SOCAN presented a “Cookin’ Beats” panel with JUNO Award-winning, multi-platinum-selling producer and instrumentalist Akeel Henry  at the SOCAN-sponsored 2023 edition of IMSTA FESTA, a free, one-day music tech conference, presented by the International Music Software Trade Association (IMSTA), and held in the Rogers Communications building at Toronto Metropolitan University on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

Henry has produced or co-produced Jazmine Sullivan’s “Hurt Me So Good” and  John Legend’s “Splash” (featuring Ty Dolla $ign & Jhene Aiko), among others. He’s toured with Daniel Caesar and executive-produces buzzing Canadian R&B act LOONY. Young beat-makers, producers, artists, and industry personnel packed the room for the panel, moderated by SOCAN Creative Executive, Black Music, Lord Quest. Henry demonstrated some of his techniques, offered a look into his creative process,  and provided the crowd with tips on how to raise their production game.

Lord Quest also conducted an interview for the panel “AI in Music” with Illmind, a two-time Grammy winner and multi-platinum-selling producer who’s worked with artists such as Kanye West, J Cole, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé & Jay-Z, and many more. Illmind founded “Blap-Kits,” a series of beat-making tools available for music producers; hosts the weekly podcast Illmind Put The Loop On; released the first ever sample pack NFT; and built a metaverse recording studio for virtual reality meet-ups. He discussed the already profound impact of AI on the music industry, from the rapid generation of melody ideas to mentoring aspiring musicians; how he deploys AI to transform a demo vocalist’s voice into that of an artist, opening up exciting possibilities for pitching songs to that artist; and his newly-developed AI clone ChatBot, known as BlapGPT.

In a coup for IMSTA FESTA, the keynote speech was delivered by Noah “40” Shebib, the producer for all of Drake’s albums, and co-founder of his OVO Sound label. Shebib boasts an impressive tally of 18 Grammy Award nominations, securing two prestigious wins. He’s also lent his production talents to the likes of Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, and Jamie Foxx.

SOCAN Creative Executive, East Coast,  Houtan Hodania also presented a SOCAN 101 panel, Music Rights and Royalties, during IMSTA FESTA 2023.