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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Senior takes the middle man out of online discovery

Published: April 29, 2011
Section: Features

Brett Segall ’11 will be busy during the next few months. In addition to graduating with a double major in Economics and Business and a minor in Legal Studies, he plans to launch eMuze Connect, a web-based business that “places the entertainment industry online.” After realizing how many celebrities are discovered online, Founder and CEO Segall decided to make it easier for everyone. Instead of uploading content to Facebook or YouTube, a hopeful young star in the making will be able to upload to, set to launch in June. Once the content is uploaded, a group of what Segall called “top notch decision makers” will be able to view it. Segall recently spoke with The Hoot about his plans and his work with Maxwell Zotz ’11, his Chief Marketing Officer.

The Brandeis Hoot: What is eMuze Connect?

Brett Segall: eMuze Connect is a portal that helps individuals connect to the top notch decision makerl, like managers and agents, in all realms of the entertainment industry. They can also build a fan base, learn about the industry and become part of a larger community. We’re starting with music, motion pictures and television, and fashion, but once we’re up and running we’ll begin to expand to other parts of the entertainment industry.

Maxwell Zotz: eMuze Connect is revolutionary for the entertainment industry. This site will bring all these different facets from our favorite sites into one. Important agencies and individuals in the industry can now have a better chance of discovering new talent instead of pulling just a Scooter Braun and stumbling upon the next Justin Bieber. Fans follow the acts and with the right “decision makers” and “muzes” this site truly has a recipe for success.

The Hoot: Where did the name come from?

Segall: We juggled around a couple names, but then we started thinking about roles that people in the background were going to play. In Greek mythology, the muses were the inspiration for entertainment, so I wanted to do Muse, but a couple companies already trademarked that. We changed the spelling and changed it to eMuze, with the “e” meaning “electronic.”

The Hoot: Where did the idea for the company come from?

Segall: The last two years I’ve worked in Los Angeles for International Creative Management, the talent agency that represents Emimen, Beyonce and a lot of other celebrities. I know how exclusive the industry is, having worked in it. I came up with the idea when I was abroad in London. I didn’t really have television, so I was watching a lot of YouTube. I realized that there are a lot of talented individuals out there with no real means of showcasing their talent. With successes like Justin Bieber, Soulja Boy and Katy Perry [who were all discovered online] I realized there wasn’t anything really like eMuze, which would bring them directly to the decision makers.

The Hoot: How will it work?

Segall: Individuals will be able to upload content, like pictures, video and audio files, which would be viewed by the eMuze users and the Muzes. The site is a unique concept in identifying talent that previously had no way to present themselves to those who are in a position to “discover” or use their talent.

The Hoot: Who are the Muzes?

Segall: That’s what we’re calling the decision makers in the industry that will be part of the site. We didn’t want to try just to get a celebrity endorsement. We want our users to connect with actual managers and agents who will represent them. There are big names involved, names that a lot of the people using the site will recognize. We already have many on board and we’re going to continue building. When we launch, their names will be made public and a section on the site will be dedicated to them.

The Hoot: How will the fan base play a part?

Segall: eMuze Connect is not solely for talented individuals. As a social network, it’s for everyone, from individuals who want to become a part of the initial fan base, discover new content and learn new things about the entertainment industry, and interact with one another.

Zotz: Fans want the most recent, hottest thing out. Whether they are just a fan of acting or music or an upcoming artist or actor in general, eMuze Connect provides a one-stop shop for all fans to discover their new favorite individual or check out the latest post or video from the one they have already been following. If the artist commits to the site, we are confident that their fans will follow.

The Hoot: Why did you decide to enlist Maxwell Zotz as your chief marketing officer?

Segall: We’ve been friends for a while, and I wanted to bring him in because I knew him and I’ve seen his work ethic on a personal level. He brought a lot to the table in terms of smarts and experience in underground music industry. I knew he’d be a great fit for eMuze.

Zotz: For me this is just a great experience to be part of a start-up company and I think because Brett and I were friends first we already had trust in one another, so working together in a business has come naturally. As the CMO of eMuze Connect and overseeing the development of the Music section of eMuze Connect, I am really excited for the potential of this site as we both graduate in May and hope it serves as an example to other Brandeis students that they can do what Brett and I have done with their own respective start-ups, while still at Brandeis and it just takes a little more drive and focus to do it while in school.

The Hoot: How do you plan to market eMuze Connect to everyone who will be using it?

Segall: As of right now, there’s a teaser page on the site where people can register and be notified when we launch and receive early access.

Zotz: From my experience within the music industry, this applies to both models and actors as well, but it is hard to capture the “whole” individual in the social networks and medias that we are familiar with and utilize today. When you are on Facebook, you see artists post YouTube clips to showcase their talents, as well as links to their blogs. At eMuze, we are attempting to put this all in one place. When you are a “starving artist” you typically will do anything to get yourself or your talent out there, and that being said, there is no real risk involved in placing all your work or talent on the eMuze Connect site, where we have top “Muzes” and “decision makers” in the industry ready to view your talent!

The Hoot: How confident are you that eMuze Connect will succeed?

Segall: I believe in the company. It has the potential to be a very big success because there isn’t really anything out there like this. People can upload on the Internet but there’s no guarantee anyone will see it. As someone who’s come up with the idea and put it all together, I have to have faith in my own company. As an entrepreneur, when people say no you have to continue to say yes and keep moving forwards.