Berklee YouTube Hack Day brings together a group industry experts and alumni who have succeeded at making videos that have attracted massive viewership. They'll teach students exactly what they need to know to produce high-quality, compelling content.
Nils Gums is a Berklee alumnus and CEO and president of both the Complex Group—whose artists include the YouTube smash alumni duo Karmin—and RAWsession, an artist development tool for breaking artists. Since graduating from Berklee, he helped launch the careers of fellow alumni Dawaun Parker and Tiwa Savage and worked in the digital departments and on the business development side for several music industry companies before crafting a promotion strategy fusing search engine optimization and A&R that helped Karmin build its massive audience. He negotiated a deal with Epic Records for Karmin. Gums, who graduated from Berklee in 2006, is a member of the college's board of trustees.
Andres Palmiter is an audience development strategist at YouTube, where he has worked with Jimmy Kimmel, How it Should Have Ended, Soul Pancake, and Atlantic Records (among many other channels). He lives in Brooklyn, sits on the board of a bicycle nonprofit, and has been playing the guitar with varying levels of success since he was six years old.
Ben Meyers is Berklee faculty, professional videographer, founder of 21Summit Productions, and recording artist with pop band Me vs. Gravity. His reason for coming to Berklee sets him apart. After working as a music video director and cinematographer in high school, he decided to avoid film school and the typically stiff competition for field work. At Berklee, he had the advantage of being one of the few students at the college focusing on video more than music. He has learned a majority of his craft from doing—a concept he feels strongly about. He has worked with student bands, professors, architectural companies, yoga pants companies, colleges, and more. He was the lead cinematographer on the feature film, The Guide.
Kirby Lauryen is singer-songwriter from Mississippi. In 2012, she began a YouTube campaign, "A Song A Day," committing to writing, arranging, and recording a new song daily for a year. She stopped on day 275, inking a publishing deal with Roc Nation. Since signing, Kirby has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Common, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Brandy, and more. She worked on the Grammy-nominated albums My Everything (Ariana Grande) and Nobody's Smiling (Common). She also recently shared cowriting credits with Kanye West and Paul McCartney for "Only One" and "FourFiveSeconds," featuring Rihanna.
Heidi Martin, a Pittsburgh native, graduated in 2006 from Berklee, where she studied music production and engineering. She was hired as a technical intern at Avatar Studios in New York, and then worked as a general assistant and staff assistant engineer at Legacy in New York (now known as MSR). She has worked with such artists as Alicia Keys, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Neil Young, Mariah Carey, Al Green, Common, and Janet Jackson. She came back to Berklee to work as a studio operations supervisor for the new studios in the 160 building. Martin continues to take on freelance projects and has started delving into career-launching platforms such as YouTube.