Perfect Pitch: Richard Okyere Mensah
Updated: Jan 9
Founder, Developer, Guitarist
Current City: New York, NY.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-founder at Salley.
Notable Prior Jobs: Innovation Consultant at Project Management Institute. Co-founder at Menotice. Technical Lead and Organizer at Google Developer Group. DevOps engineer at DreamOval Ghana
When I Started Performing: Started performing on stage when I was 10.
Performing Arts Background: I grew up in Ghana in a very musical family. My dad had been playing the guitar since he was in college. So, I was exposed to the performing arts at a very early age. I started off with singing in various choirs. Had a knack for this and always found the time to practice. As time went by, I became very interested in musical instruments. I decided to learn the piano when I was a teenager. I took a few lessons but it was quite difficult for me to get good at it. After getting into high school, I was still obsessed with learning an instrument. As time went by I developed a keen interest in learning the acoustic guitar. This was because there were a number of students who were good at playing it. One of them allowed me to play his guitar and even gave me a few lessons. I was now determined to master the instrument. To do this, I had to buy my own guitar to practice. In my 2nd year of high school, I took 90% of my savings and bought my first guitar :) Over time, I came to understand music theory and began to master the guitar. As part of the school's music leadership team, I started performing on stage. I then went back to improve my skills on the piano when I got to college. This time, it was much easier because I understood the fundamentals of music theory.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? Playing an instrument and entrepreneurship have a lot in common. In order to get really good at playing an instrument, I had to understand the role of the individual keys and notes. Once I began to understand this, I could combine the keys and notes in various combinations to make music. In music there are various themes and scales to follow in order to play in a certain way (ie. pentatonic scale, blue scale, chromatic scale, etc). Making good music comes down to blending the various keys and notes together in harmony. Having a strong understanding of how music comes together gave me an advantage when it comes to entrepreneurship. Just as in music, successful entrepreneurship happens when a founder orchestrates the various functions and roles within a company come together to achieve the mission. My professional background spans across, product, software engineering, and design. I've also had first hand experience with marketing and sales. My performing arts background as a singer, pianist and guitarist taught me to work together in harmony with others on stage to produce music for our audience. When it comes to entrepreneurship, I fully understand the value of building the best team possible to tackle the problem we're solving for.
Favorite Performer: Brett Young.
Follow this Performer:
Twitter - @riomensah
Instagram - @richard.o.mensah
LinkedIn - /in/richard-okyere-mensah