Behind The Brand: Jason Grishkoff

Behind The Brand: Jason Grishkoff

Having previously worked at tech giant Google, South Africa born Jason Grishkoff left the corporate life to pursue a passion more close to his heart, music. Launching his Indie Shuffle blog in 2009, he quickly caught the attention of thousands of eager listeners looking for something to quench their audible thirst.

Now almost ten years on, Jason is based in Cape Town and Indie Shuffle is an international team developing content across their iOS and Android apps and website, and in 2017 Jason also launched a new project, SubmitHub.

The idea behind SubmitHub is a simple one, for a small fee of just $0.50, music makers can connect with blogs, labels and tastemakers who they might otherwise struggle to get in touch with. And it’s proving to be a universal success so far.

We invited Jason to chat with us about both projects for this months edition of Behind The Brand, where he spoke about the struggles he faced, what his day to day involves and where it’s headed in the future. Read on for the full interview.

So where did the idea for Indie Shuffle come from?

The year was ~2009 in a land far, far away. Well, Washington D.C., which is pretty far from where I currently am in Cape Town. I had been running a little website as a hobby on which I shared reviews of albums I”d torrented, and I figured it was time to take a “step up” and make it a bit more formal. So I did some Googling and ended up identifying a bunch of domain names with “indie” in them that were free. I really liked “indiescovery” but the dot com was taken, so I ended up ditching that idea. Somewhere on that list was Indie Shuffle, and after a few drunken conversations with friends I decided that it was the right name.

And did you face many struggles in the beginning?

No struggles at all in beginning! I started blogging back when music blogs were just starting to blow up, so as long as I focused on blogging good music we were going to grow. I was quick to implement a plan for monetization, and that meant I could invest in the “software” behind Indie Shuffle, something which keeps us relevant to this day. It wasn’t until I decided to take it full-time in 2013 that things started to take a downward turn, but hey, it wasn’t just me, Spotify and YouTube killed the music blogosphere (by offering better services for the casual listener). I’ll save that for another story.

What does a typical day look like?

Things have changed a bunch since I first started blogging. These days I spend a good chunk of my Indie Shuffle day sifting through my SubmitHub queue in search of new songs. If I find something I blog it! Fortunately I’m not the only one blogging on Indie Shuffle, we’ve got a passionate team of awesome contributors, all managed by our now-Editor in Chief, Dylan Heneck (formerly Hannah Simon, who ran a very tight ship for many years). The rest of my day is filled by coding on SubmitHub, on Indie Shuffle’s iOS and Android apps, and of course on the Indie Shuffle website. I find coding is really rewarding, and it’s made all the better by being able to listen to great music while I do it.

Which project makes you feel the most proud?

I’d probably have to say SubmitHub? I didn’t expect it to take off, but it’s done really well. Besides that, coding the Indie Shuffle iOS and Android apps from scratch over the course of last year was also pretty rad. I quite enjoy showing those off.

Tell us the worst job you had in the past?

While in-between jobs after University I went to a temp agency who placed me at a real-estate company where I copied written client information into a computer database. Fuck me that sucked.

What are your main goals for 2018?

My daughter was born on January 19th, so this year’s going to be all about her. And also renovations on a new house down here in Cape Town. Besides that, I just want to make sure that SubmitHub and Indie Shuffle continue to maintain their roles as important players in the world of music discovery.

What projects do you have running right now?

Besides the ones I’ve mentioned above, I’m also working on an adaptation of SubmitHub for other industries – food, photos, etc. It’ll almost be like a WordPress version of SubmitHub that anyone can use for their own applications.

Lastly, give us a track you can’t seem to turn off at the minute?

A good taste of what I’m into can be found on my Indie Shuffle favorites list. I’ve been super digging The Neighbourhood – Stuck With Me.

You can find more Behind The Brand interviews HERE.