Songfinch is reinventing music making

Like
+ Add to

Songfinch today: Anyone can have a custom song written for their loved one, client, whoever. Nice business. Growing fast.

The future: well, listen to the end. I think you’ll get why this is a much bigger idea.

The podcast is in all major apps, just search for Mixergy.
You can also use our RSS Feed RSS feed.

John Williamson

John Williamson

Songfinch

John Williamson is the founder of Songfinch, which creates personalized songs.

roll-angle

Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, they’re freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs for an audience of entrepreneurs. Uh, I think I overwhelmed today’s guest before we started recording.

Cause I’m excited about his business idea. And more importantly, I’m excited about the story behind it. This guy nearly collapsed, gave one last effort and the things that he did in that last effort made all the difference. And that’s why he’s here to talk about the business and how well it’s doing now.

Post that big last push. His name is John Williamson. He’s the founder of song Finch. Some Fitch is a place where you can go and have real artists create custom songs for you. So you can imagine if you’ve got a conference and you want to have the right vibe with the right words and the right message in the song.

Well, you don’t have to go online and look for a song that has all that. You know, commission a song that’s written just for you or to take it a little bit smaller. Imagine you really like your client and you want to send them something about how you’ve worked together with them for the last year and what it’s meant for you go to song Finch and you’ll get a writer and musician to create a custom song for you.

Or if my wife wasn’t in the other room, I might say, I might want to get one of those for my wife, include little bits about like how we met after she won the first poker game that we played together. Anyway, all that is what I’m here to talk to John about. And we could do it. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors.

The first John said that he might, uh, want to use them. You’re probably going to want to know about them. They’re called lemon.io. If you’re hiring developers, I’m gonna urge you later to go to lemon.io/mixergy. And the second, if you, if you have people on your team, contractors, employees, whatever, and you want to pay them the way to do it right now, 2022 is the way to get to is the time to get started with them is Gusto.

Go to gusto.com/mixergy, but I’ll talk about those later, John Goodman.

John: Yeah, for sure. Thanks for having me, Andrew.

Andrew: You were in the music business before this,

John: Yeah, my, my, I feel like I’ve lived many lives, to be honest.

Andrew: what was the greatest day being on stage? I always fantasize about being on stage and having like people yell while I’m singing the song that I love and has meaning to me.

John: It’s it’s pretty hilarious. I have a eight year old and a six year old. And when they hear that the dad used to be a rapper back in the late nineties, like they think it’s the funniest thing. Um, best stage moment. I don’t know, like the Metro in Chicago,

Andrew: okay.

John: you know, smaller venue, let’s call it 1300 people, but a lot of energy that it packs.

So probably the Metro

Andrew: And you’re from Chicago.

John: I am from Chicago.

Andrew: So it’s like being home. Do you have like somebody from school who saw you up on stage?

John: Oh yeah. There’s there’s, there’s, there’s a lot of little stories like that for sure.

Andrew: You told her producers. Yeah. Tell me one of the, the, the school stories. And then there’s a story that you told our producer that I got to get to, but what’s, what’s one. I always fantasize about Somebody from my high school, like w th their handful of their handful of girls from my high school.

that I would have wanted to see me up on stage and go, I can’t believe that dork is there.

Why didn’t I pay attention to them then?

John: That’s hilarious. I think, I think probably for me, one of the better stories was, um, after, after like the, the little indie hip hop career, late nineties, early two thousands, when I really started building businesses and, and, and, and getting into the music business outside of like the artist world is one of my business partners that I met.

Um, like after we had already started working with brands and doing some things, he was like, man, I used to be like front row. Like I remember being at that Metro show and like, I was a fan of yours before we started working together. So that was always hilarious to me. And I always like, use that to my advantage.

And, you know, anytime things came up, I’m like, you’ve been a fan of mine forever. Like, let’s just, let’s, let’s talk about it, how it really is.

Andrew: I get those good vibes a little bit as a podcast. It’s

not the same as a musician. I just went for a hike here in Austin the other day. And then, uh, the VEC who works at superhuman stops me and my family goes, I know you, you’re the guy for mixer G and then I thought, that’s great. Cause I fricking love superhuman as an app.

There’s one story you told her producer, you were in school. Somebody comes in and talks to you about what it’s like to, you know, the one I’m talking about, right?

John: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll I’ll, I’ll talk to you about that. So,

Andrew: got to hit us with.

John: yeah. Look, I, I went to a small art school in Chicago called Columbia for college. Um, I didn’t stay there long. Um, I was in like an intro to music business class, and around the same time, like on the weekends, we’re going out and touring and playing small venues and other cities, but we had built up a pretty decent buzz at the time.

And I’m in school. It’s like a Monday or Tuesday and our teacher. In this intro to music, business class, he’s basically giving us this whole speech, like, Hey, one day a guy’s like, I got a special guest here. They’re going to perform on stage. Like these are, these guys are super successful right now. Like one day, maybe you’ll like aspire to like follow in the path of these guys.

And this group from Flint, Michigan comes into class and performs on stage. And the previous weekend they had just opened for us in Michigan. So I’m just in class like, oh my gosh, what am I doing? Why am I here? Why am I spending time on this? Like, I’m going to school for the music business. Like this doesn’t really make sense.

And literally cold Turkey told my family, like, I’m not going back to school. I’m going to be in the music business. And I stopped going to school at that particular point in time. And that is definitely the story that fueled it.

Andrew: That’s such a gutsy move. I wish that I’d done that. And I’ve got to keep remembering that for the rest of my life, that gutsy moves are the ones that I get most excited about and the ones that aren’t gutsy, I feel later on such regret that it’s hard to, it’s hard to let it go. People have heard me say, I wish I’d quit school and just moved On and started a business.

That’s like a regret I live with for a long time. I hate not taking the gutsy moves.

John: On the flip side to that, when you take gutsy moves, like you got to live with, you got to live with that, that portion of the journey. And I will say like early music business days, man, I got, I got the grind, like, uh, I lived in my recording studio for two years, um, in which there was only a shared bathroom without a shower.

Um, There was a utility sink. And that is how I used to jump up in the sink and splash water on myself and essentially take baths in the public bathroom, utility sink until I paid $20 a month and got a Bally’s membership, not to work out, but to actually just shower. So like, yeah, these grind stories, man, like you can, you can kind of leave it all out there and take these, take these particular risks.

But I, I do think that it requires a particular, uh, uh, of a particular kind of person and personality to be able to put up with that. And you have to be able to like, see the light at the end of the tunnel. You have to say like, Hey, I’m going to look back and I’m going to laugh at these. I’m going to share these stories on podcasts.

But like, man, when you’re living through that, sometimes it can get super dark and you it’d be like, man, why I could have just taken this safe path, like everyone else did, you know.

