If you love local music, then you will love GigTown. It’s an app that allows users to listen to songs by musicians in their city, view video footage of performances, keep track of their favorite artists and book them for gigs quickly and easily.
You can thank Andy Altman for this revolutionary idea. He started the app because for years he watched his parents struggle to book local musicians for their annual fundraiser, and after going to Coachella last year and listening to great local music, Andy had the idea to create the app that makes it easy to find and listen to local music. Since launching in January, GigTown has have signed up almost 200 artists and is partnering with a variety of local venues.
Q: Was there a band, an app or person who was the inspiration behind GigTown?
A: Like so many other apps nowadays, Uber was a definite influence in the idea for GigTown. When the idea was conceived it was initially an “Uber for Music.” But as we dug into the idea, we realized that GigTown is so much more. It’s not just a booking service, it’s a one-stop-shop for all things local music.
Q: Explain the meaning behind GigTown.
A: I see GigTown as a destination. It’s a parallel universe where the local, live music is a part of everyone’s daily lives. The best musicians are able to grow the fan base they deserve, and venues are able to connect with those fans through the musicians. Musicians no longer have to worry about managing so many different aspects of being a musician and instead can focus on what they love - the music. Ultimately, in GigTown, life is easier and more enjoyable for everyone that likes music, and who doesn’t like music?
Q: If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
A: Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They were my first musical love and this is my favorite album because it has a little bit of everything, and every song in the album is awesome. “Scar Tissue” is a classic (and a great book - Anthony Kiedis is crazy but also a genius), “Get on Top” is perfect if I need some energy, and “Otherside” is one of my favorite songs of all time and the first song I’m learning to play on the ukulele.
Q: If someone played you in a movie who would it be and why?
A: I have a man-crush on Matthew McConaughey but I would have to go with Seth Rogen. In part, because people have told me I look like him; but mainly because he never takes himself too seriously and comes across as being really authentic, which are both things that are really important to me.
Q: The first websites you enjoy going to right after you wake up in the morning?
A: Lately the first thing I do in the morning is jam for a few minutes on the ukulele! After that, I’ll end up going to gmail.com and our internal section of gigtown.com where I can see any new artists that have signed up.
Q: If you weren’t heading up GigTown, what would you be doing?
A: I actually know exactly what I’d be doing. I’d be in the third year of a four-year JD/MBA program at USD. Currently I’m finishing up my MBA - in the last semester right now. I took a leave of absence from law school so I could dedicate myself to GigTown, but I hope to go back and finish up someday.
Q: If one song summed up your life, what would it be and why?
A: This is an impossible question ... but I’ll go with “Zoom” by The Commodores. I remember listening to it when I was in middle school, in the car with my dad. After singing the song to completion, we decided that someday we’d like the name of the company we started together to be “Zoom.” It didn’t quite happen (although we did look at some names with Zoom in them) but overall the happy, uplifting feel of the song and that memory make it a special one to me.
Q: Explain what makes San Diego such a great town for live music?
A: The hidden talent in combination with the general vibe of San Diego make it an extremely underrated music town. We walk by bars and restaurants with live music inside, but so often we just pass by without taking a minute to recognize the skill of the artists behind the music. Everyone knows San Diego is America’s finest city, and I think it has attracted some really legit musicians who don’t get the attention they deserve simply because we aren’t on the same level as Austin, Nashville, LA, and other renowned music towns. I think that is starting to change and I’m really excited to see where San Diego music is in a few years.
Amber Mesker is an entertainment and lifestyle reporter for DiscoverSD. She loves providing readers updates on Hollywood gossip, San Diego fashion and cool weekend events. You can follow Amber and laugh at her fun, crazy life at @ambermesker