On March 24th, 2011, Cypher Lounge Radio had the pleasure of covering Shaun Beastley and Delaney Douglas’ PenUp Songwriter Networking Event, which occurs monthly at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood.
As you enter the MI Concert Hall, the set up seems familiar to other seminars in that you have the stage with a table and microphones set-up for the panel discussion, a few projector screens for those who may not have a great view of the stage, and of course stadium style seating for all those in attendance. Outside of that aforementioned description, PenUp Songwriter is far removed from your typical industry panel discussion.
Yes, Lil Eddie, who wrote Kyle Minogue’s, “All I See“, Andre Merritt, who wrote Chris Brown’s, “Forever” Steph Jones, who is an established singer/songwriter, and Diezel, who serves as Bei Maejor’s manager all have the standard industry titles, but they are far from standard in that, they had an amazing ability to connect with audience at this month’s PenUp. The conversation was poignant, intense, informative, and just to put it simple, REAL! They didn’t give the cookie-cutter answers to the questions that event hosts, Shaun and Delaney presented to them; these gentlemen broke down the essence of the industry in a rare fashion that is seldom seen, even to the point that the discussion got quite passionate over the rights that a songwriter deserves in regard to the money split while working with producers. The packed house was fully engaged and I felt that the crowd, which consisted of everyone from MI students, aspiring songwriters, established songwriters, producers, and a few industry heavyweights left knowing the witnessed something awe-inspiring, relevant, and real.
The panel discussion is only one portion of the event. The night also featured a performance from up & coming singer/songwriter Trevor Wesley who gave a respectfully comical tribute to Nate Dogg before lacing the crowd with two dope piano heavy songs from his new EP, “Only Live Once.” If that wasnt enough, Shaun and Delaney also offer a few pre-selected songwriters the opportunity for the panel and the crowd to review their music. Artists that are interested in having their material showcased at the event have to submit their work via the PenUp, Soundcloud page at http://soundcloud.com/penupsongwriter. For all the songwriter that do submit, just a word of advice…Please be on your “A” game because there is some amazing talent in the room.
Speaking of the talent in the room, as mentioned before, there are quite a few industry professionals sprinkled throughout the crowd so networking is highly encouraged and promoted after the panel discussion, showcase, and listening portion. What you typically see at these events are the people passing out cards and saying the typical industry language but PenUp truly offers something different. The energy in the room is genuine and you can tell that some true connections and deals are being made right on the spot.
That genuine feeling is a direct reflection of the hosts, Delaney Douglas and Shaun Beastley. These brothers have resumes that read like the Billboard Hot 100 list yet they are truly embody the balance of humility and confidence in that they are humble enough to remain approachable, yet confident enough to lead and direct this amazing event.
With sponsors DEF JAM RECORDINGS, SESAC, OLE MUSIC PUBLISHING, NOTTING HILL PUBLISHING, SAE INSTITUTE, SINGERSROOM.COM, THE RECORDING ACADEMY, THE MUSICIANS INSTITUTE, and ISTANDARD, The PenUp Songwriter Networking Event has all the standard industry heavyweight credentials with out all the standard industry rhetoric. If you are an artist, producer, and of course a songwriter, this is where you need to be each month to truly get the answers and connections you are seeking. The PenUp Songwriter Networking Event is the standard by which all industry networking events should be measured and you definitely want to be at the next one which is going down April 28th, 2011 at the Musicians Institute.