Andrew: Alright. Now you eventually started a business, which you partially, maybe we’ll talk about the sale to Coke, and then you started song Finch. But before you did that, you had to give up on like being a performer. What happened that got you to give up a performer? Being a performer?

John: Like, I, I, I wasn’t great myself, to be honest. I like surrounding myself with other artists that were way better. So like moving from being an artist and a performer myself into this world of managing artists, it was relatively easy, you know, it’s like, Hey, these guys are truly talented at what they do.

Let me try to apply my skills and try to get these, these people in front of people rather than myself.

Andrew: And so one of these, Uh, artists, uh, MC juice, I think it was came to you and said, okay, look, come back, manage me. What was it about you that made him think that you’d be a good man.

John: Uh, so yeah, at the time, this is probably like 2002, maybe 2003. Running record label. I have a couple of different artists that no one really knows, but we were able to talk our way on to the vans warped tour. Um, and I, I specifically remember we were doing these sets at these at, at the tour. There’s 20,000 people there, but there’s, you know, there’s 20 different stages.

We got 20 people watching our shows and stuff like that, or selling CDs after the set. And I, it, it was there, there’s a handful of artists and I’m with on the tour. No, one’s really putting in the time, energy and work that I’m putting in kind of wrangling them together, trying to sell merchant, these kinds of things.

So at that particular point in time, I remember I’m in the back of the van and I get a call from, from juice and she was, was unbelievably popular at the time. He, uh, was the first rapper to beat M and M in a freestyle. Um, and he was like super popular and independent hip hop because of that. And we had worked together on different things, but he had, he gave me a call and he was basically like, what are you doing?

Why are you out on the road trying to peddle this stuff? And no, one’s really putting in the effort, like, get on a flight. I got you a ticket, get out of the fan, get off the tour. If those guys want to stay out there, let them stay out there. Like let’s actually build something significant. And I think similar to like, as you’re going to see a pattern here, like, I definitely take some big, some big leaps and figure out some things on the way down.

So yeah, that led me to be like, cool. I’m out of here. I’m about to go do this and kind of shift gears. And then that was like level up for me.

Andrew: And so the thing that you did first was you started a management company and I didn’t realize this musicians make their money from brands. Like, like Phillip Morris, McDonald’s that kind of thing, startups doing,

John: Yeah. So it’s super interesting, man. Like, you know, I started getting into the brand work at a time when most independent musicians would still look at that as like selling out like, ah, you’re associated with a brand like you’re, you’re, you’re selling

Andrew: what’s it? What do you mean by associated with the brand? I know that today it’s different. Right? You kind of take pride in being someone who’s promoting something, even on Instagram. Right. It’s accepted, but what do you mean back then? What were they doing?

John: sinking music in commercials, like apple really crack the crack, the code when they started promoting the, the first like iPods, they had those really colorful flashy commercials with like the silhouettes. And they would take like independent artists and songs that you’ve never heard of before. And the commercial and all the media dollars put behind the commercial.

It would be like, man, this artist is incredible. And then it would like begin popping those artists

Andrew: I remember there.

was this one song that they played AMAA new, so like that. Right. And I went and I looked this artist up. Yeah.

Ella, Naomi, I never would have discovered her otherwise. And then I was listening dollar stuff, but how many, how many brands are paying for commercials with music in them? It feels to me like that’s an opportunity for maybe a hundred musicians a year or a hundred songs a year.

It’s more than that.

John: We’re talking about at the, in the mid tooth, in the mid, like two thousands, between 2005 and 2010, this is like $10 billion a year in music sync going on

Andrew: Just in commercials or is there

John: Coca Cola, Coca Cola, just to frame a reference Coca Cola, a, uh, uh, a company that sells high fructose corn syrup and con and sells it as happiness.

They spend between 200 and $300 million a year on their grants.

Andrew: okay. All right. And So

they don’t just want to go onto the same platforms that I use to find music for my YouTube video. They want to have somebody who’s a tastemaker help them find the right musician so that it’s more than the music that people love, but it’s the association with the artists that then they could feel a connection with and got it, and have some of their, their personality rub off on them.

John: exactly. Everyone wants to be a tastemaker, right? Like, so during this time it’s mid two thousands, like I’m managing a handful of artists, including the one you, you spoke about. Um, um, getting in with some really large artists at the time. And the majority of our money is coming from like sync, like brand partnerships and things like that.

And I think it was just around that time where I’m looking like now we’re getting all these offers, uh, managing let’s call it half a dozen artists at the time, getting all these offers for sync, but we can only do so many because these artists only fit in so many of these

Andrew: yeah.

John: Like, what is. We built a marketplace or a two-sided kind of platform at the time to take all of the artists to serve all of the opportunities.

And that was kind of like the light bulb, like, all right, the artist babysitting gig, which it had become at the time, like this is only going to get so big, let’s get into technology. Let’s talk about building this platform. Let’s build something for all of the independent artists we’re seeing, like, you know, these opportunities can change artists lives.

So can we build a platform where brands can use this platform to discover new music and new artists that fit their scenarios? Whether it’s a commercial, a TV show, a movie,

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah.

John: make this connection? And

Andrew: so this was, you decided to do it. You’re not a developer, you’re not a tech startup person. Are you? Where are you back then

I, mean, now you

John: I wasn’t, I wasn’t back then, no, I was a music kid that, you know, just had

Andrew: how’d you get somebody to build it for you?

John: uh, No, we were resourceful. I think that’s one of the, one of the traits that you get in music as an independent musician, where there’s no, you know, there’s $1 for 10 people to eat. You become unbelievably resourceful, you begin wearing a bunch of different hats and just figure things out.

Um,

Andrew: Who’d you hire to build it for you? Or what platform did you use to build this market?

John: man, I, we, we built going to date myself. We built this marketplace in 2008 on Drupal.

Andrew: Drupal. Yeah, you are. Wow.

John: We, we built it on Drupal. It made a lot of sense at the

Andrew: Okay. All right.

John: we ran into a ton of different problems with that framework or whatever the case may be in regards to speed because essentially,

Andrew: on paper, but it was so complicated. I was living in DC around that time. And I remember asking people who’d come to my scotch nights, why using Drupal? And I said, we work for the government. They install Drupal. They’re going to need us forever. They’re just going to want to keep hiring us again.

It’s like not necessarily government directly, but government, uh, related businesses that also just don’t don’t have a discerning understanding. All right.

And also times were different. They weren’t other platforms. So you were using that. You had to build, I get that you had your artists already. So you could just bring the artists onto the platform.

You had the brands a little bit associated. Were they starting to use it with a brand star newspaper?

John: Uh, they weren’t using the platform. We were more so using the platform internally as a tool and we were still like selling to the music supervisors and I think. That is probably one of those things like you’re talking about behavioral change. You’re talking about like how difficult behavioral change is.

