The Convergence of Music & Gaming

Roman Rappak

Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) at Ristband

The Convergence of Music & Gaming

Episode Notes

 “I run my band like a startup and I run my startup like a band”

Today’s guest is Roman Rappak not only the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) at Ristband, but also the frontman for the touring band: Pivot. Roman shares his background, detailing his start in the music industry as a musician forming a band and making beats on a laptop, eventually signing record deals and touring the world. However, he realized that traditional revenue streams from touring and licensing were unsustainable. This realization led him to explore new ways to leverage technological advancements to support musicians.

Roman describes the inception of the world’s first mixed-reality live concert, funded by a Dutch government grant in 2017. This innovative concept allowed audiences to experience a live band performance through augmented reality, blending the real and virtual worlds. This approach proved financially successful and highlighted the potential for integrating music with immersive technology.

The conversation shifts to Ristband’s evolution, where Roman reflects on his initial reluctance to embrace the tech industry but ultimately recognizing the potential for music-tech convergence. He mentions the support from Epic Games, which enabled Ristband to develop tools and platforms to make immersive music experiences accessible to a broader audience. Roman emphasizes the importance of viewing musicians as startups, using technology to enhance their visibility and revenue.

Marc and Roman discuss the historical context of music and gaming, noting how advancements like the PlayStation One and licensing real music in games brought the two industries closer together. They explore the potential for dynamic, ever-changing music integration in games and the challenges of creating new contractual relationships for music use in gaming.

Roman highlights the shift in the music industry, where major labels now prioritize viral social media presence over traditional musical talent. He encourages artists to embrace new tools and technologies, leveraging the vast opportunities in the gaming world to reach wider audiences and sustain their careers.

The conversation concludes with Roman urging artists to explore new mediums and tools, emphasizing the importance of curiosity and innovation. He mentions the Voices of VR podcast as a valuable resource for understanding the intersection of VR, AI, and music. Roman and Marc agree that the future of the music industry will be shaped by unexpected, underground innovations rather than traditional major label strategies.

Overall, the discussion provides a comprehensive overview of Ristband’s mission to revolutionize the music industry through technology, Roman’s journey from musician to tech innovator, and the potential for artists to thrive by embracing new technological opportunities.


Show Notes:

#HowWeListen Live: In Conversation



00:10 – Byta.com

04:25 – Roman’s background

06:00 – Pivots

08:10 – Ristband at SXSW

09:00 – Number of songs uploaded to Spotify

10:30 – Trent Reznor article 

13:45 – Roman realizes he is in the Tech biz

16:10 – Major labels are not forward acting

16:50 – Gaming & Music, the new way forward

20:10 – How did Gaming get so music-friendly

26:37 – Where are the opportunities for smaller artists

29:45 – How it became way more easy to build games

31:00 – Byta.com

32:19 – Roman’s band is making money

35:20 – Gaming is the new MTV for music discovery

37:30 – Things have changed, artists need to break new ground

41:45 – #HowWeListen Live: In Conversation

43:15 – People used to think the internet was “never going to work” & was genius

43:40 – We are in the Wild West

60:00 – Byta.com

Music by Fin Productions and Oliver Lyu

Show Contributors

Artwork by Jen Pmphrey

Hosted by Marc Brown

Series coordinated by Jamie Ford

Produced and edited by Colin MacKenzie

Music by Fin Productions and Oliver Lyu