For up and coming artists trying to break into today’s music scene, it can be as tough as finding a needle in a haystack. Luckily for Durham College students, there’s a prescription for that, no pun intended.
Student from the Music Business Management program hosted Prescription 2 Rock at E.P. Taylor’s on March 31.
The Prescription 2 Rock music conference was held to emphasize the business side if the industry. The workshop gave guests a chance to have firsthand interaction with professional artists, producers, and broadcasters in the music industry.
The even showcased the careers of Canadian country trio, Runaway Angel, and producer and R&B artist, Jay Evans.
Ann Chaplin, Cadence Grace and Stacey Zegers compose the three voices of Runaway Angel. Each were navigating solo careers when, in late 2013, through a series of events, they formed the group.
Their chemistry clicked instantly. Individually, they have toured Canada, the United States, and Europe, opening for major acts like One More Girl, Aaron Lines, and Doc Walker.
Joining forces, the group became familiar on festival stages opening for acts such as Jason Blaine, Dallas Smith, and Tim Hicks.
After the artists were formally introduced at Prescription 2 Rock, each spent about 15 minutes in an open discussion with guests.
During the round table discussion, Chaplin explained some of the biggest challenge of the less glamorous side of the music business, describing what life on the road really looks like.
From the dingy hotel rooms to the cramped transportation accommodations, especially when you’re still up and coming in the industry, they said touring is hard work. Music is a 24/7 job.
Chaplin also talked about the self-doubt she had, denying knowing that doing what she truly loved doesn’t always pay the best, yet alone pay the bills.
But the unconditional reinforcement that she receives from her parents keeps her going when times are low.
“ It would be pretty much impossible to do this without their support,” says Chaplin.
When Zegers spoke with the table, she was adamant about being a music sponge, soaking up and learning everything she could when it comes to the industry.
Zegers said getting a mentor was one of the best things she did when she finally decided to take her music career to the next level.
When striding to become a musician, Zegers says it is essential to make opportunities for yourself. “Don’t be scared to start your own business,” Zegers says. “If no one is going to hire you start your own.”
Jay Evans was born in Toronto, but at age of three, his family packed up and moved to Los Angeles. Evans credited his love for music to his mother, who while living in L.A., sung background vocals for music producer Quincy Jones.
Evans also briefly spent time in Detroit. He said that this added to his creative growing process, where he experimented with hip-hop and the likes of artist such as Reakwon, Naughty By Nature, and R&B singer, Mario.
When he turned 22, Evans traveled back to L.A. where he sharpened his recording and engineering talents.
Now based out of Toronto, Evans spends his time committed to community youth group. When he’s not with the kids you can find him composing instrumentals for independent films.
During the round table discussion, Evans got in-depth about the ‘beast’ called the music industry from his perspective. “If you have a bunch of ‘yes’ guys all the time it’s not going to work. You’ve got to have a balance,” Evans says, “Be patient, and don’t let your emotions get the best of you.”
At the Prescription 2 Rock conference the purpose was to not only further educate guests on the business side of the industry, but to celebrate the power in which this form of art possesses. In the words of Quincy Jones, “Every country can be defined through their food, music and language. That’s the soul of a country.”