Friday, July 16, 2010

GRAMMY® Campers Creating Their Own Network For The Future By Jenay Ross

During every panel and throughout several random discussions, the word “networking” pops up all over the place at GRAMMY Camp®. Networking can make or break a person’s career in the music business. Every single person, whether they are a faculty member, counselor, camper, or guest, is part of a network, and the Campers now know how to make connection with anyone who’s anyone. “It’s vital,” said singer-songwriter Alec Gaston.

Will Pinson, a multi-instrumentalist, plays saxophone, drums, and piano, and dabbles with the clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, and piccolo. Being tremendously musically diverse, he takes advantage of any opportunity he has to meet new people. “Networking is when you talk to someone you find a common ground with. You talk about what you do, abilities you have, and things you’ve done before and they tell you about what they’ve done,” said Pinson. If common ground is established, Campers try to stay in touch to work together and see if they can meet even more people through their new connections.

Making a connection with someone doesn’t have to be all about common ground though. “To me, it means going out and meeting all kinds of diverse people to get connections in any field you’re interested in,” said Stacy Ferreira from the Concert Promotion And Production track. It’s a good idea to talk to people in different fields, because then the campers won’t end up being limited to one certain aspect of the business. The only effort that goes into networking is keeping in contact with new acquaintances. Ferreira and the other Campers use Facebook, other online social network mediums, and phones to stay connected with people they meet.

Rudy Weimer, an Audio Engineer camper, said networking is about getting to know people and “sort of spreading yourself and your business.” He has been talking with people in different tracks, telling them about himself, his music, and his band. He’s also been handing out his business cards and getting the word out about what he does. “I know Shane [Silver] and I are going to try to work on stuff, so him and I for sure [are going to work together] and hopefully some others if they want to,” said Weimer.

“Networking was a word that kind of scared me honestly in the beginning, because it seemed a little overwhelming,” said emerging Singer/Songwriter Taylor Harvey. This is Harvey’s second year at GRAMMY Camp and since last year, she has worked with several LA-based GRAMMY Campers, such as Brandon Combs and Aaron Childs. “We’ve been gigging probably a couple times this past year which has been really cool,” she said. “I look forward to making those kinds of relationships again.” Ryan Jarvis, another Singer/Songwriter, has also stayed connected with people from past GRAMMY Camps. “Vince Camerano and Grahm Bailey are both on my new EP,” he mentioned. Alec Gaston added, “Ryan lives pretty close to where I do in the Chicago area, so I plan on collaborating with him.”

Prior to last year, Harvey had different goals before attending camp. “I didn’t even know whether I wanted to do music really and GRAMMY Camp decided, do music,” she confessed. This year Harvey is taking in everything with a different mindset. “Even though they are like the same panels, I look at them in totally different ways, because of where I am as an artist,” she said. She has been greatly inspired by other musicians and their music, and appreciates the professionals that have come to speak. “They actually believe you’ll be taking their spot in the next couple of years,” she said. Three days after camp ends, she’ll be back to playing shows. It has been her summer goal to land some gigs and she’ll soon be coming out with an album she’s wanted to finish. Once summer ends, she’ll be heading over to New York to attend Columbia University. “That’s really exciting trying to become a part of GRAMMY U over there, so I can have multiple bases and stuff,” she said.

Another certain aspect about GRAMMY Camp that the Campers love is how easy it is for everyone to create music. “I just think it’s really cool how it takes us about like three or four days to craft a really good song of our own. Then when you sit down with somebody else you can write a song in 10 minutes,” said Gaston. That is what Camp is all about; collaborating and networking in order to advance musical goals and dreams.

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