A cool platform for musicians

One of our favorite heroes, Joe Walsh, repeats the same advice whenever he can: plug in your guitar and play! Perhaps the problem is just this one: to find the perfect musicians to jam with. But with 'whom' is not the only problem...there comes the 'when', 'where', etc.
Surfing the web, we discovered Meet&Jam, a British startup that offers solutions to all these problems adding something more: Meet&Jam is a platform for musicians to connect, collaborate, plan, meet, rehearse, record and jam. This platform also promotes and organizes music nights dedicated to musicians and bands from the platform itself, building bridges with talent scouts from record labels at the same time. Pure love of music is what you'll breathe during those nights.
A cool project that Nick Ford-Young, founder and director from Meet&Jam, wants to expand worldwide. We talked with him and we clearly feel the passion and the know-how he needs to touch base…    

GUITARS EXCHANGE: Where the Meet&Jam idea comes from?

Nick Ford-Young: As a guitarist and proud owner of a 40th Anniversary Telecaster, Rickenbacker 360 and Martin Dreadnought I know what it’s like to try and find the right musicians to play with. It isn’t – well wasn’t – always easy.  
My band Stereo Son had taken a break, I was working as a brand strategist in a London office and those guitars I mentioned, well they just weren’t getting played. So in a bid to find some good musicians to play with in my local area, I typed ‘meet and jam’ into Google. When no results came back, just some terrible classified ad sites, I couldn’t quite believe it – and my company Meet&Jam (meetandjam.com) was born. The aim? To bring musicians together in the real world - into the studios and onto the stage.  

GUITARS EXCHANGE: How many musicians are actually registered on your platform?

Nick Ford-Young: Meetandjam.com now has 8,000 signed-up musicians with accountable profiles -i.e. video, audio, location, genre, kit information and so on – so you know what you’re getting when you get in touch. No more awkward, lengthy auditions, and that’s if you even found someone in the first place. Rather than form your band out of the people you happen to have met, we want you to form the perfect band, or find the perfect musician for you to play that guitar collection with as much as you possibly can.  

GUITARS EXCHANGE: What kind of other services are you offering?
Nick Ford-Young: There are a lot of other features on the site - Studio booking, band planning, classified ads and of course we run Jam Nights (revolutionized ones though I might add), it goes with the territory; but the main reason we exist is to keep people playing live music and blending different instruments’ sounds together with the originality of each player. It’s why we all play our beloved guitars, isn’t it?    We have had so many groups and bands form through Meet&Jam now, along with musicians replacing band members and being found for work. I myself have had a few drum gigs and sessions from people contacting me through my profile. That is such a fantastic feeling, to be on the receiving end of it working as a musician.   

GUITARS EXCHANGE: Tell us something more about the  Meet&Jam Nights.

Nick Ford-Young: At our Meet&Jam Nights which we run all over the UK, it’s as much about the meeting as the jamming we’ve found. We’ve all made a lot of friends! We do however have a great partnership with Island Records and Spinnup, so we put some original acts who have formed through Meet&Jam right in front of a great A&R team. It’s our way of fast tracking talent. We use great unsigned venues, though the last one was a bit of a squeeze in Hoxton as over 50 musicians played and 300 people turned up to watch. We hope to grow these nights very quickly.  

GUITARS EXCHANGE: It’s so cool what you’re doing with the studios. What’s the key of the success?

Nick Ford-Young: For the studios of course we provide a great marketing platform to 8,000 musicians but also bespoke calendar software to manage their bookings. We have a lot of musicians come to us to book their time so it’s a great resource for studios.  
 We feel that we are changing the industry in terms of how musicians come together by giving them the freedom to find who best fits their needs rather than relying on who they happen to have met. Then, we facilitate their meeting and follow their progress. We have big plans to cultivate all the talent on our site and start helping musicians more and more to reach their potential.   

GUITARS EXCHANGE: Tell us something about your future plans.
Nick Ford-Young: We are mainly UK based, and the majority of the musicians on the site are in London, closely followed by Leeds and Bristol, but we are beginning to make waves in New York and have recently signed up 5 Manhattan studios.  
 In 5/10 years our plans are huge but the first step is to create a global community of musicians - borderless yet localised - so wherever you are you can meet up with new musicians and become part of the local music scene - whether for a one off evening or forever.   
One cost of setting up Meet&Jam is that at one stage I had to sell my beloved 25th Anniversary Taylor acoustic guitar; but now Meet&Jam is motoring on I’ve set my sights on buying her back, one day at least, and to do what we’re doing for musicians has made it completely worth it.  

Check out meetandjam.com and sign up for free.