Mastering the Hustle: Workshops to Empower Artists Pursuing a Career in Music

mth_logoThe DIY spirit of the Northwest is what makes our artistic community so unique. As part of our commitment to supporting the sound and culture of the Northwest, KEXP, Upstream Music Fest + Summit, and MoPOP are partnering to offer Mastering the Hustle, a series of ongoing workshops to help emerging artists navigate the music industry.

Artist-centric programming is a cornerstone of all three organizations, and Mastering the Hustle will bring local and national industry experts straight to emerging artists, providing them with valuable information to help further their career. We want to provide emerging artist the tools and support they need to find success; however, you define it. Whether it’s packing out shows or getting airplay, this series will provide you with the resources you need.

The sessions will include speakers from across the music industry and collaborative workshops, focused on supporting emerging artists at every level of their career, especially those interested in pursuing music at a professional level. These workshops are FREE, All Ages, and open to the public. Please note that RSVPs do not guarantee entry. Admission is subject to venue capacity and is first come, first served.


Workshop 4: Creating and Booking Shows
Date: Saturday, September 9th
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: KEXP Gathering Space
Description: Join us in the KEXP Gathering Space for a conversation with local venues and scene makers.

Sean Majors – Q Night Club and Upper Left Events
Andrea Friedman – The Vera Project
Evan Johnson – Neumos
Sharlese Metcalf - KEXP and False Prophet
Moderated by KEXP Morning Show host John Richards

MasteringTheHustle_Oct21_151x96Workshop 5: Booking Festivals and Making Your Performance Count
Date: Saturday, October 21st
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: KEXP Gathering Space
Description: Join us in the KEXP Gathering Space and learn how to navigate the music festival landscape.
Guest Speakers: Coming soon!

MasteringTheHustle_Nov11_151x96Workshop 6: Promoting Your Music and Shows
Date: Saturday, November 11th
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: KEXP Gathering Space
Description: Join us in the Gathering Space and explore resources and tools for getting the word out.
Guest Speakers: Coming soon!

Past Workshops

Workshop 1: Building Your Music Brand


In our first workshop, we invited a panel of Seattle musicians and music industry professionals to give presentations on building your music brand. Megan Tweed of Edelman and Assembly PNW Digital talked about the importance of conscious branding. All four members of the band Thunderpussy and Tacocat bassist Bree McKenna shared their firsthand experiences, both successes and pitfalls, of figuring out their bands’ unique image and style. Plus, Sub Pop Records CEO Megan Jasper talked about the music business and some of Sub Pop’s diverse and uniquely branded acts, as well as the label’s brand itself.

Workshop 2: Your Sound and Performance


In our second workshop, we invited a panel of Seattle musicians, bookers, and engineers to discuss how artists can improve their sound and performance. Local rapper/producer Grieves and his tour manager Colin Papworth discuss how to handle logistics of a show from the artist end and how to level up your performance. Crocodile Production Manager Shaina Foley walks through the crucial advancing process and how to communicate with the venue. KEXP Audio Engineer Julian Martlew offers insight on how to best do your soundcheck and communicate with the sound person during the show. Moderator and Upstream Music Fest Head Curator Meli Darby directs the conversation, throwing in tips and tricks from her own experiences as a booker and working with artists.

Workshop 3: Making Money in Today’s Music Economy


For anyone who’s played music in the past couple decades, you know how much the industry’s changed and how hard it can be to generate an income from your music. However, it’s not impossible. We assembled a team of experts to help shed light on how to protect your music and collect royalties. We invited a panel of industry professionals to break it down, including Member of Washington Lawyers for the Arts and IP Team Leader at Cairncross & Hempelmann Jeff Nelson, Executive Director at CASH Music Maggie Vail, and Wade Metzler who does Artist and Industry Relations at SoundExchange.


About KEXP
KEXP is a music-focused nonprofit arts organization serving music lovers and artists through in-person, broadcast, and online music programming. KEXP operates one of the most influential listener-supported music radio stations in the country, KEXP-FM, Seattle. More than 200,000 listeners from around the world tune in to the station each week over the air and online. On KEXP’s YouTube channel, videos of exclusive in-studio performances garner more than 2.4 million views per week. KEXP produces hundreds of live performances each year, many of which are open to public audiences at no charge. For more information, please visit

About MoPOP
The Museum of Pop Culture is a leading-edge nonprofit museum, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture. With its roots in rock ‘n’ roll, MoPOP serves as a gateway museum, reaching multigenerational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, and educational programs, using interactive technologies to engage and empower our visitors. At MoPOP, artists, audiences and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the popular culture of our time.

About Upstream Music Fest + Summit
Upstream Music Fest + Summit is a three day festival and industry summit celebrating the emerging sound and culture of the Northwest. The music festival includes intimate performances and unique collaborations across 25 venues around Pioneer Square and at the Main Stage in CenturyLink Field’s North Plaza. The two day industry summit gathers artists, influencers and industry experts at WaMu Theater for keynotes and breakout sessions exploring the new music economy. Upstream offers a unique experience that fosters and supports artists at every level of their career, while offering music lovers a weekend of showcases from the Northwest and beyond.

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