Walter Afanasieff, Grammy-winning department head and mentor at Isina, and Oleg Shmelev, CEO of Isina
Worldwide talent development program Isina is thriving here in Los Angeles, giving undiscovered artists all around the globe the opportunity to share their dreams with the world.
Led by CEO Oleg Shmelev, a Russian music producer, Isina aims to guide and expose upcoming musicians by equipping them with the resources necessary that would otherwise be unattainable. With the help from several Grammy award-winning artists, Isina is reshaping the music world using today’s technological advancement to connect professionals and amateurs with the click of a button.
Setting out to level the playing field for aspiring artists all around the world, Isina aims to help them turn their dreams into a reality.
“[Isina] began with the simple idea of giving everyone the equal opportunity to reach their dreams, no matter where you come from or what your financial status is,” says Shmelev.
Originally Shmelev reached out to his old friends with the idea of helping new talent with the leadership and advice that is necessary to break into this demanding industry. Together they established a group of world-class musicians that could mentor artists in every department of music: singing, songwriting, composing, sound engineering, producing, guitar, bass, drums, piano, woodwinds, string instruments, bands, duets, DJs and EDM vocalists.
“We teamed with top-level music professionals who have shaped the music industry for the last 30 years, such names as Walter Afanasieff, Kenny G, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Humberto Gatica, Frank Gambale and Paul Oakenfold are all involved with ISINA,” he says.
These mentors have worked with distinguished artists like Andrea Bocelli, Elton John, Santana, Usher, Madonna, Lionel Richie and the legendary Michael Jackson.
Founded and based out of the entertainment capitol of the world, Isina’s objective is to recognize undiscovered talent at a worldwide level by offering a trip to Los Angeles, a six-week, all-expenses-covered, mentorship program to 30 selected people, five from each of the following departments: Composers/Producers, Instrumental, Vocal, Guitar, Audio Engineering/Production, DJs/Producers and EDM Vocalists.
The concept behind the partnership is motivating for both the mentor and applicant.
“For example, yesterday you were sitting in your room singing or playing an instrument, and tomorrow you could be composing music with Walter Afanasieff or Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, or learning how to mix music with Humberto Gatica and getting your music released through Bungalo/Universal Music Group Distribution,” says Shmelev.
Despite the fact that Isina is composed of music professionals from every corner of the world and could have chosen one of their home cities to unite mentors and artist under one studio, it chose Los Angeles. Here, we are home to some of the most talented professionals and venues in the music industry which can contribute to the emergence of these talented individuals, giving all of them the same chance to shine.
Although not everyone is selected for this six-week program, with a small application fee of $30, each person gets their video or audio submission reviewed and critiqued by one of the highly skilled and hand-picked members of the mentors staff. The rating system for Isina is based on three categories.
“Individuality, potential and artistry,” explains Shmelev.
The decision for who will travel to Los Angeles to join the mentors on this six-week program is ultimately made by the mentors themselves, giving all the artists an equal opportunity to display their talent to these renowned coaches.
Shmelev believes people eager to introduce the world to their conception of music should be given the opportunity and says, “Everyone deserves that chance. Talent does not choose where it’s born, and Isina is the best way to combine all cultures in one place and create diversity in the ever-changing music industry.”
Check them out at isina.com, and submit your own audio piece. Remember, it is the individuality, potential and artistry that counts.