Navigating the music industry can seem daunting, but networking and making the right connections can make all the difference. In this episode, we’re providing invaluable insights on the best strategies for building relationships in the music industry, through the lense of our team trip to NAMM 2023. MusicByLukas and Noize London share their personal experiences, success stories, and top tips on how to make meaningful connections in the industry.

We cover topics such as attending music events, social media networking, collaboration strategies, and how to approach industry professionals with confidence. Regardless if you’re a budding artist, a seasoned musician, or an aspiring music manager, these insider tips are tailored to help you reach the top.

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NAMM 2023 Recap – Boomcast Ep. 15

00:00:00:00 – 00:00:04:17
Hey, we are here at NAMM. Well actually we are at the Airbnb.

00:00:04:23 – 00:00:05:16
Round the corner from.

00:00:05:17 – 00:00:21:21
Yes, around the corner from NAMM. And today we’re going to be talking all about NAMM if it’s worth it to come, and kind of like what the experience was like and what you can expect if you’ve never been here before, or maybe some tips if you have been here before. So stay tuned. Hey, it’s me, MusicbyLukas.

00:00:21:22 – 00:00:28:06
Hey, I’m Fabio from Noize. We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for The all in one solution for musicians.

00:00:28:06 – 00:00:51:14
Yes. It makes it easy to collaborate, to upload and store all your files. And so many incredible features are coming right now. Maybe by the time you’re already watching this, they are going to be rolled out. But we’re super excited for the new upcoming collaboration features and I don’t know if we can say too much more about that, but I think personally that’s what I’m most excited about: the features that are here to come, but you can sign up for free right now and be the first to access those, so go check it out.
The link is below.

00:00:52:06 – 00:00:59:00
NAMMM is the world’s biggest music convention based out here in Anaheim, California. United States of America.

00:00:59:01 – 00:01:10:21
This is your first time at NAMM? It’s actually my first time as well. Yesterday was our first day. And so you’ve kind of you’ve had a little bit of experience here. How is it different than you thought it would be? And what have you enjoyed so far?

00:01:10:23 – 00:01:32:09
I’m not sure that it was anything different from what I expected because I’d seen videos on YouTube before. Obviously it is huge. And yes, so much going on. There’s so much to take in. And where else in the world could you be where you can play every single instrument and look at every piece of music technology, whether that be hardware or software, under one roof.

00:01:32:13 – 00:01:35:06
So what do you think is great about coming to NAMM? What’s the reason to come?

00:01:35:06 – 00:01:38:09
I think it’s a great excuse to get the gang together, right. It’s like a big party and where you have all your favorite creators, you’ve got great musicians, great conferences. Yeah, great fireside chats. Yeah. And you have the opportunity to network, but you also have the opportunity to invite all your friends and go and explore different brands and different sources of inspiration for your upcoming projects.

00:01:57:10 – 00:02:12:06
Yeah. And it’s like you said, we got to meet all the, a lot of people that I had never seen before in person, like other creators and stuff like that. And even if maybe you don’t know anyone, oh, there’s plenty of people to meet. And I’m sure you can also join different groups online or discord’s and chat with people and link up.

00:02:12:23 – 00:02:30:07
And then yeah, it’s also in a great location too because there’s so much to go do. Like we went to downtown Disney after and had fun over there and it’s just kind of also there’s really good food all over the place and they have, luckily coffee and different things set up there. Like they have it set up in a way where they want you to be comfortable, which I think is really great.

00:02:30:12 – 00:02:38:08
So even though it’s so big, and your legs do get a little tired if you’re not used to walking that much, I do think that they have it set up in a way where it’s really enjoyable.

00:02:38:11 – 00:03:02:08
Yeah, and it’s not just about demoing products, it’s also about going to see those products being demoed so you know how to use them before purchasing. Or they had the ‘mix with the masters’ tent where they had famous engineers doing walkthroughs. So there’s a massive sort of educational aspect of NAMM and I’m pretty sure also that they do do discounted rates and just kind of conventions on gear too.

00:03:02:08 – 00:03:19:23
So although you might be spending a little bit of money to come here, right, it might actually pan out, you know, being cheaper in the end for us. I think personally, it was more of a networking tool. And it’s a great place to get everyone together because obviously we all share the same passion for music.

And the only other place I can think of – any other events that could do – there’s one actually outside of London, I can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s big but I can’t remember the name, it’s not very famous. And the other one is, of course, ADE, which is where we did our first podcast. So how do you think it differs from something like ADE?

