Why Wrap When You Can Have Your GiftRapped?
When I first visited the GiftRapped website, I felt my muscles lock into a cringe. This startup makes personal rap songs along with slideshow videos to help celebrate any special occasion. They compose raps for businesses as well, but traffic heavily in the likes of birthdays, retirements, anniversaries, and holidays. I hit play on the first of the demos, and braced myself for another of those sappy video slideshows we’ve all sat through during at least one wedding. (OK, so I’m a bit jaded. Writing does that to a person.)
Something unexpected happened though. I felt all those iron-tight hinges in my face relax. Before long, I was laughing and wearing a delighted, goofy grin. The duo of rappers/entrepreneurs behind GiftRapped have a knack. They’re hilarious. They’re very good. They take your sentimental pictures and lyric prompts, and, like the finest Wisconsin dairy farmers, they mold rhymes into the most delicious cheese.
You may want to place your orders soon. Last December, The Today Show featured GiftRapped, and recently the website was upgraded with a brand new design. Co-founder, Thunda, sat down to rap recently with KillerStartups and let us hear a bit more about the magic behind the mic.
How did you come up with the name of your company?
Well, we were thinking of a good name for the company, and it just came about that what we offer is a gift and it’s a rap song, so GiftRapped just worked. It’s pretty catchy, too. People seem to like it.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
Me and him [Jay Kila] both rap. I actually met him when we were both living in California, and then we both moved back East. We were doing rap songs and someone wanted one for someone’s birthday. So after we did that, it was a huge hit and we were like maybe we should open up a business that actually does this.
Was it difficult to make the leap from being performers to businessmen?
No not really.
Do you work on GiftRapped in an office or at home?
We have an office in NYC, and we have another artist who works remotely in Pennsylvania.
What’s your office environment like? Is it the kind of place where everyone is bumping away to house music or is it more traditional?
It’s very relaxed, quiet–small recording booths, a couple computers, and that’s pretty much it.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? After working for 16 hours? On your third beer?
I would say in the morning. The morning is definitely the best time for creativity, I think. Your mind’s unfiltered and there aren’t any stresses on your mind yet.
Favorite movie? Band? Vacation Spot?
One of our favorite artists is Bangs. He’s from Australia. He does more comedy rap, more viral raps on YouTube. He’s one of our influences. We’d actually love to get him on GiftRapped if possible, but we haven’t seemed able to get a response. We like New York based rappers. That’s pretty much our style, East Coast rap style.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually put your life on hold and realize yours?
I would say for us it was more of a natural progression. We both rapped, so it was pretty much doing what we were doing, just in a different sense because all the songs are personalized and custom. But it’s pretty cool.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
I would say pretty well. The only frustrations we really have are maybe some real strict mothers that order and want everything perfect. Those are the only real stresses we have when it comes to dealing with the clients. But they’re straight forward and relaxed for the most part.
Do most people give you license to go wherever you want with things or are instructions very specific?
It varies from order to order. Some people have very specific things, other people say “Here’s a couple ideas, just see what you come up with. I’m sure it will be great.”
Any apps/sites/software you can’t live without?
The Internet in general. That’s pretty much what keeps us going. We have an app coming out very soon where users can create their own rap songs with a slide show video. The GiftRapped App. If you remember Madlibs, it’s just like that–prerecorded raps with blanks, where people can go in and fill in the blanks and customize it like that. We’re hoping to release it by the end of July or early August.
How do you picture success? Your company in 5 years?
I think we would have more big name artists wanting to working with us, either on the website doing personal songs or even doing app songs. If they did app songs they’d really only have to do one or two, and people could customize them any way that they want.
Where can our readers get a hold of you?
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