Berklee Grad’s Site Is Like Match.com But for Songwriters
Find your Soulmate. Or Jazz-mate.
When Lisa Occhino was attending Berklee College of Music, she found it difficult to connect with the right person when trying to create a song.
Even with the throngs of talented musicians on campus and services like Craigslist at her disposal, nothing was ever reliable enough to help her find the perfect fit for a musical collaboration.
“There was no website that could let you sort through and look for someone like you can on a dating site like Match.com,” she said. “I was like, ‘why does this not exist?’”
To solve her conundrum, she started a website of her own.
On Thursday evening, Occhino, who graduated from Berklee in 2013, will celebrate the official launch of SongwriterLink.com, a free service that uses algorithms and pairing methods similar to dating sites to introduce people with particular musical ambitions.
Occhino’s event, called the Boston Songwriter and Musician Hangout, hosted in collaboration with MusicTown, which matches up musicians for jam sessions to form actual bands, will introduce people to SongwriterLink while at the same time pulling them away from the computer to network in a public setting.
Occhino said the site she built picked up steam when she brought it to Berklee’s Business Startup Initiative, a program that allows faculty and students to take their aspirations and turn them into successful startups, according to the initiative’s website.
Whether a user is a beat producer looking for an emcee to put lyrics on top of their tunes, or a composer who needs a singer’s vocals to enhance a particular project, Occhino’s site lets them build a profile page to make the right connections without having to rely on the irksome Craigslist ‘wanted’ ads, hoping that the person they meet with actually has some talent to offer.
“It does what it’s supposed to do on a very basic level, which is to match up songwriters,” said Occhino.
SongwriterLink truly is like a dating site in terms of the way people interact, and how the connections are made, but it also lets users refine their search options down to specific desired qualities, and has a video chat feature so meetups can be done instantly.
“There are so many people who just really had a need for this, and I wanted to tap into the Berklee community and get this going,” said Occhino. “Hopefully this will be like a bridge for songwriters so they can have access to a whole community of people, and they can use every avenue to collaborate and make more music. I just want to give people those opportunities.”