Niki Mukhi has worked as a guitarist, MD and composer performing in over 50 cities worldwide. In 2011 he started creating concepts focused on bringing people together though our universal languages (primarily music). In 2014, whilst developing a writing tool for musicians he put together the concept and team for Brapp. Brapp is a free & easy way to create and discover exciting musical collaborations from all over the world. Producers can share their beats on Brapp allowing anyone to make mini music videos from their phone.
(Photo by Aranka Israni, arankaisrani.com)
Why did you decide to start a business?
The initial motivation was my frustration with the barriers that exist within the music industry. I’ve lived in Dubai for the last few years and as an artist I play on records that are in iTunes and Spotify and so on, that I can’t even listen to legally even if I wanted to pay for them.
What skill or ability is most important and why?
Honestly I refuse to believe any element in this business or any business is necessarily more important than the others. Imagine a football team, you’ve got your guys at the front, your guys at the back and your team is only ever as good as the worst player.
It’s the same in business, if you have a fantastic product and you don’t know how to convey it to someone who might want to use it, you’re going to sink. It’s the same the other way round, if you’re a great salesman but you have nothing worth selling there’s no point going out there.
It’s really about being able to focus on each piece as it comes and being as good as you can in each of them and having good people around you who are better at each of the elements whether it be development or marketing or anything else.
What are the lessons you’ve learned?
As a founder, don’t be a lone wolf. Two minds are better than one, three minds are better than two and I’m so happy that our team is four minds. The main thing is you need everyone to be either on the bus or off the bus because if you have guys that are more focused than other guys, it tends to slow things down, it slows decision making down.
Another lesson is care about all the elements that we were talking about in the previous section. In what we’re doing, the focus on the legal or the marketing aspects or the design which is huge..they’re not all my fortes, but you need to give all of them as much weight as each other and get the guys with the expertise and the know how, and get them done as good as the parts that you do love.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of the job today now that we’ve launched, is seeing it in action. We got into this because we wanted to break the barriers in the music industry and get people to connect and collaborate and create new music that wouldn’t technically or legally happen otherwise.
For us, it’s not just seeing that people are doing that, uploading beats, making videos and having fun with it. It’s also seeing the comments and the way people are interacting with each other.
So far it’s been a really positive space, it’s been really encouraging. You see people reaching out to people they don’t know saying ‘I love what you do’ – it was a moment that happened right at the beginning of MySpace before it turned into something else, where it was just purely encouraging other artists and other people to do more. Do more of it and do it better and work harder…it’s great.