This past Friday I was dressed and out of the door by 7:22 am walking towards my Uber only I wasn’t headed to work! Instead of making my way to my regular nine to five, I had the pleasure of attending the NABFEME 2018 International Women’s Leadership Summit at the International House Philadelphia. I was given an all access pass to attend as one of the Influential Bloggers of Philly!
This was very special occasion for me as it was the first time that I have ever attended an event as a blogger. If you have been around from the beginning of Sincerely, Nate you know that I have been blogging since 2013. It’s been almost 5 years here in the blogging world and it hasn’t always been easy! What puts the icing on the cake is that this leadership summit was centered around women in entertainment and music industry! Since music is one of the main themes of my blog I couldn’t have picked a better first event if I tried!
Before I get into telling you about my day let me start by telling you a bit more about who the women of NABFEME are. NABFEME is the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment, Inc, a place where women from all over the world come together in their respective cities to connect as a community. Their mission is “…to advance the female agenda of education, equality, empowerment and connectivity.” They have chapters in the United States, Canada and Africa! You can read more about NABFEME and find out how to become a member on their site www.nabfemesummit.com.
The Leadership Summit lasted from Thursday the 27th to Saturday the 29th. During the day there were seminars on varying topics such as social media, social injustice, music and sisterhood. At night there were events like the Women Who Jam showcase where artists took to the stage to share their creative gifts! I arrived in Philly that Friday afternoon and made my way to the seminars which were focused on music.
In the first seminar I attended called Make Music Great Again, the moderator, Professor Tonya Butler, Esq, asked the panelists “What made music great?”. The panelists responded, saying that the lyrics were poetic in nature and that the music once carried beautiful melodies that new music today just doesn’t seem to embody. They spoke about how the musicians and singers would come together in the studio to create together versus now where music is usually created in parts with the singer in one place and the musicians in another. One thing in particular that they made mention of was how a song could be separated in parts – music, singers, or just the lyrics and each part of the body of work could stand alone. I won’t lie I took a few moments to think of who I could contact to dissect a song like that for me so I could be the judge lol and then I returned my focused back to the seminar.
Professor Butler then asked “What caused music to no longer be great?” The panelists answered that the lack of African-American Executives in music and radio as well as the lack of education and mentorship for younger generations were parts of the reason for the current state of music. They also mentioned that the advancement of technology such as Protools has made music accessible to the creative individual but rather repetitive and unoriginal.
Do you think music has fallen in quality and creativity because of technological advances? Do you think music isn’t as great as it used to be?
When asked what we could do to make music great again the panelists did not fail to give great advice. They said that we should begin to educate the up and coming artists not just in the classical practice of their instruments but also in the business side of music. Secondly they mentioned that we should work to get more African-Americans into the executive positions so that we have more control over the studios and distribution of the music.
Once the seminar was over the panelists stayed and talked with the attendees which I felt was really commendable. I myself had the opportunity to chat with Sarah O’ Connor to pick her brain on how to bridge the gap between my career as a corporate professional with my passion for music.
Professor Tonya Butler, Esq. – Moderator
1. Herb Middleton -CEO, NuVybe Records
2. Darryl King – Director, Euphoria Media
3. Dyana Williams – CEO, Influence Entertainment
4. Sarah O’Connor – Producer, Radio One
The second seminar was titled The Gospel According to Us and it was just as awesome! The moderator for this seminar was Gina Miller and her personality instantly lit up the room! Through her questions the panelists were able to share a lot of great advice with the audience in attendance. They shared tips on how to pitch yourself as an artist to event coordinators, what it takes to make it to your dreams and the advice they would have given to their younger selves. It was absolutely inspiring! The panelist also discussed their opinions about gospel artists who work with secular artists which I found very interesting to listen to being that I’m a Christian.
Do you think that collaborations such as Nikki Minaj and Tasha Cobbs are a help or hurt to the body of Christ?
Gina Miller – Moderator
1. Robyn McCollum – Gospel Air Personality
2. Shelvia Williams – Director, Special Events Delaware Waterfront
3. Sherise Malachi – Marketing & Events Director, Radio One
4. Kala Baxter – Actress, Speaker & Radio Host
5. Sarah O’Connor – Producer, Radio One
Once the seminars were over I stopped by the vendor table and picked up a few goodies. My brief encounter with the owner of the gorgeous women’s garments and accessories was delightful. We had a chat about how our mothers were our best friends and I couldn’t help but to give a great big laugh when she told me that her mother calls her too early in the morning.
As I traveled back home I realized that I had spent the day sitting in front of people who were instrumental in the way I and so many like me have experienced music. To say that these women and men were powerhouses is an understatement. I sat just feet away from people who are the experts and decision makers in fields such as Artist Development, Radio, and Event Planning. The NABFEME Leadership Summit provided me with the opportunity to sit before them, learn from their mistakes and celebrate with them about their triumphs.
If you are interested in the music and entertainment industry or have a real love for it and are looking for a place to meet other women like yourself I suggest keeping NABFEME on your radar. Make arrangements to attend the conference in 2019! Make it a girls trip to bring in the fall season! I’d love to meet you there!
Will you meet me at the next NABFEME Summit?
P.S. Check out my Instagram @sincerelynate for highlights and pictures from my day at the conference and follow me there! Let’s stay connected!