Interview with Justin Blaney, Founder of Zoxsy



As a publicist whose client roster consists almost entirely of musicians, I’m always on the lookout for the latest online platform that’ll help give my clients the exposure their music deserves. I recently came across Zoxsy, a new site that helps musicians build their fan bases, get radio airplay, as well as film/tv  placements, and more. I spoke with founder and CEO Justin Blaney about his vision for Zoxsy.

Termeh Mazhari: When did you create Zoxsy? And what was your vision for the site?

Justin Blaney: I first came up with the idea for Zoxsy in the summer of ’08 as I was gaining experience in the music industry as more of a professional than a hobbiest.  The more I emerged myself in the industry, the more I became aware of how poorly the industry related to and treated emerging artists.  Being a lifelong entrepreneur, I could think of nothing more exciting than to set out and do everything in my power to right those wrongs.  My vision has evolved in many ways from what it once was and as the experiences of hundreds of artists around the world have been added to my ideas our collective vision has become even more compelling and relevant.

Termeh Mazhari: What makes Zoxsy different from other social networking sites for musicians?

Justin Blaney: Well, Zoxsy isn’t a social site.  Zoxsy’s purpose is to provide opportunities for artists and songwriters to advance their careers and eventually earn a good living doing what they love.  A by-product of this mission is that Zoxsy is a great place to meet people and discover cool new music.  The problem with the seemingly endless array of social/music discover sites is they focus on social and casual music discovery features without giving artists the tools they need to really succeed.  Whereas Zoxsy focuses on creating useful tools for artists and the industry in order to help them find each other easier and more effectively, creating a means for artists to make a living from music rather than just sharing their creations for free.

There are a ton of other differences too, like how Zoxsy doesn’t try to shove premium packages/services/products down our member’s throats – in other words, we’re trying to help artists without picking their pockets.  We’ve also built mountains of trust with our members by listening and when possible implementing their feedback.  Zoxsy is founded and run by artists and we love hearing what other artists have to say.

Termeh Mazhari: You’re also a musician. Where can people hear your stuff?

Justin Blaney: I love to make and listen to music.  It’s my lifelong passion.  Check out a sampling on (where else?) Zoxsy.

Termeh Mazhari: Do you feel that your music career taken a backseat to your entrepreneurial goals with Zoxsy?

Justin Blaney: Yes, but musically speaking this last year has also been one of the best of my life.  I’ve been able to listen to cool new music and meet amazingly talented and hardworking artists in quantities that only a music junkie like me could be excited about.  I’ve also been able to use Zoxsy as a member to grow and build connections with other artists and executives in the industry.  It’s my dream that as many other other artists as possible will be able to use Zoxsy as I have and experience for themselves the joy that Zoxsy brings me as a member of this community.

Termeh Mazhari: What advice would you give to an emerging artist trying to navigate the social media landscape?

Justin Blaney: There are a ton of sites to choose from and signing up for a new service really takes a commitment if you’re going to get a return on your time investment.   I would look for a site that offers tons and tons of stuff for free (if not everything) with as few limits and “premium packages” as possible.  Next, I would look past the praise and seek out all the negative feedback I could on a service before I invested much energy in it.  I’ve fallen for some services in the past and only after investing lots of time and money discovered that there were a lot of people writing about their own negative experiences with the site that in hindsight reflected my own.  You have to decide for yourself whether the negative feedback is just an odd example or truly something to place merit in.

Termeh Mazhari: What else can we expect from Zoxsy? What’s next?

Justin Blaney: We are constantly in the process of adding new features – especially as we get feedback from our members on what they need to be successful.  Expect to see some revolutionary new ways to find songs that “sound like” another song, mood, or artist.  Expect to find tons of free opportunities to submit music to.  Expect to see a lot of growth – we’re already one of the most popular music business websites in the world – and our growth is accelerating as more and more people discover us.

I hope whoever is reading this joins all of us in the Zoxsy community in making the music industry a better place for emerging artists to thrive  We’re working our hearts out to help make this transformation a reality and with so many talented people on board already one can’t help but feel that something great is happening.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 7:50 am and is filed under Interview, Music, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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