SoundBrush’s Basil Al-Dajane: Entrepreneurship Is a New Approach to Life

Basil Al-Dajane is the co-founder and product lead of SoundBrush, an iPad app that turns drawings into music. SoundBrush works the way you think, placing a focus on the creative process instead of the techniques required to play an instrument. With SoundBrush, anyone can make music. You only have to perform simple, intuitive gestures to create a beat, pick a scale, mix your sounds, and more. The app also includes a built-in song sharing platform called Discover where you can publish your songs, listen to other people’s songs, find tips and tricks, and join contests to win cool prizes.

SoundBrush is a part of Velocity, the University of Waterloo’s startup incubator. Al-Dajane is responsible for the look and feel of the app, as well as the business side of the startup. When he and co-founder Jayson Rhynas began working on SoundBrush, they actually just wanted to learn how to build an app for iOS and the iPad. The duo brainstormed for ideas for cool apps in 2011. One of the ideas they wrote down was “finger-painting music.” While neither of them knew what it meant, they were immediately drawn to it, as they were both musicians and graphic artists.

That idea eventually became SoundBrush, which Al-Dajane and Rhynas developed while they were working at their respective internships. After an eight-hour workday, they would work for another six to seven hours on SoundBrush. The first version of the app was launched in April 2012.

According to Al-Dajane, he and Rhynas made plenty of mistakes but learned a lot along the way, from marketing techniques, technology, processes, and everything in between.

“Being an entrepreneur is so much more than just creating a startup or a product; it’s a completely new approach to life,” says Al-Dajane. “In the long run, you’re not creating a product, but a difference in the world around you.”


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