Warner Chappell North America president Ryan Press (pictured) will co-host Message in the Music, a new songwriting camp taking place 5/28-6/1 in Philadelphia. The event is a joint effort by WCM, Live Nation Urban and The Roots, who are hosting their annual Roots Picnic festival in town during the same weekend.

The camp’s name is derived from “Message in Our Music,” a 1976 O’Jays hit written and produced by Philly Soul masterminds Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The first edition will pay tribute to Gamble, Huff and their brilliant contemporary Thom Bell, all of whom are represented by WCM, as well as current Philadelphia songwriters.

Joining Press as co-hosts are Roots members Questlove and Black Thought, writer/producer Pop Wansel (Mary J. Blige, Lizzo) and Shawn Gee of Live Nation Urban.

“Philly Soul will always be the heartbeat and defining sound of Philadelphia, and my hope is for this camp to support the city that raised me and helped launch my own career by investing in its current and emerging talent,” Press said. “My partners and I believe there is a message in the music, and we believe that the message is love,” Gamble added.

WCM is expecting more than 50 musicians to participate in the camp. Some songs from the catalogs of Gamble, Huff and Bell will be available for sampling and interpolation by other artists via WCM’s Beat Broker platform.

Meanwhile, the Roots Picnic takes over Philly’s Mann in Fairmount Park 6/1-2 and will be headlined by Jill Scott, Nas, André 3000, Gunna and Lil Wayne backed by the Roots.

The Philly Phanatic declined to comment.

(photo: Jonathan Weiner)

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