Erin Jean Hussey and Jade DeRose are trying to make waves in the music industry. They have one project in mind: building an app.
Hussey and DeRose, sophomores majoring in creative business management and visual and media arts respectively, are the creators of CommonVision, which the duo describes as “Tinder for the music industry.”
In the way that Tinder matches suitors, CommonVision matches artistic visions. It seeks to facilitate collaboration between musicians and professionals, from soundmen to producers to coordinators to marketers, all through the premise of mobile networking.
“Though instead of trying to date, we’re trying to create,” DeRose said.
Currently the pair have a prototype they hope to debut at the Creative Enterprises showcase on Dec. 8. Organized by Emerson Launch, the event brings together creative entrepreneurs in a chance to network and share concepts. It is held in the eighth floor common space of the WeWork South Station, 745 Atlantic Avenue.
Hussey and DeRose are showcasing CommonVision through the business studies course they took at Emerson this semester.
Hussey observed that most artists network on a basis of preexisting connections, and thought that only resulted in recycled collaborations. Their app strives to open up the industry so newbies in the field have a chance to get their foot in the door.
“We’ve found that there is a disconnect in the music industry between artists and industry professionals,” Hussey said, “And we’re seeking to find a bridge between that gap.”
Like Tinder, the app has discovery settings that pair you with similar professionals nearby, based on available dates, genre, age, gender, the particular project, etc. Users create a profile that states this personal information, plus what work they do and for what work they’re searching. It will start in the Boston area with ambitions to expand as they can from here.
But users don’t necessarily need to match. In CommonVision, people can message freely, and from there can create a connection if the other desires.
“The app exists as a networking opportunity virtually,” DeRose said, “But we also want to have the spaces and the shows to have these opportunities come to life.”
Before Emerson, DeRose had been working in merchandise management for tours like Vans Warped Tour. She took a year off to tour full-time, and thought it was something she would do her entire life—but she desired something more practical.
It wasn’t until she was enrolled in business classes at Emerson that the thought of combining the two things she loved into one project really floated in her mind.
The idea was prompted by her experience on another social media platform, Facebook. DeRose described scrolling throughout her timeline, repeatedly coming across starving musicians who had no real experience or opportunities to network.
It was then that she was assigned in her business class to a project with Hussey. The two’s goal was to combine business and art.
Hussey had been writing about music for a while and had experience in radio as a promotions coordinator for Emerson’s WERS. She described music as having a large influence on her, both personally and professionally.
They were the perfect match.
“Our goal from that class: we’re looking to make art accessible,” Hussey said.
The only issue was they had no experience in app-making. Equipped only with minimal knowledge in software development and some help from some friends, Hussey and DeRose set out to build their app.
The duo works with a colleague of Hussey’s, Zachary Fask, a sophomore visual and media arts major. He helps finalize technicalities involving media and sound production.
Hussey and Fask worked for the nonprofit organization Hope for the Day, which focuses on mental health education, over the summer. Originally she brought him in on the project as a friend.
“He really has the same vision as the two of us,” DeRose said.
And this vision really boils down to one common idea—they want to create a new music culture.
“We want to create a culture that people want to be a part of,” Hussey said, “And creating that shared space not only through the app, but in the real world.”
Hussey and DeRose hope to focus on more house shows in the future to promote CommonVision once the app is established. Hussey believes while the house shows are important in creating the culture of this virtual community, it’s important all their energy is channeled into establishing the app.