Musicologist Mickey Hart once said, there’s nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it. Many people know and appreciate music as much as Mickey, and over the past few years, music cafes and live band places thrive in the Klang Valley. Popular music spots are often crowded with customers, especially during weekends.
More often than not, bands and musicians are available for freelance gigs and performances at weddings, corporate events, and even birthday parties. However, there wasn’t a single platform for anyone to easily identify available bands or musicians. The best way for someone to find a band was probably to ask around on social media or acquire referrals via word of mouth.
That is, until now.
Gigfairy, a new platform that helps people book live music easier and faster, was launched in November by KL-based Brian Foo to solve the problem. “The idea came to me when I was constantly asked if I knew any musicians for weddings or musicians who play at bars so many times. One day it just clicked that a platform for musicians could solve all of that.”
Brian, who was once part of a band, quit his job when the idea was incepted in November 2014 to bring it to life.
“I don’t have a background in web development so it took me about a week to build the current site on Squarespace. We went ‘live’ early December with just a few artists but that number is steadily increasing as more and more people are hearing about the platform,” Brian recalled.
Other than just allowing live music band discovery, Gigfairy wants to also create more gig opportunities for musicians. This is close to Brian’s heart because the band he was in eventually broke up because there weren’t enough people who knew that the band was available for gigs.
“We aren’t just solving problems, we are creating new opportunities. For example, cafes can now easily book an acoustic live act for a weekend brunch session. Another example would be how we have enabled school or college students to engage artists like Paperplane Pursuit or Narmi (big names here in Malaysia) for their school or college events because we’ve made artists like that so reachable,” Brian told Vulcan Post.
So far, there are over 50 plus artists listed on Gigfairy, with batches of new musicians coming in batches. Customers can easily go to Gigfairy and view profiles of these bands which contains samples of their work, and if they like what they see, they can easily book them.
Gigfairy is attempting to be the place where you can book musicians for any occasions, and while Gigfairy do not charge any fees, when it builds up enough liquidity, they will be charging a booking fee of 15%. Gigfairy recently raised a total of RM100,000 in funding too from private investors in Malaysia who believe in making musicians more accessible to everyone.
“I think one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced so far is that we are trying to disrupt an industry that hasn’t had innovation like this in a long, long time. Everything is still so traditional and word-of-mouth driven. We know Gigfairy is good for both people who are looking for musicians and the musicians themselves – the challenge is putting the message in a way that makes them transition into a new way of doing things.”
“Having said that though, I think we’ve made very good progress considering we are only three months old.”