00:03:39:20 – 00:03:59:00
Oh, it’s totally different, which is really interesting. If you’ve never been to either ADE or maybe you’ve been to one, so you’ll get this. But if you haven’t, I’ll try to explain which is like ADE is a lot more for partying and it’s a lot more like it goes to like six in the morning every day. There’s these live events, there are DJ shows, there’s also like a whole plethora of things happening all over town.

00:03:59:00 – 00:04:17:01
Whereas NAMM is mainly happening… and I mean all over town, like all over Amsterdam…but NAMM is happening all inside, really inside the conference center. So you’re at the L.A. Convention Center, and it’s all happening within that district and in a way, it has its niceness. Because like we said, like, they have coffee, they have everything kind of set up for you:
food tents are there and all the food trucks. And, you know, it’s kind of like all confined, even though it’s big, whereas the Amsterdam dance event is really on a whole other level. I feel like there’s just so much going on and it is really good for networking there too. So they do have that similarity. But yeah, they definitely say it’s different.

00:04:33:15 – 00:04:50:05
There’s definitely a convenience to how everything is kept in one place. And yeah, I think the main difference obviously, a big one, is location and environment. I would say one of the main differences between ADE and NAMM is that NAMM is kind of all genres, right? And more, let’s call them American or like the West Coast.

00:04:50:10 – 00:05:09:07
There’s a lot more hip hop, for example, which is awesome. And ADE is very dance music centric, right. But it’s when you go to ADE, you’re definitely going for some sort of educational purposes. You’re going to network, you’re going to see shows, right? Whereas NAMM is like more gear focused as a whole?

00:05:09:07 – 00:05:10:01
Oh, 100%.

00:05:10:17 – 00:05:33:00
But that gives you opportunities, well, to network with musicians who are in different genres and different skill sets. So it depends how focused you want your approach to be when it comes to networking. And then of course, there’s also all the software brands which as creators we promote a lot. Yeah, it’s nice being in touch with our Internet friends and meeting them in person.

00:05:33:00 – 00:05:35:00
And seeing all the software, different brands. Yeah, exactly.

00:05:35:00 – 00:05:52:11
I guess what people really want to know is, is it worth it? You know, is it worth coming to NAMM? And obviously there’s a lot of people who are coming from California. Yes, there’s a lot of people coming from all around the world. Yeah. And that makes it seem that it obviously and not you know, it makes it somewhat expensive.
So what do you think people are going to get out of it and do you think it’s worth it?

00:05:57:23 – 00:06:15:04
I think it depends because it depends on where you’re at, what you’re after and all that kind of stuff. I think it’s kind of similar with ADE, but like if you’re going to go, especially if you live in California and you’re close, I mean, it’s not a big deal for you to come the further you live away and the more it’s going to be for you to make the trip out there.

00:06:15:04 – 00:06:30:06
I think it’s going to depend more and more on what your kind of angle is, because like, for example, if you’re someone who’s aspiring to work with brands, for example, it might be worth it. Like even if you live far, come out here because you get to just take a walk and talk to every single person.

Whereas usually if you were just going to try to email people on their website or something, you know, it’s really difficult to get in contact. You know, you’re going to get their info at inbox or you’re going to DM like and maybe they won’t reply, but you can walk straight up to the owners, face the developers, you know, and talk with them about this kind of stuff.

00:06:48:03 – 00:07:14:08
But if you also, if you’re just looking to shop for gear, I don’t know if I would fly all the way unless, unless maybe they have some stuff that you’re never going to see anywhere else or something. So I guess it depends on what you’re kind of there for. If you’re just coming to meet up and link up with people to like hang out, I think ADE is probably a better one for that because I feel like just like on the hangout side it is great and you do get to meet a lot of people, but also ADE it depends if you’re in the electronic because that’s an Amsterdam dance event, it’s dance music.

00:07:19:19 – 00:07:37:04
I think ADE also requires a little more strategy. You need a little bit more planning to make sure you’re out there. I mean, I was very lucky because you helped me out and took me to some really cool events and obviously invited me to yours, which was awesome. And that kind of got me going, but I could have planned a lot more.

00:07:37:04 – 00:07:56:18
Whereas with NAMM you don’t really need a strategy. You know, you could come here and you could just make your way around day one, figure things out day to then make a list of where you want to go and ultimately you’ll still bump into people along the way. You’re bumping into people that you know, you bump into brands that you know, and you develop those relationships in an organic way.

00:07:57:00 – 00:08:15:17
The facilities are so great that it really makes your life very easy and it’s a little bit more of a run around as I experienced last year, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it pushes you outside of your comfort zone. So maybe if you are slightly more introverted, NAMM could have more padding, right?

It’s just a bit simpler.

