The Startup: Traklife Radio
Raised in Orange County with family ties in Los Angeles, Thomas Smith’s uncle Fax, an underground artist with deep roots in the Los Angeles Hip Hop scene, inspired him to make music of his own. Smith built his skills both as an entrepreneur and artist in various groups, eventually crossing paths with Ervin Cordero, CEO, and Founder of Traklife Radio. Starting in 2012 with a single show broadcasting from Los Angeles and syndicated both online and through the Traklife app, the organization has grown to 25 different programs in multiple metropolitan markets such as New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Toronto. Traklife’s mission is to continually expand its platform to provide premium content while maintaining an urban edge.
Smith’s relationship with Traklife began after interviewing on one of their leading programs, The Layover Show. Both Smith and his DJ built a rapport with the team and reached out to the startup to pitch a show that would both build his personal brand and provide a platform for emerging artists from Orange County and beyond to be seen and heard. After a meeting with the founders to discuss the concept, the Soul Vibe Show was born. Staying on the pulse of urban culture, Smith and his team embrace change while challenging norms to push toward creativity and innovation.
Created to fill a void in organic and positive content in mainstream media from an urban culture perspective, Traklife is committed to producing premium content to entertain and inspire a creative lifestyle. Content is produced by DJs, MCs, influencers, and curators from all corners of the world–providing a unique mix of perspectives and variety for users and listeners. Live events are also a core part of the Traklife model to give fans and followers a first-hand experience with Traklife talent to engage and draw inspiration. Continuous growth and increasing awareness of the brand are cornerstones of their work ethic. Their goal is to be a premiere urban and creative media outlet to inspire the world positively through the perspectives they represent. While this startup is no stranger to bootstrapping capital, recent milestones include a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign in early 2016 and a steadily growing user base both domestic and abroad in major metropolitan cities.
The Traklife team shared the following thoughts on how the music industry is changing based on how consumers are accessing and interacting with music and artists, “thanks to platforms like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and Soundcloud, music is accessible from anywhere and more often on mobile. With the vast amount of talent in the world and their increasing savvy with new tools and content distribution networks, artists don’t need record labels to make it in the industry anymore. By growing their fan base through outlets like Soundcloud and the other emerging apps on the rise, they can take control of their marketing and branding. Engaging with fans through social media gives them the autonomy to craft and curate their interactions and promotion in a way that was not as easily accessible before.”
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