There’s strong evidence that playing music can positively impact brain health and function. It doesn’t matter if it’s The Beatles or Bruno Mars as Olivia Coleon is on a mission to change the way music affects our mood.
Before I dig deeper and pull out research on how music affects us, let’s come to a mutual agreement that music affects our brain activity and our mood in general. A great playlist at an event can either make or break it. Imagine playing depressing love song at a wedding…… Or slow songs in a club where everyone is high on alcohol- Terrible.
Entrepreneur Olivia Coleon, Founder and Curator of The Vibe Project, makes sure such mistakes will never be made. Give her a few adjectives to describe your location or event to be and she’ll work her magic to pick the right playlist for you.
Can you share more about yourself and what you were doing before starting your own business?
The Vibe Project is a music and atmosphere curation agency for social spaces and brands. Before starting The Vibe Project, I was working in the music industry in New York. I’m a native New Yorker and I absolutely love the vibrancy of the city, especially the music and creative scenes. I have been lucky enough to work with some badass companies, brands and artists in the music world.
Most recently, I was at Boiler Room TV working on their partnership with Ray-Ban. Boiler Room is truly pushing the boundaries of music culture and it was an awesome movement to be a part of.
My favourite “corporate” job was with The Fader and I led their music account with PUMA. I had the opportunity to build their music program from the ground-up, sign endorsement deals with some amazing artists (like Solange, Vic Mensa and Diplo) and take things into my own hands. But right now, I couldn’t be happier being on my own!
The Vibe Project is a pretty new concept, especially in Singapore! What inspired you to start it?
Working with such cool and innovative brands and companies has been an incredible experience – You’re part of creating these moments in time that are just explosive.
I’m talking about huge festivals, once-in-a-lifetime intimate events, the launch of a campaign or album that has taken months, or even years to plan. Being in the scene shows me the power of music and the connection people have with it. So instead of creating these experiences that happen every so often, I wanted to focus on experiences that happen every day and use this power of music to enhance everyday life and experience.
The Vibe Project, like me, like music, is a global citizen. We want to bring good vibes to all corners of the world!
The music industry in Singapore is going through a pivotal time right now and it’s really exciting to be part of the shift that’s happening. And it’s not just the music industry – it’s really all creative industries. Singapore businesses are realising the need for creative expression in everyday life and businesses. They are more open to bringing on new concepts and taking creative risks.
Music is intangible and easily accessible – How do you differentiate your music with the rest?
You’re right – music is everywhere – and now more than any other time in history. There is so much music because artists have endless avenues to put out their work and they no longer need huge, coveted record deals to be able to create.
What I do is sort through all of that music and find the music my client’s wish they always had – the music that represents the best version of their brand and their environment. Most importantly, I use music as a tool for my clients to hit their goals; whether that’s maintaining a loyal customer base, making more money at the bar, keeping their staff happy or creating an atmosphere that their clients love.
Can you walk us through the process of conceptualising the music for an event or location?
That’s a great question and one of the toughest to describe. For a space, it helps to spend some time in the environment – even if it hasn’t opened yet. Getting to understand brand language and messaging, marketing angles, target audience, where they want the actual music to play, the different times of day and transformations the space goes through in a day – That’s all hugely important to what I do.
Once I gather all of this information, I get a sense of the natural rhythm of a space and environment. Music is emotional so I put myself in the environment and experience it.
The same process goes for an event. I would start digging through my music, which is all organised by genres and emotions before creating the playlists. Each playlist is objective – I’m not putting together “Olivia’s dinner hits” for a restaurant’s dinner service, but I am the filter of whether a track is good or not for a specific atmosphere. It takes time and it is a great creative challenge for me every time. I am always finding new amazing music which is the best!