Industry-wide across an industry. That’s so used to operating a particular way. So look, six years of running this company, we built this artist community from zero to 35,000 artists from 200 countries that were on the platform. Like everyone knew about this particular platform at the time. And they used it.

We made millions and millions of dollars for independent artists. And I think we, we began changing the game in a sense like when we started, no one really knew about sync licensing. Um, we were kind of the, the lone game in town. And when we finished there right now today, there’s hundreds of companies like this, that take independent artists and work, work them for sync licensing.

So we

Andrew: then how did Koch decide that they wanted to come in and buy a portion of the business?

John: Yeah, the Coca-Cola story is super interesting. I’ll tell like the origination story of it, which is kind of fun, um, as young entrepreneurs, but had some things moving. We were making some money. We didn’t really understand scaling businesses at the time. Like we wanted to on our business card, we wanted to say Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, London.

So like we had this like rollout strategy in which we opened new offices. Like every six months from the time we opened, we expanded from Chicago to an office in LA six months later, and an office in New York, six months after that, again, not really understanding what that meant or how it worked, but just kind of learning along the way.

For New York, we threw like a relief party or an office launch party. Like this is like, you know, 2009, maybe the end of 2009 I’m in New York. We throw this party at a recording studio. We have some cool bands come and play a bunch of our clients. People in the ad industry in New York are there. Um, and this guy comes up to us and he introduces himself as, uh, from, from Coca-Cola and he gets to talking with us and it’s a Saturday that we’re throwing this party and he says that he’s working on, uh, this, this, this larger spot for Coke.

And. Uh, probably had a few too many drinks in us and we got to really bragging like, oh man, like we could send one blast out to our artist community, and I can get you 200 custom songs by Monday afternoon that used, that incorporates the Coke, five notes in it, and it’ll be perfect for you. And then you can go from there.

And this guy like calling our bluff right there, he’s like zero chance. Like if you have a platform in which you can get 200 custom songs on spec created between Saturday and Monday and delivered to me in a link like we’re going to do a lot of work together so quickly sobered up from that conversation.

Um, Monday morning, deliver him a link and I believe we had over 500 custom songs for his spot, all incorporating the five note Coke, then the, uh, the, the Coke jingle.

Andrew: How this was, this is before song Finch. This was a platform where artists and brands could connect it. Wasn’t about having custom songs created,

John: Are are our artists community was, was, uh, malleable though. Like we sent out blasts and we would say, Hey, so-and-so is looking for something like, do you have songs in your catalog that fit? But this time we’re like, Hey, the biggest of the big is looking for this. Like, it’s a great opportunity. If you have time this weekend and you’re in the studio, put something together.

Here’s the creative brief and overwhelming feedback we deliver. We deliver this guy a link with 500 songs and he absolutely flips. And he’s like, this is unbelievable. They end up licensing one of those songs and then we continue down a path for let’s call it a year. Those guys being like, can you do this?

Can you do this? Can you do this? And just throwing us more opportunities? And then it got to the point of like, man, you guys are spending a ton of money on music. Like music is a huge part of your platform from a marketing standpoint. And, you know, we just built out really solid relationships with the global sports and entertainment team there.

And then come 2011. Um, we were, we were talking bigger partnerships, bigger picture. So we created a way in which they could own a portion of the business. Um, they instantly became, uh, like our revenue then went through the roof at that point in time and they became the magic key for us. Meaning. The relationship with Coca-Cola the article in billboard announcing that they had purchased a stake in us.

And at that point, a lot of people still didn’t know who we are. That was kind of like, all right, we’re here, we’ve arrived. And that allowed us to like, get in front of any, any executive level at any brand that we wanted to, whether Coke set up those meetings for us, or whether we just cold hit people up and said, it’s us, the guys who Coke just invested in.

And I think what’s super interesting about that deal is that actually like started, uh, Coke, getting more into venture to be completely honest, the Coca Cola company around the same time. Like that’s when Spotify came out and just came to the U S Coke ended up investing in Spotify at the time, which has definitely proved to be a way more lucrative for them than, than my company was.

But

Andrew: your company was called music dealers, right? I love the name. And then how much of an investment did they make in the business?

John: Uh, millions of dollars.

Andrew: Millions of dollars. And then was that money that you use then to build a business or was it a little bit of taking money off the table?

John: Uh, no, there, there, I can tell you stories of, of my path. There’s been not really any taking money off the table.

Andrew: I want to know why, why didn’t you get rid of, but you know what, let me take a moment and talk about my first sponsor. Um, and then we’ll come back into the Y my first monster is a company called lemon.io. The founder was on here to do an interview with me about how he built up his business. And It’s in the, I think, two plus million dollars a year revenue.

And I guess a lot of people signed up to hire developers from him because he came back and said for a long time, can I buy an ad? Can I buy an ad? And I couldn’t sell them an ad. We were sold out, but now I had one and he immediately same day got on a call with me and paid as soon as, as soon as he heard that there was a spot because he wanted it.

Um, and the reason that it’s so popular is because. He is in Europe. He’s I think in Eastern Europe, he’s got developers in Eastern Europe. I know that For sure. These developers don’t cost nearly as much as developers here in the U S but they’re fan freaking tastic developers. And so what he has is this platform where he tests them to make sure.

that they’re the right people.

You’re not just going randomly out into the world and getting random people, but they test them. They make sure that they’re good. They make sure that they take away the risk from you from the project. And then you can hire directly through lemon. And what lemon does is they stand behind the developers that they match you with and they can often get you the right developer within 48 hours.

And I think people like to test them to say, okay, let’s test it. Here’s what I have here is my biggest problem. Send me somebody I’m not committed. So send me, show me what you got. And so I think that’s a easy way for them to get customers. So if you’re out there and you’re looking for. If you use my URL, lemon.io/mixergy, you will get to tap into these developers again, really great developers at an incredibly low price.

If you’re growing super fast and you need to add developers quickly, they’re the right people. If you’re a technical co-founder or you have one, we need to delegate some of the work you can go in and work with lemon. And of course, if you have a project that needs specific technology and you do not have that on staff, I’m now noticing a lot of people who are in my audience saying that they need, um, uh, blockchain technology.

They have, uh, NFTE ideas that they want to incorporate. All of that takes this, uh, experience and skills that your people may not have. Well, you know what? You could augment your team’s experience with lemons experience. If you want to do this and get 15% discount for the first four weeks, go to lemon.io/mixergy lemon.io/mixergy.

All right. I’m really grateful to Alex over there for signing up and jumping in on this. I was actually, to be honest with you, I said maybe it’d be nice if he didn’t pay me this year, then I wouldn’t have to pay taxes on it, this year. Just take your time, dude. Take your time. I’m not, you’re not running

John: push it to January. There you go.

