By Peter Lewis
Though popular among club-goers around the world, electronic music is not usually presented as a category on awards shows — the recent Grammy Awards ignored the genre completely. But now, thanks to some far-seeing collaboration, that has changed.
Kelsey Law, producer at Santa Monica’s TV4 Entertainment, recently shared her excitement about the inaugural Electronic Music Awards, which will take place April 14, at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. The broadcast itself will air April 23 at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Law explained that the evening begins, like most awards shows, with a red carpet, at 5 p.m. (with a DJ playing electronic music of course). Then, prior to the special Lifetime Achievement Award being given out, there will be a presentation on the accompanying foundation, whose purpose is to help bring musical education “into the cities that create these great artists.”
Law said “a lot of music has been removed from schools, so they don’t have access to it. This year the foundation is supporting the Musician’s Institute, which is a music college right in Hollywood.”
Law’s own journey into L.A.’s world of entertainment began a bit more humbly.
“I was from a small, small Southern town,” she said. “In 3rd grade I was Scout in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and fell in love with acting.”
After graduating from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, she knew the love of the arts she’d discovered while acting in local theater far outweighed her first career choices in insurance and real estate (though the sales experience would come in handy to help hone her skills as a producer). She switched gears one day, became a bartender, and raised enough money for a move out to Los Angeles.
The small town girl brought with her the advantage of knowing the scene in Nashville, which, she noted, is not merely a bastion of country music.
“A lot of agents of artists are actually based in Nashville that are managing these big names in electronic music,” she said. “Nashville is truly Music City. It’s got so many different genres. And it really is quite modern.”
Though her heart is back home, Law said, “I’m here for the rest of my life. I love it here — the weather and the beach, the people and the industry.”
Paul Duddridge, now head of Televison4 Studios, was at first acting coach to the newcomer. Seeing her talent, he mentored her, and she was made Associate Producer when he directed the indie film Mothers and Daughter, starring Christina Ricci, Courtney Cox and Susan Sarandon, among other notables.
The Electronic Music Awards is a long-term commitment with exciting prospects. Eventually a channel just for electronic music is envisioned, with TV4 being the likely landing spot.
One of Law’s tasks for the Awards Show and Foundation was to create a unique and memorable branding of the event, including the invitations. She found one more collaborator in Marc Friedland, who for years now has been a top designers of invitations, stationary and everything going along with it — oh, and he’s they guy who makes the Oscar envelope.
Law said: “We said to Marc, we wanted the event to feel modern, exclusive and underground . . . and black and white, metallic. He came back with a design, and we didn’t have to change it. It was amazing. We can’t wait to share them with everyone. They are like pieces are art.”
Besides the classy souvenirs, the artists attending will of course all be vying to take home awards. Along with Song Of The Year and Album of the Year, categories unique to the Electronic Music Awards are Club Of The Year, Festival Of The Year and Best Radio Show. Law said: “So it wasn’t just about the artist, it’s also about the space that gets the artist out to the people.”
24 Artists were nominated for the awards. Nominees expected to attend include: Calvin Harris (for single How Deep Is Your Love), Jamie XX (for the album In Color) and Skrillex (nominated for DJ of the year). And many more, including artists such David Guetta, are anticipated to appear. The Awards will also feature three live performances.
To visit the Electronic Music Awards and Foundation website for the latest updates on the awards, go to: http://emafawards.com.