New Skool Rules is a three day international music conference to be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, going down this year from May 28-30. It is a global event, which offers a wide variety of entertainment, panels, workshops, masterclasses, showcases and network opportunities. New Skool Rules, in a most unique way, aims to strengthen Hip-Hop Culture worldwide. This is a special event that AllHipHop has been a part of for years.
We took time to talk to the owner of the festival Henca Maduro about the past, present and future of New Skool Rules.
AllHipHop: What is new with New Skool Rules?
Henca: New Skool Rules is for the 1st time fully virtual. We have a full programm, with more than 15 panels, 10 masterclasses and workshops, 4 demolistening sessions and speeddate carousels going on virtually. This is as close as you’re going to get to a real life music conference. People can set up video calls on the platforms, schedule meetings in their calendar and of course chat with one another privately or in the panel spaces. We even have 80 + showcases from all around the globe, that have been pre recorded and sent to us. We will also have a live stream where people can check dope interviews and the showcases for free during the New Skool Rules Festival. So everything is NEW when it comes to the fact that it is online, but what remains the same is the sharing and gaining of knowledge, the networking, the doing business while having fun. We’ll have a dj on deck all through the conference, that people can ‘hang out with’ in the lobby.
AllHipHop: How has the movement been able to endure for so long?
Henca: The movement came from people within the culture, we’ve started our movement when were 22. It’s a music conference build on a foundation of people from the culture building a platform for the culture. We’re a non for profit foundation, doing this to empower and uplift the urban/hiphop community. That’s why we were able to keep it going! The community believes in us, and we believe in them!
AllHipHop: Who are some of the artists and International delegates that are being featured?
Henca: We always have the stars of tommorrow featured today. I’m very excited to have all the artists performing but if I have to highlight some I would say, Vivecka (NL), Hallelujah (US) , Storry (Canada) and a US rapper named Gatson, but we also feature speakers like multi- grammy award winning producers Troy Taylor (Trey Songz, Boyz II Men, Koryn Hawthorne), Needlz (Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Kehlani, 50 Cent), Focus (Aftermath). Of course we will have A&R’s from the major labels and publishers like Shawn Barron (Motown) and Vivian Barclay (Warner Chappell).
AllHipHop: How has the festival been impacted by Covid-19?
Henca: In 2020 we were the first music conference to go virtual, but we did a super last minute XS version on zoom, we thought it was important to do something for the people around the globe that were all stuck at home. We had over 900 people participating. Now preparing the 2021 edition, we realised much earlier, that we wouldn’t be able to do a physical edition, once again. We’ve invested a lot of money into this virtual edition and hope people take advantage of this opportunity, to globally connect with likeminded people.
AllHipHop: When do you think it will be back in full swing?
Henca: We will be back in full swing May of 2022 with a physical edition, but honestly the virtual edition is really also a full conference programm, without the physical connection.
AllHipHop: Give people some idea of some of the success stories that have come out of NSR.
Henca: We’ve had a couple of success stories, like L.M.F.A.O, Nico and Vinz, who met the producer that made their number 1 hit record song Am I Wrong at New Skool Rules and got a bidding war started on that song during a demo listening session two years after they had met the producer during New Skool Rules. We also had Nicole Bus, signing to Roc Nation, delivering a #1 billboard song, through grammy Award winning producer Needlz, who she got to work with, in our writingcamp for the New Skool Rules anthem. These are just some of the success stories, but every year we see big and small successes started at New Skool Rules.
AllHipHop: Can you talk about the global impact of Hip-Hop and how NSR fits into that?
Henca: Hip-Hop has a huge global impact. The culture and the music, are sometimes even more respected outside of the US than it is, in the US. We encourage people to get an idea, what is going on globally and discover where they will fit in best. Sometimes people don’t get any recognition in the States, but are able to do major things across the globe. Or the other way around. The world is really big, we give people the tools to figure out where there music, beats or songwriting is most appreciated and provide a network for them, to capitalise on that. That’s what we are all about. After travelling to lots of different countries in the world, I realised that a lot of us are doing big things, but the power comes when you’re able to connect those things. This way we can support each others efforts and the whole Urban music industry can grow globally.
AllHipHop: Final words?
Henca: I’m blessed to be able to put this virtual event together in the middle of this pandemic. If it wasn’t for my partner Greg, my funders and our partners, it would have not been possible. I hope everybody that wants to make a living in the music industry takes advantage of this very unique possibility. For more info and the program www.newskoolrules.com and for people wondering what this amazing event costs (around 25 US dollars including fees).