In an era of revolution and cutting edge technology changing the landscape of what it means to communicate, ideas are currency. FlippenMusic.com is tempting that fate, revolutionizing the connection between fans and artists and bringing them ever closer.
The idea is simple (as most good ideas are). By signing up to Flippenmusic, you get to be part of a community dedicated to musicians and music fans, with one big perk: the ability to have live video chats with artists in virtual meet-up events. While the site has been in construction for the past two years, it may surprise you to know that it already has 5,500 fans in social media and over 1.5 million views on its Youtube channel. Not bad for a website that doesn’t exist yet. If you’re just finding out about it now, you’re in luck; FlippenMusic is launching this month.
There is a collective “finally” you may hear with this announcement. And no one is more relieved (or anxious) for the release than creator Sean Garcia.
When I speak to Sean, he’s on a train from Irvine to Fullerton, CA.
“I love the train” he says. “I don’t have to deal with traffic.”
He has the free spirit you often see in people who challenge things, regardless of people who tell him he’s doing it wrong or that he’s crazy.
“I can’t wait anymore… it has to be released this month,” he says about the site, and I can’t help but think of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.”
Nine years ago, when Sean was fourteen years old, he decided to create a website dedicated to connecting musicians with their fans. He didn’t know how exactly, but he knew he could improve upon what MySpace was doing at the time. These were the MySpace days, ages ago.
“I think my brother is the one who came up with ‘Flipping’ and so I jumped on my computer to make a design and when I showed it to him, it said ‘FlippenMusic,’ ” Sean muses about that day. “My brother said, ‘I don’t think that’s how you spell it,’ and I said, ‘Now it is!’ ”
And so it started, with a name and an idea, but all that Sean knew about music was that he liked it a lot, and that he wanted to be at the heart of it. He wanted to know how it worked, how to connect with these people.
With a homepage in place, which is normally a variation of what’s currently there, “Coming Soon,” Sean decided that he needed to know what the music industry was like at its core. College wasn’t going to give him this education. He didn’t care for the passivity of a classroom, but the activity and energy of live shows, of talking one-on-one with the bands.
And that is how I met Sean Garcia the first time around. Coincidentally, it was at a OC Music Award showcase at the Tiki Bar back in 2011. Seedless was about to play, and this skinny guy handed me a white business card. All it had on it was the website link and his email.
We didn’t talk much that day, but I was intrigued by the clever name and the clean design, nothing at all like the old MySpace he set out to challenge. Since that encounter, I’ve logged onto the site from time to time to see the progress. How far are we from launch date? The curiosity factor is pretty strong. When one talks to Sean, there is a sense that he knows something we don’t about marketing and how to tap into that mystery factor. A certain confidence exudes when we talk about his fanbase.
“How do you get fans without an active site?” I ask him and he replies without hesitation, “I don’t know. I may be doing something right.”
In that period after deciding that college had no classes for him, Sean visited PR firms, labels, and studios to get in touch with the agents in the music industry, all while coding his idea to respond to the needs of fans and bands.
Sometime in 2011 he decided there were too many steps and channels that got in between connecting him to the bands he loved. This would be another example of his savvy ways in creating virtual spaces, and how different things look in his head. With Flippen Out, Sean, creates an artificial space where musicians seem accessible. He virtually puts the music front and center in video, and it is as relaxed and zany as if you were actually there.
“I was explaining it to my friends, that I wanted a white background and a way to control pictures by flipping my hands to the left… People gave me a look like I lost it.”
Because no one understood what he was talking about, he decided to do it himself, and so the Flippen Out feature began within a week. For a Flippen Out episode, click on the video below.
What started as a 14-year-old challenge to the dominant social network of the time has grown into an idea to bring musicians closer to their fans. The college education he renounced, and the education he got from touring the industry and touring with bands, has come to a confident conclusion: “It is something different that nobody offers. it’s the one-on-one feel. You can use Twitter or Facebook, but is that really them? Do you even know who you are talking to, or are you really getting an answer?
“I gave myself the opportunity because I went out there,” Sean says of his self-taught journey. “Now I want to bring all those elements into a single portal, and still make it accessible.”
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