Singer/songwriter Skylar Grey and Gigg’s CEO Scott Warner are the new posterchildren for the law of attraction. Just watch the video above if you don’t believe me. I heard first-hand the story of how they met at Bloomberg’s conference in Half Moon Bay this week. I couldn’t help but immediately become engaged by their energy, as they talked about partnering on a contest which would help Skylar find a new rap artist to collaborate with on her next song.
Skylar had the idea for the contest long ago, but was in search of a platform to launch it on. That’s when the two of them met on a plane coming back from SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier this year. They were sitting next to one another. She shared her vision, and he couldn’t believe the alignment with his company, Gigg.
Gigg is the music platform she’d been seeking. At its core is a social application, a kind of like a MySpace allowing members to connect with one another using music as the foundation for their connection. Musicians can also use it to promote their music. It also allows its members to express themselves in a variety of ways, using lyrics from their favorite songs. They can post pictures and videos connecting lyrics from those songs, and promote the tracks and bands they love most.
That part of the business doesn’t excite me as much as their true mission, which is to truly discover the greatest musicians in the world. That’s the part that excites Skylar as well. Think of Gigg as a cross between the television singer discovery program “American Idol” and March Madness – well the bracket system for March Madness. Gigg takes its members on the journey to discover the greatest musicians in the world through a series of online competitions. Winners of those contests are selected by mainstream artists and the user community. They receive prizes, such as a chance to play on stage in front of large audiences, even opening for some of the biggest names, including an upcoming July 4 event with Kelly Clarkson and Carly Ray Jepsen in Provo, Utah.
Some bands/artists Gigg has worked with include: Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles, Skylar Grey, Neon Trees, Owl City, Gavin DeGraw, and Dave Barnes.
The one big thing that truly stands in the way of Gigg right is the music industry itself, which is known for putting up resistance to innovation. But it seems like Gigg has broken through the glass ceiling already. It’s also going to take a lot of marketing know-how to maintain the excitement over a contest-like system. As “American Idol” is finding out, it can lose it’s luster after awhile.
In the meantime, Skylar is benefiting from the platform. Her contest is well underway with more than 200 people vying for a limited number of slots in the online bracket which just went live Tuesday. Now, it’s up to Skylar and Gigg’s members to decide who will rap with her on her next song.