midem 2016.

 

It wasn’t just industry executives and startup founders wandering the Croisette this June. A number of artists were also present at Midem 2016, learning and networking by day, and playing by night.


MIDEM ARTIST ACCELERATOR

The centrepiece of the former was the Midem Artist Accelerator (MAA), which brought 12 artists from around the world to make new contacts, win new fans and learn some new lessons about building their careers.

The finalists were: Synapson (France); Nvdes (US); Malky (Germany); Koo Ntakra (Ghana); Kate Simko & London Electronic Orchestra (UK); Flo Morrissey (UK); Far From Alaska (Brazil); Club Cheval (France); Bellevue Days (UK); Alysha Brilla (Canada); Al Bairre (South Africa) and Adee (Sweden) – spanning genres from folk, rock and pop to hip-hop and EDM.

After a popular vote via Midem’s Facebook page, Far From Alaska, Al Bairre & Koo Ntakra won the privilege of playing at the Midem 2016 Opening Night Party.

Koo Nkatra was one of the MAA stars at Midem

Koo Nkatra was one of the MAA stars at Midem

In the daytime, the artists benefited from networking sessions and mentoring meetings with industry experts.

They included Robomagic founder Rob Hallett and United Talent Agency agent Christian Bernhardt explaining the importance of festivals and live venues in a new artist’s development arc; and Snoot’s founder Laurence Muller (co-manager of Phoenix, amongst other bands) stressing the importance of focusing attention on the fans, with the rest of the strategy following from there.

Pitchfork president Chris Kaskie gave the finalists advice from the media sector, while Motown Records president and Universal Music Publishing Group president of Urban Music Ethiopia Habtemariam shared her experiences from the label and publishing world.

Ethiopia Habtemariam gave the MAA finalists advice.

Ethiopia Habtemariam gave the MAA finalists advice.

HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS

There were also workshops with some of the key digital platforms that new artists are building fanbases on in 2016. Pandora, for example, offered a session on the importance of data, introducing its Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) and Next Big Sound demoed its analytics tools.

The artists were also given insights into sync and brand partnerships by Metropolis Studios‘ creative director Rupert Hollier, and into key digital marketing strategies by Anthony Belliot, VP of consumer and data marketing at Universal Music France.

Metropolis also provided meetings with some of its key staff on the production side: sound engineer Liam Nolan and mastering engineer Peter Hewitt-Dutton were on hand to give the finalists the benefit of their experiences working with a host of stars.

GONGS AND GIGS

Far From Alaska will have gone home happy from this year’s Midem: besides playing the Opening Night Party and taking advantage of the mentoring sessions and workshops, their winning the community vote via Facebook also earned them the chance to play at the first ever International Midem Awards (below), where they wowed onlookers with an energetic performance.

Far From Alaska strut their award-winning stuff

Far From Alaska strut their award-winning stuff

That was just one of a host of evening concerts at Midem 2016, from the MAA finalists and established artists alike.

Getting attendees dancing were Etienne de Crecy, 2manydjs, Claptone, Crayon, Shir Khan, Basic Tape, Karma Kid B2B Fono, Kruse & Nuernberg.

2ManyDJs delivered a pulsating headline set

2ManyDJs delivered a pulsating headline set

The lineup spanned continents and genres, ensuring that the Carlton Beach stage was a lively haunt after dark. One of its highlights was the headline performance by veteran Calypso Rose and her Calypso Soundsystem, accompanied by the Pan! The Steeldrum Odyssey.

Calypso Rose was a real party starter

Calypso Rose was a real party starter

Midem attendees – and not just those from South Korea – were also thrilled by the K-Pop Night Out organised by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), which saw four up-and-coming acts from Korea strut their stuff.

Guckkasten, Ego Function Error, Eluphant and Idiotape all gave a taste of why the K-Pop scene continues to be one of the freshest musical sectors in the world.

Idiotape at the K-Pop Night Out

Idiotape at the K-Pop Night Out

With a Génération Spedidam night focusing on next-generation French jazz stars like the Laurent Coulondre Trio, Agathe Iracema Quartet and Aurore Voilqué Septet, Midem had something for everyone. The bar has been set high for next year’s show: we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.


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About Author

Stuart Dredge

Stuart Dredge is a freelance journalist, and a regular contributor to Music Ally, The Guardian and more... including midemblog :)

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