STAMPS event engages future musical talent

By Amia Davis, Daily Staff Reporter
Published April 13, 2014

“Everyone in this room is a member of the Great Ape family.”

Matthew Altruda, radio host of 107.1FM’s Tree Town Sound and voted “The One to Watch in 2013” by annarbor.com, said during his keynote address in a room filled with students and music professionals.

But Altruda was not talking about evolution—he was talking about the development of music and how humans were creatures of musical passion since the caveman era.

The 2014 Music Con called many aspiring musicians into the League Sunday afternoon. Presented by Stamp Nation, a student organization that supports campus musicians by exposing their music regardless of genre, Music Con is a conference that brings veterans of the music industry to students who hope to pursue a musical career.

The five-hour event helped develop and strengthen the skills of aspiring musicians looking to take the next step in their careers. As the event’s first speaker, Altruda discussed some of the basics of the music industry.

To be successful, Altruda said a musician needs to ask for advice and take advantage of opportunities.

“Being in the music industry is being able to kick yourself in the butt and do things you are not comfortable doing,” he said.

Altruda added that musicians need to evolve in a society where technology is always improving and sending out new information at a fast pace.

“If you are not willing to evolve, you will be left in the dust,” Altruda said.

Following the keynote, a panel of music industry professionals answered various questions from the audience.

The speakers of the event included Altruda, Chris DuPont, an Ann Arbor singer-songwriter; Jim Fleming, founder of Fleming Artists; Mike Green, co-owner of Mike Green and Associates; John Bommarito, radio host at Ann Arbor’s 107.1 and Mike Vial, an Ann Arbor singer-songwriter.

The speakers discussed how aspiring musicians can take the next step after entering the music industry.

“Keep writing and keep putting music out there,” Vial said.

The panel also discussed how aspiring musicians can have their music featured on various radio stations.

Vial suggested musicians start off small and use their time wisely.

“Find your locals, and you build small and you build realistically,” Vial said.

Along with taking the next step and getting featured on a radio station, the speakers stressed the importance of keep track of finances.

DuPont said it was important for musicians to spreadsheet all of their expenses, whether it is touring different towns or purchasing new music equipment.

“If you do that, you’ll see how much money you’ll be making, and you’ll be surprised,” DuPont said.

The event closed with a concert featuring various Ann Arbor musicians, including San Cristobal, Mike Vial, Brendan Asante and KhrispyK.