Recap: Music Producer Convention I - 2017
Back in 2017, the founder of MPC came up with the idea of an event dedicated to beat-making and music production. He is a producer with extensive experience, as well as a sound engineer, event organizer, and coordinator. He reached out to his closest collaborators to see if anyone was interested in helping with this project. The team came together, and we went on to build what you now know as The Music Producer Convention.
We wanted to bring to Paris and Europe the kind of events we had witnessed in the US and participated in while adding our own twist. The music industry is kind of opaque and complicated to maneuver, we wanted to demystify it and create new opportunities for beatmakers.
In the beginning, we had to create everything from scratch. We had a vision, but we needed to find ways to present it. We all had networks from our previous endeavors which we could activate, but we also needed to reach out to brands, artists and convince you, the public, to show up! When you’re starting something new, there’s a lot of knocking on doors, cold calling, and convincing involved.
First, we found the name and created a logo. Our goal was to present a brand that people could identify easily. Once we had the venue, we put together a pitch deck to send out and reached out to brands and producers to present our project. In parallel, we were activating all our networks for support. We collected video drops promoting the future event, and made agreements for people to participate, off of the strength of our connections. During that time, we were building our media platform, namely our website and social media presence. Little by little, we secured our first brand partnerships and booked our first speakers. The first edition was slowly but surely shaping into a world-class event.
Until the last minute, we were finalizing our bookings and sponsorships as well as our communication. We waited anxiously after opening our website, ticketing, and beat battle submissions just weeks before the event, and the response was outstanding!
We received hundreds of submissions from aspiring beatmakers, sold out our theme-based passes, and filled up workshops “A la carte”. We even scheduled duplicates for sold-out sessions, showing us that there was indeed a need and demand for this event!
On October 14th and 15th 2017, we opened the doors to a crowd of producers hungry for knowledge and connections! During 2 days, we hosted masterclasses, workshops, and practical sessions, as well as conferences, a debate, and some networking and listening sessions.
For our first edition, we boasted a solid list of speakers that included our Godfather producers: Tony Dofat from Bad Boy Records (New York), DJ Khalil from Aftermath Records (Los Angeles), and (then up-and-coming) French hitmaker Tarik Azzouz from RunTheStreets (Paris).
As well as an international lineup of vetted beatmakers:
The Fanatix (London), Narcos (Paris), Gezin / 808 Mafia (Zagreb), Pops (Toronto), Just Dizle (Paris), C-Wash (Düsseldorf), Ozhora Miyagi (Brussels), Rhino from A.S.M. (France), Tha Trickaz (Paris), Oliver from Drumdreamers (Paris), Proof from Din Records (Le Havre), Dreamtouch (Paris), Nab H24 (Montpellier), Will Much (Paris), MKL (Paris) and Wetty Beats (Kingstown). See the full list of speakers here.
On the business side, we invited different professionals to partake in a conference and a debate spanning from label executives like Sylvain Gazaignes / BMG (Paris) or Allassane Konate / Din Records (Le Havre) to publishers like Karim A. A. Thiam (Paris), Cedric Pistol (Paris), and Nick D. Green (Paris), as well as managers such as Gareth Messam from Coast 2 Coast (London), Morgane Marshall (France).
On the first night, after a day full of workshops and networking, we moved to our second venue to host our competition. After a conference, 16 challengers were briefed backstage before getting started.
There would only be 3 winners as well as a 4th place booster, with over $5000 worth of prizes at stake in the form of equipment (hardware/software) and services from our sponsors. We would like to thank our 2017 sponsors, who gifted prizes to our challengers.
The battle was judged by most of our speakers, who selected the winners round after round with the crowd's participation until late at night. The event was hosted by French standup artist Julien Essome with DJ mixes and animation by DJ Baba Flex, Dj MacTeal, and a live scratch routine by DJ Stresh (Redbull Thre3style French Champ 2016). We also witnessed a live Beatmaking performance by Rhino (aka Dj Fade from A.S.M./Jukebox champions).
We’d like to give a special shout-out to all the participants of this first Music Producer Challenge!
With a focus on the winners of this first edition.
1st place: BlackBell Beats who played original sample-based productions during the whole beat battle competition and stood out with his unique sound. After a strong final round, the jury confirmed him as our first Music Producer Challenge winner.
Black Bell is a Musician, Producer, and Sound designer born in Amiens, France. Raised by a French mother and a Congolese father, blending has always been a big part of his life and it's apparent in his music as he doesn't hesitate to blend RnB, Future Bass, and Congolese rhythms in his productions. From Trap to Boombap, Dancehall, or Deep House, nothing is standard, it’s all about fusion.
2nd place: Clyde Bessi who took the crowd with him at each round giving a lot of energy on stage to present different types of productions. He convinced the jury by playing very musical and melodic beats with strong drums that took him to 2nd place in the competition.
Clyde Bessi is a producer from Marseille, south of France. He started producing around the age of 16 developing a soulful, funky, and organic type of sound. He’s had placements in France with artists such as A2H. Very active and well known by the French beatmakers community he takes every opportunity to present his work through battles and contests.
3rd Place: Dson Beats was full of energy and delivered powerful "ready for market" beats. He fought hard and came close to 2nd Place playing an audience-acclaimed hard-hitting Afro-type beat in the last rounds.
Dson Beats is a producer from La Chaux de Fond in Switzerland. He started taking beat-making seriously in early 2017. Participating in Beat Battles gave him a chance to get his music heard and to get noticed by industry professionals. In 2018 he focused on crafting his sound and production techniques leading to a deal with Warner Chappell at the end of 2018.
Booster Prize: KJP Music played strong beats from RnB/Hip-Hop influences to Reggae / Dancehall tracks with a touch of Afro and World Music. She really heated the stage and ended in 4th place.
Karen Joseph aka KJP Music first started by learning the violin at the Conservatory of Music, dance, and Theater of French Guiana as a member of the Creole Orchestra "Les Petits Musiciens" during her childhood. Besides making beats she used to sing in a French Guianian Choir and is now using her voice as a topliner. KJP Music was one of our rare female contestants we’d love to see more of!
Since then, BlackBell has gone on to win other beat battles such as iStandard, released his own Sample packs, has had multiple placements, and hosts a podcast about beat making. Clyde Bessi is now a certified Platinum producer thanks to his placements with A2H. Dson Beats has gone on to become a #1 Billboard, platinum, chart-topping producer with his signature Afro-Beat/Trap sound earning him placements with Nicki Minaj, Quavo, Takeoff, The Kid Laroi, Toosii, Yung Bleu, Gucci Mane, Tory Lanez & many more... And we could also name one of our other challengers Shaz Beats who has also become a multi-platinum producer thanks to connections at MPC which led to placements with Migos, Young Thug, Ninho, Key Glock, Damso, Hamza, Kalash, Rilès, SCH, and others. And these are just a few examples that came back to our attention…
All these producers were already talented and hungry, they just needed a platform to shine and get their music heard. They worked relentlessly to attain their goals. Although we are not directly responsible for their success; we take pride in knowing that they made some key experiences and connections during this first edition; which truly helped them all take their careers to the next level.
That’s why we work so hard to bring this event to life. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they exit their workshop full of dreams and actionable advice to apply to their craft is priceless.
Once again, the most important thing is realizing that it’s possible…
We can’t promise anybody will obtain this kind of success by simply attending the convention, It’s a mixture of so many things, but we know it helps!
We hope to see you at our next edition this year, who knows what connections or opportunities you might unlock by showing up…