The startup life isn’t an easy one.
Liquid’s dripping onto the burner of a displaced coffee pot that I too frequently draw from. My home looks half like an army of drunk elephants wobbled through it and half like I killed a rainforest all by myself with papers and promotional contracts living in every crevice of my bedroom and common area. My hair is going to start greying at its roots before I turn 25, probably.
But it’ll all be worth it to see my passion project progress into something profitable, sustainable and worth the lifestyle of an undergraduate entrepreneur and more importantly, the lifestyle of an Austin creative.
In the spirit of collaboration, I’d like to feature four local music-inspired projects taken on by Austin creatives who I think also understand the culture of desk naps and coffee-turned-cold and are well worth supporting.
Curation of any art takes great passion and Chris Omenihu is full of passion. He is a man of great energy who has the ability to duplicate the same amount of fire in others through a vibrant smile and warm handshake. This past weekend, I had the privilege of meeting him at his project’s first event, Haus Party, set at a secret location in East Austin and featuring local art, a lineup of Austin DJs, and house punch made with Austin’s own Deep Eddy Vodka.
Inspired by Omenihu’s past shortcomings, Human Influence is a project based upon the curation of style and music and is supported by collaboration. “With those three things, I honestly believe we can help improve the taste buds of our viewers, fans and followers,” Omenihu said, “with the end goal being a living testimony to people: ‘Hey you can do it too. You can live out your dreams. Happiness isn’t some exclusive commodity that the rich and the well-connected own.'”
Human Influence’s collaborative aspects were phenomenally apparent with the masses of people Omenihu managed to host at his Haus Party including the following three passion projects.
Though still a slightly rough beta version of their finished product, Sam Hamad, Nathan Faulkner and David Emelianov, Founders of HypeHop, said this about their project after I met them at the Haus Party: “Our vision is to allow anyone to immediately plug into global and local hip hop communities by building a space where anyone can record, share, and explore freestyles and written raps.”
HypeHop, available to download on both Android and iOS devices for free, provides both a platform for hip-hop artists to rap over preloaded tracks and a pseudo-social media function that allows them to engage with one another and build hype for their work.
The app’s official launch is set to be at Spiderhouse Ballroom’s “Return of Weird City” event presented by Austin Mic Exchange on Oct. 24.
Brother blog PRSPCT Sound covers an array of music presented by Austin’s most talented music interns who work for a company that is responsible for one of Austin’s largest mass gatherings yearly — C3 Presents — which puts on Austin City Limits Festival and Lollapalooza for our homies in Chicago.
My endorsement of this blog is not without bias. So talented are the interns at C3 Presents that On Vinyl Music claims one as one of our very own, Micky Benthall. Additionally, I worked with PRSPCT Sound’s Editor-in-chief Austin Marshall for a good two years forming our premiere college radio station at our soon-to-be alma mater and had the chance to catch up with him at the Human Influence event this past weekend.
“The idea behind the blog was that we were a group of kids all trying to cut their teeth in the music industry. In our respective friend groups we’re kind of the voice of what’s new and emerging in music,” said Marshall. “At the same time, we’re also very aware of what’s happening in the industry and the business and how that’s changing the sound. That’s our value proposition as a blog: being the advocate of the new prospects in the music industry and culture.”
Also present at the Haus Party: Xavier Lane. Supporting the collaborative theme of the Human Influence event, Lane and aforementioned Austin Marshall of PRSPCT Sound founded (hueman)DNA, a unique silk screen t-shirt company that launched in late 2013. The two maintain close friendship even as Marshall turned his focus to other projects.
Each individual (hueman)DNA shirt is made with unmatched intricacy and is as unique as a strand of human DNA. When asked about his inspiration for his brand, Lane said, “‘I wouldn’t be me without you.’ This one simple statement embodies the entire mission statement of my brand. Everything in my life has influenced me towards this path, whether it be music, fashion, film, or even just people.”
Lane, sporting one of his own (hueman)DNA shirts, explained that it takes hours to design each one. “I’m seeking to hold creativity over commerciality, and in that same sense I want to pay homage to the culture through my own distinct take on graphic design and mixed media. Personally, I never wear one single brand, so I’m not trying to have people only wear my clothing. I want my pieces to supplement existing brands/styles and fit seamlessly into the wardrobe of my customers.”
UPDATE (10/01/15): Check out the official OV Rooftop DJ Expo at Rainey Hookah Lounge & Bar event featuring three of these projects.