ASCAP has announced the first wave of music creators who will take the stage at their 2018 “I Create Music” EXPO. Among these ASCAP members from across genres and generations are multi-platinum recording artist Jason Mraz, Grammy Award-winners Marc Cohn, Darrell Brown and Dan Wilson, multi-time ASCAP Latin Songwriter of The Year selection Claudia Brant, jazz legend Marcus Miller, Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Desmond Child and Paul Williams, rising pop star Billie Eilish and her close collaborator Finneas O'Connell. Now in its 13th year, the ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO is the largest conference of its kind in the United States, attracting over 3,000 music creators for three days of panels, workshops, master classes, keynotes and one-on-one sessions with the industry's top hitmakers.
The 2017 “I Create Music” EXPO included nearly 200 panelists from across the music business covering dozens of compelling topics, from Congressional legislation benefiting songwriters to expanding the role of women in film music to a case study with the team behind Justin Bieber's Purpose. The 2018 EXPO will feature a comparable amount of panels and panelists, with a host of noteworthy lineup additions planned for the coming months. This will include the announcement of 2018's keynote speaker, an honor previously given to Katy Perry, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and Justin Timberlake.
Registration is now open for this year's EXPO, to be held Monday, May 7 through Wednesday, May 9 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. ASCAP's New Year discount is active on all pricing levels through February 14 at www.ascap.com/exporegister.
Jason Mraz is a two-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter most famous for his multi-platinum hits “I'm Yours” and “I Won't Give Up.” Mraz has been honored with the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, awarded to songwriters at the apex of their careers making a significant impact on the music industry. Most recently Mraz made his Broadway debut, spending 14 weeks in Sara Bareilles' hit musical Waitress. He is also a passionate philanthropist, sitting on the board of the ASCAP Foundation and serving as Chief Creative Officer of his own Jason Mraz Foundation.
Marc Cohn is a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter best known for his hit “Walking In Memphis,” the passionate paean to American music roots from his platinum-selling 1991 debut that earned him that year's honors for Best New Artist. In 2016, he co-wrote half of the songs on William Bell's This is Where I Live, which earned Bell the Grammy award for Best Americana Album. In 2017, Cohn's work with the Blind Boys of Alabama resulted in a Grammy nomination in the Best American Roots Performance category for the song “Let my Mother Live” which he co-wrote. He has also collaborated with David Crosby, James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson and Bonnie Raitt.
Songwriter, arranger and producer Darrell Brown returns to the EXPO for his popular all-day Multi-Genre Song Feedback Sessions. Brown is a Grammy-award winner who has written with Keith Urban, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes and Neil Young. He has penned #1 Billboard hits on the country, dance and pop charts, and has written dozens of original compositions for movies, television shows and video games.
Dan Wilson has collaborated with Adele, Taylor Swift, John Legend and The Dixie Chicks, earning himself an Album of the Year Grammy in 2012 for his work on Adele's 21 and a Song of the Year Grammy for co-writing the Dixie Chicks' “Not Ready To Make Nice.” He is also a solo artist and producer, and the lead singer of rock band Semisonic, for whom he wrote the 1998 #1 hit “Closing Time.”
Claudia Brant is a Latin Grammy winner, five-time Latin Grammy nominee and two-time ASCAP Latin Songwriter of the Year. Brant wrote Luis Fonsi's “No Me Doy Por Vencido,” which spent 19 consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard's Latin charts, one of the best-performing Latin songs of the 2000s. Brant's work has also been recorded by Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Fifth Harmony, Carlos Santana, Barbara Streisand, Michael Bublé, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony.
Marcus Miller has spent the past four decades as one of jazz and R&B's most in-demand collaborators, working with legends like Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock and Luther Vandross. In addition, Miller has over 200 film and television credits to his name as a musician and composer, and has released a steady stream of solo recordings since 1983, including his most recent album, 2015's Grammy-nominated Afrodeezia. He currently serves on ASCAP's Board of Directors.
Desmond Child has penned over seventy top 40 singles throughout his storied career, working with the likes of Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, KISS and Cher. His credits include some of the most iconic hits of the 20th century: “Livin' On A Prayer,” “Dude Looks Like A Lady” and “Livin' La Vida Loca.” Child's work holds strong on the pop charts to this day, with hits for Katy Perry and Selena Gomez, and last year, he celebrated his fifth decade of #1 hits with Zedd's “Beautiful Now.” Child was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008 and has been a member of ASCAP's Board of Directors for the past half decade.
Paul Williams is an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe-winning Hall of Fame songwriter. His songs, from “We've Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays” to “An Old Fashioned Love Song” and “The Rainbow Connection,” have touched millions of people for generations. In 2014, Williams earned an Album of the Year Grammy for co-writing two songs with Daft Punk on their critically acclaimed album Random Access Memories. As President and Chairman of ASCAP, he is also a leading spokesman for music creators in the digital age.
16-year-old Interscope recording artist Billie Eilish has been hailed as “Pop's Next It Girl” by Vogue and garnered over 100 million Spotify streams on her 2017 debut “dont smile at me.” Eilish is a BBC Sound of 2018 selection, their youngest nominee ever, and is slated to perform at both Bonnaroo and Governors Ball this summer. Her work has gained the praise of pop stalwarts like Lorde, Charli XCX and Tove Lo, and she recently collaborated with Vince Staples on the single “&burn.”
Eilish's brother Finneas O'Connell is her trusted collaborator, writing partner and producer, working with her on the entirety of “dont smile at me.” O'Connell has also written with Khalid, Tori Kelly and Sabrina Claudio, and his music appears in hit television shows like Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liarsand 13 Reasons Why.
The ASCAP EXPO offers music creators an unforgettable and authentic experience – real knowledge, tools, connections and a community of support and guidance that can't be found anywhere else. For a glimpse of the EXPO experience, check out a short video at https://youtu.be/hvqOllpspwM. For the most updated information, visit https://www.ascap.com/expo, follow EXPO on Facebook and Twitter (@ASCAPEXPO) and follow ASCAP on Instagram (@ASCAP).