Tommy Darker is thinking big. He set out to invent a whole new genre of Greek fusion music with his Kenophania project. And he has been tirelessly working to help musicians take the reins of their own careers with his musicpreneur concept.
Now Tommy wants to open up the secrets of the music industry to everyone in the world with an internet connection. We spoke with him about the recently launched Musicpreneur Hub.
Q: Hello Tommy and welcome back to MusicalU. We’re so glad to have you back to tell us all about your exciting new project Musicpreneur Hub, which is launching this week.
So first off, what is Musicpreneur Hub?
First of all, thank you for having me again. And thank you for trusting me to speak to your audience.
I’m an academic, a musician, and entrepreneur – all around music. And the thing that was missing in my experience, in my own life, the lives of the musicians that I’m lecturing, and the people that I’m consulting privately, was a platform where people can openly ask questions.
Anything at all about their musical lives – from how you write a song to how you promote your music to how you meet the right people. And there was no platform like this. I thought, “Maybe it’s time for us to create it.”
During the last four years, I’ve been organizing musicpreneur talks in London and five other European countries. At these talks, I’ve been seeing that people have an increased need for connectivity.
So I thought, “What’s the best way to bring people together in a more diverse way, scaling up the connections?”
The answer was an online platform.
This is what we created. I put myself in financial debt to make sure that I can pay for the development of the project, I believe in it so much.
Musicpreneur Hub is essentially a platform where anybody can ask questions about music in any area of the music world, from the music business to production to the art of music. And then we will connect this question to experts that are credible to talk about this question.
Imagine a place where anybody can ask a question and receive multiple expert answers from credible experts all over the world. This is Musicpreneur Hub in a nutshell.
Q: Fantastic. I guess the obvious question is what would make this different from general question-and-answer sites like Quora or Yahoo Answers?
There are two major differences. First of all, what we are doing is actually receiving questions about one specific industry, the music world.
Secondly, in Quora and Yahoo Answers or any other similar website, anybody can answer. But we have an algorithm and we also manually connect the question with the right, hand-picked active experts in the music industry right now.
We’re not talking about people who used to work for Universal, had hits back in the ’80s, and now they’re doing keynote speaking.
Our experts are in the music industry, in the music world right now. And they’re active – succeeding and failing – but they’re active. And this is what makes the platform so powerful. We connect today’s music industry players with people that have questions.
Q: That’s fascinating. Can you give us a few specific examples of questions someone might come along and ask on the Musicpreneur Hub?
Because there is so much diversity in terms of what you can ask around your music career, we have questions that can range from “What are the most profitable revenue streams for 2017?”
Or “I am a musician that is doing this. What do you suggest is the best way for me to make money?” to “How do I find the right manager?” or “I’m looking to build a team. How do I approach the right people?”
And also questions like “I’m a singer/songwriter and I want to improve my songwriting skills. How do I write a strong hook for my music?” Or “How do I improve my vocal abilities?”
And finally anything around production “What’s the best software to use to produce this type of music?” Or “I’m doing this and this and I’m looking for something like this. What is the best production company to help me with that?”
Any question, specific or generic, is welcome. In general, human beings are unpredictable and we cannot really expect specific questions to show up. We’re welcoming anyone to ask anything that they have in their mind. Just like Facebook asks “What’s on your mind?”
This is what we’re looking for. People to open up and ask the questions they have in their minds.
Q: I see, very cool. What can musicians expect when they come along to Musicpreneur Hub for the first time?
First, you’ll see a basic search bar, similar to a Google search bar. Simply type in your first question.
Then you will be prompted to submit your name, your location, and your email address so we can send you back the answers.
The location is very important: let’s say you want to ask a question about royalties. The system about royalties is not the same in each country. In the United States it’s different than the UK and so forth. We will look for specific answers from credible experts that are very relevant to answer your specific question.
We’re starting as simple as that. Then we’ll have more functions in the future where we’ll try to promote the social side of things. Where you will be able to connect with the experts and connect with the other users.
We will also have exclusive deals from partners that will give us freebies or discounted rates for their services and products. Essentially we want to give everybody in the music world a face and the ability to connect with each other and learn. And essentially make a living from what they love: making music.
Terrific. Earlier you mentioned something quite surprising: that you have taken on debt to launch this first version. It’s clearly a vision you really believe in on a very deep personal level.
Whatever you believe in, I think you need to be the first person to do whatever it takes to make it happen. And then other people will follow. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t partner with me if I were just playing it safe and trying to get as much value from other people without giving anything back. So that’s why I took the risk first and now I think the platform is ready, because of that.
Q: What impact do you hope Musicpreneur Hub will have, maybe over the next year and over the next ten years?
Our goal, our mission, and our vision is to give everybody in the music world a face. And to give everybody the opportunity to access the knowledge they need to grow. The best word to describe this is “transparency”. We want to create a music industry that is more transparent than it is today.
We want access for anybody – whether they’re living in a western world society and have all the privileges of knowledge and networks, or in any other part of the world, where they might not be so privileged and might have difficulties in getting together with the right people and asking the right questions to launch a career.
Andrew Dubber, who inspired my music entrepreneur journey, asked a very interesting question: “What is the gender split on the platform?” He also encourages us to make sure that we have culturally diverse experts to make sure that we give relevant answers to everybody.
So imagine a place where there is no single expert that has the ultimate answer, which means plurality. Imagine a place where both male and female experts (or any other sexes that exist), are able to provide answers. With experts from diverse backgrounds and users from different backgrounds having access to this platform.
Christopher, we want to make the music world a better place. And by giving a face to people, whether they’re a top-notch experts that have multi-million revenue streams today or people that are underprivileged and hoping to make their dream come true in a place where they cannot connect with the real industry, we want to be able to help all of them and everything in between.
Q: Fantastic. Well, that is certainly an inspiring vision and an exciting project for the musicians in our audience to become involved with. Where should people go to learn more and ask their first question?
The first question can be submitted at MusicpreneurHub.com. You just go there, ask your question and then we’ll welcome you personally to the community.
Terrific. Thank you so much for joining us and congratulations on the launch of Musicpreneur Hub. And I can’t wait to see how it develops over the months ahead. I’ll be heading over and asking my own first question very shortly.
Thank you very much, Christopher, and thank you very much for the support. I hope your community finds this very valuable and we are looking forward to welcoming them.
Are you ready for the answers to your most burning questions about music and the music industry? Head on over to the Musicpreneur Hub and ask away!
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