The music industry has been rapidly evolving throughout the last decade. These days we can manipulate instruments, voices, and beats to make the award-winning songs we hear on the radio or on movie soundtracks. Machine engineered music has been around since the 1800s, but only more recently has it been seriously considered to help artists and musicians create instant hits at scale.
Part of why AI is powerful pertains to its ability to gather patterns from thousands of legendary soundtracks and hits, to create music that might produce a similar fanatic reaction from mass audiences.
Today, major music streaming platforms like Spotify utilize AI to produce personalized playlists based on the individual’s previous listening sessions. Companies like AIVA made headlines for using 100% AI to compose musical soundtracks and scores.
Imagine if personalization went beyond just musical preference but could be utilized to enhance productivity and focus. Vlad Alecu, the founder and CEO of WiredVibe, aims to do just that. Wiredvibe is an AI-based music software that produces neural science-backed functional music designed to help people mitigate distractions and stay focused. Vlad sat down with us to discuss the R&D process, whether AI will take over musicians, and how he plans to stay competitive with the emerging players in this market.
Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? What inspired you to go down this path?
I’ve always liked the idea of creating products. I remember when the iPhone 4 launched over 10 years ago, that’s what inspired me to create really beautiful products to help people. Growing up, I use to watch many of Steve Jobs’s keynote speeches and found myself really inspired by them. It wasn’t a big surprise that I ended up pursuing a career in technology.
What problem did you aim to resolve with WiredVibe and can you walk us through how it evolved?
I had the initial idea for Wiredvibe in 2019. I listened to Youtube and Spotify while trying to do programming or work, and found myself always distracted. One of my friends with ADHD told me it was very hard for him to concentrate with normal or artistic types of music. So I got the idea to create music that allowed people to focus instead. To gauge market interest, we put up a landing page to collect emails. I put a pause on the project as I was still completing final exams for high school while managing another business at the time. But after I enrolled in college, I decided to give it another go, and today I do this pretty much full-time.
Nowadays, the music we create in-house is specifically engineered to achieve certain goals like focus, relaxation, and sleep. You can choose that on the platform and it will automatically create a personalized session depending on your needs.
Whereas with Spotify, you have this huge database of artists from around the world which is great. It can help you relax, but when it comes to improving your productivity, I find it to be counterproductive. That’s what propelled me to pursue this venture.
How would you rate the competition in this space and how does WiredVibe plan to stay ahead of the curve?
The market is very interesting right now. I’ve seen many competitors raise money, and there are other startups that do what we do like Brain FM and endel.io. In terms of major market players like Spotify, I don’t think they’re pursuing this route yet but eventually, they will. In reality, these bigger market players are bigger threats because they have a huge stake in the market.
There are a ton of routes for innovation. For example, just off the top of my head, I can think of making music specifically used for long-distance drivers. Or music that can adapt to the ambiance of the room, and act as an enhancement system in homes.
How long did research and development take? AI neural networks consume a lot of energy trying to gather massive tons of data. Was it expensive to integrate AI into this project, and how did you find that process?
We started developing the technology from December 2020 to June 2021.
It didn’t end up being expensive at all because I did my research really well. I found a third-party provider for instrumental-only AI.
We realized from going through several research papers that there is a lot of underutilized technology out there. I searched on Youtube and Google Patents and found everything I could on it. We went through multiple iterations until something worked and eventually, we ended up building something from nothing.
What are your thoughts on AI taking over jobs in the music industry? Do you think it’s more of a competitive or collaborative experience?
We’re comparing two completely different things. Our music is engineered, rather than artistic. Eventually, our goal is to have everything automated and to have AI take over the whole process. However, in the music industry, I think artists will have a completely different use case for AI. It will help them create better music, more than anything.
Our AI is able to create instrumentals on demand, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’ll take over the jobs of people. AI can’t really take away the creative element of the human mind at the moment. So I would say the current environment is more collaborative than competitive.
Do you have any personal productivity hacks? Is there anything you recommend to people, especially working remotely or studying that want to be more productive in their lives (ie. podcasts, books, techniques)?
I practice meditation and sports. We have a guided meditation track on WiredVibe. Because I’m based in central London, working the majority of the time, sports aren’t as accessible, so as an alternative I’ll take my bike out in the morning for a ride. These two methods help ground me for my busy days ahead.
Which role do you more resonate with: a visionary or a leader?
This is a hard one, I don’t think I can choose, so I would say both. I have to say leadership is quite difficult to perfect, but I really enjoy uplifting and motivating people. I’m always seeking ways to improve as a leader, but also inspire people by seeking new innovations and perfecting the recipe.