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Serial Entrepreneur Alain Merville Talks Business, Success, and Family

Alain is an immigrant from Haiti who moved to the US at the age of 7. He first learned to play the piano at the age of 14 and started playing it commercially in New York at 15. Alain refined his skills at Berklee College of Music and took up roles such as Music Director for artists. He also began recording and posting videos of himself playing the piano, explaining the different concepts he played. In 2015, he started his first company Nate Bash Band, The live music entertainment company provided live music for weddings, corporate events, college parties, among others.

Following his passion and ambition to make considerable strides in music, he learned to take on multiple roles at once. During the second year of running his band Nate Bash Band (NBB), he created his first online piano instructional course. Though it cost him $1,500 to make, the course generated over $50k in a few months, with less than $7k in paid marketing. That was the eureka moment that sparked the idea of YousicPlay.

Alain funded his website in 2019, and was able to record the first online course for the site. The following year in January, YousicPlay launched its first course. Alain dropped everything else and made it his primary source of income.The team has now expanded to onboarding a COO, CTO, in-house video editors, graphic designers, admins, and marketing team. The company has also secured a seed round of funding and on-boarded Grammy-winning world-class instructors like Ne-Yo and is ready to use this momentum to scale and disrupt the entire e-learning industry.

Q. What inspired you to want to play the piano?

I never sought out music or the piano. In a way, we were introduced to each other. At the age of 14, my dad spontaneously decided to enroll me into a private piano lesson. After 1 year of taking lessons, I quickly fell in love with the instrument and all that came with playing music. Playing the piano allowed me to tap into the different attributes of my personality - curiosity, experimentation, critical thinking, emotions, passion, and expression. The continued pursuit of self discovery through the lens of music, is what inspires me to play the piano.

Q. At what point did you realize that you wanted to make a career out of it?

I’m a passion driven person. My dream has always been to spend my days being fulfilled with the things I’m passionate towards - music, was one of those things. Going into college, one of my major missions in life was to figure out a way to monetize my passion in order to provide me with the lifestyle and self-fulfillment that I wanted. That led me to venture into the different verticals of music in pursuit of a sustainable high income skill that satisfied both my financial and music needs.

Q. Can you tell us about your Nate Bash Band? And who do you guys serve?

Nate Bash Band was the first company that I started in 2015. The name of the company was actually named after my son Nathan (Nate), who was born in 2015. Nate Bash Band was a live music entertainment company that provided live music entertainment for weddings, corporate events, and college functions. I oversaw 200+ clients, vendors, musicians, and learned a lot of my business experience from running that company. In 2018, Nate Bash Band was acquired by a Boston based company in the live entertainment industry.

Q. What made you want to transition your gifts to e-learning?

While I was a student at the Berklee College of Music, I started posting piano tutorials on Youtube. That led to a New York based company offering to feature me in an online master class. The release of that master class gave me some notoriety in the music industry. I then started giving private online lessons to students across the world. After noticing that the majority of my students had the same questions and shared the same struggles, I decided to make a course dedicated to answering those pain points. The success of that course inspired me to replicate this product and service on a much larger scale. Thus, the beginning of Yousicplay.

Q. How has business been since the pandemic?

Like every remote based product, the pandemic has given Yousicplay a huge momentum. With everyone in a way being forced to stay within their homes and access the world through their devices, people were introduced to Yousicplay in the masses. Celebrity musicians who are normally touring, performing and unreachable, suddenly became accessible. Yousicplay was able to provide music students direct access to their favorite celebrity and influencer musicians and learn how to be successful at the highest level. In a world where the main sources of income for an artist were directly compromised, Yousicplay was able to provide continued passive income to our instructors.

Q. What does success mean to you?

Success to me means fulfillment. Being able to close my eyes and dream of a future for myself and my family, and then realizing that dream - to me, that’s success.

Q. What advice can you give to aspiring artists and musicians?

My advice to aspiring artists and musicians is to first be dreamers. Close your eyes, envision the best and greatest future version of yourself - 10, 20, 30, and 40 years from now. What does he or she spend their day doing? What’s his or her lifestyle like? What’s his or her contribution to the world? After you can answer those questions, you should be able to vividly see the future that you want for yourself. That vision of your future, is your dream - is your goal. Now that you have a dream and a goal, you need to have a strong sense of your “why”? That “why” will be your anchor and compass when life gets difficult, confusing, and discouraging. The next step is to now back track from your goal to create a rough timeline of milestones. This timeline should outline annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals - this will be your roadmap to success. Your dream, roadmap, and your “why” will guide you throughout your journey.

Interview By: Leading with Lee

PR: Pilar Scratch

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