Berklee Alumna Launches Platform Connecting Songwriters

By 
Margot Edwards
July 30, 2014
Lisa Occhino
Photo provided by the artist.

SongwriterLink, a newly launched songwriting collaboration platform created by recent Berklee grad Lisa Occhino, is the only website that uses matching engine technology—the same kind that dating websites use—to help users find exactly the type of songwriters they’re seeking for collaborations.

The site can match songwriters with composers, lyricists, topline writers, and beat producers. Users can conduct a search to find a cowriter by specific genre, or let the site match them up. Once a match is made, the collaborators can start writing songs together immediately through video chats and file sharing.

To celebrate the site’s launch, SongwriterLink teams up with MusicTown, a community of musicians seeking musicians, to host Boston Songwriter and Musician Hangout, on Thursday, August 7, 7:00 p.m. at The Red Room @ Cafe 939. The event, featuring an open mic and jam, is an opportunity to bring together potential collaborators from the Boston music community.

Occhino developed SongwriterLink as a student with the assistance of Berklee’s Business Startup Initiative [BSI], a program designed to help students, faculty and staff transform their business ideas into successful small businesses. The class, led by music business/management professor Marty Dennehy, chose SongwriterLink as one of its development projects in 2013. The BSI team helped recruit beta testers and advised on legal aspects like terms of use covering songwriter agreements.

Occhino, who built the site entirely on her own despite having limited web design experience, is now juggling launching a start up with the demands of a full time job as managing editor at Sonicbids, which was founded by alumnus Panos Panay.

Free to join and use, the site’s goal is to make it easy for songwriters to team up with anyone, anywhere in the world. Occhino came up with the idea in her first year at Berklee, to meet a specific need. “I’ve noticed other websites that have to do with finding musicians and players,” said Occhino. “This is more narrowly focused, for songwriters to find each other.”  

She added beat producers as a search option on recommendation from a music production and engineering major who suggested it would have been helpful for his producing projects. “Producing, making beats, is a form of songwriting,” added Occhino. “It puts the musical element of the song with the technology aspect, and then allows beatmakers to look for someone to write the hooks.”

SongwriterLink plans to add mentoring services to up-and-coming songwriters by professional songwriters, and present cowriting competitions and live events showcasing the results of collaborations from the site. The site is currently in beta testing. Interested songwriters can sign up for an invitation at songwriterlink.com.

 

Margot Edwards is a manager in the Office of Media Relations. Media inquiries: medwards@berklee.edu.