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Heardle: The Next Big Music Community | Swag Sold Separately
Swag Sold Separately

Heardle: The Next Big Music Community

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I recently got together with a Pittsburgh based start-up that has been creating some serious buzz, called Heardle. The group honestly has some of the best ideas and motives for helping upcoming artists and the music industry as a whole. The group began in Pittsburgh, Pa two years ago, and has already made several connections with recording studios, venues, artists, and music enthusiasts worldwide.

The team consists of:

  • Solomon Ilochi - Founder/CEO
  • Sam Conturo - Co-founder/Creative Director
  • Adam Milyak - Head of Advertising.

All three members have a great vision for the future of music, and this interview has allowed me to learn a lot of interesting things about them. Check out the questions and responses below!

 

 

Q: First off, give us a brief description of the group’s goals & purpose. Also, where did the concept initially come from?

A: (Solomon) The idea came to me at Sam’s house back in August of 2012. We were playing Super Smash Bros. for the N64 when a mutual friend, Raihoz, asked me to make a website for his music. Since this was probably the 12th artist to approach me about a website, I felt that there was an opportunity to create something new for music promotion. Then, it hit me!

Shortly after that, I started teaching myself PHP and some other web development languages. Then, about 8 months later, “PittsburghBeats.com” was born.

A few months after that, we entered a local startup competition here in Pittsburgh called “The Business Bout”. It’s an annual competition sponsored by this awesome incubator, called Thrill Mill. They gave us some seed money, office space, and some of the best mentors in the world. And we’ve kinda been rolling ever since.

Of course, the name later evolved into “Heardle.com”, but the goal and purpose remained the same; to help promote local and lesser known musicians.

Q: Where did the name “Heardle” come from?

A: (Solomon) I brainstormed a lot of names. My original go-to was actually “BandTenna”, but that domain name was already taken. So, I kept thinking. I wanted something that was original, but also catchy like “Google”. Eventually, I came to love the name “Heardle”

Q: Do you want everyday people, such as music enthusiasts, to get involved?

A: (Solomon) Yes, definitely! However, we’re still in closed beta, which is limited to artists. But once the full site is up, our goal is to conglomerate everyone; from music enthusiasts to artists of all genres. Heardle Man

Q: Overall, what is the goal of the organization?

A: (Group) Although we have our own unique goals, they’re cohesive to one another. On one hand, we would like to create a platform for artists who are “music industry ready”, but on the other hand, we don’t want to exclude artists in the developmental phase.

Overall, we want to make Heardle a stepping stone for artists to advance their music careers and to better themselves. We really value interdependence, and we think that it should replace independence, in some respects.

We feel as though it’s more important for artists to come together for one epic product than to ‘fly solo’ for one mediocre one.

For example: just imagine if every rapper came together, dropped their egos, and really just focused on making the best possible music. It would change the game forever.

Q: Currently, who are your favorite artists in the game? Also, who are your biggest influences?

A: (Solomon) Tyler the Creator, Jhene Aiko, Marvin Gaye, and Pharrell Williams. I love how Jhene focuses on creating good music while staying true and respecting herself. She’s one of the few contemporary female artists who isn’t just using her body to sell her music. Plus, she loves Adventure Time too haha.

Marvin Gaye always promotes peace and love, which is super cool. I see him as a bit of a guru.

I love how Tyler the Creator lives up to his name and holds on to his childhood creativity. There’s not a single person who can challenge that dude’s originality and care-free spirit.

Lastly, I always looked to Pharrell as a fellow misfit/nerd. I struggled a bit with self-confidence and identity back in high school, and his music and interviews really helped me out.

(Adam) Lupe Fiasco and Jhene Aiko, definitely.

First off, they both make great music. And I agree with Solomon about the fact that Jhene stays true to herself while making sick music. I also really like her spiritual side. She’s well versed in Buddhism, and a lot of Eastern teachings really resonate with me.

And I’ve always been a huge fan of Lupe Fiasco’s music and style. I actually got a chance to meet him back in March, and he’s just as cool and humble as I’d hoped.

(Sam) For me, I’ve gotta say Jay Z and Pharrell Williams. They’ve managed to create hit after hit while still staying true to that classic hip-hop element, and I really see Jay Z as one of the all-time greatest.

Q: What about your favorite artist(s) based in Pittsburgh?

A: (Group) We’ve pretty much agreed on Tairey, Jeremiah Watkins, THA RIVA, Courtesy, and Justin Emmanuel. There’s a ton of others, but we’d be naming quite few.

Q: If you could choose between being invisible or flying what would you pick?

A: (Group) Flying for sure

Q: So, I’ve heard that you guys have hosted and been featured at a few events. Personally, which events have been the most successful and which ones have been your favorite?

A: (Solomon) My favorite moment overall was DJ’ing for Startup Weekend PGH at Bar Marco. The energy and people involved were amazing. But my favorite event overall was the NASA Space Apps Challenge. A mentor hooked us up with by letting us do the music. I loved that we got a chance to play trance and EDM music for once, and the fact that we can tell people that we’ve DJ’d for NASA. O, and when we spoke at Google was awesome!

Google Event

(Adam) I loved all the events, but the NASA thing was especially cool. Mostly because of the fact that it was for such a massive icon.

And my favorite moment is whenever I get a chance to put on the blue suit and become “The Heardler”. Haha, there’ve literally been times where I’ve gotten to let loose and dance in a room full of millionaires.

 

(Sam) My favorite event so far was last year’s Thrival showcase. I got my first taste of being on a big stage, and that was really cool. I DJ’d for my good friend, Tairey’s, set and finally got to hear my beats live at a massive festival.

Q: Any musical background?

A: (Solomon) I’ve DJ’ing for a few months now, but I’ve also played drums for 7 years. O, and I played some brass instruments when I was pretty young.

(Adam) I played Saxophone for a bit, and I like dancing

(Sam) Since I was young, I’ve been producing beats and playing drums. But recently, I’ve started taking the piano more seriously. space app

Q: Do you guys see Heardle as a career choice, or is it more of a hobby?

A: (Solomon) I absolutely see it as a career choice. In fact, it’s the reason I am no longer in school. I am ready to devote my full time and energy to Heardle and make it the next big thing. I love music and can see this opening doors which would otherwise remain shut. I feel very strong about Heardle, and I’m determined to see it rise to the top.

With that being said, I still want to start some other ventures too. Be on the lookout for our new app called ClipTrak haha.

(Adam) For me, it’s more of a stepping stone. I’m passionate about helping musicians, but I’d also like to do more things in my lifetime. I don’t want to be restricted to just one career.

(Sam) I agree with Adam. I’m ready to see this through to the end, but I’ve also got a few more ideas and ventures that I want to try out. 20141016_221925299_iOS

Q: Any closing thoughts?

A: (Solomon) Look out for the final website, coming in May. And in the words of Leonard Nimoy, “Live long and prosper”.

As you can see, the team is very serious about their vision to better music and the industry as a whole. Personally, I am very excited to see the official website next month. Some suggestions that I made to the team were to include a blog and some sort of music feedback system.

It was an honor to do this interview, and I’d like to thank Heardle. I can’t wait to watch them grow and see their vision become reality.

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