When you have music and culture in your blood, sometimes it doesn’t matter what line of work you pursue as these elements will eventually be incorporated into what you do.
Norman Hall was born into a family that has musical interests in its bloodline. His father is a jazz aficionado, his late sister worked with Hal Jackson of Inner City Broadcasting and his son is a Gates Millennium Scholar at Berklee College of Music. He also has a sister who is a jazz vocalist, a brother-in-law who composes music, one niece who is a classical vocalist, and another niece who works for a music label in Nashville. What is there for someone like him to do?
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Hall to discuss his interest in music, the reason his company MV Soul Concepts produces the Annual Summer Madness Music Festival and Conference in Martha’s Vineyard, and the business with which he is currently involved.
BlackEnterprise.com: With the background you have in investment banking, what made you decide to get into doing events?
The reason I became involved in music events and conferences is twofold. I have several family members with careers in music currently or heading in that direction, and the other (capitalistic) is business related. I am involved with the launch of a disruptive new technology platform that addresses two core problems every artist and label is experiencing. Namely: 1. The saturation of streaming services throughout the market that has gutted margins, and more importantly, created little to no incentive to actually buy music anymore, and 2. Current IP (Intellectual Property) and DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) protections cannot keep up with how technology has evolved.
I have been connected to the music industry from birth, as my father Dr. William M. Hall is a jazz aficionado and nurtured our family with a music education that formed our connection to early life and culture. His nickname is “Dr. Jazz” and his music archives have been the source of college libraries and music collectors around the country. My late sister, Pamela A. Hall had an illustrious career in the music industry after graduating from Howard University and working with WHUR-FM. Pam was hired by Hal Jackson of Inner City Broadcasting (WBLS-FM New York) as their music director straight out of undergraduate school. My family exposed me to nearly every music form that existed in my youth, and that motivated me to continue this interest whenever possible for the sake of learning more about myself and other cultures through rhythms, beats, vibrato, and other forms of musical expression, which are all human connectors.
How did you become involved in MV Soul Concepts?
I became involved in MV Soul Concepts when a family friend that I grew up with on Martha’s Vineyard in the summers introduced me to the music event and conference last year. I discovered that he and another childhood friend, Sean Porter, promoter and event organizer and Janon Costley, the brand liaison and sponsorship expert were putting these events together and they needed a “person on the ground” they could rely upon to get things done, so I said “sign me up.” I also have a son who is a Gates Millennium Scholar at Berklee College of Music, a sister who is a jazz vocalist, a brother-in-law who composes and arranges music, their daughter who is an up-and-coming classical vocalist at Baltimore School for the Arts, and another niece who is an A&R representative for a music label in Nashville, who is also a spoken word artist. These are five selfish reasons for me to be in the business.
This is the second Annual Summer Madness Music Festival and Conference making last year’s the first. What prompted MV Soul Concepts to start the festival and conference?