bizlal started to make money from paid music promotion to his network of followers, charging up to $900 USD per paid post. bizlal noticed that this stream of income was increasing for him more and more, but he didn’t understand why, consistently, creators were paying this much for a single post. This also included paid placement on his Rap Bops Spotify playlist. Over time, Bilal felt that most of the songs that were paid placements, he did not find to be the most enjoyable. However, when an artists’ paid placement track was super high quality, Bilal almost felt guilty being paid post about it. Many people would try to negotiate the price, but still end up paying high prices across the board because of their desire and need for mass exposure.
Many artists would contact bizlal in advance to let him know they will be paying for a promotional post when they get paid, ultimately running out of money again once they paid for the promotion services. bizlal connected deeply with some of the artists situations and how hard they worked just to even get a single person to check their music out.
This made it so clear that there was a big problem in the industry, independent artists are overshadowed by major-label funded artists who do not always make the best music, but are only in the limelight because they’re heavily funded. An artist can be so talented with much potential, but ultimately gives up because of how difficult it is to make it in the music industry with this kind of competition. A large number of followers and impressions makes it possible for these amateur artists to receive exposure just from a tweet alone. So, artists are constantly posting their music on social platforms in hopes of gaining exposure and support. Therefore, when considering that the average artist is typically strapped for capital, these mediums do not provide a cost-effective solution to the problem of gaining widespread exposure. Not only is it expensive to promote, but their audience reach on those platforms is also largely ineffective; those platforms’ intent was not for music discovery, but ultimately a place to store your music.
Very quickly, one day bizlal started thinking about a ‘’Tinder” for music’, where essentially listeners would be able to swipe right to ‘like’ or swipe left to ‘dislike’ a track, similar to how the dating app works/functions. The idea would connect talented artists with music fans who wish to discover new, good music. His thoughts intensified as he tried to apply an innovative twist to the simple, but unique idea at the time. Originally called ‘Locartist’, this platform ended up taking that twist, with the addition of an algorithm that allows local artists to build audiences, starting within the city they’re from, and reaching further geographical regions based on listener feedback.
Based on this, we realized that artists have difficulty gaining exposure organically based on their music’s merit and thus, the implementation of how to best discover quality, amateur music was born.