CENTRAL WEST END – On a cold, wet Saturday in December, music producers, sound engineers and musicians of all ages packed in to the CIC Cortex building at 20 S. Sarah St. Their mission: to learn about beat-making techniques, to network, and potentially to win a few prizes.
At the end of the 13-hour event, several walked away with new speakers, software, friends and social media followers.
And that was the entire goal of Beat Day 2019. Created by Brandon “Mad Keys” McCadney, along with Orlando “Vaughn Vibes” Vaughn, Beat Day was designed to give everyone involved in the music-creating process an opportunity to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate.
The day began with Beats and Donuts, a “pass the aux”-style exercise where musicians could show off the projects they created, whether it was instrumental or songs in which they rapped or sang. Afterward, attendees could ask what kind of equipment the musician used for the project, or offer any advice.
“To experience Beat Day as an artist and producer, it was really refreshing to see so many new and old faces,” musician IkeZero said. “To network and be able to share ideas in that space was a great opportunity.”
After a few hours of sharing creations, MCs Mad Keys and Vaughn Vibes turned everyone’s attention to the room’s projector, where a Skype call was set up with the creators of Jammber, an app that helps musicians keep track of and get paid efficiently for their work. Although an internet disconnection ended the session early, attendees were happy to learn that an email with a recorded presentation would be sent out in the coming days.
After a brief intermission, creators were asked to meet at a second location to finish out the day. Reconvening at Tech Artista, the creative coworking space at 4818 Washington Blvd., attendees were given time to network with other creatives whose work they’d heard during Beats and Donuts that morning.
Many were seen throughout the space with laptops plugged in, headphones on, and collaborating with others to make beats in real time.
Next up was the panel conversation. Artists including local favorite KVthewriter, MVSTERMIND, BlvckSpvde, and data guru Charles Purnell and graphic designer and brand strategist Ashlee Nicole chatted for an hour about the moving parts necessary to make artists successful. The panel honed in on making sure musicians took care of the business side of their music, in addition to the creative side.
After the event, Mad Keys took to social media to thank everyone for their involvement.
“In Stevie’s words, I’m overjoyed,” he said. “I can’t say thank you enough for the love and support for Beat Day! Yesterday was truly incredible to have over 150 music creatives throughout the whole day sharing music, networking and growing.”
Beat Day promises to be back next year, with even more participants and opportunities to share and grow.