Sat | Mar 28, 2020

Musicians should try tech for moneymaking solutions

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2020 | 12:19 AMKimberley Small/Staff Reporter

The local entertainment industry is currently said to be comatose, which makes it the perfect time for entrepreneurs to buckle down and come up with innovative ways to keep the otherwise bustling scene relevant and profitable. As artistes, musicians, selectors and the rest of the industry are forced to stay in until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed its peak, American entrepreneur Joey Hendrickson took some time to share fresh concepts that could offer some solutions that bolster the local creative economy, if adopted.

And, of course, those solutions are technological.

In his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, Hendrickson outlined that it is accepted that music is valuable. “When you have a true foundation of culture, like you have in Kingston, there’s so much more you can do with value creation. In my city, we don’t have a clear identity. We’re kind of confused about our culture at times. But we do know that music is valuable, that there are music venues, and there are musicians,” he said.

Set up for innovative work

During his presentation at The Business of Entertainment Symposium recently, Hendrickson posited that Kingston, Jamaica, is well set up to do a lot of innovative work when it comes to the development of the creative economy. “I know there are hundreds of entrepreneurs in the city that are finding these different pathways, technology that educates and serves musicians,” he said.

All the same, artistes may find some barriers to growth, and struggle with earning, have difficulties with networking and collaborating, or no access to resources.

“Perhaps technology is one of the additions to the solution,” Hendrickson suggested.

In Columbus, Hendrickson and his team created License Local, an app that allows film-makers, or people who are creating marketing videos or any kind of visual media to license music from local artistes.

“You can browse and buy the rights to use that copyrighted music in that commercial, film or social-media video. It’s kind of like the Amazon for buying the rights to audio created by local artistes,” he explained.

Expressing more belief in the robust creative economy Kingston has to offer, the entrepreneur suggested that such technology can be developed quickly.

In his city, there is also an educational platform called Musicians Desk Reference. The app is designed to help aspiring artistes negotiate different aspects of the path, with advice and support along the way. “It walks an artiste through the best practices path on how to manage their brand, into a tour. If you’re starting from the bottom and start to get to a place of touring with all of the steps and different legal documents,” Hendrickson said.

During his presentation, Hendrickson showed off one such technology, the Lamp Amp. The patent product is designed to attach to light posts, and work as an amplifier for musical performers. Performers are able to book their time on the Lamp Amp, which will activate for that specific period. With volume limits in place according to a particular city’s standards, sidewalks become venues, and artistes catch their practice and make some money.

kimberley.small@gleanerjm.com