Shain Shapiro - Founder & President of Sound Diplomacy
Music - The Universal Language an interview with Founder Shain Shapiro
Miron BykovLondon - 04/11/2019
Today we spoke to Shain Shapiro Founder & President of Sound Diplomacy
Sound Diplomacy, founded by Shain Shapiro in 2013,uses data-driven methodology to advise governments and companies worldwide on how to harness the full value of music. At Sound Diplomacy they identify growth areas, engage stakeholders and communities, and produce strategies to unlock all the benefits of a strong music economy.
Tell me about the day the idea was born. I don’t remember - good question! I had a part-time freelance job at the time and I always wanted to do my own thing. The day I did it was the day I was allowed to do it because I got a new visa, as I couldn’t start a company with a student visa. The idea of creating a company was always in the back of my head as I’ve never wanted to work for somebody else.
What was the biggest turning point in the life of Sound Diplomacy? This was when we first-time staged our flagship policy conference, Music Cities Convention in Brighton (2015). This was an unintentional pivot point because prior to the conference we focused on helping artists export their music abroad, but suddenly we became advisors to cities. The conference itself was purely carried out to see if people were interested in talking about the role of music in cities. And it sold out.
Three top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:
Do stuff. Don’t just talk.
Seek the best advisors you can. I’ve always had a Board at Sound Diplomacy and we still have 2 founding board members.
Focus on a specific thing. Don’t try and do everything at once. We have tried that, it doesn’t work.
What gets you out of bed every morning? My love for music. Music is everything to me. Music is a universal language and it makes everything better. Everyone needs to know this.
What did you want to be when you were little? A chef.
Favourite Disney character: I don’t know, another good question. Em, I quite like Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
What is Sound Diplomacy planning for the world next? We are developing our own proprietary way of measuring the impact of music on cities and will be publishing research early next year. We are doing a number of new conferences and are also hoping to open an office in Latin America next year. And I am working on a book.