Last week, I attempted Jackson Music Indie Week:
Jackson Indie Music Week is a celebration of Central Mississippi’s independent music scene. It is a week-long series of concerts, showcases, panels, and parties, spotlighting creatives from the genres of Rock, Hip Hop, EDM, Blues, and Independent Film & Video. Jackson Indie Music Week aims to honor what has come to be known as the “Birthplace of America’s Music” in none other than the entertainment capital of Mississippi.
Prior to JIMW (I’m not sure if this acronym is a thing but I’m making it a thing), I planned to attend every single event *insert look of determination here* but after looking at the schedule I concluded “this ain’t gone happen.” It’s nearly impossible to attend every single event so I narrowed it down to 8 events then 7 *insert full-time job and my dissertation chair giving me the side eye because… dissertation* resulting in me attending a whopping 4 events!
Anyway, the first event I attended was Women in Music Panel: Advice and Best Practices for Aspiring Indie Artists.
Panel Guests: Tawanna Shaunté, Teneia, and Sherry Cothren. Moderated by Amanda Furdge.
While I’m no musician, singer or songwriter, I am music adjacent. Dad is a musician and producer (@smallworldstudiono) and I wanted to gain some insight in the event I join the family business but got more than expected.
On longevity: The panel’s careers ranged from 10 to 30 years, all of the women love what they do (obviously) and said that music was worth the sacrifice but wasn’t really a sacrifice.
“I hope you are doing something that makes you happy.” -Amanda Furdge
On balance: Hone your craft, learn and adapt, know what your vision is, you don’t need to have a lot of resources but be resourceful and surround yourself with people who can help you grow.
“Invest in yourself, celebrate every accomplishment. No one will validate you like you validate you.” -Tawanna Shaunté
On advantages and disadvantages: Doing what you love; in contrast, sometimes you will have to say no and can’t bring everyone along. You work from home, call the shots but it can be hard to balance. You are a business, not just an artist.
On branding: Outsource and collaborate but know every aspect of the business so no one screws you over. Mississippi is unique when it comes to branding and socializing but social media has made it possible to connect with people; however, face-to-face interaction is just as important.
In sum, everyone seems to be working on new music so be sure to follow them on social media for updates.
“If you bring all the ingredients and a stove, I’m finna cook.” -Amanda Furdge on creating your own lane
Dayyyyyys later, I attended the EDM Party at the Russell C. Planetarium.
There was music in both the lobby and theater by DJ Tree, 360 Degrees, DJ Uri, DJ Repercussion, Taboo, DJ Tam, Daphya Selecta, Rob Roy and Monoxide, a live painting and light photography by T.J. Ledger. The environment was a little more chill than I expected. I practiced dance moves just to stand or sit around? So, I did what any logical person would do. I stood and sat around but still had fun. Next was Shorts: Film Showcase
Featuring films by Jordan Henry, Ashley Norwood, Isabella Kinder, Thomas Haffey, Charles Jett and more.
Did you know we had filmmakers? I suppose that information is hard to come by if you don’t run in that circle but we got an opportunity to see films we usually don’t have access to. Last but not least was the Wrap Party.
Official Wrap Party at And Gallery. Featuring: The Stonewalls & Special Guest DJ
We arrived on time (because Husband and I are old), engaged in introverted activities (such as talking to mostly each other), and viewed new work by Adrienne Domnick. Side note: Could someone buy me that Janelle Monae painting and or T-shirt?
Overall, I think it’s an awesome event and look forward to attending more activities next year. In contrast, I had a hard time getting friends to attend because most of the events were during the work week. I know what you’re thinking, you can’t please them all but if this event operated like the Jazz Fest (with concerts over a series of weekends), it may draw more locals and tourists. Also, I wonder if any college students knew about it. Although Jackson is basically a college town, there is often a disconnect (and I am speaking as someone who moved here for college). Then again, I’m not sure if their attendance could be accommodated (we are talking tens of thousands of students). Last but not least, the Planetarium needs a lot of work which has nothing to do with this event but I need someone to renovate it (and no, the City of Jackson can’t afford to). While we are waiting for Jackson to recruit a movie theater, that could be the movie theater. Any who, who attended JIMW? Did I paint such a compelling picture that you can barely wait until next year? I know, you’re welcome!
Read (watch) and share my previous post: What’s in My Box? Hues Inaugural Box