With lockdown restrictions constantly looming around the corner, the safest bet is still to work from home. However, many professions are paying the price – especially those working in the entertainment sector. DJ Jesse Neo is a singer, songwriter and producer from Los Angeles that has recently turned into a self-proclaimed music technologist.
“Being an artist and a computer science graduate, having both creativity and logic is a unique trait of me,” Jesse explained. “This is why a few years ago, after losing my part time job as a songwriter and composer, I decided to create an online store to sell instrumental beats that I created.”
The store, known as Gemtracks Beats, has for several years been one of the major websites for indie artists around the world to purchase beats to sing and rap to.
“I was quite surprised at the number of sales I was making from the website when it was launched,” the DJ said. “This happened at a time when I was living alone, broke and away from my family as I am originally from Australia before making the decision to relocate permanently to California.”
When the pandemic hit and Jesse saw his friends in the same sector suffer, he decided to turn Gemtracks Beats into a public marketplace for anyone to buy and sell beats. “As one by one my friends lost their jobs, they became eye watery when they heard I was still making a living off my online store and doing the things I love,” Jesse continued. “That’s when I was hit by the idea to let them sell on my platform as well.”
Today, Gemtracks Beats has over 10,000 members with a handful of them being freelance producers. In fact, many producers signed to Sony, Universal and other major brands are frequently offering their services on the platform.
As working freelance online becomes more popular in Africa, Gemtracks Beats is officially expanding its platform to allow African musicians to provide their services to artists overseas. In fact, it has recently been featured in Africa’s Business Insider as a recommended platform for Africans musicians to try out.
“I have been to Africa many times, and I just love their culture and music,” Jesse said. “I suddenly saw an opportunity to let Africans expose their talents to artists overseas by freelancing on Gemtracks Beats. As more Africans are being educated in music production and composition, I think this is a great opportunity for them to compete with other artists on the world stage.”
Freelancers can set the price of their services, decide the terms and even ask to be credited when the finished song gets released. At the end, it’s a win-win for both parties.