Smule's mission is to connect the world through music.
We believe that music is much more than just listening— it's about creating, sharing, discovering, participating, and connecting with people. It is the original social network with the power to break down barriers, touch souls and bring people together from all over the world.
In 2008, we set out to create apps that enabled anyone to create, discover, love and enjoy music. Today, 1.5 % of the world's population (that's 125 million people and counting) have used Smule's apps. And they are creating communities, meeting new like-minded friends, and having fun making music together on Smule.
So if you wake up humming, play a mean air guitar or anything in between, then Smule is for you―anyone can do it, no previous experience required.
Interested in creating social music experiences? Check out our job openings here.
Dr. Jeffrey C. Smith, CEO and Co-Founder Linkedin
Jeff grew up in a family where music was a choice: if you wanted to eat, then you would practice. While Jeff went hungry many days, he managed to practice enough, and since leaving his home in Utah long ago, he is still practicing—and eating. Jeff remembers an early piano performance in his church where, as a little boy, he was so nervous that the vibration of the piano pedals extended throughout his legs and knees to the extent he couldn't control them! His older brother, also a pianist, was taught to play the organ as well, and soon thereafter became the church organist. When Jeff's mother offered to teach Jeff to play the organ, he declined. Jeff loves all kinds of music, including Folk, Classical, Country, and Rock, for example the Man in Black or Mr. Mojo Risin'. Jeff has enjoyed working with great teams and building great companies for the past twenty-five years.
Bill Bradford, Chief Growth Officer Linkedin
Luckily, Bill chose to play the sax, as he met his wife, Charlotte, when they forced her to share a music stand with him in 8th grade jazz band. After selling his sax to buy pizza at Stanford, he picked up the uke to play along with Charlotte's Polynesian family band. For his mom's 50th birthday, a mariachi band wanted $300, but a second-hand bass cost only $99, so he became a bass player. Now that their 4 kids play uke, bass, guitar, sax and keyboard, he’s been relegated to band manager. Bill still likes to funk out to early 80's jams from The Gap Band, Cameo, Con Funk Shun and Chaka Khan. Before Smule, he enjoyed stints at Adobe, Connectix, Tumbleweed, Thuuz Sports and music streaming startup Simplify Media.
Zhongling "Alex" Li, Chief Technology Officer Linkedin
Alex is happy to present the tone deaf community as the living proof to realize Smule's vision to enable everyone to create music together. He secretly practiced guitar during his college years in China following his love for Guns N' Roses and Metallica, dreaming one day to play like Slash even though he really sucked at it. Recently his passion was reignited when his 11 year old son decided to take bass lessons, which triggered him to stock up guitars/amps with his 5-year Smule anniversary reward, in hopes of forming a family band one day. On the geek side, Alex has a MS in Computer Science from Columbia University and BS from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Before Smule, he led engineering teams at Booyah, Jasper and eBay.
Chris Hollenbeck, Chief Financial Officer Linkedin
The high and low of Chris's musical career was junior year of high school when he played sax in the band "Johnny Whirlpool and the Home Appliances.” The band toured the Bar Mitzvah and graduation party circuit but, alas, Chris's saxophone talents had peaked in 8th grade and he soon parted ways with Johnny and the rest of the Appliances. Fortunately, enough musical aptitude sunk in over the years that Chris can still stand over his children to make unwanted suggestions as they practice piano, guitar and drums. Chris took to watching music more naturally than playing and received a worldly education following the Grateful Dead around the West Coast during his high school and college years. And while Jerry is gone and "nothin's gonna bring him back", Chris has finally found that same spirit of community that thrived at every Dead show in the Smule family, both near and far. Prior to his current role, Chris was a founding partner at Granite Ventures.
Mary Yang, SVP of Product Linkedin
Born in China, Mary taught herself English at a young age through children's songs. While she couldn't quite sing in tune, she started playing piano at age 5 and "Mary Had A Little Lamb" was the first English song she learned. Naturally, she chose "Mary" as her English name. In truth, she didn't know any other English names at the time to choose from. Armed with a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Tsinghua University and a MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford, Mary enjoys leading and advising startups which create fun products and build great communities. Prior to joining Smule, Mary co-founded the US incubator of Renren and launched two social mobile apps. When not running product teams, Mary serves in her church teaching bible and hymns to young people. She also loves singing with people all over the world on Smule and discovering new talent. Secretly, Mary has been trying to learn how to play the guitar, and the pain in her fingers is preventing her from typing up a really long bio (thankfully).