By Takia Venable
Texas Southern University students, alumni, and visitors whisked through the hall of the MLK building eager to listen to the black titans of Houston’s entertainment and recording scene during the school’s Communication Week.
Moderator and Radio, Television, and Film (RTF) student “Radio Rich,” dressed in a colorful dashiki and blue denim jeans, reminiscent of the African-American cultural motif that permeates TSU, set the tone for the session.
The panel discussed the evolution of technology and digital media in the entertainment business that is now more lucrative than ever before. Four of the most influential artists and business men in Houston’s entertainment industry came to give students valuable information on how to monetize social media and to discuss the current state of the music business.
Although everyone was welcome, the event was dedicated to helping Entertainment, Recording, and Management (ERM) and RTF students succeed in their careers after college.
D-wreck Davis, of Wreck Shop Records, spoke on the importance of owning publishing rights when you record music.
“Publishing is more important now than it’s ever been,” Davis said.
Davis also emphasized the importance of streaming platforms to showcase and market your music.
“You need to be on all the different platforms,” Davis said.
Langston Carrier, owner of Mo Bang Media, echoed Davis’ sentiments about using streaming platforms to the artists’ advantage.
“Streaming is profit sharing,” Carrier said.
Dawn Brooks, a TSU alumna, shared her concerns on up and coming artists in Houston, who are struggling with their craft because of the lack of support from their peers.
Carrier said that many of the Houston artists turned that lack of support to their advantage by leaving Houston.
“Don’t just use Houston to market your craft, you have the whole world wide web,” Carrier said.
He stressed the importance of not concentrating one’s efforts to just one local area and to step out of one’s comfort zone to gain a larger audience.
An RTF junior at TSU asked how women can gain a larger audience on social media without degrading themselves as some women tend to do.
She specifically directed the question to radio personality Kiotti, because of his popularity on social media.
“Stay true to who you are because it catches in time,” Kiotti said.
Entertainment lawyer Andre Evans offered advice pertaining to the business aspect of the music industry.
“The fortune is in the follow up,” Evans said.
Evans made it clear of how valuable and important the information that each panelist shared and encouraged students put it to good use.
Briana Adkins, 22, ERM major, was very pleased with the information that she obtained at the event.
“They gave us a lot of information about independent artist which is my focus,” Adkins said.
Adkins felt that Kiotti’s and Carrier’s comments of having a strong team behind every artist was good advice.
“The artist should work on themselves while their team should be the brand,” Adkins said.
Journalism student Kristie Payne found all the information given very helpful.
“I thought that the panel was very informative, the guest speakers honest insights of the entertainment industry,” Payne said.
The event ended with the speakers giving their social media contact information and taking various interviews with students.