©2020 LUX-Life Global Excellence Winner

LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

Phantom Records Œ LLC Best Mixtape Streaming Service - Mid-Atlantic USA The entertainment industry is fraught with complications, but some businesses out there enrich life through artistic and tech innovation. When it comes to making Mixtapes, DJing, and innovating without stress, WKHUH¶V none more refined than the team led by Mike Widener from Phantom Records Œ . MLNH¶V an innovator through and through. We share ( ssshhh ) what KH¶V done to secure so many years of dedication and reach for so many more. We have obliged his request to include references to records in the States where nearly anyone can find evidence of his plans dating back as long ago as 1988. As music evolves, innovators innovate . LHW¶V meet Mike, his team, and the µ alter ego: ¶ his Phantom Œ . When people think about music, they GRQ¶W tend to think about the costs involved. People deserve to be paid for their craft, but WKaW¶V difficult in this new age of the digital revolution. IW¶V easy to access, then copy music - quickly; however, that GRHVQ¶W make it fair. Plus, recently, it no longer means LW¶V even worthwhile for some people to become artists if they aUHQ¶W paid. We could jump in and talk about what Phantom Records Œ LV GRLQJ WR aGGUHVV WKLV , but their motivation is more relevant in a time that has thrust them to the forefront of a wing war of policies in a post- tape landscape. So perhaps we need to about the owner: who he is, what drives him, and why he and his team feel LW¶V time to move away from the modern thinking of nomadic working for musicians and workers, and planned obsolescence in equipment, cars, and appliances, to the days of artisans like DJs. Phantom Records ¶ŒO wner goes by ³ Mike. ´ He still reads. Mike candidly relays that KH¶V grateful someone with an international voice is chastising the music giants for under-paying artists, referring to our PM¶V comments to

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LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

Industry leadership unfairly sharing Artist profits. It must have been a surprise to them that our MP keeps up on those things as does Phantom Records Œ aQG KLV team. Mike believes, as does our MP, that the largest streaming platforms should be validating that the Labels are fairly passing along the A UWLVWV¶ pay-outs. This is Q¶W a secret if you Google the right keywords. ³ MP says record boss µ in cloud cuckoo land ¶ over music streaming claims. ´ Some services, the smaller ones for independent artist or marquee artists alike (artist-centric platforms, Mike coins) paying claiming to pay their artists and the labels using standard systems which anyone can use LW¶V just that Labels GRQ¶W like to tell independent artists or small Labels like Phantom Records what those ³ secrets ´ are for fear of upstart competition. Fair enough. MLNH¶V proven his resume for stealth competition in another area related to ecommerce but not with music, with video games. HH¶V familiar with sales, ecommerce and music rights. So what makes WRGa\¶V COVID world so different? Mike claims: µ COVID sent everyone back home retuning them to their pre-Rochester, NY artisan-style work-life when there still were artisans and apprentices who worked from home or lived at home with their professional mentor (called Masters back then) to learn the trade during the day, and how to balance work/life at home during after-hours times and weekends, including the right Church to attend.

While COVID has effected Mr. WLGHQHU¶V older brother, like many other families, LW¶V not their families first go around. Which brings us back to what made it difficult to get to this point and how COVID, in a strange way, is catapulting Phantom Records Œ forward. His first very public go around in the music scene? The 1991 ³ Oakland Firestorm ´ as it is known to those who lost 3000 homes near his, private, honours high school. He knows change when it happens. He knows that times like these make us slow down long enough to take stock of ourselves which is why we reached out to recognize a broader scope of contributors to Global Excellence in Hospitality, Nothing is more hospitable than music. With Phantom Records, you n HHGQ¶W worry about ZKaW¶V playing in the elevator, turn on your phone. The PKaQWRP¶V in there. IW¶V not Spotify. IW¶V not a mimic, LW¶V not a competitor to Spotify. To any who would, dRQ¶W waste your time pitting us against each other. I have all of them and am a paying member. Mike and his team are concerned about the future of Art. WH¶UH here to drive the future of Hospitality. In doing both, our paths crossed. He believes wholeheartedly that without global media attention from around the world, the U.S. will enact policies to first, re-encapsulate their own U.S. pop stars, then spread outward towards the rest of us. Phantom Records LVQ¶W party to that agenda and is content to establish that stance here in these pages in case nothing stops it. The next step for Phantom Records Œ, which is both an LLC and a General Partnership - because one is sales and one is research for the purpose of supporting legal sales - is to expand. Having both allows the talented team to separate the collection of trade secrets that produce the WHaP¶V products from the sales strategies used to sell them. The relationship here is almost as complex as the legalities that surround digital music rights, but Mike and his team are ideally positioned to make things as straightforward as possible, Art comes from history. For him, DJs mix history, tell stories, and make us laugh, cry, sweat, dance, and forget. ³ Our own laws, all of them, have a foundation in common law, specifically English common law. We know to look there when nothing in our case law deals with an issue. After all, creativity itself was defined by Western European Renaissance. Why ZoXldn¶W rights and protections derive from there even when other places hadn¶W established their equivalent? ´

