In early February, a representative for Fanstereo reached out to me through email. Boosie Badazz, the legendary Baton Rouge, Louisiana-native rapper, had just announced the partnership online. Previously, the company partnered with Ayo and Teo. Recently, the CEO, Jay Leopardi and I was able to interview about the difference between his brand and others, the price point, and how he selects which artists to work alongside. *As you read the interview, you will see that Boosie Badazz was not available for comment. Leopardi fills in.
Each product offers the sound quality of professional-grade audio, available for the very first time on the consumer market.’ What makes Fanstereo different than the leading headphone brands in the market right now? Could you explain how it is the first time this level of audio is entering the market?
We’re the very first hybrid headphone, meaning that these headphones perform at a recording studio level, but we made them consumer-facing – not something only recording industry executives/artists can get their hands on. We’ve made a consumer headphone with professional-grade quality. We also have another set of headphones launching soon that are extremely high quality and have patented speaker drivers which deliver the truest flattest sound, where listeners can hear all the mid-high and low tones perfectly.
How do you decide which artists/celebrities to bring on as a partner? Is it based on levels of popularity, genre, and social media metrics and affiliations? You’ve collaborated with Ayo and Teo and Boosie Badazz. Who are some of the other artists you’ve brought on as a partner? Which genres have you covered so far? Are there any women on the list of collection makers?
It’s our objective to sign artists of all genres, and all age groups – ranging from the Ayo and Teo’s of the world to the classic artists like Cypress Hill. We’ve branched into the Latinos genre with Victor Manuelle, we have DJ Scream, were in touch with athletes as well. We’re partnering with all different types of artists, helping them deliver quality sound to their fans. We’re signing artists from all genres. It’s as if we’re a record label. And this is just the beginning – with all the music we get out there you’ll soon see, there’s AM radio, there’s FM radio and then there’s Fanstereo.
We solely sign artists and stars based on their involvement. We don’t do endorsement deals, we do partnerships. We go after people who are relevant and have passion – and if I see they don’t have the passion I don’t sign them. I’m not going to sign someone big like Justin Bieber, just because he’s Justin Bieber.
Let’s discuss the price point. I haven’t tested the product yet, but it looks like it is high quality. Typically, musicians/rappers like expensive things that are the creme of the crop. How were you able to maintain the following price point in today’s market?
We manufacture all our products in the US, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. We don’t depend on anyone. We do all the design work, our R & D is done in-house, our packaging is done in-house. We’re making plans to expand to retail and for those we’re in touch with, we want to make sure that our customers don’t have to pay crazy markups for our products. We want to maintain a price that everyone can afford. People had to wait years to buy Beats headphones, and to me, that’s not fair. I want everyone to have our product.
Boosie, this question is for you, in particular. From the standpoint of a seasoned recording artist, I would like for you to remove yourself from the ownership of a collection with Fanstereo. In your honest opinion, what do you think makes the brand special? We hope not, but we have to ask: Will this be the last of your joint ventures in the technological space? If not, how has the following opportunity inspired you to do more in tech? Talk to us about your involvement in making the collection. Was it a hands-on experience? Did you sit and meet with a design team?
Boosie was extremely involved in the process of building out his line and his passion is something I love about him. He’s built such a tight relationship with his fans and his products are in such high demand that he may be taking a step further into the tech space and creating his own brand of headphones – with his own logo, design, etc.
Is the product available at any brick and mortars? If so, where can potential customers purchase them? What else do you offer/sell outside of headphones? Where could one purchase the products online?
Right now our products are available on fanstereo.com and we’re in the process of preparing to get into retail. Outside of headphones, we offer our amazing Nubump speakers. We also sell fanwipes, which are available on our site, which you can use to clean your headphones, sneakers and more. Artists that use the product are DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Puff Daddy, The High Children, Sean Paul, Josh Powell, Bill Bellamy and many others. We’re a lifestyle brand, so we’ll eventually be branching out into other product realms, like fashion.
From looking at the products myself, I’ve taken a liking to the Nubump speaker and the Studio43 Camel headphones. Could you share if there will be more colourways in the future? Are you looking for product reviews?
Absolutely, we have a ton of colours coming up. We anodize our aluminium to make amazing colours and more are coming. Our raspberry copper and gunmetal headphones completely sold out, we made purple headphones for Wendy William’s collection. This is just the beginning.