Tech

Exclusive: Project Pat Partners With 2 Black Founders Who Are On A Quest To Amplify The Artists Behind The Viral Remixes You Hear On Social Media

A new platform has emerged to refine the relationship between artists and their fans.

Co-founders Darin Stewart (CEO) and Marleisse Stephens (CMO) are the visionaries of Happy Monday, a remix platform driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and their respective creative agencies. The goal is to keep the power in the hands of artists by enabling them to profit from their songs while also granting users the freedom to create various versions of the songs.

Happy Monday

The user interface, which resembles the nostalgia of an MP3 player, will present the option to choose from 10 different genres that can be mixed, resulting in a minimum of 100 song variations.

Genres include but are not limited to:

  • Hip-Hop
  • Reggaeton
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • Lo-fi
  • Drill

“The whole idea is to curate your favorite sounds of each release, save them to your playlist, download them, etc., in an easy and simple way,” Stewart told AFROTECH in an exclusive interview. “In the future, the vision is to give more creator tools to essentially have more creative ability to do even more customizations.”

Origin Story

The genesis of Happy Monday derived from the experiences of both Stewart and Stephens in their respective roles in music and global marketing. The pair’s initial encounter occurred in 2018 while they were in Los Angeles, CA. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, they started delving into the industry’s disparities.

At the time, Stephens served as Netflix’s global creative marketing manager, original series, before pivoting to entrepreneurship full-time with the launch of her agency, Belmont Agency. Stewart was working on the artist management side and had launched a production company with rapper Juicy J simultaneously.

“Working with someone like Juicy J, who has a huge catalog and a ton of success for all those years, seeing that side of the business and also the challenges of monetization and different revenue streams for someone of that nature and other Grammy nominated producers, even some with hit records that you’d be surprised some of the producers haven’t even got paid to this day and these songs have been out for, two, three, five years now,” Stewart said.

He added, “As hard as it was for the Juicy Js of the world, it’s even a hundred times more difficult for 99% of the other producers. So, the ideation of this product for me dates all the way back to 2018 with a question of ‘It’s hard to get paid off of one record that goes out and get your money. So how can we monetize this other music?’ As a fan of Juicy J first, before a manager, I knew there were other versions on the hard drive that’ll never come — different melodies, different features, different loops.”

What They Are Solving

With Happy Monday, there is the potential to send a shockwave in the music industry by allowing a new creative outlet for artists that will also benefit their pockets if they give their consent to the platform for their music to be featured.

According to information provided to AFROTECH, artists will be able to control their pricing and can sell their music directly to their fanbase. Although specifics were not disclosed, the platform told us that artists will be able to reap the financial benefits of the AI-generated remixes.

Additionally, the founders view generative AI as a friend and not a foe since they are amplifying the works of real artists and producers.

“On one hand, we’ve solved for a lot of the equity issues and just worries that people have around AI and have always just been around in music in general,” Stephens explained. “But on the user side, the creator culture, you see a lot of artists that are already dropping records that are sped up, slowed down. Creators and social users want to be able to toggle and curate even further without being a DJ and having serato.”

Stewart added, “AI is very clearly the future. There’s going to be people that don’t look like us that take advantage of people that do look like us and use their likeness using this technology. So, for us, it’s about how do we use this technology in a way that doesn’t infringe on copyrights? How do we use this technology to amplify real artists, real producers, and use it as another revenue stream to monetize?”

Project Pat Collaboration

To kick off the official launch of Happy Monday, the platform is partnering with independent Southern rap artist Project Pat, who will be debuting his single “HUNDRED MILLION.”

Fans will be able to create their own variations of the single, while allowing the Hip-Hop veteran to market to a new audience.

“I’ve been blessed to drop tracks through all eras — from tapes, vinyl, CDs, streaming, you name it. New tech always helped me get more control of my music — how it’s monetized and who owns it — not less,” Project Pat told AFROTECH exclusively. “What’s dope about my collab with Happy Monday is it feeds the culture’s desire for options. It’s also a marketing tool for artists and producers like me to control royalty distribution from these viral remixes blowing up on social media.”

He continued, “Platforms like TikTok have put my hits like ‘Chicken Head’ and ‘Take Da Charge’ in front of a new and more global audience again. So for artists like me, Happy Monday just makes sense — letting me generate new revenue from my catalog while also experimenting with genres outside of rap.”

To gain access to the private beta and be the first to hear new music from Project Pat, click here.

 



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