Ayinde Arnett, The UpNext
City: Chicago, IL
What does your company do?
The UpNext is a game-based music discovery platform that maximizes exposure for new and emerging artists.
Why did you apply to Project Music?
Project Music is one of those rare and unique opportunities. To my knowledge, it is the only music-based accelerator program not only in the US, but in the world. It is a wealth of resources for us to grow our startup and take it to the next level.
Favorite genre of music:
I would consider myself a student of hip hop. Mt first CD ever was the explicit version of Ludacris' Word of Mouth. But before that, I remember my first experience of actually connecting on a deeper level with music- I remember being on my grandma's porch in Memphis, TN and listening to the double disc of Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life. That definitely was a momentous occasion in my life, to say the least.
3 words that describe yourself: I am UpNext
Hobbies outside of running a startup:
Obviously I have a particular interest in music, so I love listening to new music and finding new artists- even before UpNext was a thing I was doing this. I'm into video games, although I haven't had a lot of time to devote to video games. And doing regular 25 year old things- going out and hanging with friends.
A few words that come to mind to describe your experience at the EC:
Best part about Nashville:
The embracing nature of the culture.
What does music mean to you?
I gotta listen to it everyday. I wouldn't be anything without music.