Sigurdur Arnason – Interview

Continuing the series of interviews with professionals operating at the intersection of Culture and Digital, my guest today is Sigurdur Arnason, co-founder and CEO of Overtune, an app that aims to democratize music creation. He will be present at this year’s Web Summit in Lisbon. Here’s Sigurdur’s input on several issues related to his work.

Can you tell us about the origins of Overtune?
Yes: a few insane Icelanders that wanted to start a music company, in the middle of COVID, July of 2020, so we did. Yeah, the summer of 2020. That’s the origin.

Your site states that your aim is to democratize music creation. How do you propose to do it?
Well, with Overtune of course. I mean, music creation has been mostly reserved for musicians, or producers, or something like that. It’s not like video creation. It’s not like making a YouTube or Snapchat or like TikTok even, it’s more of a tedious process. So with Overtune, you can make a music video in one go, like you would just make a Snapchat or a TikTok. So it’s more democratizing music creation in terms of music as content.

With music creation, most of the time, it’s reserved for like, music producers, or amateur musicians, musicians even, that use music platforms on the computer. And it’s not really designed for mobile apps. So what we do is that we take this music creation to the common user, and allow them to make music like you are making TikTok or Snapchat.

So the app has an aspect of social media in it, can I say that?
Yes, sure. Yeah, you can. I mean, it has a feed. People are posting their own videos on our feed, so sure, it does have social aspects to it.

What do you think is the biggest lesson you learned since you started Overtune?
It’s: go on. There are a lot of people that promise you things, but you just have to go on until you actually get something done, you know? It’s tough to be a company, for anyone who wants to be B2C in that interest area, and to be in that space, it’s tough. I learned this, that there are a lot of other people that were in our shoes.

You’re going to be present at Web Summit. What’s your expectation for the summit?
I was just asked to speak. But after I saw the speakers list, I expect something else than a tech conference, you know? What I expect is more of a media summit kind of thing, given who is attending the summit. So I am used to, you know, specific tech conferences, but I was interested in going.

Well, to be honest, I just wanted to have a tiny bit of a holiday and to have an excuse to visit a sunny country, because I haven’t had a holiday in years. This looked like a good excuse to do it.

How do you think technology can help develop the cultural areas?
I think that is culture. What you explained, to me, is culture, because it’s the result of humans interacting with equipment and tools. That’s why we are humans, you know? We’re just apes that made wheels and fire and stuff like that. So any cultural thing that happened is because of technology, or tools, or innovation. So you distill… the whole human civilization since the cave men. So that’s how it is.

What piece of technology are you most excited about these days?
I am obviously excited about music technology, because that’s my field. I’m excited to see all the companies, how they are tackling the challenge to make music software, of course. But also, I have had a long time interest in IOT and 5G, and especially the smart home, to a tech use group. But that’s just on the side, you know? I’m not an expert.

By | 2022-10-27T20:00:35+01:00 October 28th, 2022|Interviews|0 Comments

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