• Tallie Spencer

Event recap: 'Magic in the Madness' panel addresses racial injustice within music industry

Co-hosts Chris Catlin and Ashly Valenzuela put together a panel that featured Teddy Riley, Vincent Bragg, Remonde Laroy Levy, and J. Carter to address racial inequality in the music industry.

Meet Chris Catlin - one of the co-creators of a virtual panel called "Magic in the Madness" that occurred on July 11th to address the issue of racial injustice within the music industry. In a recent interview with Remixd Magazine, Catlin shared what it meant for him to be able to put together the event and the intent behind it.


Catlin, along with co-creator Ashly Valenzuela, put together a panel that was originally birthed as a result of the #BlackOutTuesday hashtag became a trend.


"We really just wanted to have an open discussion where we can talk about these issues and the state of the industry in these crazy times -- shed light, and see how we can move forward," Catlin told Remixd Magazine.


The event featured several panelists such as Teddy Riley, Vincent Bragg, Remonde Laroy Levy, and J. Carter, who helped shed knowledge and light on their experiences facing racial injustices in the music industry.


Catlin said that during the panel, he felt as though the group genuinely had "deep meaningful conversations, and addressed the right things."


Keep reading to learn more about the event as well as Catlin's response.


Tell us about the event and what it was about.

Magic in the Madness basically started as an event to address these issues of racial injustice within the music industry. While at the same time addressing how to move forward during and after a pandemic. When #BlackOutTuesday started trending, it was originally to address racial injustice within the music industry. But I feel like it got blown out of proportion and no one really talked about that.The event was kind of part of the inspiration behind it.

What was the overall goal and mission of the event?

We really just wanted to have an open discussion where we can talk about these issues and the state of the industry in these crazy times -- shed light, and see how we can move forward. The George Floyd protests and the pandemic both changed the industry tremendously. So I think it’s important to band together and talk about how to progress. And how we can make positive change. There’s a lot of people who see the entertainment industry and only see the pretty picture that’s painted for them. The entertainment industry does a great job of that. But I wanted to give people an insight to what really goes down behind the scenes and what it really means to be in this industry.

What role did you play in making the event come together?

I really birthed the idea, had that initial light bulb in my head. Then I hit up my friend Ashly Valenzuela, who is an entertainment lawyer out in Los Angeles, and I told her my idea. I basically passed her the rock and she ran with it. I booked the venue and she co-hosted the event with me. She ended up getting Teddy Riley, Vincent Bragg, Remonde Laroy Levy, and J. Carter, all to be a part of the panel. Each one of them really dropped some gems, and gave insight on their areas of expertise .

What’s your involvement like with this organization/group?

I've known Ashly for a while, but hadn't seen her in years until she moved out to LA. But as for everyone else, we literally met on this panel, at this event. It was amazing being in the same room as so many talented, influential people with such amazing things to say. I really felt like everyone was an expert in their areas. It was especially dope getting to speak with Teddy Riley about his experiences and his opinions, as he's been such an influence in the game for such a long time. He shed a lot of light about the truth behind the scenes, and gave some advice to young artists who hope to achieve his level of success. As a whole, everyone on that panel I wish I had more time to talk to.

What were some of the key takeaways of the panel that you took away and hope others did as well?

I really just hope people can get a more realistic view of the industry. But at the same time be inspired to step foot in here and change it for the better. This industry can be so dark at times so I just really hope to be able to shed a positive light. If people gained anything at all from this event, we did our jobs. The plan was never to gain from this event financially or in any way. We really just wanted to give back, and give people something positive. As for me I had a great experience just understanding everyone’s unique perspectives. I feel like we genuinely had deep meaningful conversations, and addressed the right things and that’s all I can ask for.

What do you want audiences to know about you/the event.

As passionate as I am about music I’m extremely passionate about education, and I want to keep educating people stepping foot in here. I really hope we can do more of these but I don’t even deserve all the credit . All the people I mentioned before really made this happen. Ashly Valenzuela, Teddy Riley, Vincent Bragg, Remonde Laroy Levy, and J. Carter.

Where can we find more info/get connected?

Through my Instagram @iamchriscatlin or Ashly's @Legalqueenla.

And check out the panelists - @teddyriley1 @jcarteresq @iamvincentbragg @rlaroylevy



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Remixd Magazine is an independent music publication that highlights independent and upcoming talent while staying in the mix about the latest industry news. We are dedicated to providing a platform for artists, producers, and music industry players to shine.
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