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July 28, 2014 | Tom Ballard

Qureshi combining passion for music and performing artists in start-up

MediaWorks(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another in a series of articles on participants in the inaugural “MediaWorks Accelerator” hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. The group’s “Demo Day” is Tuesday, August 5.)

By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

Haseeb Qureshi is one of those multi-faceted, multi-talented entrepreneurs whose new start-up leverages his formal education, self-training, and personal passion for music and performing artists.

Appropriately named Artist Gig, the company is part of the cohort of start-ups participating in the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s (KEC) “MediaWorks Accelerator.” The companies will be presented to the community on July 11 during “Demo Day.”

Qureshi moved to Knoxville in 2007 to attend the University of Tennessee College of Law. He had already earned a double major in business and psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. And, just for good measure, Qureshi came with self-taught talents as a coder, something he had been doing since his sophomore year in college.

Today, the engaging transplant is bringing to life his vision for an economical way to enable musicians to capture and share their live performances. And, Qureshi is drawing on his previous experience as Studio Manager for The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles.

He describes Artist Gig as a music platform driven by an app that is downloaded to a mobile device. With it, fans listening to a concert can record the performance and upload the music to a cloud-based server maintained by Artist Gig.

One might think that input from as many as a dozen or more versions of the performance, recorded from different locations, might degrade the quality of the final product. Qureshi says it is just the opposite.

“The musicians can decide how they want the master to sound,” he says in describing the mixing options. Qureshi characterizes it as using “smart volume controls” to bring up or lower the sound from each of the previously recorded inputs to achieve the desired sound.

“I am currently developing the app and talking to as many bands as possible to validate the idea,” he says.

Qureshi already has one local company – Avenue Factory – that specializes in custom code for dynamic websites, placing heavy focus on creating pixel perfect work. One on-going project is the redesign of the webpages for the City of Knoxville.

“We get to work with some of the most talented designers in the city,” he says.

Also, as a licensed attorney in Tennessee, Qureshi works with a few clients each year, primarily in entertainment law.

“I missed the recording and mixing,” he told us in explaining why the new start-up. “I got to know Jonathan (Sexton of the KEC), decided to apply for the accelerator, and got in.”

Describing the “MediaWorks Accelerator” as “amazing,” Qureshi added that it was “better than an executive MBA program. This makes me so happy that this is happening in Knoxville.”

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