Music by VICE

​IMS Engage Will Be a Battle Royale of Dance Music Brainpower

Troxler. Ingrosso. Quincy Jones. Lyor Cohen. Dave Grutman. One Conference. Endless knowledge.

by Jemayel Khawaja
Apr 8 2015, 7:50pm

Raise a glass for the inimitable Pete Tong when his International Music Summit hits the W Hotel in Hollywood once again on April 15. An offshoot of the annual flagship IMS operation in Ibiza set to take place next month, Engage is all about conversations.

In particular, ex-Swedish house mafioso Sebastian Ingrosso will converse with pop industry legend Quincy Jones, dance music rabble-rouser Seth Troxler is paired up with hip hop rabble rouser Chuck D, and Lyor Cohen will be reunited with his second coming, Jake Udell. The final pairing will match up nightlife royalty Jason Strauss of the Vegas-centric TAO Group and Dave Grutman of MMG Nightlife in Miami.

The IMS Visionaries series in particular looks to celebrate youth in the music industry by selecting a precocious young talent to speak at the IMS Engage event. In celebration of this, we asked Grutman, whose MMG handles both the LIV and Story nightclubs in Miami, to drop a couple nuggets of advice for developing professionals.

IMS Engage panelists Sebastian Ingrosso (L) and Dave Grutman (R)

"A lot of these young DJ's and musicians don't really want to pay their dues and learn the ins-and-outs of the music business," Grutman tells THUMP. "This was especially important during my early years of MMG, and can really apply to any industry if you're looking to get started. People want to get too big too fast and not really perfect their craft. Everyone wants to go to the main stage and headline on Day One."

Instead, says Grutman, the long game and a stubborn commitment to originality are key. "A lot of the music in today's Electronic Music culture lack originality and follow the same cookie-cutter formula: Kick Drum, Snare, clap, big rise/buildup followed by a cheesy one liner then the drop," he says. "It's the same sound over and over again and frankly, people are beginning to get tired of it."

Grutman continues: "Don't reinvent; create. A real visionary is someone who is fearless and passionate in expressing their opinion, whatever that may be and independent. Nobody will remember you unless you challenge the status quo. That's how you not only predict the future but how you become a active part in it, turning it into a reality."

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