After living through the global upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers are re-evaluating their career path. Stefan Heinrich Henriquez, a former head of Global Marketing at TikTok and chief marketing officer at Cameo, is one of them.
“I have been thinking about music since my time at TikTok, and I was really thinking about building something on my own, but then it took me another year to finally have the guts to do it,” said Henriquez. “Then when the pandemic started, I think so many people were thinking about like, ‘What am I doing with my life?’ ”
Along with his co-founder Akiva Bamberger, who was a software engineer on Snap’s Spectacles, Henriquez began work on mayk.it last summer. Today, the social music app launches on iOS and announces its $4 million seed round from investors including Greycroft, Chicago Ventures, Slow Ventures, firstminute, Steven Galanis, Randi Zuckerberg, YouTuber Mr. Beasts’ Night media, Spotify’s first CMO Sophia Bendz, Cyan Banister, artist T-Pain, and music industry veteran Zach Katz, among others.
Mayk.it wants to help people easily produce, own, and share music that they can create using just their phone. Users can upload their own beat or select an existing beat from another user, then add vocals (voice effects and somewhat corny lyric generators are available if you’re shy), and then add a visual from Giphy. Once you make (or, “mayk”) something, you can post it on the app, where other users can see it via a discovery page, which categorizes music by feeling or theme, rather than genre.
Mayk. it also poses “ideas,” or prompts to spur creativity, like “What is your pet thinking about right now?” or “Make a song about your first crush.” There’s also a Tinder-like tab that lets you swipe left or right on songs — if you really like it, you can leave a comment (called an “encouragement” in an attempt to keep things supportive) or remix it.