Henry Harris gave indies a wealth of information on the gospel music industry this past weekend. And it was all free! The Free Music Informational Seminar took place Saturday, May 25 at Greater Refuge Ministries church in Clinton, MD.
Harris is president of Spirit Enterprises, Inc. and former President of the Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy Advisory Board. He is also founder of the Excellence in Christian Music Academy (ECMA) whose goal is to equip Christian/Gospel music artists with the tools necessary to be successful in the music industry.
Darnell Moore and Company opened the seminar with “Rescue Me.” Moore is an example of an artist who has taken heed to good advice and had managed to crack the Billboard charts. Also sharing their industry knowledge was Joe Sims, Salvific Records and Kevin James, Program Director, Christian Jukebox Radio.
Saturday’s event was crafted with the independent artist in mind. Henry Harris shared industry tips and gave attendees a glimpse of what is necessary to achieve success in the gospel music industry. Those tips included informing them of the locations and importance of charting radio stations. Harris encouraged each individual to join a performing rights organization.
Kevin James reminded attendees of the stark reality that the industry is full of singers. However, he stressed it is more important to become an artist, developing stage presence, image and a distinctive brand. James believes artist development is key. Sims stressed the importance of integrity in the industry and the need to support one another. He also shared a cautionary take about giving money to those who promise results, but never deliver.
There was a discussion about ministry and business. Harris said, “It’s got to be about ministry, but you have to strike a balance.” It was noted that once a CD is sold for money, the business arena has been entered and artists must be knowledgeable about business practices to succeed in the industry.
The seminar was well worth the investment of time. It is not often industry information comes without a cost. It was unfortunate more did not take advantage of the opportunity, but those who did were greatly enriched.
For more information on Henry Harris and the Excellence in Christian Music Academy, visit www.smpecma.com.