Aswaad Peters was born into music. He is the son of popular composer and arranger Len “Boogise” Sharpe. Peters also made his own name in the music industry as a DJ and former program director at SLAM 100.5 fm.
And he’s now using his music background to bring music directly to those who want it and he’s doing it through his new service called www.nowmyselectah.com.
Its application is not a streaming service but directly creates personalized playlists for any event or desire.
To access this service, simply visit the website
www.nowmyselectah.com. Individuals can even have voiceovers added to their playlists by well-known local voices such as Jason Williams, Ken Simmons, Major Penny and DJ Dani.
Peters said what separates his site and future app from streaming sites is that it gives the customer control over what they want.
“We will definitely have music inspired by the Caribbean diaspora in terms of reggae, dancehall and soca. But instead of relying on algorithms, you’re basically telling us what you want,” he said.
He said that most of the time the algorithms don’t necessarily have a narrow search, as many artists and songs may not be available to stream.
To access the service, an individual visits the website and is then prompted to select the type of playlist they want.
Playlists vary from a birthday party to a wedding reception to a private party and even a baby shower.
When the playlist is selected, the individual is then prompted to choose from the available genres.
He said there are four genres for now, and more will be added. The available genres are reggae, dancehall, soca and hip hop. He said that when the genre type is chosen, there is a search or comment box where the individual comments on the particular artist they want to hear from.
He said if someone wanted a playlist with Beenie Man and Machel Montano, they just had to select soca, type Machel Montano, then select dancehall and select Beenie Man.
To add to the listener experience, the voice talents are previewed on the Now My Selectah website where people can hear the different voices. This gives them an idea of how the talent’s voice would sound on their playlist.
Voice talent prices will also be set, he said.
“Basically what this platform has done is redirect entertainment. Because we know the pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, we know people keep guessing about going out in the big crowds and a lot of them are more or less sticking around in their crowds.
“Birthdays are still being celebrated, children are being born and people are still graduating. And we know that music helps us live. Without music, there would be no life,” Peters said.
Peters said his site and eventual app will seek to encourage musical diversity by adding an artist’s music or new music to a listener’s playlist.
He has a team of DJs or curators who are also part of the project. In the future, he hopes it will become a mix of artificial intelligence (AI) and live curators (DJ).
“Eventually what I plan to do with this platform is go into music therapy, where I have certified music therapists on my team, but, of course, as the number increases, I can get more funding to focus much more on that.”
He added that the site will not only focus on the party, but also on the motivational playlists of popular voices that he hopes to announce in the near future.
The site was launched last year in November but the idea came to him about three to five years ago.
He then said, “Why haven’t we modernized the way we listen to music? Yes, we have in terms of streaming platforms. But for me, I found it was kind of, there was only one way.
“There’s no channel where people tell you directly what they want to hear,” he said.
People would go to streaming sites and put on random mixes and it wouldn’t necessarily be what they want to hear specifically.
When people have gatherings or take long car rides, they might say to put on a soca or reggae playlist because there’s nothing else and they usually gravitate towards DJ mixes, but that was not what the individual specifically wanted to hear either.
Peters pondered what would make someone want to pay for the service for a while before deciding which way to go. He then tested it and made some playlists for bachelor parties and birthday parties. He found a web developer, built and tested the website, tested the e-commerce of it as well as the turnaround time to get the product to the listener.
And that’s when Now My Selectah was born.
Like many others, the pandemic pushed him to follow his idea and his vision.
“It was a pre-pandemic idea, then when the pandemic hit I was like, ‘Whey boy, no money to fund this…’ Being a DJ was his only source of income and working in radio.
To realize his idea, Peters took out loans and also found investors.
He started working on it in July 2021 and launched it on November 24.
It takes no more than 72 hours to deliver a playlist to a customer.
There’s also a rush order if someone wants a 24-hour turnaround, he said.
He said the playlist would be emailed to the customer anywhere in the world. Once they have visited the website, a profile is created and once the payment order has been made, within 72 hours the customer can reconnect to the site and have the file available for download.
The customer could then use that playlist “forever and anywhere,” he said, whether on a phone, laptop, car or even a tablet.
The service offers a combination of songs recommended by the customer along with their recommendations.
In the future, Peters Now My Selectah also wants to offer video services, PBX, call waiting and storefront audios.
The app is also under development and he hopes to have it completed within three to six months.
Since launch, it has received over 50-60 orders and, at the time of the interview, was in the process of securing its first corporate client.