A2IM Launches Artist Program At Columbus Music Commission Forum

Feb 28, 2020

Columbus Music Commission executive director Bruce Garfield kicks off the forum at Strongwater Food and Spirits.
Credit Foley

A national group focused on helping independent record labels launched a new program for musicians this week in Columbus.

The American Association of Independent Music or A2IM announced "A2IM Artist" at the Columbus Music Commission's Monday Night Music series. Lisa Hresko serves as A2IM's senior director of member services and international relations.  

“We’re really excited for this new endeavor and want to make sure we’re representing rights holders on the masters-side across artists and labels,” Hresko said. “Obviously the artists are the most integral part of the music industry and the music space. We want to be supporting creators. We are a not-for-profit trade association. We work on government advocacy for rights owners on the masters-side, which does include artists at every level. The work we are doing in Washington does affect your ability to get paid. We work on education, business opportunities, and networking. Hopefully we can answer your questions and make connections that help you move forward in your career.”  

Part of the speaking panel on hand included Spotify's Jen Masset, who recognized the multiple roles and responsibilities independent musicians have. 

From L to R, A2IM's Sheryl Cohen and Lisa Hresko moderate the conversation with Spotify's Jen Masset.
Credit Foley

“From my perspective if you’re not signed to a label, you are a label but just wearing a lot of hats,” Masset told the crowd of mostly musicians. “You are an artist, A&R, marketing, social media, accounting, royalties, publishing, etc. You are everything. Until you can find people you can trust and take off some of those hats and put them on other people…let’s come together as a collective and maybe become a label. It’s going to be really hard for you to accelerate your career if you’re not recognizing that you’re wearing those hats whether you’re good at wearing those hats or not.”

Masset also cautioned the group to watch out for fraudulent pitches.

Attendees at the February 24 forum.
Credit Foley

“If someone promises 100,000 plays for $150, it is a scam,” Masset said. “These are not real fans. These are not real people. They are not going to really love your music. They’re not going to show up at your concert. There is no quick and easy way to make 100,000 fans. There is no quick and easy way to have 100,000 people touched by your music. If you really focus on them one at a time, you’ll get there. And you’ll get there a lot faster if you invest it in real marketing and real great music. Put the heart and soul in it first.”

The forum was part of the Columbus Music Commission's Music Business Mondays sessions, which typcially take place on the last Monday night of each month. The commission's executive director Bruce Garfield calls the upcoming March 30 forum the ultimate blindfold test.

“We have executives from Universal Music and Atlantic Records," Garfield said about the upcoming forum. "We will send out an email to everyone on our mailing list. We will then solicit you to send us songs. Twenty artist songs will be picked and then critiqued by two professional A&R people. Who knows, it might lead to a record deal.”  

To sign up or find more information, visit

Here's a link to additional information about A2IM.