Name: Ramtin Azarii
Education: University of Waterloo – Bachelor of Computer Science
Born: January 29 1994
Company: Legato Connect
The story of Ramtin Azari dates back to his high school days where his passion for music all started. Joined together with his background in computer programming, he’s in the midst of launching Legato Connect with his co-founder. Their start-up aims to bridge the gap between musical talent and venues seeking to accommodate.
Influence Digest: Tell us your story
Ramtin: Growing up in Toronto, I always had a passion for music,
whether it was doing covers of Kanye West songs or just freestyling with my friends in the high school cafeteria. Being able to produce my own music was always a dream.
I was lucky enough to be raised in such a vibrant city where the music scene has changed so much. Ever since Drake put us on the map, there’s been a whole new wave of up and coming artists in the city. That’s when my co-founder and I thought of Legato Connect. We knew we had to create an opportunity for musical talent.
Influence Digest: What is Legato Connect in your own words?
Ramtin: Legato Connect is a platform that connects artists and DJs with live opportunities in the world of music.
It is two-sided marketplace where you can sign up as an artist or a host. Artists create a profile by uploading some of their sample music. The artist can then apply to live gigs within their genre. The host would set their price, location, and date and can browse through all the applicants to determine the best fit. The host can range from a bar/club owner to a couple looking for a wedding DJ. Anyone can post a gig.
On the other hand, the artist can book spaces to perform, in which the artist would pay the host. For example, the host can post their availability for a stage they would like to rent out.
We are creating a platform that allows up and coming artists to jumpstart their career while allowing hosts to seek out musical talent in a quick and hassle-free process.
Influence Digest: Did your university education prepare you for the startup world?
Ramtin: I have a degree in computer science which has given me the technical background needed to create our website.
My business partner has a background in sales and marketing. Our skills complement each other and allow us to focus on different faces of the business while allowing for collaboration. Anyone can build a startup if they set their mind to it. They just need the right skill set. In my opinion, every startup needs a technical and business aspect to it if they are dependent on technology.
Influence Digest: How important is social media towards building your brand?
Ramtin: In this day and age, social media is crucial in developing any brand.
Traditional marketing methods such as TV Commercials won’t cut it anymore. Let’s be real, everyone records their favorite shows nowadays so they can skip the ads or they watch it on Netflix. Everyone is on social media, all the time. As much as it’s an advantage, it also brings competition. There are so many brands on social media which makes it important for us to communicate our value proposition effectively and to the right consumer group.
Influence Digest: Where do you see the future of marketing heading towards?
Ramtin: The future of marketing is about connecting with consumers on an emotional level.
This means you need to communicate a message that people can relate to. When one of Airbnb’s hosts was accused of making racist remarks, Airbnb released an ad that stressed the importance of accepting all guests regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. This moved people.
Another path that we are experiencing is influencer marketing. This means companies are putting their brands in the hands of individuals who have a strong connection with their audience. Influencers may have a lot of followers on social media or they may not. One aspect they all have in common is their ability to persuade by being authentic and well-respected within their industry.
Influence Digest: What pushed you towards working with artists and venues?
Ramtin: As I mentioned before, I’ve always been musically inclined.
I believe that music tells the story of the people and is such a huge part of our culture. I’m constantly attending concerts and festivals around the city which has allowed me to meet so many people who could use our platform. My goal is to develop a strong connection with venues throughout Toronto by showing them a list of hidden talent that they can benefit from.
Influence Digest: What’s the biggest difference you see between employment and entrepreneurship?
Ramtin: The biggest difference I see between employment and entrepreneurship is job security.
Nowadays, employers are giving their employees the option to work from home and the authority over their decisions that it feels like they have all the same attributes as a startup. Except they don’t. As long as the employee completes their assigned task correctly on time, they can sleep at night knowing they will collect their paycheck. With entrepreneurship, there is always the fear of the unknown. One day you may be on top of the world with a steady base of recurring customers. The next day there is a competitor that delivers superior value and all of a sudden you have competition. It’s a scary path and each entrepreneur knows that they need to be one step ahead of the game. Regardless of the outcome, it can be much more exciting than employment knowing you are building something of your own.
Influence Digest: How is the music scene in Toronto developing?
Ramtin: The music scene in Toronto has changed and will continue to change.
New sounds are being created every day. Venues currently have a rotation of a few artists that they are comfortable with. They don’t realize is that there’s so much more talent out there to choose from. We are bridging that gap by intersecting the two sides of the industry.
Influence Digest: Is there anything you’d like to leave us off with?
Ramtin: This will sound cliché, but life is too short. Follow your passion and work hard at it.
There is so much noise in today’s world that in order to achieve your goals, you need to be micro-ambitious. Set short-term goals by the month, day, or even the hour. You will be amazed by what you can achieve.
Sign up to our mailing page and we’ll let you know once we launch!
Building a web platform with such a large customer base takes time. Stay tuned, we’ll be live this summer!