Naplyrics.com Founder Omar Ray On Being The Number One Lyrics And Music Videos Destination
When I was younger I was obsessed with looking up the lyrics to my favorite song, but I certainly don’t remember the lyrics sites being as comprehensive as Naplyrics. With featured lyrics and music videos as well as articles about music, the site is a one-stop music destination.
We caught up with founder Omar Ray to talk Naplyric’s goals, finding inspiration, and wet noodles (you’ll see what I mean).
Tell us a little about where you’re coming from. How long have you been involved with the Internet?
In 1998 I moved to Canada from Afghanistan. I had heard of computers and seen them but never touched one. So, being fascinated by the device I worked at 7-11 for 4 months and bought my first computer.
I built my first website containing unloadable gifs, animations and massive background pictures in 1999 and hosted it on geocities. It would take about 15 minutes for the site to load but I was pleased with it. Back in the day MIRC chat rooms were also popular. I also managed to write my first script to auto-talk to people when I was away from my computer. But once University started I forgot all about programming and focused on my studies. I published a scientific paper as an undergraduate student and that was an automatic license to a PhD program in life sciences at Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada.
Once in graduate school, I realized that the monthly stipend that I was receiving was not sufficient to pay for my expenses. So while I worked in the lab during the day, I decided to return to the ‘online’ world and make money. Building random affiliate networks, selling ringtones, buying/selling domains etc were some of the ways that I re-entered the world wide web.
What time do you usually start work each day? Do you have an office or work at home?
The beauty of having an online entertainment business is that there is no set time. I work as information flows. If there is a surge in the release of upcoming music albums, I would spend the whole night updating the site. Often times, if I feel that a particular song has the promise of becoming a super hit, I would sit and write the lyrics, other times I will wait for users or our licensing agency to provide the lyrics.
Artists travel the world, so they may tweet something interesting about their music or a song that would be released while I am sleeping … So first thing in the morning when I get up, I check my system for any interesting information.
When do your best ideas come to you?
I am constantly thinking about ideas. Unfortunately with my basic and self taught programming skills I am limited by what I could do. I would spend 8-10 hours working on a piece of code and when it still doesn’t work, I go to bed. As I lay tossing and turning, that is when I figure out the solution. After a good nap, I come back and finish it in minutes.
We want to know about where you spend your day! What’s on your desk right now?
Running the website. On my desk currently there is a massive coffee mug.
Favorite book? Author?
- One Hundred Years of Solitude-Garcia Marquez
- Midnight’s Children– Salman Rushdie
- A Fine Balance– Rohinton Mistry
- She’s Come Undone– Wally Lamb
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually put your life on hold and realize yours?
I am always driven by passion and hard work. I enjoy the challenges of the unexpected. I feel that a lot of people have the same qualities but they do not have the opportunity or means or support to do that. Luckily I have the support of my wife and she has always had confidence in my dreams.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get their business off the ground?
“Entrepreneurship is like throwing a wet noodle at the wall. Often times it doesn’t stick .. but when it does, it means your soup is ready and you are poised to reap the benefits of your diligence and unwavering zeal for success.”
Who has been your biggest cheerleader throughout this process?
People you recommend we follow on Twitter?
Follow Marc Andreessen when he finally decides to join Twitter.
Where can our readers reach out to you?
Check us out on Facebook.
What is your next goal for Naplyrics?
Currently my goal is to make Naplyrics.com be the number one lyrics destination. Based on my crude assessment, lyrics related searches surpass 100 million queries per month. I look forward to capturing a large portion of that traffic and I believe that Naplyrics.com is poised to achieve that.
Thanks Omar! Feed your lyrical and musical hunger by checking out Naplyrics. I’m just remembering some of my misquoted lyrics to songs growing up: U2-“And, I still haven’t found that I’m a pimple”…CCR-“There’s a bathroom on the right”. Oh dear.