This is the third in a series of four Midem 2017 review posts. Enjoy!

Midem has become a hotbed of new talent, whether of the artist or technology kind. 2017 was no different thanks to the latest incarnations of the Midemlab startups contest; the Midem Artist Accelerator and Midem By Night concerts; and the International Midem Awards.

Midemlab 2017This year was the tenth anniversary of Midem’s startup competition, offering an impressive showcase of early-stage music startups in 2017. Presented by OVH and URights, the contest received 136 submissions from 32 countries, which were narrowed down to 20 finalists in four categories.

The music creation and education category was won by South Korean startup HumOn, a spin-off from Samsung whose app gets people to hum a melody, then creates a musical track based on it. “It’s early days, but we can expand our business to every segment. Every human can hum!” said CEO David Choi in his pitch. HumOn beat Roadie 2, Studytracks, Uberchord and Skoog in the category. Pitch-session report

The music distribution and discovery category was won by Truelinked, a Danish startup founded by an international freelance opera singer to help classical musicians get more bookings and keep a bigger share of their fees. “Our mission is to create a transparent industry and give back power to the people who perform and produce classical music,” said CEO Sune Hjerrild in his pitch. Truelinked beat Disco, Atmosphere, Yokee Music and Diggers Factory in the category. Pitch-session report

The marketing and data / analytics category was won by French startup Soundcharts, which offers analytics tools for artists and labels. “Our goal is to solve the workflow issue in the industry… way too many questions are unanswered, or they are answered in many different ways,” said CEO David Weiszfeld in his pitch. Soundcharts, which also won the overall audience award for Midemlab, beat Rotor Videos, NPREX, The Bot Platform and Instrumental. Pitch-session report

Finally, the experiential technologies category was won by Chinese firm Vinci, which makes ‘smart’ headphones using artificial intelligence and a voice interface. “We created a new music listening experience… a completely standalone device, and a music player you can just put on your head,” said US business director Cathy Cao in her pitch. Vinci beat ORB, TheWaveVR, Pacemaker and SYOS. Pitch-session report

A special thanks to Midemlab’s selecting partners Music Ally, bluenove and Northzone, as well as to coaching partner Abbey Road Red, for this exceptional 10th edition!

Midem Artist AcceleratorThe Midem Artist Accelerator (MAA), sponsored by Sony, returned for its third year in 2017, offering a chance for artists not just to perform on the two Majestic Beach stages during the Midem By Night concerts, but to attend networking sessions and coaching sessions with a variety of experts from the industry.

Acid Arab, Adian Coker (pictured above), Be Charlotte, Geoffroy, Iris Gold, Kiddy Smile, M.anifest, Prateek Kuhad, Shakka, Rendez-Vous and XXX were the 11 artists taking part, and making the most of the experience.

This time last year I was doing presentations on networking events like Midem at college, so it’s insane to be actually performing this year,” Charlotte Brimner from Be Charlotte told us before the band set off for the show. “I think it’s great that we’ll have the chance to meet some of the judges and do some workshop-style events as well: it’s so important for events like this.”

“To be selected from a pool of so many great acts is pretty humbling, but also very exciting. It’s just a great opportunity to meet people who are knowledgeable in fields that can make a huge difference to my career,” said Adian Coker. “It’s seldom you get these opportunities.”

The 11 finalists also got the chance to grill superstar Wyclef Jean in an exclusive mentoring session at Midem, during which he also entertained them with a few songs. A similar session from fellow MAA ambassador, reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee, would follow the next day. More on that soon!

2017 saw Midem’s live music step up a notch, with big crowds at the Majestic Beach every night to see the MAA bands play, as well as some well-known headliners.

The first night saw the UK take over one stage with the Music Is GREAT Presents: British Music at Midem showcase, featuring Dream Wife, Jake Isaac and Public Service Broadcasting – the latter performing on the eve of the release of their new album.

The following night, Wyclef Jean took to the stage for a boisterous set, joined for its latter stages by a group of Midem revellers who were invited onto the stage to dance.

The following night saw the focus shift eastwards thanks to Taiwan Beats Night, with two bands – Mixer and The Chairman – as well as DJ Questionmark, who showed how to win over a crowd right from the start of his set, when he followed a flute solo by pouring champagne for the entire front row of the crowd.

DJ Question Mark has a helluva set opener at #midem

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The same night saw one of the most intriguing supergroups to have ever stepped on to a stage at Midem, in the form of the Man Doki Soulmates ‘Wings of Freedom’ concert in the Grand Auditorium.

The gig was a unique melange of jazz, progressive rock and late-90s Girl Power, led by Hungarian singer and drummer Leslie Mandoki. Fellow musicians included Midge Ure from Ultravox; Melanie C from the Spice Girls; and members of Supertramp, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Rainbow, Cutting Crew and Passport. Their interpretations of hits from those various bands brought Midem’s nighttime activities to a suitably-classy close:

Man Doki SoulmatesOne more example of talent shining brightly at Midem 2017 came with the International Midem Awards, which included a gala dinner, awards ceremony and gongs for four of the music industry’s senior figures. The evening was sponsored by DTS & Universal Music Group.

Because Music CEO Emmanuel De Buretel, Shazam executive chairman Andrew Fisher, Peermusic CEO Ralph Peer II and First Access Entertainment CEO Sarah Stennett were the four recipients of the awards, in recognition of their careers.

Meanwhile, Midemlab audience-award winner Soundcharts received its award at the event, as did M.anifest from the Midem Artist Accelerator, having been chosen to receive the International Midem ‘Coup de Coeur’ award this year.

So be it technological or artistic, all manner of creative talent shone at Midem 2017. The start of global great things for Midemlab and MAA winners; and international consecration for the rest. Congratulations to all!

Stay tuned for the fourth and final part of the Midem 2017 Review, which will pick out the biggest industry-changing ideas that emerged in Cannes early June. Out next week! 

About Author

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

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