Two Emerson College students, Erin Jean Hussey and Jade DeRose, are looking to provide the music industry with what it’s lacking: a spark.
During a recent interview with the The Berkeley Beacon, the young women gave some insight into their brainchild, CommonVision, an app that is designed to connect artists for creative purposes, such as making music.
“In the way that Tinder matches suitors, CommonVision matches artistic visions,” the pair told The Beacon. “It seeks to facilitate collaboration between musicians and professionals, from sound-men to producers to coordinators to marketers, all through the premise of mobile networking.”
Hussey is majoring in creative business management, while DeRose’s studies visual and media arts. The two are more than students, though, as their respective careers are grounded in the music industry, which allows them an inside look into what it’s really lacking–a diversity of talent.
Hussey has a prominent background in business management, and DeRose has worked with Vans Warped Tour. After the women met and collaborated on a project in a business class, they teamed up to create and co-found CommonVision, which they plan to launch in a few months.
I spoke with Hussey over the phone about her app and her plans for the future.
MK: Before we begin, can you talk about your and Jade’s roles in CommonVision?
Erin Jean Hussey: Jade is the creative vision, and she helps develop the big picture. I’m more of the business manager, so I execute details and logistics. As a team, we collaborate very, very nicely. It’s been a really great partnership. While Jade and I are co-founders, we also brought in Zachary Fask. He does videography, photography and media development, but we’re not focused on that right now. We just want to create our app so it can launch.
MK: When describing the purpose of CommonVision, Jade says, “Instead of trying to date, we’re trying to create.” What does she mean by that?
EJH: Basically, it’s like Tinder. You’ll sign up, put in your credit-card information and put in your name. After that, you’ll create a profile, complete with your photo, age, gender (female, male, non-binary, etc.), location and artistic vision. You can also upload resumes and samples, and message other users about vocals, instrumentals and production.
MK: Post-tour, Jade saw that the music industry needed variety. What are your thoughts?
EJH: I’ve worked in the music industry as a former DigBoston intern, WERS 88.9FM promotions director and Entertainment Monthly musical staff writer. Exposure can only take artists so far. Sometimes, a musician’s success is more so from their connections than their talent. In the touring and music industry, people recycle the same artists, collaborators or connections, which is creating fewer opportunities for the underdogs. To facilitate a strong, music-based community, people should be connected.
MK: Speaking of community, how has CommonVision changed your collegiate lifestyle?
EJH: The Berkeley Beacon article is the backsplash for some of Emerson’s computers, which is so weird! Even some strangers will recognize me, and my friends will call me Lady Business. It’s really fun.
MK: On the flipside, how has the app impacted your professional career?
EJH: I’m better connected to my other projects. In this particular industry, that’s so important. It’s great that everything’s interconnected.
MK: According to “The Berkeley Beacon” article, Creative Enterprises is “organized by Emerson Launch, [and it] brings together creative entrepreneurs in a chance to network and share concepts.” How has the event helped you and Jade?
EJH: It was a really great opportunity, because we met potential collaborators who might assist with software consulting or other areas of expertise. Plus, it garnered us attention, and it gave us a platform to move forward.
MK: What is an invaluable lesson you have learned?
EJH: My biggest takeaway came from my own professor. “When you have problems, then you have somewhere to go,” he said, which means there’s always a direction to follow.