The Top 10 IMS Talks of 2016

15 December 2016

15 DECEMBER 2016

2016 marked the ninth year of International Music Summit and another exciting trip around the world, bringing together the electronic music industry in Los Angeles, Ibiza, Shanghai and for the first time, in Malta with the debut of IMS College, a new educational initiative for the next generation of electronic music creators and thinkers.

We heard from major artists and elite music professionals and discussed conversations that ranged from technology to gender and of course, around the inspirations and progress of electronic music as a whole.

Join us in a countdown of the best IMS talks of 2016, below.

  1. IMS Engage: Marc Geiger ‘In Conversation’ with John MacFarlane

Without question, music and technology go hand in hand. It was a perfect fit for Head of Music at WME Marc Geiger to come together with CEO of Sonos, John MacFarlane, making for a deep dive into the prevalent crossovers between electronic music and the advancing realm of technology for both consumers and the industry. The IMS Engage conversation saw a sharp discussion about the important world of streaming and the digital music age today. Geiger’s intelligent insight into the industry is always incredible to hear – he views the industry in completely different ways to most.


“If you make it easier for people to have music in their life, they’ll listen to it more.” – John MacFarlane


  1. IMS Engage: Arthur Baker ‘In Conversation’ with John Singleton

IMS Engage in Los Angeles focuses on pairing electronic music leaders with peers from across different industries. This year, a highlight was the discussion between respected producer Arthur Baker and the Oscar-nominated director of the celebrated ‘Boyz In The Hood’, John Singleton. The conversation discussed music’s important role in film by tapping into John Singleton’s illustrious career and catalogue and also discussed the evolution of electronic music-centric films, with personal insight from Arthur Baker.

“Nobody has cracked the electronic music film yet. There was just that bad Zac Efron one last year.” – John Singleton


  1. IMS Ibiza: Yello – Keynote Interview

This year’s IMS Ibiza saw yet another legacy take the stage with Yello, who brought decades of knowledge and experience to the stage, discussing their prolific careers as pioneers of electronic music. Their jovial personalities shone on stage alongside their musical talent, when they grabbed a phone and made a track with nothing but an app and the sound of their own mouths.

“Years ago, if you told me that one day, you could have a studio in your pocket that costs less than a cup of tea, I would never have believed it.” – Boris Blank


  1. IMS Ibiza: Striving For Excellence & The Art of Playing Differently


A team of power players came together at IMS Ibiza to swap wisdoms about what it takes to truly “play differently” in the world of electronic music by combining their knowledge as artists and curiosity to integrate new technology and methods into their productions. Black Coffee, Dubfire, James Zabiela, Nicole Moudaber, Richie Hawtin and Carmine Conte from Tale Of Us discussed their own beginnings in production, their experimentations and the state of electronic music today. The talk was inspired by Richie’s Hawtin new technology company PLAYdifferently and the MODEL 1 mixer.

“Half of it is about technology, but half is about your natural ability as a DJ. Along the way, you learn the artform of what it really is to be a DJ. You learn about maintaining the tempo of the night. You learn about programming – what record you play when, it’s important. Then, you push it through technology.” – Dubfire


  1. IMS Ibiza: Diversity in Electronic Music

At IMS Ibiza, the Diversity in Electronic Music panel aimed to tackle the big subject – women and their role in the industry. Bringing together a diverse group of artists and industry leaders, the audience heard important facts about the lack of females in the industry and discussed ways to improve for the future from individuals on both the artist and industry front: B.Traits, Jackie Antas of Live Nation International, José Woldring, CEO / Founder of The Media Nanny, Lucy Blair of The Orchard, Maria May of CAA, Nicole Moudaber and moderated by Mark Lawrence, CEO of AFEM.

“At the end of the day, if you’re passionate about this, you can go out there and do it. Grab it. Whether you’re a girl or a boy.” – Nicole Moudaber


  1. IMS Engage: James Barton ‘In Conversation’ with Lee Anderson

The rare pairing of an agent and a promoter in conversation happened at IMS Engage earlier in 2016, providing a discussion with invaluable insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of the music industry. James Barton, then President of Electronic Music at Live Nation, spoke with Lee Anderson of AM Only in Hollywood, an appropriate backdrop for a discussion about electronic music’s roots and now status as a permanent part of the entertainment industry. Their talk covered topics from up-and-coming producers to the idea of the DJ as the new rockstar.

“For every Calvin, for every Skrillex, there are kids in their bedrooms making new shit that we’ve never heard before.” – James Barton


  1. IMS Engage: Bob Lefsetz ‘In Conversation’ with Pete Tong

What electronic music needs now, more than ever, are voices that are unafraid to say what everyone is thinking. Renowned author and commentator Bob Lefsetz is exactly that man, and when placed in conversation with Pete Tong, there is no topic too controversial or touchy to leave unturned. The discussion covered a range of topics including SFX and the state of ‘EDM’, Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” and the next generation of industry professionals.

“If they eliminated the dance tents at Coachella, the event would be over. The audience still wants this.” – Bob Lefsetz


  1. IMS Asia-Pacific: Meet Team Skrillex

Skrillex remains a beacon for electronic music innovation, especially in a country as fresh to the culture and sound as Asia. At this year’s IMS Asia-Pacific, Skrillex arrived with his entire team in tow including his manager Tim Smith of Blood Company, agent Lee Anderson from AM Only and OWSLA General Manager Blaise DeAngelo. The crew discussed their fascination with Asia, experience in a far and foreign market and shared their wisdom about what it takes to stand out amongst a sea of electronic music hopefuls.

“We’re not financially driven, we’re adventure driven. Music and art driven.” -Skrillex


  1. IMS Ibiza: Pet Shop Boys – Keynote Interview

Though dance music is clearly at the forefront of what’s popular in music today, there’s nothing quite like the experience of our genre’s true pioneers. The Pet Shop Boys are exactly that, arriving at IMS Ibiza and invited the audience into an incredible hour of insight about their illustrious career, discussing their own musical inspirations from then ‘til now, what it takes to remain creative throughout the years and outlining their favorite way to spend a Sunday – having brunch at Berghain.


“We haven’t taken a break. You have to exercise the muscles of your creativity to keep them strong. We’re always chasing the idea of the perfect record that’s exactly the right balance of euphoria, intelligence, sound and crazy instinct.”- Neil Tennant, Pet Shop Boys


  1. IMS Ibiza: Erick Morillo – Keynote Interview

Big announcements have always been a tradition of IMS Ibiza, from big business deals to new partnership announcements. But it’s not every year that you hear a candid personal revelation from an artist as prolific as Erick Morillo, who has been influencing the scene for well over two decades. At IMS Ibiza, he bared it all to discuss his journey battling a ketamine addiction through a prolific career. It was an incredible hour of honesty and tribulation and an important nod to the music industry’s need to be open towards discussions about the dark side of the lifestyle: mental health, addictions and dangers.

“It was ketamine, that was the one. When people ask “Why ketamine?” I say thank god it was ketamine, because it was one of the drugs that isn’t physically addictive. It was a mental addiction. It was about ego, and I had to let it go.” – Erick Morillo