This week The Gospel Guru shines “the light” on the Beyond Potential Music Gathering 2012 and co-founder Brandon Egerton.
Beyond Potential was created to EMPOWER music entrepreneurs through EDUCATION, NETWORKING and CAREER MENTORING. In hopes to teach, inspire, interact, and challenge you to the point that you feel empowered and equipped to pursue the God-given dream in your heart. Guest facilitators for Beyond Potential 2012 include vocal coach Ametria Dock, Grammy Award winning producer Antonio Neal, A&R executive Brandon Egerton, and vocalist/songwriter Candy West. This awesome and informative music gathering is set to take place April 27 & 28 in Nashville, TN. For more information please visit, GoBeyondPotential.com.
I caught up with Beyond Potential co-founder and former EMI Gospel A&R executive Brandon Egerton for a candid interview. Brandon has 13-plus years music industry experience creating and promoting more than 125 albums, including award winning artists: Kierra Sheard, Smokie Norful, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Aaron Neville, Cece Winans, and Donald Lawrence. In ’08, he launched Sideman Music Consulting and Beyond Potential University. Additionally, he currently oversees the Recording Arts degree program at Full Sail University.
Without further delay get into my interview with Grammy, Dove & Stellar Nominated A&R Executive Brandon Egerton below.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I needed an internship to finish up my college degree in Music Industry Studies so I packed up and moved to Nashville to do an internship for EMI Christian Music Group. That led to a job in the Radio Promotions department at EMI Gospel. Roughly a year and a half into the gig, the President of the label, Ken Pennell, moved me over to the A&R Department and took me under his wings.
What sparked your interest in the music industry?
I’ve always been around music growing up. Throughout high school I was involved in band and always seemed to find myself involved in small singing groups. That continued into my college years as I became fascinated with and began to learn about the business behind the music. I’m glad its worked out, there’s no other profession I’d rather be in.
What was your experience like at EMI Gospel?
It was great! It’s so easy to grow in this business – if you lend yourself to it. I was fortunate to work for someone who wanted to see me grow, so I was constantly presented with opportunities to learn. I was blessed to work with some extremely talented artists, songwriters, producers – and amazing co-workers. Every day presented unique challenges/opportunities (to put it nicely) to take on. I loved the process of walking with artists through their creative journey. It’s such a rewarding experience; sometimes that comes in the form of a Grammy or Stellar award nomination – but the true satisfaction is in knowing that you contributed to a song or an album that will help change someone’s life.
How important do you feel A&R and artist development is for an artist and their career?
Artist Development is absolutely essential. Its all about the process – you cannot get around it. Though much of the artist development process has shifted from record labels to artists and their producers, it still has to be done. No successful artist, past or present, has gotten to where they are without going through this on some level. Likewise, the ability to collaborate and make great records, which is a large part of what we as A&R executives do, is critical.
What inspired you to create the Beyond Potential Music gathering?
Antonio Neal and I co-founded BPMG in 2008 after seeing such a lack of preparedness and so few resources for up and coming musicians. It’s interesting that many artists do not invest themselves to the point of learning all they can about the business they’re getting into. What profession can you just show up with no knowledge or training and expect to enjoy instant success? I find that most are interested only in showcasing and performing and skip that very critical step that helps keep them in the business. Beyond Potential is our solution to that.
What sets the Beyond Potential Music Gathering apart from other music conferences, seminars, etc..?
First of all, BP is an ongoing collaboration/conversation. It’s not a once a year event where you meet someone, never to hear from them again or the type of conference where you have all this information thrown at you that you can’t apply to your situation because you lack the big budget to do so. We give you practical ways to apply what you’ve learned to your specific situation. We’re about collaboration of ideas, strategies, experiences, lessons learned and successes. Our goal is not to make you a star; it’s to give you the solid foundation you need to maintain success in this business. We even take it a step further and pair all of our attendees up with real industry professionals to provide them with a mentor throughout the year as well.
Describe the Beyond Potential Music Gathering experience in three words.
Connecting. Learning. Growing.
Lastly, what components do you feel an artist should have in order to experience success in the current state of the music industry?
The first step is attending Beyond Potential, of course! The team of people around you is very important. Find knowledgeable, experienced people to surround yourself with. Be prepared to invest your time and money in those areas. Talent probably goes without saying – but in Gospel music – everyone is talented; so you have to be able to cut through that and stand out enough to carve your own niche. Thirdly, your work ethic (assuming you’re exceptionally talented), is often the thing that’s the difference between making it or not. Don’t just rely on your talent – work on developing yourself as if it’s your full-time career, even if it’s not yet. Every artist that is a household name today had years and years of hard work and development that took place before the world at large knew who they were – and each of those artists continue to work hard every day to maintain what the success that they enjoy.