Music Forward returned to live events on June 21, 2022, with the Future Sound Summit, in partnership with BE Nation, Live Nation’s Black Employee Resource Group. Young people were connected to industry professionals, with a fireside chat, breakout groups, and live music performances. Learn more about the experience from the eyes of Lyn Starr, a Music Forward Alum that attended the event.
I started my musical journey at age 10 when my mom put me into a Jazz camp in Pittsburgh, PA, where I’m from. It was there that I discovered that I had some singing talent. As the years went on, I was persuaded to go to a performing arts middle school and high school where I continued to study voice. I also joined a theater company and spent all of my teen years rehearsing and performing. All the while, I was discovering my love for Rap, which somehow turned into a love for creative entrepreneurship. I would curate shows with friends and even started my own production company, High Five Productions.
As my company grew, I started to set my sights on Los Angeles. I knew that if I wanted to “make it big” in the music industry, I would have to go where the big moves are being made. So I saved up some money, applied to graduate school as my safety net, got accepted, and jumped! I would have jumped for my dreams regardless of getting into grad school. Upon landing in Los Angeles, I felt like my opportunities were limitless. USC, the school to which I was accepted, immediately felt like the best place for me. I quickly learned about the power of networking and how important it is to remain connected in the music industry. From then on, I made every connection I could possibly make. I went to every show and networking event and even attended as many seminars as possible. Through my search for connections, I found myself connected to Music Forward.
My relationship with Music Forward has been fruitful since the beginning. I have performed for their virtual open mic, had the opportunity to meet industry professionals, and attended amazing events like the Future Sound Summit. Upon arriving at the event, I was extremely excited but equally nervous. I wanted to make a good impression and leave with meaningful connections. The nervousness began to dissipate as I heard speakers like Nurit Siegel Smith and Rahshiene Taha talk about their personal journeys in the music industry. I learned quickly that like mine, their careers have not been linear, but still they always find themselves exactly where they need to be. As the day went on, I was able to talk to heavy hitters like Brandon McEachern, and the smiles he and other people greeted me with showed me that I too was right where I belonged. The day continued with amazing performances from young professionals and food. I remember leaving the event feeling more supported in myself and my career. My notes app was full of contacts that I just met, my Instagram was rising with followers, and my confidence was on a million.
As I reflect on that event experience, I notice how I am still reaping the benefits of that day. I am still connected and even making music with some of the young professionals that I met, as well as keeping in touch with established professionals like Nurit and Brandon. As I move forward, I know that relationships with companies like Music Forward will be great allies to my success.