When musician and entrepreneur Jalen James Acosta founded World Artists United (WAU), a boutique record label and entertainment company, it didn’t take him long to realize that there weren’t many opportunities for artists to get together, share ideas, and learn how to use their craft to monetize their dreams.
Acosta, who started his journey as a homeless restaurant dishwasher in Miami, had been determined to pursue his passion for music but didn’t know how to make a career out of it. Making daily trips to the Miami-Dade Public Library to study the music business, sound engineering, and Avid Pro Tools, Acosta soon earned enough to get back on his feet and purchase his own computer, Mbox and copy of Pro Tools. This enabled him to start writing songs, soon launching his music career and eventually leading him to other creative endeavors – including acting, filmmaking, and tech development.
With WAU co-founder Rachel Lynn Karry, Acosta set out to create an event that would bring together leading music innovators and aspiring music entrepreneurs to become “artrepreneurs” – a blend of artist and entrepreneur with the ability to master both the artistic and professional realm.
In partnership with the Harvard Graduate Council, Acosta and Karry created the first annual Music Entrepreneur Conference (MEcon). At this first-of-its-kind event, being held April 7-8 in Cambridge, MA at Harvard University’s Science Center, budding artrepreneurs get an opportunity to learn how to make a living doing what they love.
Here artists-turned-business-leaders will share stories of how they leveraged their musical abilities to achieve success in the business world. Among those scheduled to speak at MEcon are:
• Kerry Gordy of Motown and former manager of Prince
• Evan Greene, CMO of The Recording Academy (Grammys)
• Rodney Jerkins, Grammy Award-Winning Producer and Music Supervisor for Fox’s hit TV show EMPIRE
• DJ Irie, DJ Entrepreneur of the Year
The conference will also offer workshops on strategizing and monetizing, content creation, networking, team building, and vision setting.
“The conference will explore the journey of ‘artrepreneurship’ by equipping artists and entrepreneurs with a simple strategy: to build an intriguing brand and marketing strategy applicable to everyone, from the up-and-coming artist to entrepreneurs looking to create a connection with their fans and customers,” Acosta said.
Given the role Avid Pro Tools played in Acosta’s career (and the careers of many leading producers, songwriters, audio engineers and musicians), Avid is proud to partner with MEcon in supporting artrepreneurs. With free tools for music creation – Pro Tools | First – and video editing – Media Composer | First – attendees looking to develop and market their craft can now use the same tools as the pros!
Throughout the conference sessions, attendees will also have the chance to win professional versions of the software, further helping students, up-and-coming artists, songwriters, producers and marketers advance their careers.