ANDREA (DRE) WALLACE
For Andrea (Dre) Wallace, Opnr is more than just a live music business startup – it’s personal. Her B2B platform connecting musicians with promoters and venues for opening performance opportunities began with a unique test case.
“I’ve been a music producer and DJ for 15 years. I’ve toured and played in venues all around the world, so I got my start in the live music industry as an artist really young,” says Wallace. “As a musician myself, I definitely know what it’s like to be trying to get your first show. I got my first big break opening for a huge artist and ended up on tour with that artist a month later, so I’m living proof the model works.”
Indeed, with some 7,553 musicians (including Michigander and Jax Anderson) on Opnr and 420 venues, promoters and concert organizers (including Crofoot Presents and The Intersection), Opnr is open for business. The South Haven, Michigan, native explains that Opnr works by harnessing relevant social media analytics and music distribution channel data with the sole purpose of being able to “book opening performance opportunities for artists and help concert promoters and venues sell tickets”—a goal the entire live ecosystem can agree upon.
Though she still performs “from time to time,” most of her waking hours are spent running Opnr. “It’s challenging in all the best ways and truly combines two of my biggest loves – music and technology.”
As for mentors, the young CEO says there’s “too many to count,” but narrows it down to local Michigan artists, folks in the tech industry and then two other very special people: “My parents have had a huge impact. Especially, as it relates to business. They really instilled principles of responsibility, being a person of your word, helping others, learning whatever you can etc. Those were all things that helped me in my music career as well.
Wallace says she is looking forward to what lies ahead as Opnr continues to expand beyond venues. “We are partnered with music festivals later on this year, which I’m really looking forward to and planning for 2023!”