First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nathan Chandra: Thankfully, everyone in my family is healthy. As Covid-19 is increasing, my family and I are taking time to be mindful and working toward healing, bonding, and enjoying time with one another. We continue to take precautions to remain safe and not spread the virus.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded RYSE UP.
Nathan Chandra: I am an artist turned businessman. My entrepreneurial journey started in high school after my friend got signed by Sony. I helped him record his first two studio releases, which sold over three million copies. In between touring, college, and producing live shows, I started a record label and have been featured on albums alongside Jon B, 2Pac, Will. i.AM, Babyface, and others. My mindset is to be continuously learning, so I earned an MBA from Pepperdine University and then dived into the world of Silicon Valley, co-founding a social data start-up company, WeLink. After my success in Silicon Valley, I moved back to Los Angeles and founded RYSE, a social music company aimed to connect artists with revenue opportunities.
The idea for RYSE came to me just after I graduated from Pepperdine, and it was the reason I moved to Silicon Valley.
I wanted to learn more about the technology world before starting the company. Today, RYSE is continuously growing and serves as a catalyst for artists across the world.
How does RYSE UP innovate?
Nathan Chandra: RYSE is a mobile-centric music company that is built around the behaviors of the social media generation. We created a “callout” video technology that functions like TikTok and is designed to connect artists with collaboration opportunities to build revenue and make connections.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Nathan Chandra: With the world going digital, more people sought a digital experience to entertain and fulfill their dreams. The pandemic has pushed us to grow quickly and diversify the way we’re connecting with our artists and our audience. We pushed live our first version of the app at the beginning of the pandemic and now have more than 30,000 members. We’ve also executed three brand partnerships to connect our artists with audience collaborations. It’s been a crazy rollercoaster ride with hard lessons and thrilling experiences.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nathan Chandra: Over the last decade, I’ve made it my mission to follow my heart and passions, which has led me to start RYSE. While every day brings new challenges to work through, each challenge has helped me grow personally and professionally. The most difficult choices that I’ve had to face is understanding how to stay true to the mission of RYSE and how exactly we want to expand the app to bring the best experience and brand partnerships to the artists and the world.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and RYSE UP in the future?
Nathan Chandra: I constantly remind myself that RYSE is a long-term game. My goal with RYSE is to help artists live out their dreams, and with that, my goal is to cultivate a community of really great musicians and creatives to come together and make art. RYSE will be a place for talent to be discovered, and great music is made. When things get tough, I remind myself about how far we’ve come with the community and how much potential we have to build a growing platform.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nathan Chandra: There are a handful of other players in this space. While we pay attention and are aware of growth on different apps and similar websites, I tend to only focus on what I am doing and prioritize the success and community of my artists and customers. My success is largely due to running RYSE as a lean start-up and making sure we have many runways to be creative.
Your final thoughts?
Nathan Chandra: Being an entrepreneur and working on start-ups can feel daunting. My advice to anyone looking into this journey is to always follow your heart and spend time on projects that speak to your passion.
Apple App Store Article on RYSE.