Arpeggi Labs raises $5.1m led by a16z crypto to build open-source music creation
Wilton Gorske
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James Pastan
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Evan Dhillon
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September 14th, 2022

As the world becomes increasingly digital, our ability to collaborate and build on the ideas of others has never been easier. Technology has led to a creative explosion for many artistic mediums, but today’s outdated music infrastructure hinders artists from the natural creative process of sharing music for reuse and iteration. Tracking down rights holders, papering legal agreements, exploiting licensing fees… We started Arpeggi Labs to create a better way to make music.

Arpeggi is building web3’s home for music creation and publishing. With Arpeggi, anyone can create, upload, publish, and explore sounds and songs for other musicians to use via remixing and sampling. Arpeggi ensures artists receive proper credit when their work is used, creating a new paradigm for music creation: artists can now promote their music for creative reuse instead of restricting it. Multiplayer, collaborative, interconnected music—the way it should be. Explore the app, remix a finished track, or listen to a song example below:

To help us build the future of trustless digital collaboration, we are proud to announce that we have raised a $5.1M seed round led by a16z crypto with participation from 1confirmation, Palm Tree Crew, WndrCo Ventures, Steve Aoki, 3LAU, Wyclef Jean, Disco Fries, Electric Feel Ventures, Louis Bell, Joe Zadeh, the Audius Foundation, Shayne Coplan, Paul Veradittakit, and Cooper Turley. We are excited to have such an experienced and renowned roster of partners supporting our mission and are thankful for the a16z Cultural Leadership Fund team who facilitated introductions to artists and other strategic investors along the way.

In addition to their investment, Steve Aoki, Wyclef Jean, Louis Bell, Electric Feel Ventures & Disco Fries will be joining Arpeggi as advisors.

Arpeggi Labs has raised a $5m seed round led by a16z crypto
Arpeggi Labs has raised a $5m seed round led by a16z crypto

Enabling the lost artform of sampling

Music has a long history of composability, iteration and collaboration. Every song you know and love today was inspired by past music that was inspired by past music. Unique to music, iteration reaches beyond inspiration and into collaboration, with musicians directly reusing elements of other artist’s songs to create new ones.

This process, also known as sampling, was explained well in this piece about Arpeggi in Culture3: “In the 1980’s, sampling – the practice of taking beats or melodies from pre-existing songs – gave birth to hip-hop and reshaped the music industry. However, following the landmark 1991 court battle between Biz Markie, a rapper, and Gilbert O’Sullivan, a songwriter, artists were forced to get record label clearance to sample existing music – and often paid hefty licensing fees for the privilege. Since then, musical sampling has increasingly become the exclusive preserve of major label artists with expansive production budgets.”

Collaborating on music today is not an easy process. Without the power and backing of major labels, artists seeking to collaborate must:

  • Earn a high degree of trust for sharing of unpublished works

  • Pirate or pay to sample, remix, or reference other artists’ sounds

  • Navigate opaque rights registries to track down multiple rights holders and ask for permission

  • Receive legal clearances for the use of other artists’ work

The inability to share music and properly attribute the use of other artists' work without fear of theft or legal repercussions forces music creation to be single-player. Artists want to focus on creating, not figuring out if their creations are compliant. That’s where Arpeggi steps in.

Start making music with Arpeggi today

Whereas many web3 music platforms focus on changing the way we own music, Arpeggi changes the way we create music by ensuring attribution to the proper source when a sound is used. Arpeggi realigns creator incentives, flipping the paradigm for artists to encourage the reuse of their music instead of restricting it.

Arpeggi turns sounds into music building blocks and uses web3 technology to track when, where, and how sounds are used by other artists.
Arpeggi turns sounds into music building blocks and uses web3 technology to track when, where, and how sounds are used by other artists.

Whether one-shot samples, loops, or full compositions, with Arpeggi, any sound you hear is a sound you can create with. With the click of a button, you can go from listening to remixing using Arpeggi’s in-browser DAW. When ready, press mint to publish your song back to the platform and make it available for reuse by others.

On Arpeggi, any sound you hear is a sound that you can create with. Instantly begin creating with a sample, loop, or full song in the click of a button.
On Arpeggi, any sound you hear is a sound that you can create with. Instantly begin creating with a sample, loop, or full song in the click of a button.

Arpeggi provides full visibility into the artists that contributed to a song. With attribution guaranteed, relationships can be created from a collaboration, rather than having to build the relationship first. On Arpeggi, when a song succeeds, so do the contributors of the samples or the loops in an open-source and transparent way.

Every time a sound is used on Arpeggi, proper attribution is given to the original creator. By ensuring attribution, Arpeggi makes sampling accessible to all and realigns creator incentives, encouraging artists to have their sounds reused instead of keeping them offline.
Every time a sound is used on Arpeggi, proper attribution is given to the original creator. By ensuring attribution, Arpeggi makes sampling accessible to all and realigns creator incentives, encouraging artists to have their sounds reused instead of keeping them offline.

Where Arpeggi came from and where it’s going

Arpeggi was founded by three technical co-founders; brothers Evan and Kyle Dhillon, and life-long friend James Pastan, all hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Arpeggi’s origins began in 2016 when Kyle, having just graduated from Princeton with a degree in computer science, began working on a programmatic hip-hop beat generator. After Kyle’s years of tinkering, Evan recognized an opportunity within the budding web3 space to combine Kyle’s expertise in digital music and James’ experience in product growth to build a better future for music creation.

Alongside our experience with web3, music tech, and product, Arpeggi is grateful to have a fantastic team helping make our vision a reality. But we’re only at the beginning of our journey. Our product roadmap includes:

  • More features and functionalities within our free in-browser DAW to bring Arpeggi’s new music creation experience to life.

  • Integrations with other web2 and web3 music platforms that will allow you both to share your music with a wider audience and remix more music you know and love

  • Website native social functions that make it easy to connect with the artists you make music with

If our mission resonates with you, visit our career page, follow us on Twitter, join our Discord, or begin creating music on Arpeggi today.

We can’t wait to build the future of music together.

Evan, Kyle & James‍

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