LOS ANGELES — Matthew Shapiro and Jonathan Jonah have been making music together since they were kids. But after a series of events curbed their dreams of being rock stars, they decided to create The BeatBuds. Think: children's birthday parties and music classes.
So why would Scooter Braun be backing them?
Matty and Jonny write all the music for the classes, birthday performances and other special events, and they'd been doing the booking completely on their own — and developed a big following.
“I think it has potential to be a really big business,” said super manager Braun, who also works with Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Kanye West. “They had never focused their music or their brand online, […] but what they did with grassroots within Los Angeles and the areas around Los Angeles was pretty amazing.”
So far they’re translating their hold over the L.A. birthday-party circuit into ticket-paying customers to their BeatBASH — a super-sized version of their backyard shows. It’s basically Coachella for babies.
“I used to say if you can find an act and they're playing in a club in a small city and that club is going crazy, then you should be able to recreate that everywhere else around the country," Braun said.
But the venture’s success isn’t a sure thing. The kids’ music and television industries are quickly losing audience share to YouTube, where The BeatBuds have less than 500 subscribers to their channel.
Still, Braun is bullish on Matty and Jonny’s ability to grow an audience. “I'm confident enough that I put up my own money,” he said. “I’m confident enough that, you know, I didn't just sign these guys — I bought into the brand. I’m their partner. “
This segment originally aired November 15, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.