00:08:17:16 – 00:08:39:07
And now it’s time for our Out-of-the-Box question, which is the point in the podcast where we like to talk about something unrelated. But in this case, its going to be kind of an add on to what we’re talking about. So if you were kind of new to making connections or you’re walking up to someone who you’ve never met before but you wanted to, you know, say hi to them and make that connection. What’s your icebreaker move?

00:08:41:10 – 00:09:01:17
So if I’m particularly interested in talking to someone, I will research them before. So you can do research on Instagram and don’t do something creepy like, “Oh I saw you jet skied with dolphins in 2006.” I think it’s about trying to figure out someone’s interests. If you’re particularly interested in getting to know someone, go and be genuine. Ask them how they are. Don’t put them on a pedestal, and just be yourself as well. I know that’s a bit ambiguous. And then find out something about them that you know interests them and try and navigate the conversation towards that and build a genuine connection. Because if you can show that you’re genuinely interested in that person and you know what they also put out publicly, yeah, you’re way more likely to have a successful conversation.

00:09:27:19 – 00:09:45:18
I agree. And I would also say that my strategy with talking to people is to try just not to make it about the business because I feel like that will come up naturally and it’s almost better just to make that connection. Like, I feel like sometimes it can seem like this is your one chance to like to talk about that thing you need to talk about with them, but a lot of times I feel like, you know, it is some things happens over time, so it might not be the first time. Like maybe you met at NAMM, you know, during the afternoon, but then randomly you bump into each other or you say like, Hey, what are you doing tonight? And then you’re going and you’re gone bowling or something like that.

00:10:02:16 – 00:10:22:19
And then, you know, maybe you make an even tighter connection and then you’re talking later and things just naturally come up. Like, I feel like that’s kind of the best course of action when it comes to those kind of things because it feels more authentic. And I think it should be. I think anyone you want to talk to, I think you should want to make a genuine connection with at the end of the day and not just necessarily be all about the business.

00:10:23:00 – 00:11:45:10
Oh, totally. And business is going to go so much further if you actually get on with that person in the first place. Otherwise, there’s going to be a lot of friction from the beginning and you will probably find you’re going to disappoint yourself. I mean, I’ve made that mistake many times in the past, going into business with people for the sake of business, and not because I actually like them or get on with that.

And then a year and then a year later it blows up in your face and you’re like, I think I saw that one coming. But I’m not saying that there aren’t times where you have to, like, suck it up and, you know, go be courteous to someone that you might not want to be.

But the reality is that’s probably going to be a very short term strategy. Long term strategy is… it is a tough industry. And so people are looking for connections and people are looking to build relationships because we’ve all worked so hard to be here. So finding people who have the same mindset, you’d be surprised how isolated a lot of musicians are, right?

You know, whether it be on the marketing side, whether it be on the branding side, software, hardware. We’re all looking to bond over the same thing. And when you do bond over the same thing, that relationship can last a really long time and takes you really far into your career. So my out of the box question back to you Lukas is what is the strangest or weirdest way that you’ve made a connection with someone in the past?

00:11:45:15 – 00:12:05:14
What’s funny is that off the top of my head, it’s hard to think, but most of the things that have happened in my life with big connections with me have all been super random, like running into people in random places or, you know, just like coming into basically meeting in a way that we weren’t planning on meeting, or getting connected through friends or we had no idea who each other were.

00:12:05:20 – 00:12:23:00
I feel like a lot of things are super random in the world and that’s why it’s like sometimes it’s tough to like, plan them because things that definitely don’t always happen as you plan, but being able to be flexible and just kind of like roll with it. So one example would be I’m on my YouTube channel.

00:12:23:00 – 00:12:45:05
Back when we were me and Lauren, my partner, were first really starting my YouTube channel. We would do this thing where we would make videos about famous artists and we would talk about their marketing and why we liked it. And we would have all the people in the comments start tagging that artist in the comments and then that artist would find the video because they get so many notifications about it. Then they would be like, What’s this video about? And watch it. And that would kind of get us in contact. And then, yeah, we’ve met a lot of bigger artists through things like that, through social media. And then like for example, one time we went to Miami Music Week and we ended up having like a nice hotel and, you know, there was ike a bigger artist who just didn’t have a place to stay because their trip got extended and they ended up staying with us.

00:13:11:04 – 00:13:12:19
Just random things like that.

