Accomplished music industry professionals are coming to the Queen City.
Cincinnati Music Accelerator, Ohio’s first music career accelerator, is hosting City Sound Summit at the Art Academy of Cincinnati from Aug. 26-27. The summit will feature discussions with various industry leaders, high-profile music producers and artists, including keynote speaker and Cincinnati native ClockworkDJ; Nemo Achida, a producer, songwriter and a creative advisor for Jack Harlow, and multi-platinum music producer SuperStar O.
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The guest speakers will discuss their journeys in the industry and share how others can establish and grow their music careers. Each talk will also feature question-and-answer sessions led by the summit’s organizer, Kick Lee.
“They’re giving us advice, sound advice. They’re giving us experience. They’re letting us know that they went through the same mud and dirt that we are going through or that we’ve been through. When you hear that face to face with those individuals, that’s inspiring,” said Lee, the founder and executive director of Cincinnati Music Accelerator.
The summit will include two after-parties with vendors, a cash bar and performances by some of the guest speakers.
According to Lee, the goal is to raise funds for Cincinnati Music Accelerator and create a landmark event for the region that will attract national talent and generate interest and opportunities for regional musicians.
“This summit is for all of us, though it’s music, it is for all of us. These people that are coming in town are just like us. They’re working, they’re surviving, they’re thriving, they’ve been through it, too,” Lee said.
Doors open at 3 p.m., and the discussions begin at 4 p.m. The after-parties kick off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, and after-party tickets are available for an additional $15 donation.
To register for City Sound Summit, visit its website. You can also learn more about Cincinnati Music Accelerator and Lee below.
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What is Cincinnati Music Accelerator?
Lee, a Cincinnati native, founded Cincinnati Music Accelerator as a People’s Liberty project in 2017. The goal of the organization is to encourage imagination and innovation and to build diverse relationships within the music arts.
Since its inception, the music accelerator has supported hundreds of regional musicians and entrepreneurs through programs like its mobile stage trailer and music studio. It also brings live music to the streets of the central business district and Over-the-Rhine through its street stage project.
However, the organization’s most notable program is the Music Business Academy, which educates and empowers emerging musicians, DJs, producers, music managers and anyone looking to bolster their music education. The accelerator is committed to providing each academy student with equitable treatment regardless of their background.
“My hope for CMA is to become a place that is a beacon of inspiration, hope and opportunity for primarily musicians of color, but for all of our ecosystems of people in music. As far as I’ve known in my lifetime, I’ve yet to see anyone do anything at the magnitude that we are doing it. And that’s not just in Cincinnati, that is in the state of Ohio,” Lee said.
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Who is Kick Lee?
Lee has worked in the music industry for over 18 years, primarily composing and licensing music for marketing and advertising campaigns. He has worked with major brands, like Kroger, Pantene, Toyota, the 2018 Winter Olympics, Lexus, LG, Samsung, Disney, Amazon and Gold Star Chili.
He is an advocate for the musical arts and has mentored other young creatives through Cincinnati Music Accelerator. Lee also received the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-22 Multicultural Awareness Council Award for Diversity and Leadership in the Arts. It’s an annual award that recognizes local artists, administrators and visionaries, who promote diversity and inclusion in the arts.
He credits his and Cincinnati Music Accelerator’s success to his team and community, whose support has allowed him to realize his dream of helping the next generation of musicians.
“It’s an honor to even be able to be in this position, especially as a Black man. For Black musicians and creatives to look at me, look for me, and be inspired by me, that’s a huge impact. … I always tell those that I’ve mentored, ‘Look at me. I’m doing something that I never thought I would be doing. I never thought I’d be in the music industry. I never actually thought I would survive past 18.’ … The best advice I could give them is, ‘Keep looking forward, keep your chin up, keep your head up, and know that there are those looking at you the same way you look at me,'” Lee said.
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