IMS Engage 2015 First Pairings Revealed

3 February 2015




IMS Engage returns to Los Angeles for its third consecutive year on April 15 2015 at the W Hotel Hollywood, for a series of conversations between leaders from the worlds of finance, technology, music and media to address the growing influence of electronic music.

The first conversation pairings announced for IMS Engage include hip-hop icon and Public Enemy co-founder Chuck D in conversation with Detroit born DJ, Seth Troxler, one of underground dance music’s most significant DJs and outspoken characters. Also announced was the pairing of Warner Music and DefJam label mogul Lyor Cohen, with 3rd Brain Management’s Jake Udell, a rising star in the music industry and manager behind two of EDM’s most explosive acts Krewella and Zhu.

Pairing Troxler and Chuck D shows IMS’ dedication to exploring contentious and important issues facing electronic music. In the face of increasing commercialism and the rise of EDM in America, many fans attending electronic music festivals and events, are unaware that electronic music originated from African American communities in Chicago and Detroit. The voices of these originators and pioneers are hard to find amidst the current wave of EDM superstar DJs, who have little in-common with the men who pioneered this music.

In Cohen and Udell IMS Engage is pairing the best and brightest of two generations and exploring the similarities and differences that exist between hip-hop’s growth in popularity in the 90s and that of electronic music today.

IMS co-founder Ben Turner states: “IMS Engage is all about the art of conversation amongst icons and influencers – and these first pairings including Chuck D and Lyor Cohen set the bar high for 2015. They are both renowned for not holding back, much like their electronic pairings at IMS Engage, Seth Troxler and Jake Udell. We expect intelligent, intense and humorous debates. More great pairings are set to follow.”

“I am truly honored to be give a chance to sit down in conversation at IMS LA with Chuck D, one of the true pioneers, innovators and rebels of the hip-hop movement,” said Troxler. “Back in the day artists like Chuck D had the balls and vision to thrust hip hop into the political domain and form a bridge between music and politics that I personally feel very strongly about. It’s going to be an interesting debate and I look forward to seeing my Dad Sherman sitting front-row as he’s a huge Public Enemy fan!”

Lyor Cohen has been one of hip-hop’s most important industry players, driving the hip-hop industry from the margins into mainstream culture. He made his start managing hip-hop artists for Rush Productions, before going onto oversee both Island Def Jam and Warner Music Group, ushering in multi-platinum artists like Redman, Method Man, Jay Z, Ludacris and Kanye West. Cohen also made pioneering digital deals at Warner with Spotify and YouTube.

Jake Udell is one of the most innovative managers in music today, overseeing the meteoric rise of Chicago’s Krewella, from a little known local group to a top 40 act in just 12 months. Only 25 years old, Udell founded and shaped TH3RD BRAIN into a thought-leading company that incubates and launches the careers of new musical talent, while simultaneously paving the way for young entrepreneurs with his #20something mentorship program. His team’s latest client is shaping up to be their next superstar, ZHU, who despite having zero releases as of one year ago now has a Grammy nomination and festival headlining slots.

Leader and co-founder of legendary group Public Enemy, social activist, author and digital music pioneer, Chuck D rose to acclaim in the 1980’s with a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums that addressed weighty issues about race, rage and inequality with a jolting combination of intelligence and eloquence never seen before.

The New York Times has named Public Enemy’s music to their list of the “25 Most Significant Albums of the Last Century” and in 2005 The Library of Congress included Fear of a Black Planet in a list of 50 recordings worthy of preserving that year in their National Recording Registry. In 2013, Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This year, Public Enemy’s “Say It Like It Really Is” provided the powerful backbeat to the trailer for the critically-acclaimed film, Selma.

Seth Troxler is one of underground dance music’s most vibrant characters, unafraid to speak out on contentious issues, such as commercialism, race and authenticity within electronic music. Perhaps most famously when he called Steve Aoki a ‘c*nt’ and Avicii a ‘modern day Milli Vanili’ at IMS Ibiza in 2014. Named as Resident Advisor’s No.1 DJ in the world in 2012, Troxler remains one of underground music’s most in-demand acts, playing over 150 gigs last year while operating three records labels, including Tuskegee, which he formed with The Martinez Brothers in 2014, to celebrate electronic music of black and Latino origin.

With its two previous events IMS Engage has emerged as a key event in the music North American music industry calendar. Previous speakers include David Lynch, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Hans Zimmer, Moby, Skrillex, Diplo, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom, YouTube founder Chad Hurley, Giorgio Moroder, Russell Simons, Jaron Lanier and many more.

This year’s summit has expanded to 350 delegates, tickets are available starting at $220