It's summer and music is hot as the 13th annual Latin Alternative Music Conference LAMC comes to New York City on Wednesday, July 11th, making lots of noise clear through Saturday the 14th. A celebration of Latin alternative music, LAMC is the best place to be if you are a musician, singer, talent/event promoter or a music industry decision maker.
A world of opportunities for up-and-coming Latin recording artists that not only will change your playlist but may just become famous along the way. This four-day music conference is one of the biggest events in the world for cutting-edge bilingual Latin music of various genres from Latin America, Spain and the United States.
"We once again have a large list of exciting new musicians who are going to be given a big outlet for their music. We also have some major free shows in some of the premier concert venues in New York - Central Park and Prospect Park . We are going to have multiple nights in those venues with some big names," said Tomas Cookman, founder of LAMC, entertainment company Cookman International and indie music label Nacional Records.
"The purpose of the conference is to bring attention to some amazing bands and equally as important, to allow for a forum for artists, labels, publishers, marketers, promoters, etc, etc, to have a place to get together and network - and learn," said Cookman.
Q and A with multi-Grammy-winners Calle 13 and The Latin Recording Academy's Gabriel Abaroa (Latin Grammys), "How to Make a Hit" or "How Did Don Omar Get More Than 200 Million Hits on Youtube" as well as "Why Is 3Ball MTY Number One?" are just part of the musical cornucopia that will lift your spirits and inspire you. "Finding Your Audience in the Ever-Changing Radio Landscape", "Digital Streaming, Branding & the Art of Getting Paid" will be covered plus the opportunity for high powered networking among industry insiders and artists alike.
"I noticed that there were panels at other conferences dealing with the subjects I wanted to see being talked about and when they had those panels, they were always packed that is what helped me decide to do the first LAMC. I felt that there was enough of an audience to justify it - and grow it," said Cookman, a New Yorker with Puerto Rican roots.
LAMC started thirteen years ago in New York City with the purpose of marketing Latino artists, a place to gather all the amazing diversity that represents the contemporary Latin music world to reach both Latinos and non-Latinos alike from all over.
This summer LAMC moved its location to The New Yorker Hotel. "There is a strong media support and a lot of key players that can make a big difference in your career - whether it is when you are first started or even when you are established."
Based in Los Angeles, Cookman selects new bands every year and releases an album compilation with their best songs. "I pick the artists", affirmed Cookman. "It is a combination of availability (for some of the bigger names) to pure taste and feel for what is either about to make noise or just starting to make noise in some part of Latin America or the US."
It is all about quality, said Cookman, regarding the requirements for artists to be chosen to be part of the conference, "to be good, to write great songs, to be honest about what they do and it does not matter if you are on a major or indie label - we have both."
Every summer, LAMC selects a Discovery Winner. "Kinky for example, was our first "Discovery" winner," said Cookman, "it's sort of like a battle of the bands, but a little bit more a quest for an artist each year that should be identified and brought to more people's attention. This year's selected artist is Carla Morrison. In the past, in addition to Kinky, we have had artists like Pacha Massive, Los Rakas and others."
So, if you are a new artist, getting your music on Cookman's radar could be a good start. For now, there is a lot to see and discover at LAMC this week: a mix of Mexican rhythms with Los Angeles' La Santa Cecilia; electro pop and 80's-influenced dance music from Chile, Alex Anwandter; Uruguayan pop musician Martin Buscaglia; Venezuelan disco punk La Vida Boheme; electro 'regional mexicano' 3Ball MTY; electronic hip-hop Ritmo Machine formed by Chilean Latin Bitman and Eric Bobo (ex Cypress Hill); Mexican pop rock singer Carla Morrison; NYC based electro-acoustic songwriter Monica Lionheart; Chilean electro pop singer Javiera Mena; Brooklyn based Caribbean/soul/punk beat music by Xenia Rubinos; Chilean singer-songwriter Gepe; Chilean electro dance artist Adrianigual and many more.