Revive: Howard Yuill/Songhive
Sharing the Songhive Experience
Revive recently talked to Howard Yuill, a professional hairdresser and now co-founder of an innovative app, Songhive, designed to encourage social sharing and interaction around people’s love of, and passion for, music.
The Inspiration Behind Songhive
“Music’s always been a way of life for me. I’d been a DJ since the age of 16, and even now I’m still doing it when I can,” Howard explains.
The inspiration for Songhive came from Howard’s business partner, Andy Wilson.
A neighbour and mate of Andy’s had passed away. Andy was listening to music at home, thinking about him, and it got him wondering what his late friend’s music tastes were, and what music would have mattered to him most.
“Andy told me this triggered an idea. Music is a powerful means of transporting you back to memories and moments in your life. That’s one of the reasons it matters so much on a personal level.”
In 2005, this idea became a website, encouraging people to share their musical legacies, back in the days when Facebook was in its infancy.
“Where could you leave your musical memories, the soundtrack to your life? Music has the ability to take you back somewhere, even down to the clothes you were wearing at the time, along with where you heard it and who you were with.”
In a sense, the Musical Legacy website was ahead of its time, with 10,000 people registered on it. They could log in and list their 10 favourite records, and where they first heard them.
“Eventually we ran out of money because we couldn’t attract more investors.”
It needed social media to evolve in order to fully realise the vision, to create the means to enable a social community to grow around a love of music.
“I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. So when the time came, it became something much more, with all the functionality you’d expect, including streaming, pictures, etc.”
Starting Up Again
“We did extensive research, treating the concept very much like a startup, even though we’d already laid much of the groundwork back in 2005.”
Expanding on their idea, Howard and Andy got an app designer on board, who then helped brand and develop Songhive.
“The name firmly locates the app’s routes in Manchester. One inspiration was the Manchester bomb and the kind of resilience people displayed in the aftermath, that tapped into a sense of community, which very much found its focus in music.”
What Songhive Means
“We’re not in it for the money. I’m just passionate about music. It’s with me all the time.”
The social element of Songhive is designed to help it grow organically, as Howard says, “Like a chain reaction of memories. Relive your memories through it, but also experience a wide exposure to all different genres of music.”
This is a vital aspect of the app. Whereas other social media channels allow for the sharing of interests and passions, this one is focused fully on music, and what love of music means to different people.
“In the past, through a friend’s recommendation, you might be introduced to an artist, album or track that is hugely inspirational. Songhive has the capacity to replicate this process, on a global scale.”
Music is so much about people’s own passions. Songhive means they can share this through a dedicated platform, and also explore other people’s tastes while connecting with them.
You can download the Songhive app free from the iTunes App Store.