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Danny Ross, producer, singer, and songwriter in his own right, has created Anti Social Club, an annual event meant to showcase the influence New York city has in the creative art of songwriting. 2023 was the third year of the Anti Social Camp, a multi-day event in which an artist, songwriter and producer are matched, given space at a recording studio and asked to create a new song.
I spoke with Ross about Anti Social Camp. The core idea is to bring to Newy York city a showcase for the power of collaboration, and to inspire new creative communities. This is not a learn as you go experience. The participants are invited because of their respective skills.
This year the camp took place from June 12 – June 17. The objective was to make music which would be creative and commercial. To facilitate this creative process, there are more than twenty recording studios and venues which provide space during the camp for creatives to work.
Danny Ross set out to be part of the large New York community of artists who create music. Art is all about inspiration. Anything that fosters collaboration which inspires the creation of fresh art is positive for both the artists and the community at large. Ross set out to make a dent in the large New York music community. He created a festival and started an enterprise which is growing and prime for expansion to other locations. Ross expects to release an official Anti Social Camp album in the middle of 2024 showcasing work created by the attendees this year.
Anti Social Camp returns next year on June 10th. Don’t let the name fool you. It is, in fact, quite social, vibrant and a moving force for artistic collaboration. There are myriad ways in which the participants interact, from an opening gala to celebrity guest speakers, masterclasses by industry experts and showcases by the artists in attendance. There is even an education summit at Berklee College of Music’s New York location.
The intention is to both spotlight New York city as a vibrant creative hub for music creators, and to build community among the producers, songwriters and artists who participate. Unlike other similar collaborative events, Anti Social Camp does not take any part of the future revenue stream from the songs created. All the monetary rights remain in place for those in the room who created the work.
What Danny Ross began is impressive. He is building the biggest songwriting camp in the world. A songwriting camp is where professionals concentrate on creating a new song. This is not a school for amateurs. This is a buckle down and write something extraordinary challenge to penetrate the fog of newly created music and resonate with fans. Each grouping in the camp has a writer, producer, and artist, all of whom are seeking to make a commercially viable song. At the end of the camp, there are about one hundred new songs which were created. Those then begin the arduous process of wending their way through the obstacle course which faces any creative seeking to get their art in front of industry decision makers and on the way to a commercial release.
Art is creative, so anything which drives collaboration and inspires the creation of new works is positive for all involved. The artists gain visibility, the creatives get paid as that art begins to sell or licensed and the fans have a broader choice of new music for their own playlists or inspiration. The results from the 2023 event will be reflected in the album release, and in the new works which come out from the participating artists. The more expansive look is to how Anti Social Club scales its concept of enhancing artistic results through collaboration.
Danny Ross can replicate the New York experience in other locations and provide many more chances to bottle the lightning which results when talented collaborators set out to make songs. There are only eight notes in an octave. It is nothing short of miraculous how much joy can come from taking that basic set into a hospitable space where hard work and talent reorder those eight notes into something never yet heard.