Timbaland, Big Daddy Kane on Success in the Music Industry: ASCAP 2023

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timbaland, Big Daddy Kane and other music industry icons gathered at this year’s event. ASCAP Los Angeles experience to share advice for making progress in the music industry and to inspire songwriters and composers to continue channeling their passions into their work.

The highly anticipated session of the day was the “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop” panel moderated by Vibe editor Datwon Thomas, featuring Big Daddy Kane and Easy Mo Bee. They talked about industry icons, Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, and talked about hip-hop history and its longstanding influence on culture.

Renowned producer Timbaland was the keynote speaker. Raydar’s CEO, Ray Daniels, interviewed the producer of “Supa Dupa Fly” to talk about Timbaland’s over two decades of producing in R&B, hip-hop and pop. Timbaland has produced for artists such as Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Rihanna, Brandy and Ludacris throughout his career.

“I started out by really loving what I do,” Timbaland said during his talk. “I love the art of music, but I’m in all the right places, at all the right times. But it was my sister Missy Elliot who stood by my craft. She took me with her on her journey. Missy is the one who really got me into the music business.”

He mentioned that borrowing and being inspired by other genres and musicians is a big part of his job as a producer and shouldn’t be frowned upon.

“Music is something that repeats itself,” he said. “It’s not copying, it’s inspiration. Producer people say, ‘I’m going to give you that Timba splash,’ because they were inspired by what I did. There is so much to buy these days. I take all kinds.”

Timbaland also touched on artificial intelligence, which is now a big topic in music production. I wanted to emphasize that using AI does not remove artists from the equation. He believes this helps them do the job more efficiently.

“We need the human heart of humans to do what AI does,” Timbaland said. “This is a very useful tool and so it’s important to show people that I’ve created a great song with a great melody, but still I to try and achieve.

Sort Jazz Tangcay hosted the Intelligently Navigating Artificial Intelligence panel with ASCAP chief digital and strategy officer Nick Lehman, composer Lucas Cantor Santiago and DAACI CEO Rachel Lyske. While illuminating the pros and cons of using AI in the music industry, the panel paid attention to listeners protecting their IPs.

Jazz Tangcay, Nick Lehman, Rachel Lyske and Lucas Cantor Santiago. (Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP)
Getty Images for ASCAP

“What we’re going right is very similar to the computer from Star Trek,” Santiago said. “It creates space for creativity. That’s what every new music technology does, it’s always made us better, faster and more creative.”

The event also featured a Social Listening panel featuring singer-songwriter Alex Warren, Atlantic Records executive Caroline Kimiko Jensen and moderator Maria Gironas. Together, artists can use social media to grow their fan base in the current age of social media. “Post authentically about yourself, your music, and everyone else who has written about the difficult times of their lives, keep telling the story, and people will eventually listen,” Warren said.

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