You might not have heard of inMusic yet, but for DJs, it’s music to their ears when they announced an office and technology hub here in Auckland. I had the chance to go to their launch last night and also have a chat with Jack O’Donnell, inMusic’s CEO, who was kind enough to spend some time talking about the new venture and more about his grand plans to unlock the digital DJ world here in little old Aotearoa.
Jack has been a busy man over the past few years, buying up some of the most iconic brands of musical hardware including Akai Professional, Rane, Numark, Denon DJ, Marantz Sonivox and Ion Audio. At the same time, he’s been developing software that can give experienced DJs a platform to stretch out and enter new frontiers... particularly those that need something less constraining than most other formats in the market.
It seems that Jack, when he puts his mind to something, moves quicker than any DJ creating a new loop for the next drop in their set. Connecting with one of New Zealand’s iconic music business leaders, Morgan Donoghue, things have really moved at a fast pace. The company has already invested $10 million into the New Zealand business and is now setting up a new office in K Road’s Iron Bank building. They have been busy interviewing for 10 new software developers roles, with more to come.
I asked Jack why New Zealand and why K Road? The quick-witted reply was: “Well it’s so close to my head office in Rhode Island it just made perfect sense”. I suggested that perhaps he just loves flying, but the real answer was he was so impressed by the talent here in New Zealand that it was a no brainer to unlock that creative potential and connect it with the rest of the world.
With offices located in Cumberland Rhode Island, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Taiwan and Japan, Jack O’Donnell and his team are developing, writing, and creating new software 24 hours a day and that can’t be a bad thing. Jack said K Road (not knowing it’s past glamour) seemed like the perfect place with other companies around, like Melodics and Argonaut being close neighbours physically and also business partners, notwithstanding the vibrant Auckland music scene... it just felt like the right place to be. Jack further elaborates,
I was just blown away by the talent here, which traditionally can take some time to find in most other countries. But here it was obvious... there was a pool of talent so it made perfect sense to set up something here sooner rather than later and so I did.
I asked Jack what makes his company’s software so popular with DJs (as an aside, Jack was heading off to see Eminem to show off some new hardware) and he said: “It’s accessible, by that I mean anyone can get started from a first time novice through to a career DJ, essentially you unlock the capability to the level that’s right for you.”
It sounded pretty cool to me but watching some of the DJs doing their stuff, I think I will just spin my CDs and vinyl records for the meantime at least.
Going by the who’s who that attended last night, it seemed like the celebration in their new offices was like getting some old friends together to showcase what there is today and what the possibilities are going to be tomorrow. Even the Honorable David Parker, Minister for Economic Development and Trade and Export Growth, took some time out from his busy calendar of events to come in and join the party. It was showcased by the one and only Fat Freddy's Drop mastermind DJ MU, who really got the party started after the slightly more formal speeches were over.
So a great launch and, from what was talked about in the room, perhaps this could be a moment we’ll look back upon as the beginning of the golden age of DJ music here in New Zealand and a new era for music software, DJ tools and, of course, the artists that are yet to become famous because of it. I’m not a betting man but I might just put a wager on that.