Walking down Washington, I come across a shop who is spray painting records for a window display. Yes, this is one way to make gold records - but so is talent and good music. Already on the radar are two big stories of the week - the impending breakup of Gabriel & Dresden and the signing of Don Diablo to Sony/BMG.
An early start today, which in Miami means noon, was an interview with Dutch phenom Don Diablo. I interviewed him last year when he beat Armin Van Buuren, Fedde le Grand and Tiesto in the People's Choice DJ awards and he mentioned a new artist album that he was producing, engineering, writing and singing all himself. The album was signed to Sony/BMG who will be martketing and distributing it. This is a major happening as its very rare that an inteinternational major label signs a DJ/producer with the intent to break on an international level. Although his music is a fusion of electro/hip hop and rock, many have tipped Don Diablo as the next Tiesto - the next big global superstar DJ/producer. Listening to his new cd, we can totally see why. Watch for a full interview on the site next week.
Remember the movie 24 Hour Party People about the Factory crew? Thats what Miami is - no sleep, meetings, parties, events, panels, etc with no sleep. I am often asked what gets me through - and the answer is simply Red Bull. No, that is not a paid endorsement, but a simple fact. I stopped by their hospitality tent and came out with a very thoughful piece of shwag - a chinese food takeout container with a mini bottle of Grey Goose (for the night of partying,) a disposable camera (for recording the events of the night,) Advil (for the morning after) and sun tan lotion (for laying on the beach to clean out the system.) As someone who does not choose to partake in alcohol or narcotics, Red Bull is the drink that keeps me energized though the long events of WMC.
WMC is also about meeting with friends and industry contacts. I had a nice lunch with Billboard Club Chart promoter Brad Le Beau (Promotion/Lift.) Ever the sophisticated comedian, he relayed stories about Shirley Bassey and the transitions of the music industry over the year. It was quite cool to catchup with T-Pro who I interviewed a few years ago for the site and meet some other Billboard club jocks.
A quick walk up Collins brought us to Baldeelox pool party hosted by Oscar Poche (Open Bar Music) and Lady J (the Joint.) The South Seas pool had a nice crowd and singer Jamie Thomas from Feelin Music (UK) was entertaining/MCing for the crowd.
Here's a good tip.. if you are attending WMC, register for the conference but stay in a hotel closer to lower numbers (maybe 8th-20th on Collins.) Most of the nighttime events are downtown and you can catch a cab to the host hotel for the panels. We discovered the bus is a great way to save money as $1.50 beats the $15 cab fare.
Registration at Winter Music Conference was quick, efficient and painless - a definite sign of good things to come. I ran into amberRose Marie and Jason Antone and we compared notes for the evening events.