Phantom Records Œ, as it stands today, was born out of the challenges of the day. The LLC was started in 2016, to begin moving out of research into digital and physical sales, for example, the physical sales with digitized DJ-mixed music were to be legal, and the entirely digital streaming sales, which required different legal adherences continuously changing were to also be legal although it meant re-coding and re- development every time laws changed that impacted existing delivery means. The US has many laws in place which make this work illegal in many circumstances, but finding out where those lines were drawn and where they were open was the start of a venture which would modernize and monetize the tradition of a mixtape.

Art comes from history. For Phantom Œ , DJs mix history, tell stories, and make us laugh, cry, sweat, dance, and forget. He remembers visiting London his first time when he was 16 and relishes the opportunity to speak directly to those reading this here in the place that sparked his pension to innovate when he learned lucid dreaming RQ KLV Za\ WKHUH aQG H[SHULHQcHG a ZKROH QHZ ³UHaO ZRUOG´ bH\RQG WKH QHZ RQH KH¶G MXVW PaGH . These watershed moments for a teen set a stage. They tell you anything is still possible like when you were young. I relights the spark and re-starts the quest.

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LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

In his own words: ³ London is magic. IW¶V the castles, the Greenwich diamond, Hogwarts, midnight Shakespeare, the Hardrock Café off of Hyde Park underground station [back when the black leather jackets had embroidered logos not the newer ones with the silkscreened versions ± if you still have those I still have mine. I bought three ± great burgers too].There are the video game arcades open all night, video gamers in fenced off quarters, plays, comic book stores full of hardcore fans and all thing D&D. The hotel staff are so polite, and of course, Wimbledon. But I skipped some things when I wanted to explore. ThaW¶V how I found the Shakespeare midnight plays. Britain carries, within its history and through its alliances, a complex tapestry, and Western nexus of influence we see woven within movies we love as Americans and stories we reveal as history junkies after Whe crediWV roll.´

Mike says Western Europe is a nexus for the building blocks of modern Art as well. The way we express ourselves now is the combination of Art and Science. Never has the College of Arts and Sciences been more relevant. Think about COVID. People are stuck at home and they are using technology like video conferencing to approximate human contact as best possible. This is where Phantom Record VŒ ILQGV RSSRUWXQLW\. COVID KaV SURYHQ ZK\ Phantom Œ ¶V distinct delivery model is pandemic proof. One could call it ³ socially conscious ´ and LW¶V one reason KH¶V had loyal customers through the years. In an industry so complex that can be fickle about taste from year to year, like fashion, how does Phantom Œ UHPaLQ UHOHYaQW? TKH WHaP VLPSO\ WaSV aW WKH VRXUcH ± with permission.

