Hitting the right note

There’s hardly a music enthusiast today who hasn’t heard of Kishi Bashi. The 36 year-old artiste, who plays in the Indirock band Of Montreal, has music app Band of the Day to thank for it.

Virginia-based Bashi is one of the many artistes who saw an increase in his fan base once he was featured on the hugely popular app, available on the Apple App Store. “The curators of the app they liked my music as a solo artiste and I was featured in November 2011. It was one of the ways I was able to advertise my album at the time, Room for Dreams.”

The Berkeley School of Music graduate plays the violin, guitar and is also a backup vocal on band Of Montreal. Band of the Day, a seven month-old app that comes in the form of a daily music magazine, introduces people to bands and solo artistes from all over the world, while featuring a new artiste every day — 210 till date. App users can read about new and upcoming artists and also listen to their music, which is streamed onto their mobile devices. In addition to being the Apple iTunes App of the Week, it was also the iPhone / iPad App of the Year runner-up in 2011.

The success isn’t news for 34 year-old developer Kiran Bellubbi, who says his California-based company, 955 Dreams, named after his first office on 955 Benecia Street in Silicon Valley, was started in September 2010 with the sole purpose of “building a magical and unique mobile experience.” 955 Dreams has since developed two other applications for the iPhone and iPad, namely, History of Jazz (which allows users to read and learn about Jazz) and On the Way to Woodstock (which allows users to walk through the Woodstock Art and Music Fair of 1969), each of which has been Apple iTunes App of the Week.

“What makes these applications unique is fact that they were made for mobile devices like the iPhone and the iPad from scratch with the help of the companies own publishing libraries. This allows the app to be customised, while increasing its speed,” explains Bellubbi.¬†Band of the Day features a range of artistes, from Bon Iver, an American folk band founded in 2007, to other smaller outfits who are on the cusp of becoming successful, like Bashi himself. The app also features a wide genre of music ranging from Indie to Jazz to Electronica. “We choose artistes through a filtering process. We’ve already chosen the artistes for the next 90 days,” he says Bellubbi, adding that they get thousands of requests every day.

“This app works on a smaller database. Because it features only one artiste or band per day, you can pay exclusive attention to that. You can stream entire tracks instead of just samples. The app also lets you share tracks via email and SMS,” says Bellubbi. Since its development, the app has been downloaded 2.2 million times. Future plans include updates to social sharing features. ¬†

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