Renowned A&R music mogul Rob Dickins, who signed or developed the talent of artists including Enya, Cher, Rod Stewart, Seal, the Sex Pistols, Vangelis, and Echo & the Bunnymen, among many others, will speak on the extraordinary history that made rock ’n’ roll possible. From the slave trade, Scotch-Irish migration, minstrel shows, ragtime, gospel, the blues, and R&B, Dickins will trace the impact these historical events initiated in the long and winding creation of rock ’n’ roll and how one of the greatest American cultural phenomena of the 20th century happened and its eventual musical migration to post-war Britain.
Dickins served as the chairman of Warner Music UK for 15 years and later launched his own music company, Instant Karma Records and Dharma Music, with the soundtrack to the very first iPhone commercial and the first-ever (and only!) Top 5 hit record in Hindi by Panjabi MC. He is a four-time chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents the United Kingdom's recorded music industry. He also dedicates time to supporting and furthering the arts through his numerous roles in various universities and arts institutions such as the University of the Arts, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery.