RS: For the 10th year anniversary, what special events are planned?
MP: We have a few special things planned for our 10th anniversary. We have the U.S. premier of European superstar Dannii Minogue, whose new album "Neon Nights" is coming out in the U.S. on Ultra. She will be performing a full set at one of the summit's closing night party. We have also linked up with the off-off-Broadway show "De La Guarda" for a special edition of its "DJ Connection" for summit attendees; we're keeping the evening's special guest DJ under wraps until a few days before the event. Elsewhere, such DJs as Jason Bentley, Tony Humphries and "Little" Louie Vega will be playing their turntable skills. Of course, this is only a teaser. For the daytime panels, I have confirmed a diverse line-up, including Angie Stone, The Scumfrog, Widelife, D:Fuse, Keoki, Gabriel & Dresden, Galleon and Lisa Shaw.
RS: Is there an artist or producer you would like to have on a panel?
MP: I hand-select each panelist. So, each and every confirmed panelist is one that I want to have participate on a panel.
RS: Each year you have a focus interview - one-on-one with an artist or producer, and last year was DJ Rap. How do you choose who the subject will be? What do you hope to learn from BT?
MP: The tagline for this year's summit is "Old school. New school. Our School." So, for me, selecting an artist for the Billboard Q&A was a no-brainer. BT represents the old, the new, the now and the future. A classically trained musician and composer, BT is not afraid to create underground club tracks one day and produce 'N Sync the following day. Whether producing, remixing, composing or arranging, BT man knows no limits-- and this is something others could learn from. During our conversation, I will ask BT a variety of questions, encompassing illicit P2P file-sharing, his film work, remixing for Madonna, his new album "Emotional Technology" and SARS. Whenever I interview an artist, I always learn something new and fascinating. I'm confident this interview will be no different.
RS: How do you feel that the P2P file-sharing/mp3 trading/CD burning has affected the dance community? How will this be addressed at the Summit this year?
MP: Because members of the dance/electronic music community tend to be very technologically aware/savvy, illegal downloading, MP3 trading and illicit CD burning greatly affect the genre. What it boils down to is this: lost sales. And in terms of decreased sales, this is one of the hardest-hit genres. Of course, sanctioned sites like Apple's iMusic Store are offering rays of hope. Because of the current environment, issues of the internet will play an integral part in several of the daily panels, including "All Mixed Up and Nowhere to Go: The Art of Remixing," "Hail to the Chief," "Music and Money" and, of course, "The (Internet) Revolution Will Be Televised."