Andrew: Yeah. Um, what is, what are the most effective ad campaigns that I saw years ago was, uh, companies that would email out and say, why don’t you pay a whole year in advance? That way you could write off the cost this year. And I remember every one of those businesses that did that I jumped on. I said, sure, let’s reduce my taxes December.

Anyway was so freaking effective. Bear metrics did that with me. I ended up signing to get a book done with Tucker Max’s company for that reason. And then I started emailing other businesses like pipe drive. Can I pay you ahead? Is

John: Alright,

Andrew: ultimately it’s not a huge thing, but I’ll take it.

John: Yeah, man, I podcast advertising. We can get into that later, but, uh,

Andrew: You did something.

John: it’s it’s, been huge for song French, to be

Andrew: All right. I’m writing this down. We’re going to come back to a song Finch, but I don’t want to get away from what happened, how, like I would have thought that you’d have been rich from that.

John: Yeah. I think, I think that is the general idea. I mean, from the outside looking in and watching that company and the impact we made in the space, et cetera. I think everybody probably probably assumed that.

Andrew: So what happened

John: yeah, I, I think ultimately with that, I ended up leaving in 2014. I left at the height of the company from a revenue perspective, I think.

Andrew: because.

John: yeah. I, I, without getting into too much detail around it, I just think when you have. When you have, co-founders like the most important thing to do is like stay aligned on the vision the whole way through the second, like the vision diverges between partners, it becomes really difficult. And I think in this particular case, I think if you want to say, Hey, what, what is the difference between viewpoints or whatever in that, in that business or that scenario?

I think you had one side that was really focused on building technology, even though, um, technology. Wasn’t my background. I just understood scale with that business. And I really wanted to change the dynamic of how, uh, music licensing actually worked. I didn’t want it to be a, a lunch and dinner game and like, I didn’t want it to be so hands-on so full service.

Andrew: I see this

John: wanted to.

Andrew: an agency and you wanted to build a software company. Okay. So if you

John: we raised, we raised money as if we were building a software company, you know, we raised money at, at multiples of a software company, but then like, you know, somewhat, some of the agency stuff really made sense and it became really easy and you could see scale, like we add more salespeople and we get more revenue and then you have somebody like Coca-Cola that comes into the mix.

Like they don’t want Coke. Doesn’t work with technology. Coke works with agencies. So they’re looking at us like you’re the agency. So

Andrew: and then I imagine also that they had some kind of a put option that they are able to buy you at a certain price point, right. Based on revenue.

John: yeah, there, there, there was some things going on there. I don’t want to get into all the details of like how

Andrew: Well, basically did the business get sold somehow? Did, is it still standing on its own? And then there’s no exit for you to cash out of what’s going

John: Yeah, there’s zero in that business. For me, I left again at the, at the height. I even helped pick the person that was, uh, that essentially was going to take my place and replaced me as the COO of that company. Um, so it was, it was a split that made sense and definitely left everything in there. There wasn’t like a ton of cash to be taken out.

Um, and from 2014 to 2016, I mean, you guys can use the Google machine and figure out some of the things that happened to that company. But it basically, I believe in 2016 it got purchased out of bankruptcy. Um, so, you know, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a rise and fall story. If, if you can kind of dig in and, and sort out some of the details.

Andrew: All right. I think I’ve got a sense of it. So meanwhile, what I’m seeing is you get a job and then I think another job. And then one day you’re asked to give a speech as a best man at a wedding. And what happens

John: Yeah, my, my, my brother, actually, my brother who I’ve worked with for 15 years in music, he

Andrew: also a musician by the way. he’s

John: he’s not a

Andrew: a singer performer.

John: now. No performer just been in the business of music. I, you know, in the studio with me when he was he’s seven years younger than me. So in the studio with me, when he was young, coming out to the city on the weekends kind of deal and just kind of learning and soaking it all up.

Um, so yeah, best man at his wedding. Um, I, um, I’m not a great public speaker that that kind of stuff, uh, frightens me. So it’s like, let me put together a really quick speech where I don’t have to be standing up in front of people talking too much. And let me have one of, uh, a abandon he really liked at the time, let me have them, let me reach out to them to see if they’ll do a personalized song, to talk about how him and his wife met and some funny inside jokes and stories about the family and things of that sort did that.

So I give a speech, um, I’d tell the DJ to hit play. The DJ hits play, and I watch a room of 200 people kind of run the gamut of emotions. They start laughing about things. They’re trying to figure out, man, like, how did this happen? There’s tears taking place at certain like heartfelt moments. It was a slammed, it was a mic drop.

So it was like, cool. So then the rest of the wedding, you know, and then even weeks after the wedding people, like, how did you do that? Like, that’s amazing. So that was kind of like, all right, we’ve been already talking about like that B2B version of what we did before. Is there a direct to consumer version of that?

Is there a way that we can harness the power of music and bring it to individuals? So then it was like, all right, this is a really cool idea. Is it a business? Like, is it just a singular product or is it a business? Is this an e-comm play that again? You just try to scale it up really fast. Like, what does this look like?

So conceptually, we came up with this end of 2016. Um, at this time I’m working on, um, I’m running a digital agency at this time. Cause that’s what I started doing when I, when I left. Music dealers, I’m running a digital agency slash kind of incubator model around working with a bunch of different founders.

I got some fantasy sports business going on, just a bunch of different things. Like maybe I can escape from music for a little bit. Um, but then just keep getting pulled back to this idea. So got Rob. He was still at music dealers at the time, got him to leave music dealers. And I said like, take this idea to try to find some product market fit.

Like I have this going on, our other co-founder who was previously the general counsel at music dealers. He is. Working with working with some artists at the time, at that time, a very little known artists named dosha cat, who he now manages. Um, yes, it’s crazy. So, so Josh and I have things going on where like, we really want to do this, like song fringe concept.

Rob, do you want to take it, run with it, see what you can make, make, go. So Josh and I are, are, are dabbling in and out of this thing, Rob is working it to the bone around the clock, just trying to figure things out and, you know, Um, I think one of the themes that you’ll see if you look back at my career is I tend to be probably a bit too early to the party on some ideas.

Sometimes it works really well. Sometimes it’s like, ah, we’re one year too early before this thing exploded and we couldn’t maintain it. So in the song, French sense, we’re telling people personalized songs and the 2016, beginning of 2017, they’re like, what are you talking about? Like this, this doesn’t, it’s not registering.

So like all of our marketing, everything we have to do is like educate the consumer where the only people in the space there’s zero competitors. Like it’s, it’s, it’s all on us. So, you know, 20 16, 17,

Andrew: we don’t take me any further. Let me pause for a moment. First of all, who’s Rob.

John: Uh, one of the other co-founders of song French. It’s my, my brother.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s what I thought. And so why is your brother. taking this on full time? What does he see in it? And what else has he got going on in his life?

