Hi, my name is Vinicius Castro, Product Manager here at Musiversal 🎶.
I’m originally from Brazil but am currently living in Lisbon, Portugal, with my wife and my 2 year old daughter. 👨👩👦
I joined Musiversal nearly 3 years ago, and boy, oh boy, what a ride! I’ve worn so many hats that I probably need to buy a bigger hat hanger. Mixing engineer, mastering engineer, audio editor, composer, music producer, honorary data scientist, hiring manager, orchestral director, stand-in designer and finally, product manager. Are you holding onto your hat yet? 🎩
A bit about me
Truth be told, my main craft has been professional songwriting for over 15 years. I started writing songs when I was 13 years old, and have never stopped. I‘ve had the honor of writing songs with the amazing Sérgio Assad, Clarice Assad, Marcelo Caldi, Paulo Monarco, amongst a myriad of other amazingly talented Brazilian artists. I’ve had my songs recorded by super stars Gilberto Gil, Lenine, Biquini Cavadão, and many other musicians - totalling more than one hundred unique songs released. One of my songs, with lyrics by the Sesame Street’s writers, was even sung at the UN back in 2013! I did not see that coming…
Because of this songwriting frenzy, I ended up falling into a learning rabbit hole: I went from Curitiba’s Popular Music Conservatory to Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University to study Music Arrangement and Composition. And that led me further down the Mad Hatter’s land, when I dove deeply into audio recording. All of a sudden I was living in New York city working with many talented independent artists, recording, editing and mixing their songs. By the way, that’s where I met an amazing bass player… Itaiguara Brandão! I would never think that we would unite again years later when he’d become the first Musiversal musician. What a ride!
My role at Musiversal
My job is to deeply understand our customers and our musician’s pains, and come up with efficient solutions that enable them to accelerate their music careers. I’m always balancing the needs of the core team, in frequent meetings with all departments, also trying to understand what lies below their requests, and deliver the best possible solution that we can at the right time. Creating the long term road map, dealing with PRDs, OKRs, KPIs, MRR, ARR, CAC, AC/DC… a brand new world was opening to me. And if you asked the 15 year old songwriter Vinicius if he’d like to work in a company doing exactly what I’m doing, he’d probably laugh at you. How the time (and the bellies) changes!
I’m deeply passionate about my job. It’s about using creativity, which is so important to someone like me, not to create music, but Music’s future. It allows me to do what I’ve always done: almost all of my music projects were created around collaboration. Musiversal’s vision to create stable jobs for musicians speaks dearly to my idealistic but pragmatic musician heart. To create a global network of musicians, a community creating art and crossing cultural and political borders? Sign. Me. In.
Where else would I be able to learn so much in such a short interval of time? The startup world is fascinating (terrifying as well, but a musician by trade wouldn’t flinch when facing that side of the coin). Musiversal’s culture allowed me to step in when necessary and gave me space and tools to learn what I needed to learn.
Being the change that you want to see in the world
Finally (is anyone still reading?) I'd like to share what went through my head when André announced to the team that we’d hire musicians on a fixed wage. First thought:
“Yes, that’s the way to go! This is really unique and a very bold move that nobody else has the guts to do.”
Later that night, I spoke to my wife:
“Look, Musiversal is doing something…and I believe we have two possible outcomes from here on: Musiversal will either go bankrupt soon or it will go big. Really big.”
More than a year after the original release of the Musiversal Studio, I’m glad that we did not go bankrupt. With so many challenges, so many moving parts, so many hats to be worn by so many people, the unlikeliness of success never ceases to amaze me. And even so, here we are. Against all odds, our small team is always growing and our global community is quickly becoming a big powerful non-centralized production power house.
Change is never easy. Being the underdog definitely does not help. But our pack is barking louder than ever. We’re empowering musicians to be able to tell their stories and materialize their music dreams. The music industry needs to be more inclusive and fairer. It’s time for us to dial-in the change we all want. Let’s push the limits. Once the threshold is reached, there’s no coming back.