Beatopia Founder Tasos Frantzolas Talks: Beatopia Launch, His Love For Music, Leveling The Playing Field For Artists + More.
Athens, Greece native Tasos Frantzolas is the founder of beat marketplaces Soundsnap and the freshly launched Beatopia. Launching today May 4, 2022 Beatopia will empower artists to find the perfect beats without having to be an expert in audio engineering or licensing law. In simpler terms; Beatopia is leveling the playing field for artists by creating an online hub for artists and producers to connect independently.
I view Beatopia as more than a Beats Marketplace, but as a creative hub where producers and artists can connect without relying on a middle man. Not saying that it’s not already being being done with social media, but having the option to pay a monthly subscription to get fully licensed beats while the producer gets paid is all music creators have been asking for this whole time.
I got a chance to talk to the man with the vision behind Beatopia and see what fueled his love for music, his vision to create artists friendly software, the future of music production plus more. Check out our conversation below.
Tasos Frantzolas Founder of Beatopia
Who are you and where are you from ?
Tasos: Thanks for this Tean ! I ‘m really liking what you ‘re doing with Diamond Kut. My name is Tasos Frantzolas and I ‘m originally from Athens, Greece. I ‘m the founder of Soundsnap.com and Beatopia.com. Beatopia just launched and is a new beats subscription for rappers and singers that focuses on exclusive beats.
How were you introduced to/fall in love with music?
Tasos: I grew up with a music studio under my house where my cousin played punk rock. I then got into making electronic music, sampling and also making hip hop and dub/ reggae. I later went on to study sound engineering and music production in London where I had a very short career as DJ and producer. I later started doing music for video games and started the sound effects library Soundsnap.
Let’s talk about you co-writing songs with Reggae legends such as Horace Andy and Mykal Rose of Black Uhuru. Did that push you to want to make artist friendly software and do you think you’ll ever make a return to songwriting or the music industry in general ?
Tasos: In a way, yes. I was making music with some reggae legends like Horace Andy back in 2005. This was right after Napster and at the time we didn’t have today’s business models to support musicians. So it was really hard to make any money as a producer or as a singer. It was pretty depressing. This has all changed today with beat marketplaces and services marketplaces where you can buy or sell your services like mastering, mixing or singing, you can sell beats packs and more. Our mission is to make more professional beats affordable to anyone. But I don’t see myself producing again as a full time job. I think I ‘m better suited for the business side !
When did Beatopia form and how did the idea come about ?
Tasos: Its been three years in the making and its launching May 4, 2022 ! The idea came from seeing how beats have become a global phenomenon. I was visiting my parents in Athens Greece a few years ago and realized that trap music was the number one genre there amongst younger people. This sparked my interest and I started diving back into the beats space, researching, talking to producers, songwriters and so on.
What inspired you to make the move from selling sound effects with Soundsnap to full tracks and beats at Beatopia?
Tasos: The inspiration came from observing the success of Independent artists. Music making has now become more accessible than ever. All you need is a laptop and a microphone vs needing a whole studio. Social media and streaming means you can distribute the music instantly at almost zero cost. Producers and artists now collaborate on a global scale. We live in the era of the independent artist and I wanted to be part of this revolution. We saw a lot of the existing beat marketplaces, but thought we can do a much better job at it.
How did the success you had with Soundsnap help with putting Beatopia together?
Tasos: It helped a lot. We took all the lessons we learned as an ‘audio tech;’ company and expanded them to the beats market.The momentum helped us raise money and we are using the same team. We are also using the same back end and software essentially and all the same tools when it comes to search, streaming, security, payments and more. Most of all, there’s a certain mentality and attitude that is needed when working with creators and their intellectual property.
How does Beatopia go about getting beats / working with producers ? And do they get a percentage of a beat is used ?
Tasos: We typically purchase the master and compensate producers up front. However, producers keep their publishing so its a win win in case a track blows up.
In fact, we have already paid producers hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are very happy to be an important source of income in their creative careers. We want to support and help them make a good living from music and be their own boss.
Why does Beatopia use a subscription model for selling beats?
Tasos: A subscription means that we are creating more value: instead of paying $40 just for an mp3 or even up to $200 for the wav and stems, you can get 5 beats for $15 USD. That includes full rights, wav and stems so they don’t need to contact the producer again if a track happens to blow up. Thats a lot of extra value that we are offering to rappers and singers.
If artists can get more professional beats to experiment with, they will make better music and thats a beautiful thing. More people that start music won’t give up and they will be able to start independent and stay independent (in some cases).
Why do you believe that emerging music-making platforms like Beatopia are opening the door to a global music economy?
Tasos: Online platforms are flattening the world in terms of opportunity. You don’t need to be in New York, London or LA to network because you can find great collaborators online. In the online world, no one cares where you ‘re from, what you look like or how old you are.
We think this will level the playing field and inspire more people worldwide. Once they see they can make a living from producing, they may take it more seriously. More people making music means that there will be more creative competition, higher quality and more diverse sounds from all over the world.
What gaps will Beatopia fill in the existing beat economy?
In existing beat platforms, each producer chooses what you can and can’t do with a beat. That ends up being really confusing because artists don’t know what rights they are getting. In one case you can’t do more than 10,000 streams, in others you can’t perform live etc. We are solving this by having every track have the exact same license so won’t need to be a lawyer to understand the rights you got. We are also giving unlimited rights from day one so that makes it easy.
Additionally, we are making professional beats accessible to everyone. Our roster includes producers that have worked with people like Kehlani, Gunna, Polo G, Skepta, Lil Pump and also pop stars like Katy Perry and the Jonas Brothers.
Last but not least.. 90% of the beats on Beatopia are exclusive so you can’t find them anywhere else.
Lastly do you think beat marketplaces such as Beatopia will become the standard for music production moving forward?
I think that Beatopia is going to be one of the many tools that artists use, but not the only one. More platforms means there will be more competition for both marketplaces and producers (offline and online). This pushes everyone to keep improving. In the end, the real winners here are the artists and the artform as a whole.