Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Music Business Department

The 16th Annual Business of Hip-Hop Music Symposium

On Thursday, November 13th, the Music Business/Management Department had the special honor of hosting DannyBoyStyles and his manager from SALXCO, Kelsie Smith. DannyBoyStyles is a Grammy award-winning record producer, engineer, songwriter, and composer. His first hit, “This Is Why I’m Hot”, was produced for Mims in 2007 and peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2013, DannyBoy produced all ten tracks on The Weeknd’s debut studio album “Kiss Land”. He won his first Grammy Award for Best Progressive R&B Album  as a producer on The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness”. His other credits include collaborations with Beyoncé, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Charlie Puth, Juicy J, French Montana, NAV, Kehlani, and Ty Dolla $ign. 

Part I of the 16th Annual Business of Hip-Hop Music Symposium was the A&R Listening Session, hosted by the MB/M Assistant Chair, Chris Wares. Student artists, producers, and writers submitted their singles and demos for the chance to be reviewed by DannyBoyStyles. We listened to music from Maz, David Bourbon, Alioune, Ghostta and AO, Eric Martin, Stevv Tsui, Aristotle Jones, Dill Rock, and Kidd Revel. DannyBoy provided great feedback to our artists, as well as insight into making a hit song. He talked about captivating listeners, guiding the recording artist, and collaborating with other artists to make new music. His advice was inspiring for everyone in the room, and the listening session was a hit overall.

Part II of the 16th Annual Business of Hip-Hop Music Symposium was the Real Talk Conversation, moderated by MB/M Chair, Tonya Butler. The event kicked off with performances from two extremely talented Berklee artists, Audrey Cassandra and Maz.










DannyBoy and Kelsie loved seeing our Berklee talent, and they soon took the stage to be interviewed by Tonya Butler. Both our guests shared their careers and journey in the music industry, from the very beginning until now. They talked about networking, building connections, and putting yourself out there with your unique ideas. DannyBoy opened up about lessons he has learned throughout his career, especially the importance of contracts and understanding deals in the industry. They explained their day-to-day responsibilities and even opened up about how they support each other mentally in each other’s careers. Kelsie Smith also talked about challenges as a woman in the music industry and gave advice on overcoming them. DannyBoy spoke about his investments in crypto and his collaboration with AnotherBlock to launch their first NFT, Aquatinted NFT. He reminisced on his work with successful artists such as The Weeknd and Beyoncé and talked about the creative process leading up to these successful hits. The trio ended the night with Q&As from students, diving into a variety of topics such as crypto and blockchain, success in the industry, and more. 

We had an amazing time hosting DannyBoyStyles and Kelsie Smith! Special thanks to Tonya Butler and Chris Wares for hosting and moderating such insightful panels! Big thanks to the Berklee Hip-Hop Club for helping us put together this incredible event!

Photo Credit: BRXTN Media

Creating A Release Schedule for Your Next Single

Presented by Chris Wares – Assistant Chair of Music Business/Management Department

The Music Business Department hosted The Music Business Opportunities Expo & Release Strategy Masterclass on Thursday, September 29 at David Friend Recital Hall. We had a successful event for students to meet eight of our music business clubs and to learn from our masterclass speaker, Chris Wares, the Assistant Chair of the Music Business/Management Department. A special thanks to the clubs who attended: Berklee A&R, Berklee Popular Music Institute, Blockchain Club, Berklee Management Club, Law & Management Club, Music Business Club, Music Business Journal, and the Berklee Career Center

Key takeaways: with anywhere from 3 months before the release to the day of, how do you build the most effective release strategy possible? Chris Wares presented a checklist of everything you need to execute your release strategy and a timeline for action items. His advice ranged from creative vision to financing to marketing plans. Another big takeaway from Chris’ talk was all the promotional platforms available to artists and strategies to take advantage of each. With tasks like pitching to Spotify for Artists and creating your release campaign, there are lots of important details to pay attention to and he had great advice on how to tackle each step to make the most out of your release. Chris shared some of the lessons he has gained through experience with leading marketing campaigns and gave insight into strengthening release strategies. If you have any more questions, reach out to the Music Business/Management Department, or schedule an office hour with us!











Photo Credit: Timothy Mah

Announcing a New Blog From Berklee’s Music Business Department

Faculty and staff from the Music Business/Management department will be posting ideas and insights about the music industry, as well as information about what it’s like to be a student in this program at Berklee.

Check back during the spring semester for our first posts.

Copyright © 2024 Berklee College of Music