Congo Sanchez: My 2020 Vision for Music

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The famed Thievery Corporation drummer and conference performer gets into the spirit of the event and talks to Women 2.0 about how tech is reshaping the music industry. By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

At our upcoming conference we’re discussing our 2020 Vision, trying to pin down the specifics of how tech will evolve not just in theory, but in the specifics of everyday life. That means not just looking at "serious" business questions like funding, 3D printing and ecommerce (though we'll have plenty on those), but also the more fun side of life, including dating and fashion.

To get in the spirit of examining technology not only as its own industry, but also as a force reshaping every aspect of our lives, we called up Congo Sanchez, the famed Thievery Corporation drummer who will perform a private concert at the event (and DJ our awesome wearables fashion show), and asked him for his own 2020 Vision of tech and the music industry. (Plus, we snuck in a few quick questions about what he's got in store for his performance just to get us even more excited!)

Why you are excited to be performing at the Women 2.0 conference?

I have a record label launch I’m doing around this tour. The label that I’m founding long-term [is] focusing on a presentation that consists of style, music and culture, and Women 2.0 is inspirational for me to look at, a young company run by young people. To see the success is encouraging.

Tell us a little more about the guest performers you’re bringing to the conference.

These guys are the two main members of my live performing act. Flex Matthews is an MC, rapper and freestyle artist, and Haile Supreme is a singer and MC/rapper as well. Once we started working with these guys here in D.C. I had to take them on the road because they just add so much to the show. So what’s happened is I’ve adapted my show, which was drumming and live electronic music, to have a more song-oriented approach.

The theme of the conference is 2020 Vision, so we’re talking about how tech is changing different areas of life in the near future. What are your predictions for how tech is going to shape music in the next few years?

Music has been such a tumultuous business in the past 15 years, as far as the record industry crashing and the rise of GarageBand where anybody can make a song. I [think] by 2020 that we will have moved slightly past the questions stage and I think people will be back to innovating through technology, through touring and merchandise, through everything they can in order to keep a little bit of money coming in so they can still afford to make music and put it out there.

So it’ll be a little more settled? I hope so.

Jessica Stillman (@entrylevelrebel) is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com, contributes regularly to Forbes and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others.