The 4th Annual Northern Power Summit is a two-day urban music conference that is taking place from August 16th – 17th in Toronto at the Artscape Sandbox and Supermarket. Conference programming will include interactive conference discussions with music industry professionals and provide delegates with tangible music industry experiences and networking opportunities.
The Keynote speaker at this amazing event, Michael “Mike” Wansley, (aka. Wanz) is an American singer, songwriter and rapper who was featured on the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hit single “Thrift Shop”, receiving two Grammy Awards for “Best Rap Performance” and “Best Rap Song”. Wanz also hosted a Ted Talk conference event talking about his career in the music industry.
I had the privilege of speaking with this music industry legend about his experiences in music and what gems of knowledge he will provide at the Northern Power Summit.
DJ Sub-T: What made you want to be a keynote speaker at the Northern Power Summit?
Wanz: After meeting Duane last year during GRAMMY Week and having a few conversations with him about music trends and ‘the biz’, I was honored he would ask me to be a part of the summit.
DJS: What influenced you to work in music?
W: Music has been with me like the nose on my face. I’ve always sung or played an instrument as long as I can remember. Whether singing in church, songs from the radio, learning jazz standards or vocal improvisation, music has always been the connective tissue of my existence.
Whether singing in church, songs from the radio, learning jazz standards or vocal improvisation, music has always been the connective tissue of my existence.
DJS: How did you connect with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on the GRAMMY Award winning track “Thrift Shop”?
W: I was called by a friend of Ryan’s saying they were looking for a singer who sounded like Nate Dogg. In the early 2000s, I was known as ‘Nate Dogg of the north end’ in some Seattle circles.
DJS: Can you tell me about the Ted Talk you did and how that came about?
W: Outside a venue in Paris during the 2013 European tour a kid in line asked, “Do you believe in unicorns?”. In that moment, I thought of how “Thrift” had become a worldwide hit, how I had always prayed to be on a song EVERYONE was singing and most of all, I thought of how I had convinced myself that because of my age, the opportunity to have a hit had passed. I remember looking at the kid and saying, “I have to…I am one!!!” This got me to realize how unique and special each person is. The talk was to plant the idea that a person could be anything they dreamed of, as long as they never stopped working towards it. I mean, I’ve been performing all my life, but didn’t get my ‘big break’ until I was 51 years old!!
I’ve been performing all my life, but didn’t get my ‘big break’ until I was 51 years old!!
DJS: I’m really looking forward to your keynote speech. What can people expect to hear from you?
W: Observation, perseverance, honesty and inspiration.
Great words from this legend in the music business. I’m even more excited to hear his keynote speech at the Northern Power Summit. This event is the perfect event for those in the music industry that want to learn more and take things to the next level. Make sure you come out and support this one of a kind event! Tickets are available at www.northernpowersummit.com.
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