Yo, listen to my mixtape!
We’re in an age where succeeding in the crowded music industry is both increasingly possible but also overwhelmingly difficult. There are so many talented artists trying to make it that it can almost seem chaotically lonely.
It’s difficult to find your audience without some miraculous viral video, and it’s hard to find people with the same mindset to collab with unless you somehow find each other on a Reddit forum à la Brockhampton.
How does it work?
Conceptualized around college campuses, Quadio lets you upload your tracks, finished and unfinished directly onto the site and allows people from your own college campus to discover and engage with your music.
The more engagement from your local college peers, the more you’ll likely float to the top of your institution’s list of music. This exposes you to other colleges in your state, then your region and then nationally.
I got to speak to Chief Growth Officer Miranda Martell ahead of the national Beta launch of Quadio.
What’s the origin story?
One of Quadio’s founders, Joe Welch started out as an econ major, and amateur music producer in college struggling to break through to have his music heard.
“No one has less time or money or resources to spend on marketing than college students do,” said Martell.
Joe did have a song go viral across his college campus and then to other audiences. As a result, he thought that harnessing this energy through a platform would make the journey for other artists far easier.
“Breaking through on social as we all know is a challenge,” said Martell.
Quadio seeks to also harness the “the mere-exposure effect” which is also known as the “familiarity principle.” This psychological phenomenon states that people are more likely to enjoy things that are familiar to them or become familiar to them through exposure.
“You are much more inclined to like and engage with content if it’s created by someone that you feel related to or an affinity toward,” said Martell.
Quadio’s recurring mantra on social media is #MakeMusicMakeFriends.
The idea behind the statement stems from the experience of artistic collaboration, something Welch was keen on highlighting from his college experiences.
During his last semester at school, Joe as an econ major who did not have any access to the music department or its resources happened to connect with peers who he knew socially but discovered also created music.
This random discovery of potential collaborators who were always there led to the creation of awesome works of musical art. The sentiment of serendipity was high amongst the group who all asked,
“Can you imagine if we had all found each other our freshman year?”
This lost connection sentiment later inspired the “Artist Locator Tool” on the Quadio platform. The tool makes it possible to find specific artists and musicians to collaborate with based on geographical location, whether that’s locally at your own school or further out in your city or state.
“If you want to find a producer at your school you can do that. If you want to find a cellist at Julliard you can do that too. And you can reach right out and collaborate.”
— Quadio (@quadiomedia) January 14, 2020
From digital to reality
Quadio doesn’t just live in the virtual digital space. The platform is huge on Live events. Quadio regularly sells out live events on college campuses across the country.
“These artists deserve the opportunity to have these legit performances and we are providing them with that,” said Martell.
You can check out events like Fun House which was in NoHo and featured eight emerging artists from Columbia University. Fun House had 500 attendees, a sold-out show.
Quadio took a raw space and transformed it with interactive installations, photo moments throughout. Recess, Uptime Energy, and Smarties sponsored the event.
Pass the Mic was a partnership with Howard University with 12 artists at the historic U Street Music Hall in D.C.
Quadio also posts “Artist of the Day” on their social media where a singular artist is highlighted linking their work and offering exposure to a larger audience.
View this post on Instagram
“We exist to defend authenticity and to support emerging talent,” said Martell.
Quadio recently hosted a Beat Boxing competition in Long Island on Jan. 10 at Amityville Music Hall. Performers from all over the New York area came together to go head to head to be judged by pro beatboxers Alex Sanchez, JFlo BeatBox & Meghan Beatbox Costa.
Quadio’s “After Hours” also features artists’ talent in state of the art recording studios. The series has showcased over a dozen aspiring and emerging talent and is viewable on IG and in a longer format on YouTube.
Quadio focuses on bringing all musical communities together and creating sub-communities for every genre from Acapella, to hip hop to alternative rock.
How Do You Join?
We know you want to join so we asked Miranda what that signup journey looks like.
The Beta version of the platform is currently closed to a select 3,000 artists from universities across the nation. But come Feb. 18, if you have a .edu email you can sign up. Once you join, the platform will place you into your school’s community.
There’s a waiting list to sign up for right now too.
View this post on Instagram
Quadio democratizes the experience of uploading tracks and sharing them with your school community. Your chance of ending up on the discover feed is based on the upload time. After you upload a track, you have immediate exposure to your community.
“As your classmates engage with the tracks it will move those tracks up the chart. So once you get to the top of your school’s chart, you’re more likely to also be toward the top of your state’s chart and then it goes out from there. You can get yourself up the regional charts then it goes on to national.”
You can upload finished tracks as well as work in progress tracks to invite feedback from your community.
“Anyone who is not seeing that tractions on other platforms, you find collaborators you find fans and you find feedback and that’s how we support your career.”
The engagement with the tracks is very much tied to the #MakeMusicMakeFriends. You can add your friends on the platform, see what they’re listening to and share tracks.
Quadio also encourages Alumni to engage with the platform.
“It’s a leveled playing field.”
More ways to get involved
You can also become a campus rep. Quadio currently has over 200 campus reps.
A campus rep is Quadio’s evangelist, mobilizing their campus around the Quadio mission. They host listening parties, events every semester as the foundation of Quadio.
FYI: The campus rep is a live job application on Quadio’s website.
View this post on Instagram
But if you’d just like to support as a listener, you can still engage with the Quadio platform directly as well as head over to their social media. Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tik Tok, SnapChat, LinkedIn you name it they’re active on it.
“We exist to surface your music up in a way that no one else is doing right now, that is our number one priority, to have this be an experience that anyone who’s music is worth listening to can get listened to,” said Martell.