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Music Tech Startup Spotlight: The UpNext

Marisa Richard
Posted by Marisa Richard on Sep 25

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to build a record label? How about scouting and signing a roster of dope new artists, and have them achieve huge success? Well now you can. Think fantasy football but for music. That’s what the emerging music tech startup The UpNext is doing for the benefit of both upcoming artists and music explorers.

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Founder and CEO, Ayinde Arnett, realized that there was nothing like The UpNext around.  So capitalizing off of the “ who has the best ear for music” and the “I put you on” factor that music explorers love, and being a lover of both tech and music, he knew that he wanted to create something that would give exposure for new artists but also be an interactive experience for fans.

It’s a game of music discovery that allows players to build a virtual record label and grow it to full empire status, while their roster of upcoming artists are achieving real-life success. “Our core objective is to elevate upcoming artists while providing the ultimate discovery experience for music explorers,” said Arnett.

 The UpNext artist scores feature of the game provides a mutually beneficial relationship for the both the artist and the user. Not only do the scores let artists see how they compare in success against other artists, but the more views and listens an artist gets, the higher the label score. So artists benefit from the pleasure label creators get from pushing their music to earn a reputation of the “ultimate tastemaker.”

With just two years in the tech game, Arnett and his team are successfully pushing through the startup growing pains. They've already managed to secure a spot with the startup accelerator, Project Music as well as won a pitch competition that afforded them funding and mentorship from hip-hop emcee, Lupe Fiasco and Waze/Google executive, Di-ann Eisnor. 

Being accepted as an A3C Startup Spotlight finalist is just another win to add to their catalog, which they’re very excited about. “A3C is so dope because they are actually highlighting the tech platforms that are empowering the music and Hip Hop community. This is an environment that will enable all stakeholders to come together for much needed collaboration and conversation,” Arnett continued. 

The app has not yet launched, but artists and users can check it out early by signing up at www.theupnext.com for notifications and launch updates, or receiving an invite for the currently private iOS app.

Learn more about The UpNext and all they have to offer during the Startup Spotlight presentations, A3C Thursday. Cop your ticket now!

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Marisa Richard

Written by Marisa Richard

Marisa is a freelance multi-media and digital journalist from Houston, Tx., covering music, entertainment and pop culture.

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