Vibez Music was founded in March of 2019 by Cresta Campbell, Trey Winn, Jordan Holsey, and Rehan Chaudhry. The founders didn't initially picture themselves as entrepreneurs in their undergraduate years at UVA, but they noticed something was missing when it came to listening to music while they were together. Although Cresta’s favorite genre is Afro R&B, Trey’s is Hip-Hop, and Rehan enjoys Rap, they realized there was no way to share these flavors of music without passing around a single phone or searching through a playlist. Vibez Music was born to fix that.
Vibez offers a collaborative listening experience that seamlessly connects users to a single real-time playlist (or “Vibe”) that allows them to add songs to the queue, vote, and see what’s next. In other words, Vibez is a modern-day jukebox. Vibez currently requires hosts (the person playing the music) to have a premium Spotify subscription, but guests only need the Vibez Music app to see nearby Vibez or join with a Vibe code. The company is currently offering three different listening modes (Voting Based, Turn Based, and Approval) that are meant to tailor a Vibe based on the desired control settings and number of guests. They have plans to expand on these “Vibe Modez” and develop more ways for users to interact with each other going forward.
Whether it's in restaurants and bars, while frequenting fraternity parties, or by simply hanging out with friends, curating the right Vibe is important. Now, Vibez Music takes the pressure off the host and encourages those attending to interact with each other. Trey Winn is a music major who loves studying how music connects people and Cresta Campbell is an avid music listener who’s always enjoyed facilitating vibes (or being “on aux”). Based on their anecdotal research and expertise, Vibez Music has curated a service where inclusivity is encouraged and needed. They hope their app can allow people to show off their favorite new songs while simultaneously discovering their friends’ vibe.
Throughout this summer, the UVA i.Lab helped bring this idea to life. In week one, the team discussed what themes and designs they wanted in the app, after which 8-12 people provided testing. The following week, they pushed the platform to UVA fraternities while continuing to address bugs and changes that would constitute much of their next update. By week 5, Vibez had met with a number of local Charlottesville businesses, including Crozet Pizza, Biltmore, Common House, Asado, and House of Cuts Barber Studio, where they were able to gather feedback and gauge interest from potential users. The culmination of testing and socializing the idea in these first weeks allowed the group to introduce some impactful upgrades to the app’s functionality and user interface. In week 8, these upgrades came to fruition through a new App Store update and an event with Crozet Pizza where approximately 20 people remarked that “the idea is genius and super cool.”
The i.Lab incubator program also allowed Vibez to undertake important administrative steps and progress on key issues for the business. The founders set up their internal working infrastructure, made important progress on licensing considerations, updated their website at www.vibezmusicapp.com, made use of graphic design resources, and created a promotional video that encapsulates all of what Vibez has to offer.
Another mark of success was a spike of 800 downloads in Italy over the summer with no international promotion, reflecting the app’s ability to impact large concentrated groups and catch on fast.
Moving forward, Vibez is hopeful to drive similar levels of engagement in college towns like Charlottesville. They plan on creating a strong presence on grounds for Welcome Week and beyond, and they aim to partner with numerous student organizations that would like to facilitate their music with Vibez. The founders feel the app has the potential to truly enhance social gatherings and introduce a new dynamic to partying.
From a business perspective, Vibez has high hopes for establishments that want to upgrade their customer experience. The founders are in the process of developing a means to work directly with a variety of physical stores. They will offer a suite of enhanced features, modez, and data to subscribing businesses and introduce a never-before-seen level of interactivity between establishments and their customers.
Vibez Music is currently accepting sign-ups for their business pilot program, through which they will rollout and test paid business solutions with different establishments. Please fill out this form if interested in joining the pilot: Vibez Music Business Pilot Program
Ultimately, Vibez Music aspires to be a revolutionary service to anyone who enjoys the music in their space. The founders are excited at the potential of Vibez and the chance to introduce a level of democracy and fun to the listening experience. You can trust they will be working hard to improve their product and spread good Vibez all around grounds this fall! Download Vibez today and start democratizing music!