Speaker Profile Q&A: Ryan Star Kulchinsky, Co-Founder, Stationhead

Dubbed "the alt-rock Frank Ocean" by Paper Magazine, Ryan Star is an alternative rock artist from Brooklyn, New York. His decorated career in music is the inspiration for his other job- the co-founder of Stationhead, a music tech startup that he created with his childhood friend. Stationhead turns playlists into personal radio stations powered by collective listening and has been proclaimed "the future of the streaming industry" by Billboard magazine. Ryan will be taking part in the 'International Startup Showcases' at NY:LON Connect on January 24.

:: What’s been the most exciting digital music trend or technology for you in 2017 and why?
Streaming gaining even more traction and albums the playing field being evened out. We now live in a great time for an artist to reach their audience through the same means as a major label can.

When a song reacts it is super-powerful. No one can plan or force it anymore. The people react to something great and that’s the world we want to live in.

:: What music startups have caught your eye in 2017 and why?
Splice is rad. ROLI is making really cool instruments. These are sounds I would throw on a record and it’s from the phone. Pretty impressive.

Also, surprisingly, GarageBand. It has stepped up and really is powerful and intuitive now. We are only moments away when i can make a track that stands up on the walk back to my apartment from the subway. Expression is really about to enter real-time.

:: What do you think the biggest digital challenge will be for our industry in 2018?
Finding the good stuff in a sea of noise without entering the old world of gatekeepers and payola.

:: Which trends/technologies would you suggest are worth keeping an eye out for in 2018, and why?
I like what our friends at Dubset are doing. Getting the rightsholders on board so people can put up derivative works on the paid streaming platforms is another step in getting the world to pay for streaming.

I also love what Benji Rogers is doing with Dot Blockchain. It’s unbelievable how unorganized our current systems are in music. Attaching the data and payment structure to the file is a game-changer for artists.

Mostly, it’s all about getting everyone to pay for streaming. Putting value back in music is the greatest music invention since the compact disc.