John: Um, yeah, I think he believed in it. I mean, he believed in the previous business that we built. Um, he essentially single-handedly built up that artist community. When I’m talking about 35,000 artists

Andrew: Meaning finding the artists or finding

John: the artists, building all the relationships. Yeah. Like he did all the sell on those artists, getting them on that platform.

So.

Andrew: I hate to be the Doric who comes in and says, what platform did you use, but who built the first version Of the, of the marketplace? Was it even what is it?

John: uh, the first version of song Fincher saying, yeah. Um, it was the first version of song Finch was built in the Google suite. So it was like Google sheets and forms and things of that sort. So we basically, you know, we’re like, Hey, we have some artists and we have a spreadsheet of all artists and their contact information.

And we’ve told them about this idea, ask them if they want to try creating some personalized songs. If we get them some details on songs and they say, yes, we’re down to try. And we’re like a hundred dollars a song, $150 a song. You know, we were

Andrew: everyone gets to pick their own price.

John: no, it’s us floating a price and saying, does this work for you?

Because we’re

Andrew: Ah.

John: bunch of different price points and a bunch of

Andrew: And then were you offering one clear price at the time or were there multiple

John: I think when we started, we were, we did a lot of research on the gifting space and we started to see like average gift price. During peak holiday season is like $150. And then like started to kind of move from there, all with this idea that there needs to be balanced to get good quality artists on the platform.

So it needs to be, it’s probably going to be something more premium. So, you know, it’s just a lot of trial and error, a lot of figuring things out. And like, then we had friends and family where we’re like sending them a Google sheet with a bunch of questions and say, you want to get a song about so-and-so.

Do you want to get a song for so-and-so’s birthday? You got an anniversary coming up. Do you want to get a song? Remember that song we did at the wedding. So just like a bunch of that. And then like, you know, just. Any kind of builder, you’re just you test and refine and you test and refine and try to figure things out.

And it took a, it took a long time. I mean, 2018, we probably did $150,000 in revenue, um, which was relatively

Andrew: From where. So where did you get the first customers? I understand you had the artists. I understand the platform that you use. I love that you just use Google’s, uh, software. Where did you find the customers?

John: uh, social really,

Andrew: you would just go on social and you tweet it out, or what would you do

John: yeah, I mean, we would, we would, we would interject into conversations of people talking about gifts, like a lot of manual stuff. And then we started testing some different ads and

Andrew: where would you see people on? Where would you see people on social, asking about gifts that you can go and respond to them.

John: uh, Facebook groups,

Andrew: Okay.

John: kind of anywhere that we could begin having conversations. And because we came from the B2B world, would say at the beginning, that’s really what we were trying. We’re like, can we get in with wedding planners and have wedding planners sell it to people who are having weddings?

Uh, no, I’ll get into the wedding piece. Even right now. The wedding part doesn’t necessarily work. Our, our pro our core products priced too low for the wedding industry. And now

Andrew: Because they can’t make money by reselling it. Is that what you mean?

John: no I’m saying, even for wedding customers, you’re talking about like doing songs for first dances and dad daughter dances, like our product, our core product is $200 with a seven day turnaround.

They’re spending $5,000 on floral arrangements. The idea of like a $200 product within that mix, it doesn’t necessarily match up.

Andrew: How do you, how can you tell that that’s what’s happening? People do people clearly say that? Or

John: I mean, we taught, I truly believe in, in, in speaking to customers, every single. So it’s like, it’s always a, what are you thinking? What do you think about this? What do you think about this concept? Like the customers are creating the product, you know, like based on feedback we have, we have gut feels and instincts around particular things.

You know, it’s like the, the old story about, if you ask people back in the day, if about a car, they would say that they just wanted a faster horse. Like, I understand those kinds of things, but like the people are going to tell you like where they want this thing to go. So,

Andrew: So,

when you say you talk to customers, what’s your process for getting them on the phone?

John: um, well now we have a, we have a product department, so we have like product design and they have a full process built out in regards to

Andrew: Can you talk about what that looks like? What do you know much about how they doing,

John: not, not particularly.

Andrew: do it back then? Were you just calling people up or you emailing them

John: Calls, calls, emails, text messages on social. Yeah. Just trying to figure it out. So, so look, just, you know, there’s 20 to 16 to 2019 world.

Um, we raised a little bit of capital during that time from just friends and family. Uh, some of our own, uh, some, some smaller angels that got introduced and just like the idea, maybe they started as a customer and said, Hey, do you need some money to, to kind of move this thing forward? Um, but the other myself and, and Josh is the other co-founder.

We continue to work on other things. Um, 2019 we do about $150,000 in revenue. The same that we did in 2018,

Andrew: Okay, before you continue at, before you go any further, you also mentioned that you were buying some ads. What type of ads were working for you back at this period?

John: Nothing to be completely honest,

Andrew: Nothing. So, meanwhile, you’re still working. This is not making money, making how many sales a month, roughly for all the work that Rob is putting in and that you’re putting in to talk to customers,

John: don’t know. A hundred fifty, seventy

Andrew: that’s it a month. Got it. Just enough to say there’s some hope here. And then there’s also like an excitement level. Did you feel any of that from

John: it was the, yeah, it was the feedback. Like, I will tell you right now, if we weren’t getting the customer feedback, that we were getting feedback that I’ve never experienced from anything that I’ve ever done like that far

Andrew: somebody say.

John: like just life-changing man. The, the, the scenarios in which we were doing songs for were so unbelievable.

Like, yeah, you’d have a bunch of it’s our anniversary. Like here’s how we met, et cetera, but then you would have, I lost my. Nine-year-old daughter to cancer and I want to do a remembrance song. Like, yeah, I’m getting goosebumps, just talking about these things

Andrew: Oh, wow. It’s to play at the funeral for your nine-year-old daughter as a way of communicating,

John: a song from a husband to a wife from the perspective of the daughter saying, Hey, everything’s going to be all right.

Like yeah, like really heavy stuff. And then like you get customer feedback and it’s like, oh my God, you allowed me to like, get past this, this brought clarity to my life. Like just the feedback we’re getting. I’m like, this is the most powerful thing I’ve ever experienced. And if it wasn’t like we would have, we would have shut it down, man.

It was just like, I I’m, I’m about fast, big growth. I’m about doing things that are gonna, that are gonna change the world and completely changed the game. It’s not about doing, you know, $150,000 a year businesses. So we would’ve definitely shut it down, but you know, We were each support systems for each other in regards to the three co-founders like one day, one day, two of us would be like, Hey, we got to kill this.

And the other one would be like, no, we’re going to keep it going. And then like, you know, every day we kind of switched off on who was, who was on the business and who was off the business. And so,

Andrew: All right. Let me take a moment. I’m sorry to interrupt. I want to talk about Gusto. You have now how many peop people on your, on your team? 25 people,

John: Yeah. I think we’re at 30 today.

