Two Belmont freshmen, with the help of a personal programming quintet, will launch StereoGarden, a music networking website, in September.
Drew Lamb got the idea for the music networking site after watching a documentary about copyright law issues in the music industry and observing a group discussion that followed.
“The conflict I saw between musicians and the professionals who represent them made me think I could establish some sort of middle ground,” Lamb said. “My idea was to allow independent artists to promote themselves by giving their music away for free.
“We would do all sorts of things, from
making connections within the music industry to booking live shows. Ultimately, the goal would be to kick start making the music industry profitable again.”
To take his idea from concept to reality, Lamb sought the help of Larry Stessel, the CEO of Revolver Marketing Group. Stessel has produced and marketed such artists as Gloria Estefan and Sting.
After Stessel spoke at a Belmont convocation, Lamb introduced himself and asked him for an interview regarding his music business project. Stessel was taken with Lamb’s boldness and agreed to talk.
After Lamb did some tweaking and planning, Stessel was captivated with the concept. He connected Lamb to other music business professionals and gave step-by-step counseling on issues that arose along the way.
Eventually, Lamb became connected with Matt Zaloba, a fellow Belmont freshman. The two teamed up and are continuing communication with Stessel, who has given them guidance and advice on a multitude of topics, from finance and marketing to whatever issues may come up.
Zaloba has enjoyed every minute of the ride.
“I loved Drew’s idea from the start,” he said. “I totally agree with the concept of it. It’s a project I like to work on, rather than something I have to do.”
Since then, the two have developed a business plan, prototype, design, pitch and a name – StereoGarden.
“The name is meant to reflect a place where independent artists can develop and grow, like flowers blooming in a garden,” Lamb said. “And no, I don’t care how stupid my simile is.” His description of StereoGarden depicts the next step in music websites that recognizes today’s desire for free music coupled with musical artists’ need for a larger fan base and more exposure.
Lamb and Zaloba, with Stessel’s help, reached the finals of the Belmont Music Business Competition.
They hope to continue their success as long as they can, starting with the launch of the website, projected for September 2011.