Alex Vazquez and Nick Valentin are on a mission to help aspiring artists and songwriters propel their musical careers. To fulfill their goal, the co-founders of Infinite Track Minds are combining their science backgrounds with diverse musical influences to produce an eclectic mix of music tracks, including rock, hip-hop, R&B, soul and dance/electro.
Alex and Nick started Infinite Track Minds, a Baltimore-based production group, to compose, sing, rap and perform original songs, as well as collaborate with local up-and-coming artists who share their same passion for music. Their Web site features a gallery where you can download their original tracks and purchase license packages for an instrumental.
The duo, which originally teamed up in Southern California in 2003, had no formal musical training, and their production style began as primarily sample-based. However, their degrees in electrical engineering and computer science gave them a unique perspective on music production.
As they gained more experience as producers their style changed to more originally composed beats, mainly consisting of live guitars and a variety of electronic instruments.
I reached out to Alex and Nick and asked them to share their startup experience and offer advice to aspiring musicians.
What inspired you to start your business?
We have always had a deeply rooted passion for both music and entrepreneurship. We believed that converting our passion/hobby into a business would allow us both to improve the quality of our music, as well as reach a greater audience.
The Internet has allowed aspiring musicians to share their talents with the world. However, a lot of promising talent can be easily overlooked because of lack of quality in production. We see this as an opportunity to both help singer/songwriters spread their music/message and to increase their probability of being noticed by record executives.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when you launched your business? How did you overcome it?
For the past 10 years, we have been simultaneously making music and pursuing higher education in traditional engineering disciplines. Finding a way to manage our time between our business and our academics has been challenging.
Sacrificing sleep and leisure activities has been necessary. Specifically, finding ways to allocate our time and splitting up the workload based on our individual schedules allows us to maintain a steady level of productivity in both areas.
In terms of the business, some initial obstacles we faced included setting a solid business structure, creating a brand, and building a local following and an Internet presence. Conducting extensive research on successful business/marketing practices is pivotal for our future.
Starting small, with friends, family, and local community is a great way to create an initial following by word of mouth, which can lead to a strong presence online.
What is the most effective tool you use to find new customers?
Other online-based music production companies strictly use the Internet to reach out to new customers. Our business model, however, is based on a hybrid approach — leveraging technology to reach out to greater populations and doing face-to-face networking to build stronger and more personal relationships.
Sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter undoubtedly provide great potential to reach prospective customers in places that we wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.
However, we find that working with our customers in person allows us to get a better sense of who they are, their message, and their needs. Furthermore, it enables us to learn what our current generation wants to listen to, which helps us adopt business practices that have proven to be successful for others.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in producing their own music tracks and selling them online?
We believe hard work, creativity and knowing your craft should come first. Once you have that down, people will find you. Having a level of legitimacy is important (e.g. having a nice Web site, utilizing social media, etc).
More importantly, protecting yourself and your music through legal means is an often overlooked, but necessary step that needs to happen before you start selling your music online.
- Artists and Associates with Funds to Pay for Production. Where and Who are they? (gearslutz.com)
- Music = Productivity (swebman.com)
- TheIndieList; Roomie (freshmuziktt.wordpress.com)