Andrew: Oh, even more than like when you talk to our producer. So it’s climbing up there. who are listening to us, have a team, either their full-time employees, maybe a lot of them are contractors.

Maybe it’s a mix and you want an easy way to pay them, especially now when there’s a new year, starting to start fresh and give yourself an experience that makes it easy to pay your team from just about any device to make it easy for them to get paid, to see what’s going on, to make it easy for them to get, uh, benefits, to make the whole process smooth and effective to the point where John, I have interviewed people and I’ve talked to them and said, do you use Gusto?

What do you use? They say they use Gusto. I said, why give me like a list of features. They never gave me a list of features beyond. It just works. It’s the best out there and it just works. And I’m going to say that is why I’m switching to Gusto and why I urge everyone. Who’s listening to me right now to go and just check out Gusto.

And if you want to try them for free to frankly, super inexpensive, you can see that their prices are low. Um, but I’ll still let you try it for free because sometimes just breaking the dollar barrier like me, maybe making it even less than a dollar, making a zero, makes people go and try it right now while you’re listening to me, I have an offer to let you try it for free.

See if it makes sense for you, go and explore it. And if you’re happy with it, you can continue. If you’re not, you don’t have to, but I’ve seen how good they are and I’m looking forward to working with them. And I urge you to do it, to go to gusto.com/mixergy Gusto, G U S T o.com/mixergy. They do payroll hiring.

and onboarding people.

They have time tracking tools, employee benefits. They’ve got the Gusto wallet app for your people, and they also have HR experts. If you need them and so much more go to gusto.com/mixergy.

John: Sold on checking them out.

Andrew: You should, I’m telling

John: mean, both of your sponsors I’m into it.

Andrew: I take it. I love when, when the guests are into it. Um, because it’s, two-thirty John, I let my guests be as open as possible.

And sometimes they say I use a competitor and I go, okay, fine. Let’s talk about what the difference is and where a competitor might be better, better for my audience. Truthfully, my audience is going to know me and trust me better. Based on the experience they have with a customer or a sponsor than they do with anything.

They hear me say, you know, because that’s where they put their money. That’s when they say, let’s see if Andrew Scott it.

or not. And so I wanted to go, right. And if it doesn’t, I always say email me, andrew@mixergy.com. I’ve had people have issues with sponsors in The

past. I stand by them and, uh, I canceled sponsors who aren’t a good fit.

Okay. So, um, then at some point something happened, what happened.

John: yeah, man, end of 2019, again, we’re having this, these dreadful conversations that bounce back and forth between being optimistic about customer feedback and kind of being realistic about where we are on growth, where we are on cash in hand and things of that sort. Um, and the 2019 let’s call it. We had about $35,000 in the.

That’s it. I mean, we don’t have employees at this time. Um, but $35,000 in the bank, it’s grim. It’s like, what are we doing? We’re not going to take this and, and, and crack the code. But at the same time, there’s now new faces in the space that are kind of helping, uh, communicate a message. Meaning like there’s cameo in the space.

There’s other people in the space that aren’t necessarily

Andrew: degree with musicians who are not full on musicians, that’s the thing you’re seeing.

John: Yeah. So there’s other people that are speaking like this, this idea has now caught up. Like we were super early,

Andrew: does that help you? How does it help you that they’re all doing this? I would think that it would be, it would mean that you’re too late. no. Why?

John: the, the realistic point about this, everything that we’re doing, the demand is higher than any level of service. Meaning like the demand for right now in our space for personalized music is greater than 10 companies put together right now can, can, can service.

So when there’s more people in the space, there’s more marketing messages going out. And then I’m a big believer in the best ones are going to win. So the best companies are going to win regardless of how many people are talking about it.

Andrew: Let me see if I understand you, right? What you’re saying, John is if somebody shares like that, their team got together and bought them a song on Fiverr and they share it online. Some people are going to go sign up for Fiverr, but a lot more people are going to say, I like this idea of a custom song, and then they’d be more open to song Finch, specializing in musicians, specializing in musical genres, wanting more than just another rap guy in India, because for some reason, fiber has got great connections in India, and then they go to the specialty site and say, I want, I want

John: Yeah. Just the education portion of like, Hey, this is why you would want personalized music. This is why it makes sense to you. Like competition breeds that like I’m all for it. And when

Andrew: the way, I don’t mean to put down five or in any way that or people working in India use fiber. I actually had a chess session with someone that I discovered on Fiverr this morning, but it’s different from the chest session that I had with someone from Lee chess, which is this open-source chess community where there’s just more.

I don’t know, there’s more specialty in where their ratings are and what their approaches are. The feedback isn’t. He’s great. The feedback is we worked on the car, ICAN defense. We worked on the London system, et cetera. And then I know cab worked on that, that I think that’s what you’re

saying, Right. That there’s more of a specialty.

John: Yeah. plus it just signals that, Hey, this is where the market is going again. Like, I feel like I tend to go into scenarios and be a bit early to be fully effective. And now I’m seeing end of 2019, I’m seeing cameo explode. I’m seeing people like understanding this idea of like personalized experience.

And now it’s like, cool. We have a really fresh one over here too. So beginning of 2020, we got $30,000 in the bank, 35,000, whatever the case may be. And it was like, let’s take this and, and go one more push. We got Valentine’s day right around the corner. Uh, Valentine’s day is typically really big for us.

Let’s let’s see what we can do. So we started to say like, what, what major changes can we make over? Like, let’s call it a 30 day period without a lot of resource. And at the time we were selling. Two different products, one for 99 and one for 200. And they were really the same product, but it’s how they were created, where music guys we were getting in our head and how we were positioning it from a marketing standpoint.

Andrew: What do you mean help me understand what the difference was between 99 and 199?

John: built like from a, uh, uh, more of a template. Like we call it a foundation, it had something existing and then the vs got personalized and the other one was from the ground up. But at the end of the day, when somebody received the song as a gift, like they didn’t know the difference. It was still the same thing.

It was personalized. It was to them. So we were kind of having like competitive competing cannibalizing prob products within our own suite. Um, so we’re like, well, let’s strip that out. Singular message. $200, seven days personalized song from scratch. And then I think what really clicked there is. How we were marketing it and how we were selling it, being music guys, we were talking too much previously, um, in regards to like, this is how it gets done.

Like you shared details and then this happens and then this happens and then you get a song like it was too much to take in.

Andrew: Uh,

John: we had some really great UGC that some customers shared with us that was all like live reveal videos that they did on their I-phones. So we’re like.

Andrew: Okay.

John: Let’s just capture this emotion.

Let’s capture people, listening to a song, emotion, hitting them, them tears coming out of their eyes. Let’s build a 32nd, like one singular ad piece here that we can use for social. That doesn’t say what we do or how we do it. It just says what you get, essentially what you get to deliver when you get our product.

