Simpleweb invests in Tawr – creating balance for independent artists

We are pleased to announce our latest investment, Tawr – a new startup helping independent musicians and agencies manage their schedules and reduce the stress caused by a life on the road.

Tawr app

With Tawr, artists can create conversations around gigs and invite everyone involved (managers, promoters, sound technicians etc) to make sure everyone has the most up to date version of the schedule and event details. If any of the details change, a push notification can be sent to everyone involved.

Tawr’s founder, Matthieu Nelmes, was inspired by his own and his friends’ experiences in the music industry..

“I’ve worked as a producer and performing artist out and about on the road” says Matthieu. “It’s really prevalent that there’s not one dedicated solution that helps with managing your own time, and, if you’re working in a team with other promoters, venue managers, sound technicians etc, there’s nothing to keep everyone on the same page.”

Tawr founder Matthieu Nelmes

While many do have managers, independent artists are responsible for their own schedules and communicating with everyone involved in putting on the gig, which in reality, isn’t as simple as it sounds…

Matthieu says independent artists tend to use a mix of everyday tools like Google Calendar, WhatsApp, Facebook groups and spreadsheets to manage events and schedules.

“I dug out a few of my old production set ups that a promoter sent me” says Matthieu, “which included the running order, set times, who was meant to be where, contact details etc. It was a big Excel spreadsheet and that’s common, that’s what artists have come to expect.”

The problem is, Matthieu says “that there’s nothing dynamic on that list. If things change, the promoter needs to create and send out a whole new Excel spreadsheet and just hope the right people see the updates. If a promoter needs to move set times around for example, they have no idea if the artists have seen that update or not. In fact, in most cases, promoters go through the artist’s manager or tour manager so there’s room for a huge disconnect in communications.”

The problem isn’t simply a scheduling one. In the last few years, more and more artists have been opening up about the toll a life on a road can, and often does, have on mental health.

“I caught up with some friends recently who do the regular Ibiza circuit” says Matthieu, “they’re very, very busy people and one thing it really brought home is just how difficult it can be to survive in the industry as an independent artist… All people see from social media is the fun aspects of the music industry, but they don’t really appreciate that a lot of these artists are running on 2 hours sleep, they haven’t been home to their families for the last fortnight.

“It’s those people that I really want to reach out to and do what I can to save to time for them so they’ve got more time in their lives for the important stuff. Anything that Tawr can do to help that is the ultimate goal.”

A free trial version of Tawr is currently available for iOS and Android. We’ll be working with Matt on product and market validation with the aim of getting early traction and seed funding to take Tawr to the next level.

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