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13th annual “I Create Music” EXPO Kickoff


13th annual “I Create Music” EXPO Kickoff

(Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP)

ASCAP President Paul Wlliams speaks onstage at The 2018 ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO, the “I Create Music” EXPO in Hollywood brought together music’s top hitmakers, most fearless women and passionate songwriter advocates for panels, workshops, master classes, one-on-one sessions, networking events and performances. Thousands were on hand for another jam-packed day at the United States’ largest conference for music creators.

Ne-Yo treated EXPO attendees to a morning Master Session, pulling back the curtain on a career that’s delivered five #1 albums, a dozen Top 10 singles, multiple Grammy awards and success across genres as a singer, songwriter and producer (…and dancer…and actor).

Renaissance Women in Music brought together some of the most influential women in songwriting – chart-topping artists JoJo and Betty Who, multi-genre standout Priscilla Renea (Rihanna, Kesha, Carrie Underwood), Forbes 30 Under 30 selection Lindsey Stirling and Kanye West collaborator Gizzle – to share inspirational stories of busting through boundaries to become some of the most successful music creators in the world today.

ASCAP Board Members Desmond Child, Michelle Lewis and Alex Shapiro – as well as Rihanna producer Deputy – employed sing-alongs, improv skits, animation and audience participation to take EXPO attendees to “Splitsville USA,” a lively, informative discussion on songwriting splits.

Billie Eilish was joined by Finneas O’Connell – her collaborator, producer and older brother – to discuss her breakthrough 2017 EP and ascent to “Pop’s Next It Girl” (Vogue) status. O’Connell returns to EXPO as a panelist after first attending in 2014 – shortly before the now 20-year-old music creator wrote “Ocean Eyes,” a viral hit for his younger sister with more than 50 million streams.

Jazz legend Marcus Miller joined three of the industry’s most in-demand music directors for a look at the ins and outs of that world. Highlights included “The Voice” music director Paul Mirkovich’s insights on building trust between a musical director and an artist, composer Kevin Teasley on what makes a great leader in the field and Greg Phillinganes explaining how to write arrangements for the stage while doing his best impression of (his longtime client) Michael Jackson’s moonwalk.

GRAMMY-award winner Darrell Brown spent more than four hours helping music creators get the best of their song ideas. With #1 Billboard hits on the country, dance and pop charts, Brown is uniquely qualified to give hands-on advice to writers in a wide range of genres.

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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