December 10, 2015

There are trends, ideas, and people that have 15 minutes in the sun. Furbies, puka shell necklaces, the Macarena. And then there are those who want more.

Chris Nolte dreamed of studying music, but he decided against it, because it didn’t seem financially responsible.

Instead, he became a consultant, and then - after working with recording executives - he realized he could get into the business after all.

By being a fan.

Nolte is building a company called TapTape, that allows anyone to invest in up-and-coming musicians.

Imagine Lady Gaga in her early career. “Let’s say you saw her perform [in a club] and you were floored by her,” Nolte posits; if she “ended up on TapTape, because we had a partnership with either her and her management, or with that record deal, then she’d have a profile onTapTape. And you could go listen to her, and explore. You would get an idea, of when you put in money, what you get in return.”

Basically, you’re investing in a person. Someone that you’re convinced is the future of music. And they need money, so you’re helping them out.

The odds may be against you. But, if you’re lucky, your investment will pay off.

If a performer is extremely successful, Nolte explains, you earn “tons and tons of Tapcoins, which is our virtual currency.” The Tapcoins can be reinvested in other artists, used to purchase merchandise, or translated directly into Amazon gift cards.

How is this any different from Kickstarter, or other websites where you can support budding singers? Nolte says: first, there’s the choice of how to cash out. Second, TapTape’s aim is to partner with the existing music industry to help artists on the cusp of stardom. “The fact that the fans are involved financially and promotionally just makes that more successful and financially less risky for the label, and makes the artist less dependent.”

Their first artist is K Theory out of San Francisco.

Nolte hopes someday you’ll say you knew they’d be big way back when.

Culture, Concerts, TapTape, music

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