April 12-16, 2017
I recently had the opportunity to attend the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Expo in Hollywood, California to learn more about songwriting, publishing and how to promote my album and book, God from A to Z.
Wednesday evening we all picked up credential badges and attended a meet and greet networking opportunity.
Thursday through Saturday were jam packed with informational seminars, panels, and events from early morning until late at night. Some of the top songwriters, composers, producers and vendors in the business were there to share their knowledge and insight. Paul Williams (President of ASCAP and songwriter of "Rainy Days on Mondays," "We've Only Just Begun," "The Rainbow Connection" and many other songs) opened the ceremonies and discussed copyright reform and advances in the industry.
Film and TV composers like Geoff Zanelli (Pirates of the Caribbean), producers including Mark Hudson (producer/songwriter for Aerosmith, Cher, and Ringo Star), and songwriters Michael McDonald (of the Doobie Brothers), Desmond Child ("Livin' on a Prayer," "Just Like Jesse James," and "Livin' la Vida Loca"), Aloe Black ("Wake Me Up" and "Candyman"), Eric Bazilian (of The Hooters and wrote What if God were "One of Us"), Darrell Brown ("You'll Think of Me" ), Tom Higgenson ("Hey There Delilah" and "1234"), Ashley Gorley ("Heartbeat" and "You Should Be Here") and so many, many others, shared their knowledge and experiences in interactive panels and seminars. There were so many concurrent events and panels that I'll have to watch the videos to see it all. Some panels I attended are pictured here.
We took some time to see some Hollywood stars as we walked around the Chinese Theater and downtown Hollywood. The Lowes Hollywood Hotel was a great venue.
What a privilege it was to attend this year's ASCAP Expo and learn from such a talented lineup of professionals. I made new friends with many up and coming songwriters, producers, and artists from all over the world and the United States including: New Zealand, Argentina, Sweden, Belize, England, Oregon, Washington D.C., Wisconsin (Hey, Kris W., my expo buddy), Manhattan, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, California, and Minnesota. They, like me, were all eager to learn and grow. On the very last day after the Expo closed, I even met a singer/songwriter in the elevator from "a little town in Louisiana" she thought no one had ever heard of -- Shreveport. It is still a small world after all.
It was very interesting to see Stevie Wonder in person, hear his life stories and listen to him sing. Kris and I had seats in the 4th row center stage. Paul Williams presented the ASCAP Key of Life Award to Stevie Wonder for his lifetime achievements in the music industry.
As we left our hotel on Sunday to come home, we stopped by Mel's Dinner once more. They've been serving locals and celebrities great food for 70 years now. Replete from the good meal, I enjoyed rolling down my window to catch the cool California breeze as we drove from Hollywood down Sunset Boulevard to ride along the Pacific beaches to the LAX airport for our flight back home. Fun times!