(The seventh annual GRAMMY Camp, produced by the GRAMMY Foundation from July 9–18, is a residential summer camp for high school students with a focus on providing hands-on instruction about careers in the music industry. For the first time ever, GRAMMY Camp will also be held in New York Aug. 2–8. GRAMMY.com will feature select blog entries from camp participants relating their firsthand experiences from this unique educational opportunity. To apply for GRAMMY Camp in 2012, click here.)
By Ryley Mueller
On July 14 GRAMMY Camp was excited to host a master panel of music industry professionals featuring GRAMMY-winning musician/producer Mike Elizondo, recording artist Greyson Chance and singer/songwriter/producer Nick Jonas. The room was full of GRAMMY Camp participants, staff and faculty who waited anxiously to hear from the panelists. Campers also got a taste of media attention with outlets including Buzznet.com, Cambio, Fox, Rolling Stone, and Us Weekly covering the event.
Chance was very well-spoken and humorous, commenting on Hold On 'Til The Night, his new album due Aug. 2. He reflected on the start of his career and being discovered on YouTube, and shared his goals for the future.
"I think you have a passion for something when you're young, especially in your teen years, and I think it's always there," said Chance. "Whether you choose to take that path or you don't, I still think [the passion] is always there."
Jonas discussed his recent projects, including his band Nick Jonas & The Administration, performing in the Broadway production "Hairspray" and his recent forays into producing.
"Now that I've started writing and producing for other people, my main focus is taking a concept, whatever that concept is, and making it into a full song and basically having another writer or producer come in and attack it," said Jonas. "I take the experiences I have writing for myself and put that into writing for other people."
Elizondo expressed his appreciation for GRAMMY Camp and talked about how he made his way into the music industry. He gave advice for students who want to pursue music and anyone interested in producing, and touched on how he thinks social media has influenced the music business today.
"I think as far as the interaction with the fans, being able to [send] a message about what [the artist is] doing in the studio generates that excitement for the audience," said Elizondo, "And [it] makes them feel like [they're] part of the process and hopefully generates excitement for the record."
Following the discussion, the panel was open to the audience for questions and many GRAMMY Camp students took advantage of the opportunity, asking the panelists questions ranging from how they began their music careers to their biggest fears in the music industry.
After the panel concluded, students participating in the Music Journalism track had the opportunity to interview the panelists. With media lined up waiting to get their chance at a few questions, GRAMMY Campers practiced their interviewing skills and got a taste of what journalism life is like. For some campers, this was their biggest experience dealing with pop culture, the media and the people involved in the music industry. Students were left with an education from experienced professionals and an amazing experience.
(Ryley Christine Mueller was born and raised in San Diego and fell in love with music journalism when she had the opportunity to interview her favorite band, VersaEmerge. She hopes to travel and continue pursuing her passion and advocate for equal rights around the world.)