The Grammy-week event, which was open to the public and streamed live on the Grammy website, included input from a panel of music and technology insiders including singer Adam Lambert, Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai and Pandora founder Tim Westergre. Music journalist and former MTV personality John Norris acted as moderator while the group explored how the industry engages fans and consumers in sharing new music and what impact it has had on the business.
Chamillioniare explained how he has used outlets like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to his advantage. "I think you should make [social media] your friend," he told The BoomBox. "Anybody out that there that's thinking that you don't have to use it, you still have to have a physical presence wherever you're at. There's so much information out there. You can get on Google and find anything! I think people should take more advantage of that because information is power. What separates the independents [labels] from the majors [labels] is that the majors have more resources and more information. When you get that then you'll be able to get to the resources and the money."
The digital age has been very good to Chamillioniare, who propelled his career from the underground scene to the mainstream with the success of his single 'Ridin.'' Released in 2006, the track became the top selling ringtone of that year with 3.2 million in sales, and the first to gross $1 million. The achievement encouraged his interest in digital media. "I study all day," he explained. "When I was in school I used to get finished with my test real quick and get on to the next thing because I was trying to just soak in information. I think everybody out there that's trying to make it in the industry, the more you know you can't be sitting back at home complaining because somebody's on. They may not be better than you but they have more knowledge, more information, more hustle."
Adam Lambert, who despite coming in second place in the 2009 American Idol contest, has gone on to sell over 500,000 copies of his debut 'For Your Entertainment,' also added that he uses Twitter to stay connected with his fan base. "I think it's a platform for everything and that's why I like it," Lambert said. "It gives me a sense of control."
The Social Media Rock Star Summit kicked off three straight nights of Grammy Live, a real-time broadcast of VIP events leading up to the awards ceremony.