00:13:12:19 – 00:13:33:10
And I would say for me, this is social media too. It’s always kind of been that way. After ADE, I posted the ADE vlog and then we spoke about Future Rave, where I brought it up in our podcast and I was like a short clip of that in the vlog and funny enough. Morten Yeah, reposted it and I didn’t follow him at the time. And then someone sent it to me as an “oh by the way” and then we started following each other. Then we started talking and we just kept in contact. Do you know what I mean? Like, never anything more than just liking each other’s shit. You know how it is, right? And then recently I like, co-produced a record for him.

00:13:48:05 – 00:14:17:09
So I think it’s just sometimes you think you’re putting something out there on social media for one reason, but we never really consider the byproducts that you just sometimes you just can’t predict these things happening. That video didn’t even do very well for me on YouTube, so I didn’t even know how it showed up on his browser.
But somehow it did. And then, you know, he ended up messaging me.

00:14:17:09 – 00:14:26:01
So if anyone’s on the fence about now, they’re still on the fence at this point. What would you say is the biggest reason to come?

00:14:26:19 – 00:14:51:15
A few factors. Consider your genre. Yeah. Consider your personality and consider what you want to get out of it. So if you’re looking for an all rounded experience of demoing hardware, education, sort of hardware, software, education and networking that I think now is pretty good. Yeah. If you’re looking more for the dance music genre, yeah, more dance music focused activities and events and education, and you’re looking for somewhere in Europe that then, then it is the obvious one.

00:14:56:09 – 00:15:01:03
Yeah. I think for me the biggest thing that I’ve enjoyed about NAMM is just making connections and seeing people.

00:15:01:04 – 00:15:01:14
Mm hmm.

00:15:01:14 – 00:15:06:20
Mm hmm. So for me, I’d be like, if you want to make connections and see people, that’s the biggest one for me, because that’s what interests me the most.

00:15:06:22 – 00:15:07:08

00:15:07:21 – 00:15:14:05
What are your pros and cons of ADE versus NAMM?

00:15:14:11 – 00:15:24:02
I think what we said before, I think NAMM is very convenient. All under one roof, ADE requires a little more strategy, a little more planning. But what I will say for both of them is that everyone’s very friendly. Oh, so far. And everyone’s there to say hi and meet us. So regardless of how shy you are, I think, you know, remember that everyone’s there for the same reason. There’s no judgment. Yeah, it feels like a very, very safe space where you can be vulnerable with your art and your personality and your motives for being there.

00:15:43:00 – 00:15:55:08
Yeah, I don’t think I could have said it better than that. I mean, the only other thing I’d say is the difference is that ADE is for five days. And if you’re not from Europe, of course, I mean, it’s the same for people from Europe coming to NAMM, but you have to deal with jet lag and the flight.

00:15:55:08 – 00:16:13:05
Like if you’re from the US there’s a long flight. Yes. I do recommend that if you go to ADE that you get there a few days early, which is also expensive, but it helps you get used to the jet lag a little bit more and kind of get settled. We usually like to stay in an Airbnb. Maybe this is a good tip for NAMM too, but honestly at NAMM there’s so much easy to grab food.

00:16:13:13 – 00:16:28:21
But like at ADE we get groceries, we get to Airbnb, we have like, you know, options because it’s like it’s so random sometimes over there. Whereas this I think you can NAMM, I think you can plan a little bit better, you know, and be able to. It’s easier to do in a way.

00:16:28:22 – 00:16:38:01
Yeah. Lots of great restaurants, NAMM everything’s in walking distance and Amsterdam. Right. That’s the other thing which is like NAMM you will have to drive or Uber depending on where you’re staying.

And Amsterdam, you will probably have to Uber at certain times of six, seven, 8 a.m. when you’re coming out of the events. But otherwise it’s very easy to get around the city.

00:16:52:09 – 00:17:09:08
Well let us know in the comments if you’ve ever been to NAMM, if you’ve been to ADE, if you’ve ever been to a music conference, what your experience was like, what do you think is your favorite so far? Maybe a EDM festival or just a music festival? And yeah, that I’m excited will definitely come back next year.

00:17:09:08 – 00:17:16:02
Maybe we’ll have a Boombox booth or like an event that could be really cool. So come to NAMM next year and we’ll definitely see you there.

00:17:16:06 – 00:17:24:12
100%. And on the note of Boombox, we just want to say thank you for making this collaboration possible. It is the all in one solution for musicians.

00:17:24:14 – 00:17:33:09
Yes. And be on the lookout, get your free account. Be on the lookout for those new features that are coming in the next few months because they are going to change a lot. They’re going to change the game.

00:17:33:16 – 00:17:39:07
I’m Noize London.

00:17:39:13 – 00:17:40:11
I’m Music by Lukas.

00:17:40:17 – 00:17:42:20
And we’ll see you very soon. Peace!