Like it’s happy tears. It’s this, that gets this heightened emotion. It’s not about a personalized song anymore. It’s really about you’re coming to song fence because you want to make your mom cry, happy tears. And this is the way that you can do it. So the combo of his singular product, a new way to position it from a marketing standpoint, using like native feeling UGC as well as like a quick cleanup on the UI from a mobile standpoint.

And we launch, um, with our last $30,000. Um, on February 3rd, 2020 with one week, year, kind of one week for Valentine’s day window. And over the course of that one week, without any supporting staff on board, we did like $80,000 in a week. And it was like, holy, like this can work. Meanwhile, Rob, who’s doing all the fulfillment.

Uh, you know, we’re having conversations every single hour. Like turn off the marketing, like this isn’t gonna work working 24

Andrew: fulfillment is not him. I pictured him sitting and writing the songs himself, No, fulfillment, this same goal. Who can I reach out to? Can I ask them to work a little bit faster? Can I find somebody else? Do they have a friend that kind of

John: at this point in time, the platforms a little bit, the admin portion of the platform, isn’t like a Google sheet anymore and it’s, it’s slightly more buttoned up, but it still sticks and mud based on that kind of volume. So,

Andrew: what’s the project management software use. Do you remember

John: uh,

Andrew: a picture? Like a Trello or a sauna?

John: Yeah, we, we, we use the sauna, but what, at this point in time, we have like a small build on rails. So that that’s what our

Andrew: you mean today? 20

John: That’s where we were at the end of 2020. We are at the beginning of 2020. We were set up on rails. Um, again, it, it, it wasn’t built exceptionally well at that time, but it was just still about product market fit.

So at this point we do 80 some thousand dollars in a week. It’s like, cool. Now shut off marketing. Now, this is interesting. Now let’s start putting some of the other projects and things that we have on hold. I mean, that are moving. Let’s start putting some of that stuff on, hold, start, putting some other people in play to handle some of those things.

Let’s start focusing on this and.

Andrew: mean by other projects on hold what’d you put on hold?

John: have a, I have an agency I’m a digital

Andrew: Oh, your other work? You’re saying go full time. I mean,

John: like, like let’s start digging in. We’ve always believed in the product, but we didn’t see how the customer lift was going to happen. Now we have it. So now let’s dive in.

After that short little burst in that window, let’s build up some infrastructure. Let’s see what happens. Can we repeat that? And then some for mother’s day in April or whatever it was. So then we did that and we did like a hundred, some thousand dollars during that push. And we’re like, all right, now we got it.

And we had a hell of a year in 2020. We did 1.1 0.5 million, I believe. Um, so we went from 150,000, the previous year as our high. So. Um, 1.5 million. So we’re talking about a thousand percent increase and now we have a legit business and now we raised a little. Now we raise a legitimate seed at the end of 2020.

We get, uh, some, some friends and family in the industry and the weekend invest, uh, Quinn.

Andrew: musician and this,

John: the weekend the musician invest Quincy Jones, legendary Quincy Jones personally invest in us,

Andrew: How do you get both of them?

John: through connections at this time, our co-founder Josh is still managing, he manages dosha cat. He’s a, uh, hit maker in, in the industry right now.

So Josh is opening up doors and introducing us to people. And, um, so Craig Kallman who’s the CEO of Atlantic records gets a song and says, this is incredible. And then he personally invests. So now we have.

Andrew: Okay.

John: Now we have traditional music industry saying like, wow, this is the future. Like some of the things that you guys are talking about here is incredible.

And then we start using some of that money and building up the team. Um, as I said, we’re at like 30 now. Um, and now like some of the big vision is coming into play in regards to revenue. This year, we’re wrapping up at $5.5 million this year.

Andrew: wow.

John: so it it’s, it’s significant, man. We we’ve began figuring it out and I don’t even think we’re, we’re still at stage one and I have a pretty big vision of what it is that we’re creating here.

Like, I think the business of personalized music for occasion based gifting, which we’ve been doing like solely up to this point is definitely a very big business. But I think some of the things that we’re doing right now, Um, in regards to like training new behaviors on both sides of the marketplace is definitely opening, opening us

Andrew: What do you mean?

John: future.

Andrew: What are some new behaviors on both sides of the market?

John: Well, if you think about what’s taking place, if customers over here and they’re coming in and they’re sharing stories, uh, they’re being vulnerable there, they’re giving intimate details about things. Essentially what they’re doing is they’re they’re co-writing songs without having any skill as a song writer on the other side of the marketplace, you have these.

And these artists are for the first time in their young careers. They’re not writing from personal experience and perspective. They’re taking third-party perspective, third party inputs, and they’re creating from their perspective. So we’re training these artists to create, to create a volume, essentially, rather than like having to live through new experiences to create new material they’re taking other people’s experiences.

So,

Andrew: You don’t have to have lost a child to write a song, to be moved by that, or to write a song about that. And then the person who is moved by it, doesn’t just have to be the parent who lost a child, but someone else, which is why I, I think it’s especially meaningful that you also allow these songs to go on Spotify, where they could be shared where they could be discovered added to playlist.

And so, by the way, that’s so inexpensive, the price that you have for adding it to Spotify

John: yeah,

Andrew: was like 20 bucks one. I remember

John: I think it’s 49 right now, but yeah.

Andrew: for, I guess that’s how little I thought of it, that I just lumped it in and the under a hundred. All right. I get, I get where you’re going with that. Yeah, I see. It’s $49 to have it on streaming services on apple and Spotify.

John: So, so like thinking about those behaviors that, that, that you’re creating, I mean, think about in the future, like what that could mean, think about the idea

Andrew: What let’s think about it? What do you think that could mean?

John: yeah. I don’t want to give away all the secret sauce in regards to what I’m trying to

Andrew: me some like big vision, because right now what it seems is it’s a really nice gift. There’s a danger of working hard to get a customer. And then how many songs are they going to give? Right? You give one to your wife. If you give one to your kid next year, that’s meaningful. but

if it becomes your thing, it, it loses some of its

John: 30%, 30% of our customers are coming back for a future purchase

Andrew: coming back for.

Okay. But that’s still not like SAS level return.

John: But we’re pro we’re profitable on first purchase. So the idea of cherry on top with a third of the customers coming back to repeat is, is actually pretty significant. I think, what, how do I let, let everyone in on big vision or what it could be? I, I think I’m super bullish on this idea right now of the line between who is a creator and who is not a creator being completely blurred.

I think you can watch

Andrew: am too. You know what I see, that’s exciting there. I like how many of us have gone on vacations or gone to see school plays or gone to do anything? And we shoot video. And then we have this boring footage that we never assemble into anything. And now there’s services that will say we’ve got a real artist who can take this and turn it into a story or watchable video.