Mike truly works with the ³ end user ´ as he says. He has several credits in multiple disciplines of education all related to visual arts and technology mastery which enable him to bring visual prototypes to life that are interactive and perfectly convey his ideas. IW¶V easy for a team to follow through. IW¶V also easy to test it before building it. Much like he did with Gamescape Interactive NZ Ltd., in New Zealand, Mr. Widener tests, and tests, and tests. He reports that he listens to his marquee mixes six weeks before KH¶V satisfied he ZRQ¶W change one any further. TKaW¶V when he uploads it to a streaming service that legally and accurately dolls out the cash to all the right parties. TKaW¶V the ³ permission ´ piece. To Mike , you have to ask. You caQ¶W take. A DJ , as a taste-maker, can be one of two things: a taste-maker or a taste- HQabOHU. TRaG\¶V HaVH RI POa\OLVW VKaULQJ & bacN - door, analytics holds the answer to marketing success while DJs can interpret Playlist using their own expertise and human experiences to know when to add a track WKH cXVWRPHU GLGQ¶W¶ aVN IRU. . A collection of Spotify or Pandora Playlists is all WRGa\¶V DJs need from an End Use r to tailor a custom mixtape. Because WRGa\¶V listeners are streaming so much; DJs can gain access to their usage data to track product success after the sale. IW¶V much easier now.

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LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

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.

This begs the question: What do you do then? He dReVQ¶W just take his ideas and perform a mix to his listeners. He uses his User Experience Design skills to approach DJing like a service instead of a performance. He has an IT Support style to his work. He uses tools and judgement to fix computer problems and music to fix complex emotional and relationship problems. Music has always done that but Phantom Records Œ monetizes it. ³Customers alZa\s tr\ innovative services. If you have it doZn, the\ tend to sta\.´ Phantom Œ calls them ³ Music Journals ´ and WKe\¶Ue more like personal µ time capsules ¶ than performances. Can you perform a journal. ³ Yes; but LW¶V still a journal. ´

Motion Capture :

Mike built every site related to Phantom Records Œ RU KLV WUaGHPaUNHG DJ QaPH: DJ eXperience ®. In order of achievement, Mike is an expert Mac® Desktop Publisher, PC Computer Salesman, Computer Support Technician, Computer Technician, In- Home Support Professional, Certified Network Administrator, Certified Adobe Designer (Master Collection), Certified Usability Specialist, and Undergraduate from American University in the first and only unique degree: a Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Design and Development.

The mixtape has often been the subject of scorn within the Music Industry, allowing third parties to profit from unlicensed music. At Phantom Records Œ, the team takes the strain from DJs who simply want to make good music. They provide a detailed explanation of the legal landscape enabling DJs to stay informed and continue their craft while the laws change around them, Phantom Records Œ PHaQV H[acWO\ WKaW. IW¶V a UHcRUGLQJ RI VRPHRQH HOVH¶ s track put together into an uninterrupted listening experience the DJ created resulting in an Album without an AUWLVW. IW¶V IXOO RI YaULRXV VWaQGaUG AUWLVW s bXW WKHUH¶V QR ³CRPSRVHU . ´ So Mike and his team call them phantom albums or Phantom Records Œ. Bottom: Our Headquarters Office inside the above door in Gaithersburg, MaU\OaQd. SWa\ WXQed, aV \RX¶OO Vee Ze¶Ye RSeQed a QeZ RQe LQ LaV VeJaV, (Nevada.) Each State has a corresponding, secure streaming studio. TRS: OXU MaU\OaQd LRbb\. TKLV LV ZKaW \RX¶OO Vee RQ RXU SecRQd FORRU RQce visiting our Headquarters.

This logo is based on a hired design from 1999. It served as Gamescape Interactive NZ Ltd.

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LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

Practical Applications for Phantom Records Œ & DJ eXperience ® : PKaQWRP RHcRUGV ŒaQG DJ HXSHULHQcHŠ ZRUN KaQG LQ KaQG. MXcK OLNH a RHcRUG LabHO aUUaQJHPHQW, WKH GLIIHUHQcH LV LI \RX LPaJLQJ a Label WKaW¶V social conscious and economically supportive. Mike¶V team LVQ¶W your average U.S. company. His entire original goal of Phantom Œ ZaV RbWaLQLQJ HQRXJK DJV LQ UHJLVWU\ WR TXaOLI\ them all for group healthcare at an affordable rate. The passage of the Affordable Care Act , which Mike canvassed for in his own time Passing that law made MLNH¶V goal of healthcare for all DJs a moot point so he and his team moved on to put their efforts into continuing to research and develop the next

