World music is getting hipper, grittier, and younger (Balkan Beat Box, Chicha Libre, Antibalas, All Music is World Music Showcase, etc.) and indie music is getting more international (Vampire Weekend, MIA, Blk Jks, The Fader Fort, etc.). Will the two merge so there is no longer a distinction? Until then, how can international artists who keep their roots intact or merge cultures and languages break out of the world music ghetto? What can we learn from MIA, Vampire Weekend, and Fela? Do musicians have to sing in English to cross over? What is the role of photos and videos in breaking down walls? Whether you are into Afrobeat or Balkan electronica, Latin Alternative or Asian Massive, join this explosive and interactive conversation about taking global music off of the coffee table and onto the main stage. Topics will include why some promoters prefer to stay in the world music ghetto, phases of fan conversion, building from niche to mainstream, branding/marketing across cultures, getting mainstream presenters to accept gritty sounds, and why world music has some advantages over other categories. This panel turns the conference model on its head, where you the audience are the panelists.
DMITRI VIETZE runs rockpaperscissors.biz, a publicity firm emphasizing "music of global significance" and FlipSwitchPR.com, a budget-friendlyPR service for independent artists. He's represented artists from 50+ countries, ranging from Antibalas to Daara J, from The Klezmatics to Ladysmith Black Mambazo. His team of 7 regularly scores coverage for clients on NPR, PRI, and in the NY Times, Wall St. Journal, and many more outlets.
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