When Felisha Booker moved from New York to Atlanta, she recognized the vibrant music industry in town was missing something big.
“The thing that shocked me was that while the music community was here, it just didn’t seem like there were a lot of check writers in the building,” she told Hypepotamus. “The decisions are still being made in major cities.”
While Atlanta is a music hub, Booker said it can still be a difficult place to get your foot in the door at any level.
Musicians have a hard time building up a fan base. But young people looking to break into the industry as producers, managers, and publicists for those up-and-coming musicians face an uphill battle if they don’t have the right connections.
Booker is looking to bridge this gap with Breaker Nation, an Atlanta-based social networking application that connects budding musicians from all genres with interns who promote their music.
Booker describes the musicians who join the platform as the “entrepreneurial type” who “don’t just aspire to just release music but really look at themselves as bosses and CEOs.”
Atlanta is known as a music mecca for rap, hip-hop, soul and R&B. But Booker said it has been harder than expected to get the startup off the ground in the city. It took Booker two years to secure $100,000 pre-seed round, and all investors came from outside of Atlanta. But momentum is growing, she added. The startup is now a finalist for the Agora Startup Battleground, a competition for early-stage startups working on real-time technology solutions.
“We’re a music company powered by technology. We are not a technology company. And there’s a difference to me,” she said. “We believe that the musician is more important than the music.”
Ultimately, Booker sees the platform as one that supports the full lifecycle of musicians, from helping them get early feedback to building out full teams later on.
“I really want to be able to be like Atlanta’s first billion dollar music company,” she added.
So far, Breaker Nation has earned some early adopters at the college level, as two classes at Alabama State University have partnered with the platform to help students find ways into the industry.
Breaker Nation is one of several Atlanta-based tech startups changing music. For those in the industry, music publishing platform Aurign is simplifying the music royalty space. Music Tech Works, an Atlanta-based startup backed by Collab Capital, is streamlining the music copyright process.
On the consumer side, there are apps like Deepr, a “Shazam meet IMDB ” platform, making it easier for fans to find their next favorite artist.
Atlanta is also home to a wider group of startups working in the creator economy space and helping move the overall media industry forward. Those include platforms like streaming service LoCo+ and social media platform Fanbase, an app increasing monetization opportunities for digital creators.
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