Q + A with Vinylly’s Founder

Of all things, why music? How does music help someone find love?

For one, studies have shown that when we listen to music, our brains release dopamine, which in turn makes us happy. For many, that enjoyment is heightened by sharing it with someone else. Connections made through music can be very meaningful, especially if music plays a big role in someone’s life.

How does Vinylly work?

Vinylly takes into account a user’s streaming music data plus their music habits to find matches. Beyond just a superficial swipe, Vinylly has the ability to match people on a deep level through something powerful that they share. And, when a user streams more music, the algorithm responds and Vinylly produces new matches.

Has Vinylly been successful during the pandemic?

Yes! We adapted quickly. Vinylly provides access in the chat function to suggest live-streaming concerts for its users to attend as well as live concerts when they return. So, connected users have a variety of custom-tailored, music-inspired date ideas to stream — adding safe and socially distant options to the current dating scene.

What motivated you to start your own business?

I developed Vinylly after watching friends and family struggle with existing dating apps that only gave way to meaningless connections. I knew immediately that I wanted to create Vinylly and that I wanted it to leverage music data with a really great user experience.

To create a dating app centered around music, you have to be a music junkie. Name a few of your absolute favorite bands/musicians.

I have so many bands that I listen to in constant rotation and have been to over 500 shows (I actually keep a list!) and have traveled internationally just to see a band play. A few I love are Paul Simon, Beastie Boys, War on Drugs, Talking Heads, Dolly Parton and H.E.R. Fun fact – my first car’s radio cost more than the car (’73 VW Bug) and so therein reveals my priorities.

Any band or musician on your bucket list?

To be honest, I have more bands I wish I could have seen: Johnny Cash, The Doors, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Prince (never caught him!).

How does music make your life richer/more meaningful?

Nothing has been more impactful in my life than music. I started listening to my parents’ records when I was a kid and then grew a massive cassette tape collection (thanks Columbia House!), snuck out of the house at 15 to see the Dead and then moshed in the pit to Ministry with my older brother a few years later. I have always loved a diverse range of music and learning about the bands and singers, their influences and other musicians they connected with (because all music is connected). I played Simon and Garfunkel, Rage Against the Machine and Cypress Hill loudly in my bedroom in high school and it made everything better. Music was and is everything to me.

If your life could be summed up by a song title (real or made up) right now, what would that song title be?

“I Gotta Have A Song” by Stevie Wonder

What’s next for Vinylly?

Vinylly will continue to optimize how it presents matches using both the feedback loop from users and also machine learning. We expect to launch on Android before end of year and will look into expanding music service providers, language and marketplace versions. Also, we are really proud to be supporting Musicians on Call as our official non-profit partner. Musicians On Call is sharing the healing power of music with hospital patients and caregivers, and we will hope to expand our contribution to their mission.