|English producer Steve Lillywhite speaks about the importance of maintaining the art in music at the 2013 MU:CON global music conference at the GS Xi Gallery in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap News)|
“I don’t think of music as having genres and borders; I just look at music as being good or not so good,” said five-time Grammy Award winning producer Steve Lillywhite at the opening lecture for this year’s second annual MU:CON global music conference.
Lillywhite ― who has produced for some of the music industry’s most notable acts including U2, The Rolling Stones, The Killers, Dave Matthews and many others ― was one of the keynote speakers at the three-day MU:CON event, which features a number of international entertainment figures speaking on the theme “Beyond borders, beyond genre, beyond music.”
“It’s not about understanding the words necessarily, it’s about the feeling the music gives you,” said Lillywhite. “As long as the sound of the music gets you in the heart, that’s the most important thing.”
During his lecture at the GS Xi Gallery in Seoul, the acclaimed music producer spoke about the importance of creating quality music through artistic values, rather than focusing on trends in order to produce the most profitable and marketable tracks.
“I think maybe people think too much about money now. ... I am a great believer of art, and I think art is the driver of all commerce,” he said, “How many of the most beautiful things in the world were born in the last 50 years? Not many. I think music can bring so much beauty to everyone.”
“If you make great art, eventually it will be found. I think with music, I will always push for art,” he continued.
Lillywhite also went on to state that one of the biggest differences between music and other forms of entertainment such as films was the longevity of its emotional impact. With movies, he claimed, people can watch several times and then lose the desire to ever again.
“But music, you can listen to over and over again and still find new layers,” he explained.
After 40 years of making records as one of the most influential figures in the music industry, the producer stated that if he could offer people one piece of sound advice, it would be to abide by his life philosophy of living without complacency.
“There is no winning, there is only not losing,” he said. “It not enough thinking that you’ve won just because you been allowed to make music.”
Lillywhite recently took part in a production project that took him to Singapore to find a local music act to take under his wing. After listening to a series of auditions, he selected the alternative rockers of The Sam Willows and worked with the young artists to develop their sound.
On Thursday morning, Lillywhite revealed that he intends to do a similar project with one lucky Korean act. Along with hosting a number of lectures on the international trends of music, the 2013 MU:CON gathering also features a large-scale global music showcase highlighting more than 50 acts over three days.
“I’m here to find some music from Korea,” he announced.
The producer will be attending the showcases being hosted by the conference as well as listening to a number of participating Korean bands and will announce on Saturday which act he has selected. The winning artist will have the opportunity to spend a week working with Lillywhite in his Los Angeles studio.
|Korea Creative Content Agency president and CEO Hong Sang-pyo gives a welcoming speech at MU:CON. |
This year’s MU:CON showcase line-up includes a wide range of local acts from all different genres including Jang Kiha and the Faces, 3rd Line Butterfly, EXO, Nell, No Brain, Dok2 and Beenzino, Verbal Jint, Glen Check, as well as special guests Drunken Tiger and Yoon Mirae and many more.
However, aside from the long list of notable local artists, the festivities will also include a handful of international artists including Porno Graffiti from Japan, Cesar Machado Modern Sound of Brazil, Canadian rapper Famous and others.
In his first year as a hip-hop artist, rapper Famous is gearing up for his first performance in Korea on Friday night at Ellui in Gangnam and is one of those international hopefuls who is looking to share his music and expand his fan base beyond the borders of the home country.
“First time in Korea! I’m extremely excited,” said up-and-coming rapper Ashton James Bishop, who goes by the stage name Famous, in an email interview with The Korea Herald. “To be able to perform for old and new fans coming from around the world and the chance to represent for my country (Canada), is a beautiful thing.”
“My style can best be described as Kanye West meets Eminem. ... I think what sets me apart, is that I’m Ashton James Bishop,” he said. “There’s only one me. I think all rappers have certain similarities, by default, but each individual possess a different story, different delivery and a different talent.”
The MU:CON showcases will continue until Saturday at various locations in the Hongdae and Gangnam areas. For more information, visit http://www.mucon.kr/2013en/main.php.
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)