This Memorial Day, you're turning up the tunes. How do you get new inspiration for your play list? This summer, a new crop of startups is remixing the music industry. This coming weekend is a perfect time to give their new tunes a try--or show off your own.

In fact, RecordGram just launched a complete mobile toolset for today's up and coming musical talent. The app's directions say it all:

·       Get music from top global producers

·       Write your song to go with it

·       Record your vocals (up to 3 tracks) for you real serious vocalists

·       Shoot your music video (in the app, on your phone)

·       Share it (from the app, on your phone). Instant star!

This Miami/New York hybrid startup had its DNA nurtured in Nashville, at this year's Project Music Incubator, led by Heather McBee at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.  What a lot of people don't realize, Heather says, is that, "sales of traditional music overall are down."  Why is that?

Because nontraditional artists post 300,000 new songs a day.

Most of these are  cobbled together and sampled on discovery platforms like SoundCloud. Many of them have a quality that rivals "professional" production.

The traditional music system uploads  20,000 new tracks a day. It's notoriously tough to break into signing with a major label.  Yet with some of the new online discovery and promotion tools coming online, an artist like Fetty Wap can go from almost homeless to a signed hip-hop sensation in the space of a few months. He was handing out free copies of his song at the 2014 BET Awards. He closed  that same show the next year. Stories like his are inspiring a new wave of music technology entrepreneurship that brings fans and fresh music together faster.

Empowering unsigned artists

"The barrier for entry continues to get lower for  unsigned artists," says Heather. She is looking forward to discussing the "modern creative consumer" in early June at the big startup shindig in Nashville,  36|86 South, along with Randy Goodman, who runs Sony Music, former RCA Records and Sony Music executive Joe Galante, and MusicRow's David Ross.  I'm looking forward to being there in the front row, along with a number of  investors listening closely for much needed disruption in the music scene.

More blurring creativity, consumption and cash

"The modern content creator is the modern content consumer," says Dubset entrepreneur Stephen White, who recently launched an artificial-intelligence driven marketplace for music producers. 

Dubset's AI music parser Mixbank uses a growing library of 100 million audio stems to analyze your tune and compare it to all the licensed music it knows. When it finds a match, it pays royalties.

AudioHand. This Knoxville, TN startup helps you make high-definition audio recordings without the high end mics or the hopping crew. 

Just using iPhones and the app, you set up your phones around your band, piano, or rap group and let them record. You end up with a remixed, high quality recording in MP3 you can take anywhere.  Haseeb Qureshi, CEO, says even the scrappiest, hardworking band can't carry a full recording set for every hot rehearsal--but now, you can. In fact, with a few smart phones, you already do.

Here's his original pitch from a couple years ago at the LaunchTN regional accelerator:


BeatStars. "The traditional licensing modeling is evolving. The more I can monetize my music, the more avenues there are for me," says CEO at  Anno Domini, Adrian Boeckeler, a Beatstars customer.

In one month, his rap and hiphop platform made $4,000 in "missed revenue" from monetizing music, like demos. He says the Beatstars model is great for music discovery and development. "The producer provides online beats for free online. The user records on the beat for nonprofit use, and uploads it to YouTube. The content ID system scans for the audio and matches your beats with the uploads. The revenue collected gets paid out by Beatstars to the producers on the monthly basis."


Remix Hits is the world's first start-to-finish, automated licensing and distribution system. It targets the 2 million+ independent remixers and project studio owners and helps them distribute their remixes and derivative works. 



Tech, music and taste: 36|86 venture conference

The Remix Hits platform debuts June 6-7 at  36|86 too, which is organized by regional startup advocacy organization  LaunchTN and brings over 1,000 innovators and investors together. "Our network of state-wide accelerators like Project Music drive the best of the best regional entrepreneurs to our conference every year," says  36|86 producer Courtney Corlew. If your idea of Memorial Day fun is getting in on the Southeast's tech tastemaker event, strike now to score one of the few remaining  tickets. 

Disclosures: I am not currently invested in any of these firms. LaunchTN is a client at the Atlanta public relations firm I own, Write2Market.