level in music delivery. As mentioned early in this piece, the music industry I¶ d highly complex. It was manageable before 1999; however. Yet; thereafter, things went into an undiscovered country with peer-peer file sharing , ease of access to digital music, burning copies from CDs listener GLGQ¶W own, and so on. In their own words: ³ At Phantom Œ, Ze dR RXU KRPeZRUN. We OeaUQed WKaW Lf \RX read the tiny fine print on vinyl and cassette tapes even then we dLdQ¶W actually own our music. In a way, Ze¶Ye always ³ rented ´ it according to how our music rights lawyers interpret it in the States. Did you know: a ³ song ´ are the lyrics, a ³ track ´ is not a song you hear, WKaW¶V called a ³ sound recording, ´ a ³ track ´ is one of up to 64 separate sound or instrument channels on a mix-board so a Producer can create an ³ arrangement ´ then go out and find someone to sing to it. If she or he does that, it becomes a ³ sound recording ´ presuming there are words to it. ´

Phantom Records Œ KaV gone beyond entertainment. MLNH¶V team has consulted medical professionals, researched the effects of music on memory recall, studies automated ways of paying music rights while streaming, and contact-free performance techniques and advertising strategies to leave customers feeling satisfied with a hassle-free listening experience. According to their research, which includes countless documentaries, literary journals, books, interviews, rumours, industry articles and news stories, music has already been shown to revive AO]KHLPHU¶V patients when used in conjunction with iPhones. This particular approach touches PKaQWRP¶V owner because he too has suffered a memory loss event leading to complete loss of his own name. Going from an honours student at CaOLIRUQLa¶V to High School, today at a fee of $36,200 a year, LW¶V ranked #1. If you visit College Prep, however, you ZRQ¶W find pretentious students or teachers. Proof is here: https://college-prep.org. Look for the high definition videos and humble descriptions of world-class facilities. lawyers for over 20 years. Pausing for a spell in 1999 to absorb the ramifications of the Millennium Act , Phantom Records Œ LV cRQ stantly researching.

Mr. WLGHQHU¶V GPA was a 3.5 at the school but due to its State-recognized honours status the GPA is automatically ³ bumped up ´ when applying to College (Post-Secondary School), meaning he graduated with a California 4.5. Then to have all that erased, including his name, and having to start over again learning arithmetic is a humbling experience especially when he has copies of his own A+ work but caQ¶W recall how it was done. And WKaW¶V not the end of it. Shortly after that, his entire home burned to the ground and but were it not for a friend banging on his door (while he was DJing with headphones on), he ZRXOGQ¶W have known. That was filmed and is a matter of permanent record. Dig up ³ The Home Show ´ to see the rubble that used to be Phantom Records Œ bacN LQ 1991.

³ I caQ¶W play Basketball as well as I wish but I certainly have an answer for anyone asking me how high I can jump. Thanks, for that Mr. Armstrong. ´ YHW, MLNH ZaVQ¶W GHWHUUHG. HH UH -learned, added skills, moved from school to school, including interning at Skywalker Ranch, receiving a written thanks from George Lucas himself, learning of Cogswell Polytechnic (now Called Cogswell UQLYHUVLW\) aQG aWWHQGLQJ (KH Va\V WKH\ VXbVcULbHG WR WZR RI BULWaLQ¶V PRVW NQRZQ Game Review magazines because of his request), visiting Pixar and taking a class with one of their animators, learning about and visiting Industrial Light and Magic and watching animators build a scene from Casper the Ghost using a cRPbLQaWLRQ RI 3D UHQGHUHG ³JURZLQJ´ aJaLQVW a VWLOO SKRWRVKR p image to give the impression of an entire 3Dimenional space, to going all the way to Lockheed Martin and donning a VR helmet to jump 400 feet on a top-secret rendered copy of Martian grand canyon over which he jumped. His words

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LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards

