3rd Eye Blind
3rd Eye Blind, Taylor Swift, and Flyleaf, just to name a few, all share at least one commonality and that is the Florida music festival. The Florida music festival is an annual showcase of musical talent, held in downtown Orlando Florida each Spring. The event launched in the spring of 2001, it showcases over 250 selected unsigned acts of musicians, singers/songwriters, bands and solo acts of a vast array of genres. The event takes place over a period of three days and also includes a conference featuring many industry professionals to network with. There are over fifteen stages, some located indoors, and others located outdoors in which the artists get the amazing opportunity to perform their original music in front of crowds ranging in numbers from ten to fifty thousand! That is amazing exposure for any aspiring artist! 

Each year there are a few headlining guest acts that will perform throughout the three-day event. Some past headliners have been Taylor Swift, who actually had her career launch through the Florida Music festival at age 13! Some other headliners have been 3rd Eye Blind, Manchester Orchestra, Black Tide and Flyleaf. The event will be hosting its ten-year anniversary festivities this upcoming Spring on April 20-23, 2011. Artist submissions are now being accepted at the official Florida Music Festival website, click here, you can also find more information regarding the festivities for the weekend on the website. 

Taylor Swift
Now, I really wanted to shed some light on the Florida Music festival because if you are a developing artist you should really take any and every opportunity that comes your way, and you as a developing artist should also be on the constant look out for new gigs and chances to be heard. You never know when you may get your big break, whatever that “break” to you may be. Me, myself, am an aspiring singer/songwriter/producer that also has a strong focus and grasp on the business portion of my future career, so this is definitely an event that I must say, I will be taking a deeper look into. I understand the importance of getting public exposure if you are unsigned and basically unknown in the music world. I really do believe that this is a great event to look into if you dream of performing your music in front of large crowds as I do. You really don’t have much to lose and should seize the opportunities to invest in YOURSELF! Invest in self and you may truly one day attain your dreams! Peace and Love…. =)

Check out this cool promotional video for the event:

* http://www.floridamusicfestival.com/

I was talking with some of my business friends the other day, and we were discussing how growing up in the industry and developing in the public eye can be, in many ways, negative and very hard. For many artists that have their careers start at an early age and grow up under the telescope of the public eye, it can be very difficult to actually grow up. Many people become critical of an artist just for simply growing up. People and fans have maybe seen that artist a particular way when they are younger and when that changes they criticize the artist. Now, granted, many of the young celebs today do grow up probably a little faster than the average person their age, because of their access to particular things, and exposure to the world, that average youth do not have. But they are still human, and go through a process of growing up.

Growing up; we all have to go through it at some point in our lives, even celebrities. So why is it that when a celeb is going through that stage of life, and it just so happens to happen in public, that they get scrutinized for it? Many stars have grown up, what seems like, right before our very eyes. Stars such as Beyonce’, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Britney Spears have literally grown up in the limelight. Even more recently stars like Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber will be heading toward the road of growing up in the light of fame very soon, if they haven’t already begun the process.

Britney back in the day
Britney now
Questions are always asked if the child star is “doing too much” or growing up too fast. Britney Spears was talked about when she started getting a little more provocative with her videos, and today Miley Cyrus has really been talked about badly for her new video “can’t be tamed”(see below), sure she may not have much on, but she will also be 18 in a few days (Happy Birthday Ms. Cyrus!!), and in this great country that we live in she is allowed to make a decision about how much she wants to wear in HER music video! She’s old enough to vote she’s old enough to make her choice of how she wants to be portrayed. If there is something different or new for an artist, people tend to feel the need to talk about it.

For example: Poor Emma Watson, a star from the Harry Potter series, recently got a simple hair cut and people are making a FUSS about her, now short pixie hairdo. She states “
I knew it would be kind of a shock, but I had no idea that it would be that big…Like everyone would make this much fuss over it’. Just let the girl live and grow up ya’ll goodness! It’s just hair! She’s old enough to choose a new hairstyle for herself! People have even started talking about

Willow Smith, 9, saying maybe she’s too young, and acting too grown. No the girl likes to sing dance and have a good time (Which is all she is doing in her video, “Whip my Hair”) and luckily she has a family that has the connections to help her out with making her dreams be a reality. Nothing more, nothing less.

I mean honestly could you imagine having to grow up with everyone watching you? Those developmental years can be some of the toughest times in ones life, but for stars its even harder because not only are you going through it but now everybody is watching and critiquing your every move. I say leave these kids alone and let them grow up!

Artist Development.
In the past there was usually a whole team that would dedicate themselves to the development of an artist or band. That team would consist of managers, handlers, producers, writers, stylists, promoters, media coaches, choreographers, and many others roles that were involved. Some people may not have realized the effort it took to create a star. There was a lot of planning, and many details that needed to be paid attention to. There were generally years of creative and image development that had been put into place, and the timing of release was a huge factor as well.  It was like raising a child, in some sense, preparing the artist so that when they were released into the Music industry world they would have an appeal that created and maintained a fan base. This development team would also prepare the artist well enough so that they would be able to handle certain situations that came along with the life style, such as interviews and how to interact with fans, reporters, paparazzi and other celebrities. The Artist Development department would in essence groom the artist to be exactly what they needed them to be, a selling and lasting product. They would find artists and acts that had the potential to be sold, key word potential. They would work with artists and be willing to help shape an artist for long lasting success.
I recently read an article that states the shifts that have happened in the department of Artist Development. Things have altered within record labels and have caused this department’s focus to change. Major labels are not as willing to work with raw artists and develop them into what can be sold. Now a days if you are an artist and you can not be put on the market immediately they are less willing to work with and develop you as a marketable act. Artist development is changing and it will be interesting to see what is in store for the future of this department.

For more check out these cool links