Music Mogul designed to teach indigenous students business skills

Ever dream of being a big-time music manager and taking your favourite band to the top? A new game app called Music Mogul gives you the chance to do just that, and get business skills at the same time.
Grade 10 student Reed Knockwood shows off the Music Mogul game on his phone. (Vaughn Merchant)

Ever dream of being a big-time music manager and taking your favourite band to the top? A new game app called Music Mogul gives you the chance to do just that.

It's no coincidence that the game features indigenous musicians like Juno award winners A Tribe Called Red, rapper Joey Stylez and pop singer Elisapie, 

Music Mogul was developed for indigenous high school students by Cape Breton University as a way to learn valuable business skills. 

The game allows you to tour acts across the country, building up a fan base as you go. The user has to decide on things like ticket prices, equipment rental, selling merchandise at shows, and advertising. But when you start, there are no clear instructions on exactly how to play.

“That's what it will be like for them when they graduate. There will not always be directions and everything clearly marked,” said Brian Smith.

Smith is the national general manager for the In.Business high school mentoring program for indigenous youth that offers in-class and online learning opportunities.
Music Mogul was developed for indigenous high school students by Cape Breton University, as a way to learn valuable business skills. (Revolve Branding and Marketing)
Smith says the program struggled with how much information and direction to give the user.

“We decided that to really learn, you must make a few mistakes and re-adjust your strategy then try again. Just like in the real world,” said Smith.

Independent artists like Joey Stylez are familiar with the choices the player has. Stylez has planned and implemented his own cross-country tours, sold merchandise and built a fan base.

“I feel that today’s artists are the pioneers of a new and exciting age,” said Stylez, adding that technology has changed the way the music industry is reaching out to fans.

“When I was approached about the app and heard it was also educational I was honoured to be on deck as two of my passions in life are teaching the youth and the other being music and the arts.”

Stylez’ song “Jaded Angel” featuring Kinnie Starr is part of the Music Mogul game.

The app was developed by Revolve Branding. The In.Business program is currently being established across Canada. The pilot program began in Nova Scotia at Cape Breton University.

About the Author

Kim Wheeler

Writer

Kim Wheeler is an Anishinabe/Mohawk. She is a writer and an award-winning producer living in Winnipeg. Her work on the CBC radio series ReVision Quest garnered a New York Festival silver medal and two ImagineNative awards. Wheeler currently works as an associate producer for the CBC Aboriginal Digital Unit and Unreserved on CBC Radio One.