In short, Phantom Records Œ LQYHVWV in the people, and the people cooperate in sharing their product. The team at Phantom Records Œ sort out the costs themselves, a process businesses call profit-sharing. DJs are often underrepresented and overexploited in the entertainment industry, so this is a firm who are on their side. After aOO, LW¶V RZQHG b\ a DJ. It goes without saying that while there has been a clear need for some sort of streaming system in this regard, COVID-19 has accelerated the SURcHVV, aV ZH¶YH aOOXGHG. The ability to provide contactless DJ services is critical, especially at such an affordable rate. Various protective measures are in place to ensure that music is not stolen from hardworking professionals who simply want to do their jobs by enclosing them with secure apps. They mixes are not distributed to the customer, that sort of sale is a different OHJaO SURcHVV aQG WKH RZQHU¶V UHVHaUcK revealed that. Music is the soul of the entertainment industry and the team at Phantom Records Œ have spent over twenty years exploring brave new ways of sharing this music with people of all ages. WH¶UH certain that their current success is The owner believes that once that hurtle is only the first step on a path to greatness. They tell us that COVID is only the beginning because it did one thing they could never do ± get millions of people around the world to trust online businesses all at once. MXPSHG WKH JaPH LV WUXO\ aIRRW. A JaPH KH¶V ZRQ bHIRUH, HaUQLQJ cLWaWLRQ LQ APa]RQ.cRP¶V SaWHQW GRcXPHQW IRU LQQRYaWLRQ VR ZK\ ZRXOGQ¶W KLV RZQ initiative produce the same success when done LQ KLV bacN\aUG LQVWHaG RI LQ a cRXQWU\ KH¶G QHYHU been. The odds are in his favour. TKLV SaJH LV RXU OaVW SaJH aQG LW¶V GHGLcaWHG WR the future of our profiled innovator. Without going into too much detail about his future plans to roll out market differentiators, to separate newcomers from tried and true Industry evangelicals, who would be on his side, Phantom Œ KaV SUHSaUHG WKLV SaJH ZLWK a collection of snapshots. Each one relates to technology that will be leveraged to bring immersive, interactive, sonic experiences to his WHaP¶V DJ H[SHULHQcHV bURXJKW WR WKH V treaming market, during COVID, and after enough vaccinations the large market for a truly ground- breaking experience credited to one brand: DJ eXperience ®.

Above VR Star Wars has come to gaming. Does anyone think an innovator woul dQ¶W SXW a VTXad together and grab a few helmets and fight alongside each other to a mixtape while saving the galaxy? Which side color is your Saber? Blue Yellow, or Red?

From my months interning at Skywalker Ranch. The upper window shaped like a triangle was my office. Mr. LXcaV VLJQed a bRRN fRU Pe: ³TKaQNV, MLNe. Ma\ WKe fRUce be ZLWK \RX!´ We dR Ze WKLQN?

AbRYe: QR CRde: See WKe VTXaUe abRYe. TKaW¶V P\ QR CRde. TaNe a SLcWXUe Rf WKaW ZLWK a VPaUWSKRQe aQd LW¶OO SUe -populate my contact LQfRUPaWLRQ. IW¶V aOZa\V XSdaWed becaXVe I PaQaJe L t on my end.

While house-sitting for family friends, a local contact took me around sites I never knew existed right under my nose. OQce \RX¶Ye beeQ \RX¶OO ZRQdeU Lf LW¶V such a good idea to keep using up open space.

Above: The future of DJ entertainment brought to you by Phantom Records Œ LLC, GP, & DBA, DJ eXSeULeQceŠ aQd WKe Phantom Œ.

Company: Phantom Records LLC Contact: Michael Thomas Widener Website: www.phantomrecords.com Artist: www.djexperience.biz From U.S.: +1 (301) 847-9291. From Britain: 011 (301) 847-9291

Right: My Alma Mater in Washington D.C. American University is known for International Studies. IW¶V aOVR great for curiosity, a uniquely balanced general education program and an amazing adPLQLVWUaWLRQ. I ZRXOdQ¶W be who I am without AU.

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