"Where is the Love? The Future of R&B" at the Essence Music Festival

Los Angeles Chapter's picture

Los Angeles Chapter

  • Erika Goldring, Wireimage.com
    (From l to r) Raheem DeVaughn, Myisha Brooks, Johnnie Walker, Tank, and Carl Chery have many ideas on how to spot light and sustain R&B.

On July 5, during the 20th Anniversary of the legendary Essence Music Festival, The Recording Academy® hosted a super panel and networking reception entitled “Where is the Love? The Future of R&B” at the Tomas Bistro in New Orleans, LA.  This event was open to music industry professionals in town to celebrate one of the biggest R&B festivals of the year!  Wisdom and insight were shared by -- Myisha Brooks (VP, Creative Relations & Marketing, Motown Records), Carl Chery (Head of Hip-Hop/R&B Programming at Beats Music), GRAMMY®-nominees Raheem DeVaughn and Tank, and moderator, Ms. Johnnie Walker (Executive Director, Memphis and Shelby Country Music Commission, former Sr. VP of Promotion at Def Jam). 

Topics included the current state and future of R&B, why the Essence Festival is important to R&B, R&B music on indie vs. major labels, and what role the Academy can play in shining an important light on R&B music.  Other festival artists like Leela James, George Tandy Jr., Michael Marcel Keith from 112, Shi Wisdom, MAJOR., and local music impresario Don B., CEO of Bang-N-Records, came out in support of this important and timely discussion, demonstrating their love and passion for R&B and support of The Academy overall. 

The dialogue continued via social media with tweets like:

“There was an intelligent conversation earlier today via @GRAMMYPro #GRAMMYRnB.” “Good dialogue about the strength of R & B Music.” #BringItBack -- @movacci

“… @Raheem_DeVaughn spoke some great wisdom about the industry, great dude,” -- @DeeJayYoung

“@GRAMMYPro stay persistent and don't give up! #GRAMMYRnB” -- @Raheem_DeVaughn

“The biggest investment you can make is, TIME! -- @Raheem_DeVaughn

“We need to be more protective of the genre.” -- @bmyisha

“We have erased our own line #GRAMMYRnB.” -- @TheRealTank” (The line between hip hop and R&B)

A networking reception followed the panel where artists and industry professionals from all over the country continued the dialogue.  Event attendees fostered a true sense of community and non-members were interested to know how they could become more involved in The Academy.  Music to our ears.    

“Where is the Love? The Future of R&B” was generously sponsored by ASCAP, the OMBI Group, the Onyx Channel, and Miss Jessie’s hair care products. 

To view more photos from this event, click here.


Rhonda Nicole's picture
Rhonda Nicole

This was such an informative and insightful panel discussion!  So glad I had the opportunity to attend.

Steve Burks's picture
Steve Burks

As a soul artist, I've thought of this topic as an elephant in the room. Nice to see someone finally pointing at it.

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