And it becomes a repeatable thing. I like that. You’re saying you have emotions. You don’t know how to express them, but you know it, when it’s out, we’re going to be giving voice to your feelings in a way that you hadn’t

John: I’m saying every single human being is a creator, and this is a platform that allows any human being to get into the music industry without a high barrier to entry

Andrew: Ah, now we’re talking, right. So if I have this sense that I want to create music, I don’t have to know how to play the guitar today to do it. I don’t have to know how to write lyrics. I just have to be able to be a producer of my songs and can create them and put them on SoundCloud or

John: Andrew in the, in the F in the future, you could put out a six song EAP in February. Um, but you essentially co-wrote and you created everything for, and then you can monetize that in the future and

Andrew: right, right. Okay. I see, I see where we’re going with this and you can imagine that maybe. I might want to pump up my audience with this, with this message about entrepreneurship, with this message about business. And we’ve been finding hip hop beats that don’t really speak to us because I didn’t live with, uh, I don’t know that I didn’t live the biggie smalls life with his posters up on my wall, but I had something else that my audience can relate to.

If we create the right album, we tap into that. It doesn’t have to be a bestseller or just has to sell to them. That’s where you’re going with this. That is a big

John: think that’s some of it. I think like there’s and then you were talking blockchain, we’re talking new technology. Things are moving so quick right now in a lot of the things that, that exist within that space are going to allow some of these like future monetization efforts to actually be able to take place and they come to life.

So.

Andrew: Right. And so if I can sell, if I make a song up or maybe one of your artists does, we could then eventually get licensing from that. If it ends up in something. And then the way that I could sell my ownership is through an NFT. And then the way that the original artists continues to make money from it is the NFTs process of kicking back a percentage of the original creator.

That’s what we’re talking about. Yeah. All this does make it much more exciting and it does make music more exciting again, because the problem I have with me. Is I’m still living somebody else’s generic experience. I do not feel a Dell’s life. I feel some of her emotion in it and I could relate to it, but she’s not speaking to me.

Malcolm Gladwell did this really amazing session about why country music is more touching than rock music, because it speaks to an hour audience. Imagine if you could get even more specific to like the entrepreneurial journey for us, For somebody else, who’s a writer music for writers. Like, it’s not like, how do I take Rocky and fire myself up with it, but how do I take, I don’t know, Noah Kagan and fire myself up with his beats to my thing, but he doesn’t throw it.

All right. I’m totally with you dude. Now I get it. Keep

John: and then I’ll throw out just a couple other scenarios really quick, just like thinking about the platform as discovery. And now you’re like getting into this NMT world and this collectible concept. Think about, you know, that there’s an artist that’s playing Coachella next summer.

No one they’re playing a small stage. A lot of people haven’t heard of this particular artist, but you’ve been following them. You know that they’re on Coachella. You come to the site, you collaborate with them and get a one of one. Maybe you spend 1500 bucks on it or something. They play Coachella. They start exploding on social you’re then taking that one of one NFT, flipping it on open sea for $10,000, six months later.

So there’s like a discovery concept taking place. I think honestly, all the technology, all the upside, all these things. They’re all really interesting to me. And I think like the world is our oyster right now. I think we’re super well positioned based on this community that we’re building based on the audience that we’re training to do these things.

But one of the things that has really just hit me lately is this idea of like the way in which music is being created has not changed in forever. The only thing that gets changed as the medium in which it’s delivered, like going back through time, it’s like eight track vinyl, cassette CD MP3, streaming audio.

And now we have NFT, but like artists is still putting together a 14 song album every 12 to 18 months and releasing it like that. Meanwhile, consumer and consumption behavior is. Completely on a different track than it was in the seventies, eighties, nineties, two thousands. Like people want volume. People want things.

Now people want things their way, and music is not evolved or changed at all in how it’s created. So I definitely think this concept and idea like it’s completely, you, you, you shouldn’t expect an artist to be able to put out 200 songs in a year based on all their personal experiences. You know, like usually an artist first album is the greatest because it encompasses the whole first portion of their life up until the releasing the project.

And then the next album only encompasses like the next year of their experience. But like, if we’ve created this platform in which artists can take a new way to create and begin creating a volume that matches up with consumption behavior, I think this is how we can kind of take the music industry as a whole, turn it on its head a little bit and shake some feathers.

So it’s.

Andrew: now I see. Uh, so I couldn’t see where your big vision was. I thought maybe your big vision was, how else can we enable gifting? But that’s not what you’re thinking. It’s how else can we move music creation further and bring more creators in? And just like Casey Neistat says that when he got his iMac and he got that desktop, what was it?

I movie, I guess. And suddenly it turned him. From just a guy to a creator, right. Which is not at all in the previous mold. And he has these stories that are different, that could never have been created before. You’re saying the new technology is human and software based and it’s song Finch. And that’s what we’re going to do for music.

And we’re going to get more, uh, people to express themselves more people, to feel connected to the music, more ways for us to invest in creators that we believe in and for them to make money from this. And it’s not fitting into the old model. And I think some people are going to sit here and say, well, this is selling out.

This is turning music into commercialism. And it’s like having your way burger king. But I imagine this also you’re smiling a little bit because I imagine it’s also familiar to you because when you were taking musicians and bringing them to Coca-Cola at first, it felt weird and then it became much more acceptable.

And then something that you aspire to do because brands got your music out there. I dig where you’re going with this. This is exciting.

John: All right. Yeah. You

Andrew: right now, how long is it. going to be until your kids finally respect how cool you are.

John: Oh no, my kids, my, my kids love me. They just don’t believe that I was a rapper because I’m not wrapping around the house.

Andrew: All right. The website for anyone who wants to go check it out. His song Finch, S O N G F I N C H. I want to thank two sponsors who made this interview happen? The first one, if you’re looking to add new technology, like maybe like blockchain, maybe you have an idea for NFT, but your team doesn’t have experience for it.

Well, that’s where lemon.io comes in. And if you use my special URL, it’s lemon.io/mixergy, they’re going to take 15% discount off the first four weeks. Basically, they’re going to give you a lower price, but their price is super low already. And they’ll take great care of you. I know Alex, uh, the founder really well.

And I think that just mentioned me. I think you’ll take amazing care of you. You helped me with like my plans for this winter break. Anyway, he’s been phenomenal to me anyway. And I also should say, if you’re paying your people, go check out Gusto user for free at gusto.com/mixergy. John. Congratulations.

Finally did it. You get your own bed, your own shower, no more showering the sink.

John: There we go. Big plan.

Andrew: man, soon, you’ll be showering on your own jet. How amazing would that be with Quincy Jones?

John: Sounds like a party.

Andrew: right on. Or, you know what, with the next new musician come magic. So doji cat came out of Tik TOK. Imagine musicians coming out of song

John: Definitely.

Andrew: That’s the thing. All right.

John: Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks man. Thanks everyone.

John: you guys.

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.

x