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13th annual ASCAP EXPO kick-off


13th annual ASCAP EXPO kick-off

Festivities kicked off with opening remarks from ASCAP President (and Songwriters Hall of Fame member) Paul Williams and the Billboard-sponsored “We Create Music” panel, an event that has become a staple of EXPO’s opening day over the years. Multi-platinum recording artist Jason Mraz, ASCAP Latin Songwriter of the Year Claudia Brant, noted film composer Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, Batman v. Superman) and ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter of the Year /chart-topping songwriter David Garcia came together to discuss first breaks, overcoming self-doubt, the art of songwriting and so much more.

Indie icon St. Vincent and 19-year-old Mark Ronson-signee King Princess joined forces for a conversation between two of today’s most riveting musicians. The pair exchanged vivid stories from their songwriting pasts: their earliest musical memories, finding their identities as artists and penning their first breakthroughs.

Jermaine Dupri walked EXPO attendees through his storied career, including 20 #1 hits on the Billboard charts and his iconic work with Usher (the Diamond-certified Confessions), Mariah Carey (“We Belong Together,” Billboard’s highest-charting single of the 2000s), Jay-Z and Beyonce.

A team of Nashville power players from William Morris, Warner/Chappell, Red Light Management and Spotify tackled “Making It In Music City” in a conversation with #1 songwriter Adam Sanders, whose decade-long rise was also used as a case study by the group. Among other insights, Sanders and team discussed how playing a 2:30PM show on a Tuesday and befriending a pre-fame merch salesman named Cole Swindell changed his life forever.

Celebrity photographer and disabled Vietnam veteran Jerome Dorn embodies the very definition of resilience. Born in Philadelphia, the fifth of seven children, Dorn stayed focused throughout his youth, eventually obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice. Dorn has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Justice, World Wide Detective Agency, and several other high profile security groups. Throughout his successful career, Dorn wrestled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an aftereffect of his military service. Battling the pain and debilitating effect of PTSD, Dorn found comfort behind the camera. Photography proved to be not only therapeutic, but life changing as well. Dorn picked up his first camera in 1970 while serving in Vietnam and knew instantly that behind the lens was where he belonged. His shooting style and photographs were special, generating a buzz in the industry. In 1985, he began his career in photojournalism, working in a variety of genres. Dorn’s credentials include fashion, lifestyle photography, photojournalism, and celebrity/red carpet coverage. Working with MSNBC, Jet Magazine, and major publications in Philadelphia and around the country, Dorn has had the honor of capturing the images of hundreds of notable celebrities and politicians including President Barack Obama, George Bush Jr, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Will Smith, and Tyler Perry. Photography has sent Dorn around the globe, inspiring his passion for civil activism. In 1995, Dorn assembled and led a group of forty-two men to the Million Man March. Together, they spent five days walking from Philadelphia to Washington DC. In his travels, Dorn observed a common theme amongst the youth of the world. Many of the children he encountered seemed lost. Understanding that opportunities for at-risk youth are minimal, Dorn was inspired to make a difference. Established by Dorn in 2011, InDaHouseMedia was built on the idea that there is room in the house for everyone. With InDaHouseMedia, Dorn’s mission is to provide the future generation with positive direction through sports, music, and photography.

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