By Rose Jay
Chris Anokute and Maria Egan
Even a huge star like Katy Perry was once upon a time in a position when labels didn't want to gamble on her. The speakers on this panel told their stories of what they did to break Katy within the industry to help her become the mega superstar she is today. Chris Anokute, the A&R that spearheaded her project, explained how he always knew she was a superstar. Many of the others at the label also recognized this but were still hesitant to allow the necessary budget to break an artist worldwide. Chris said from the first time he heard the song "I Kissed A Girl," he knew it was a hit. It took him 18 months of shopping Katy as an artist before the song actually hit. It just goes to show that when there's a song you really believe in, you have to stick to your gut no matter what other people say.
Another jewel of advice, given by veteran A&R exec Maria Egan, was for music creators to find the next Katy Perry to collaborate with. She said she sees many unknown music makers go after mega-artists like Beyoncé or Katy Perry who already have teams of people with proven track records to create music with. It's more likely to be discovered by finding artists you believe in who are not yet well known, and collaborate with them to make the next hit song. ASCAP EXPO is a great place to meet those collaborators.
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