Clive Davis, the renowned record producer and music business executive, is currently Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment. Davis’ autobiography “The Soundtrack Of My Life” is set for release on February 19. He has won five Grammys and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer. He has been closely involved with a large list of notable artists through his tenures at Columbia, Arista and J Records. From early signings Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Billy Joel and Earth, Wind & Fire, to Patti Smith, The Grateful Dead, and Santana, and through Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson among many others, Davis has made a profound impact on popular culture. The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU is extending his legacy and looking to the future of the music business.
Clive Davis has long been an outspoken advocate for artists. His forward-looking perspective is most welcome at South By Southwest. This appearance will be a highlight among the many conference sessions designed to offer registrants a unique music education. (For an Interesting Clive Davis Story click “next”)
A unique music education is exactly what they will receive. I have had the pleasure of meeting Clive Davis at a listening party for then J Records artist, Mario, years ago. At this time Mario’s single, “Just a Friend” had not hit the radio just yet. The small room was filled with the “Who’s Who” and the “Who Wants to Be” of Hollywood. As I was there to cover the event as press, I did notice this older white gentleman standing next to me for about 10 minutes but we never really said anything to one another. But then out of the blue, he started making some random small talk. Once I acknowledged him, he talked my ear off for a good 30 to 45 minutes talking about the good, bad, and ugly regarding the music industry. The funny part is at the time, I had no idea who he was but I knew he was well informed and I knew he was wealthy based on his attire. I figured he was someone important but really did not think someone on his level would be in a small club like this. It was not until Mario was ready to perform that I found out who he was when they called him to the stage to bring out his new artist, Mario. After his brief introduction of his new artist, he never returned to the floor.
Of course I was thinking…DAMN, I missed out a great opportunity to really network but I will say that I learned more about the music industry in that 30 minutes than I had read or heard about prior to that conversation. Point of the story, YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO! With that being said, those in attendance at SXSW should be in for a treat.