Once upon a time making music was a dream, made possible through recording studios- and only really then with a label or manager paving (or paying) the way. As time rolled by, more kids got into bands, and garages became makeshift studios. Electronic music advanced beyond what we could ever have dreamed, and computers sparked new composition softwares. Now, home studios and digital production mean that pretty much anyone can make music. And there is no shortage of outlets for this music; YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Spotify… The only thing not guaranteed is whether it’s any good or not.
This week sees the release of a new app that could take music production and collaboration to an even wider sphere. Brapp is a free app designed to help musicians and songwriters share their talents and collaborate more easily than ever before. The technological model is a sort of hybrid between Garageband and Instagram. Taking the component style of audio programs, users can upload beats which are then made available for others to rap/sing/play over. Once a user chooses a beat and hits record, the camera on their phone starts rolling to capture a minute long music video. The video can then be edited and visual filters added, before being uploaded to the app. The visual format is definitely similar to Instagram, where users can comment, hashtag and share videos.
The brainchild of UK rappers Niki and Pavan Muhki, also known as Foreign Beggars, Brapp could very well bridge the gap between the incredible accessibility of music production today, and the networking opportunities that social media brings. It is already being championed by producers like Roni Size and Chester P, and Mofo Hifi’s Bobby Tank commented “Brapp is going to revolutionise the way musicians interact with one another. This is a straight up game changer”.
A key aspect of Brapp is the licensing agreement. In the murky world of music legal rights, the actual possibilities for indirect collaboration are pretty difficult to navigate. Users uploading content to Brapp automatically agree to terms that allow videos and audio to be shared worldwide. Not only through the Brapp platform, but also on potentially through various social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The only stipulation is that users upload original content. Music publishers may grip the edges of their desk at the thought of this kind of free for all, but this way Brapp is definitely fostering a truly open ethos for musical collaboration.
It seems that Brapp’s popularity is assured ahead of its launch next week. Like Instagram, the technology behind Brapp will allow everyone to get involved – whether they’re in it for serious production, or simply for fun. The idea of a production going ‘viral’ is very real in today’s world, and Brapp could seriously spotlight emerging new talent in a way that other platforms don’t manage. Rory Fresco’s signing to Epic Records is a perfect example of how it can work. Fresco will be thanking his lucky stars for the Soundcloud algorithm that pulled up his track Lowkey directly after Kanye’s Real Friends. With a more direct shot at that kind of exposure, Brapp users are notified when others upload content with their beats. And like any social platform, popular posts will reach more and more users. This could finally be a real opportunity for emerging talent to find exposure, rather than relying on chance as just one pin in the vast haystack of our current music platforms.
Check out more info for Brapp here.