Atlantis bills itself as a forum where unsigned artists can hook up with label reps, but negative publicity and questionable claims have marred its reputation. Because there's rarely a direct link between bands who have played the conference and signed major label deals, correlating Atlantis' effectiveness is virtually impossible. Diversity of acts performing has also been suspect. Atlanta is internationally recognized as home to urban music luminaries, including TLC, OutKast, Goodie Mob and many others, but Atlantis' lineup has never accurately reflected this demographic.
Creative Loafing asked D.R.E.S. how he thought his presence at the conference could change things.
Creative Loafing: What is your role in the conference?
D.R.E.S.: Myself along with 12 other individuals were selected as board members to revamp the urban portion of the conference. It's infamous for being fucked up, and for a city with such a rich urban music history, it needs to be handled by people involved with the community. Now it is. It's like Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest says in "Verses from the Abstract" on Low End Theory: "Progressions can't be made if we're separate forever."
Do you think Atlantis' bad reputation among local artists will limit how much it can be improved?
No. You'll have that with any music conference. People who've had bad experiences there were probably looking for bad experiences when they went into it. If you think it's a scam, don't get involved. I wouldn't if I thought it was a scam.
Why pay to play?
It provides good exposure and networking opportunities with like-minded people. You can't talk turkey with someone after most show at 3 a.m. when everyone is drunk. But a forum like Atlantis is set up for business.
Do you have any expectations from this year's conference?
A lot of indie labels and distributors are coming down this year, and I think someone will get signed.
Any good candidates?
D.R.E.S. tha Beatnik plays the Riviera Thurs., July 31 at 8:40 p.m.
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