Day 2 at FIMPRO

Day 2 was the packed day at FIMPRO so far this year, with virtual meetings,  multiple live presentations, two music showcases and a schedule that ran  a little late.

The day began at 9 am in the Carlos Fuentes Bookstore, a cavernous,  two story book store like the US used to have in every city, with an invitation-only discussion group of people involved with producing public music festivals in Mexico. An hour later in the auditorium, the panel discussions  began, with promoters and venue operators kicking around stories about  how they have dealt with and will continue to handle the financial blows dealt by Covid. Questions discussed included what is the responsibility of the promoters, how can they sustain themselves if live music is stopped, and is there a way promotors and artists can collaborate to get both through hard times.

Participants included Kim Martinez of Esmerate, Dan Hernandez of Bestlife Productions, Rev Moose of the Marauder Group, and Karla Zapata of the Teatro Diana, Guadalajara’s most prestigious venue.

At 11 am a live discussion and panel on Diversity in Music took place in the auditorium with LBGTTIQ activist Renee Goust,  Mexican transgender singer-songwriter, and multi-creator, Zemmoa (María José Becerril Silva),  musician Sage Skylight, and Mexican jazz recording star Pilla Piano. FIMPRO has always been a strong advocate for diversity in music and works to nudge the Latin American music industry towards inclusiveness, so this was an  lively panel.  Panel and audience members reflected on the problems faced by LGBTTIQ artists, and ways to move the industry toward better behavior.

The first showcase, scheduled at noon but which started closer to 1 pm ,featured two outstanding artists, ANAN of Mexico and La Charo of Argentina.  I have reviewed ANAN’s music and was  excited to see her live. ANAN is the solo project of multidisciplinary artist Natalia Gómez ANAN moves between  Pop and electronic and experimental music, with electronic beats, voice loops and synthesizers, and acoustic instruments. She performed alone, playing everything herself and putting on  a stunning show.

 The second performer, La Charo, is an Argentine singer-songwriter who writes and performs a mixture of native songs, compiled and composed in ancient languages, melded with modern electronic sounds.  The concert was also stunning as she spun out music that was both ancient and foreign, but familiar and enchanting.

Both artists, and the previous day’s showcases with Nancy Sanchez and Yorka and those of the remainder of the conference o Friday, are examples of the very high caliber of artists selected for FIMPRO; as many as 600 bands and artists apply and only a handful are chosen.  They are also testament to the very high quality of music in Latin America and of Latin and Latino music in the US, Canada and Spain.

The rest of the afternoon saw a live workshop on women in music hosted by the EQUAL program, a panel discussion entitle Believe, discussing solutions to the problems created by the rise of digital music. Participants included Head of Music Distribution for Believe  Marcos Cartano, Jose Pablo Molina of US Latin and SPPO, Cristian Pachón Head of Artist Services of LATAM, and Cynthia Remolina of TuneCore.

At 3pm, one of the most anticipated events of the day took place in the Santander auditorium, a presentation by Rob Ruiz of TikTok to a full house of artists dying to know how they can use TikTok to advance and promote their music. Using slides and charts, Ruiz  took the audience through how Tik Tok become one of the leading platforms for musical discovery, and how artists can make a song viral by making it part of their TikTok content and connectng to the young audiences who stream music.

The evening wrapped up with a very high energy performance by Monstruos del Manana (Monsters of Tomorrow), a Mexican band tht delivered a joyful, thundering, soaring set of what they call  psychedelic tropical rock. The music fused African-American Latin rhythms, cumbia, and the psychedelic edge of rock. The lead singer Melissa, led the audience in singing with the band, while the rest of the quartet delivered heart-pounding rhythms and soaring melodies that reflected the members’ classical music training.

About Patrick O'Heffernan

Patrick O’Heffernan is co-host of the LA-based, nationally syndicated weekly program, Music FridayLive! and is a music reviewer for online magazines Vents, The Hollywood Progressive and MusicJunkie. He has also co-hosted a national political talk show, The Fairness Doctrine, and hosted the “Uplinks” media segment on Saturday All Things Considered on NPR. He holds a PhD in International Relations from MIT, has been awarded an Emmy, four Addy’s, and a Webby-Honors, among other awards. He has published 5 books and ghost-written others. A project he co-launched, the North Asia Nuclear Free Zone, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. He serves on the Board of Netroots Nation.

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