Founder, CEO, Violinist
Current City: Berkeley, California.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-Founder & CEO, Boomy Corporation (https://boomy.com).
Notable Prior Jobs: Founder & CEO, AudioKite (A&R research for musicians and labels); consulting & advisory clients have include: Artiphon, Shady Records / Goliath Artists, DotBC/Verifi Media, Reflex Group, Krantz Media Group, Infinite Album, Riff, and others.
When I Started Performing: Pretty sure I was 4?
Performing Arts Background: I started out as a violin player classically trained from an uncomfortably young age, then went "electric" in high school / college. Was fortunate enough to have some early YouTube virality which led to performances at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, an international tour, and performances alongside Grammy-winning artists. I played in over a dozen bands and groups in NYC for years before turning full-time to roles at the intersection of music and technology.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? I grew up as a violinist in orchestras, and it made me insanely competitive. In every orchestra section, there's always fierce competition to be "first chair," which is the leadership position for the section. But with violinists, it's even heavier, because the first chair is also the "concert master" - the person who leads the entire orchestra in partnership with the conductor. Crucially, the first chair position is never appointed, it is earned through fair/blind competition among the violinists, and your position as first chair can be always challenged. This challenge process confirms a broad understanding in the section and orchestra that the first chair is the best player, and therefore worth following. Of course, I was always challenging and trying to become first chair (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) but I bring this mentality to everything I do in entrepreneurship. Effective leadership means winning the respect of your team, and the only way to win is to keep challenging.
I was a product of the early days of digital independent music, selling albums on iTunes, sheet music, and tickets to shows - not to mention a ton of busking! It didn't seem like "entrepreneurship" at the time - people wanted to buy the music I was making, so I'd sell it to them. But making an accidental living off of online virality at a relatively young age sent me down a path of really understanding how the internet worked, how music industry worked, how the money moves, how technology is disrupting certain aspects of it. Pivoting to building music tech was a natural fit.
Favorite Performer: Itzhak Perlman.
Follow Alex Jae Mitchell:
Twitter - @mitchellshow
Instagram - @mitchellshow