Upcoming “virtual conference” from Indie Connect promises life-changing music-career guidance

By Dave Carew

Over the past couple of months, we’ve mentioned Indie Connect’s upcoming “Virtual Music Conference” several times. (Please note that this is a “virtual conference” focused on music. It’s not—as some people have amusingly thought—about “virtual music”!)  

The idea of a musician or music pro being able to confer with kindred spirits around the world . . . get world-class music-career guidance . . . and/or promote his or her music-related business to a worldwide audience . . . and do all-of-the-above from the comfort and convenience of your own computer . . . is truly amazing.

Recently, Underground Nashville caught up with Indie Connect’s CEO Vinny Ribas to learn more about the upcoming, February 26 – 28 event:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: In some of the promotional materials for your upcoming online Virtual Music Conference, you say one benefit will be that artists can get all their most pressing questions answered. How will this be accomplished?

VINNY RIBAS: We’ve recruited over 60 true music-industry experts to either give a presentation or be part of a panel. The topics they are covering are all centered on helping indie artists improve their chances of success. They range from marketing to management, from song-plugging to getting gigs, and from vocal tips to video-game music. The majority of the speakers will also be available during the event to host or participate in live Q&A chats based on their areas of expertise. They are speaking from China, New Zealand, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, and other countries around the globe.

UN:  Who, specifically, are some of these experts and speakers?

VR: The superstar lineup includes marketing experts such as Ariel Hyatt, Bob Baker, Madalyn Sklar, and John Oszajca. We have noted speakers such “Mama J” (Jan Smith), Justin Beiber’s vocal coach . . . Khaliq Glover, a Grammy-winning engineer . . .  Judy Rodman, country star and hit songwriter . . . Andrew Apanov, founder of Dotted Music . . . Hessel van Oorschot, founder of Tribe of Noise . . . and Brian Felton, President of CD Baby. Bram, founder of IndieHitMaker, is leading eight industry panel discussions, and Eric Defontenay, founder of Music Dish, Music Dish China, and MI2N, will be leading a panel of music executives from China.

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What is the #1 most important way a singer-songwriter will benefit from attending (via his or her computer), your Virtual Music Conference?

VR: The key to success in an event like this, or any group event, is to initiate relationships that may play an important role in your career, either right away or in the long run. Of course, you might find team members such as a booking agent or a manager. But even if you don’t, if you walk away with an address book filled with open doors, you’ve accomplished more than you could in a year packed with cold calls. Follow up after the event with a very short and courteous email thanking everyone you met (and had a discussion with) for their time, expertise and/or help. Chances are they will welcome your calls or correspondence any time in the future.

For more information, visit:


David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at XLibris.com. Dave also is a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit and “like” the page on Facebook:

Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.


Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew





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