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Five Takeaways from the Hornets’ Music Industry Night

ReeCee Raps performs at Hornets Music Industry Night. (Photo by Alvin C. Jacobs Jr.)

Charlotte is brimming with musical talent, but it is yet to be seen as a musical destination like Atlanta, Nashville or Austin. The Hornets hosted the NBA’s first Music Industry Night on Monday as a way to show just how equipped Charlotte is locally for a spot on the musical map.

“We really want the whole NBA to take note of it,” said Hornets account executive Shelby Palubiak. “Our hope is that after tonight, other NBA teams are going to pick this night up and it is going to grow across the entire NBA. ”

The Hornets brought in music industry professionals Free Noyz and DJ Chuck T to host a day filled with music industry panels and performances, followed by the Hornets hosting the Orlando Magic. From 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. the Spectrum Center became a base for invaluable networking, with artists and execs sharing knowledge about the ins and outs of the music industry, from independent artists to the major label life.

JayWay Sosa performs. (Photo by Alvin C. Jacobs Jr.)

Over 400 guests came out to participate in the kickoff event, though Palubiak said he foresees the night growing to over 1,000 guests for the next one, which will potentially happen later this year, he said. Until that happens, we’ll leave you with five themes that we took away from the day of edutainment.

Always be ready to network. If you want to get your music on the radio, in the hands of a DJ, or just beyond the hands of your family and friends, you are going to have to network, and that can’t solely mean social networking. It’s never a bad thing to be a studio rat, but at some point, you’ve got to get out and meet people face-to-face. That’s what moves the needle and gets your music circulated among the right people who can take your career to the next level.

Let your following grow organically. If you want the labels to look your way, you have to have a following that grows without the purchase of followers. People need to know who you are. You have to be hot in the streets, and folks need to know your songs word-for-word. Get your buzz up first and the deals will follow.

Elevator Jay performs. (Photo by Alvin C. Jacobs Jr.)

Make sure you have a strong team. You can’t make it in the music industry on your own; you need a team that is real with you. No “yes men” allowed. You need a team that is so together that they can do everything in-house. From the recording, mixing and mastering, to a visual team for photo shoots and music videos. Your team needs to be its own record label before you can talk to the majors about any kind of deal.

Originality wins. Tell your authentic story. People want to fall in love with the person that you are. When you are original you will always find a place in the music industry. Being different is a good thing. There is no blueprint to the music industry, so do you. Find your audience and they will rock with you because they feel connected to you as an individual.

Give your all every time you perform. No matter how big or small the audience is, you should perform with all you have in you. You never know who is in the crowd watching. It could be one person in a crowd of 10 that could be the key to taking your career to a higher plateau. 

Charlie Smarts performs. (Photo by Alvin C. Jacobs Jr.)

If you want to be involved in the next Hornets Music Industry Night or just want to stay up on what is happening, follow them on Instagram.

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