I don’t know about you, but I love it when singers, songwriters and musicians from different walks of the musical spectrum join up to create new music together.
Granted, sometimes throwing a bunch of music maestros together doesn’t always deliver, but other times you end up with The Traveling Wilburys, The Raconteurs or even one-off sporadic collaborations such as Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash were prone to do back in the sixties.
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Indeed, bands and musicians often share personnel and form temporary alliances in the name of creativity, whether it’s in the studio or on tour. And it’s against this backdrop that a new UK startup hopes to carve a niche for itself in the online music discovery space.
Richseam is a music discovery platform that’s built around artists’ connections and collaborations. It surfaces these connections and collaborations with a view towards helping you discover new artists and music.
How it works
You don’t need to sign in or create an account to use Richseam – as soon as you land on the site, you’re good to go.
You can then search for any artist or band – in this case, I searched for Traveling Wilburys, given I know that each member has had their finger in a number of music pies, so to speak:
You can then click on the links of each of the musicians involved and see what bands they have played in, and who else they’ve worked with throughout their career.
For example, I didn’t know that Jim Keltner – the Wilburys’ drummer – also played with Steely Dan AND The Ringo Starr All-Starr Band.
All this data is already freely available online – for example, AllMusic has a related artists feature, as does other similar music-themed sites but they’re not always comprehensive.
What Richseam does is provide a dedicated platform for discovering connections in music, and it does a pretty good job.
The platform is powered by a number of online APIs, pulling together a stream of data sources to make this all possible.
“Over the past eight months we have written a program that collates all this data from different sources, and links it together accurately,” says Ben Scott, Richseam Co-Founder. “We consume open-data sources like DBpedia and Freebase, combined with music APIs like Songkick, The Echo Nest and Last.fm. At the last count, we had 171,166 artists and 2.4 million connections. And this is growing all the time – our data is continuously updated from source, so the information we have stays up-to-date.”
Richseam also lets you browse artists by genre and label. For example, if you wanted to see all folk musicians on the Rough Trade label, you can do so.
It also reels in videos courtesy of YouTube so you can watch related music within RichSeam, and it links through to their catalogues on Last.fm, MySpace, Deezer, Amazon, 7Digital, AOL, iTunes, Grooveshark and Rdio.
“‘I love music and coming across new stuff to listen to,” adds Scott. “But the sites I was using didn’t have much scope or depth. They’re great to begin with, but after a while I’d come across the same recommendations. So I decided to build something based on real relationships, not other people’s listening habits”.