Making the world sing along
Name of business: La La Piano Bar
Creators: Shamil Sharshek and David Roper
Years in business: Over 2 years
Speciality: Event management (bespoke and personalised live entertainment with New York style piano bar quality)
Reach: National (especially Brighton, Leeds, Manchester)
Key to success: Not giving in, learning from your mistakes and staying in touch with your audience
Biggest challenge for businesses: Funding
Greatest asset: Unique product & great partnership
La La Piano Bar is not your typical pub with a piano in the corner and a solo pianist sitting at a keyboard, hiding behind a notice “don’t shoot the pianist”. It’s not karaoke either, when you are given a microphone and are left to your own devices, alone on a stage, trying to hit a note.
La La is all about lights and action, engagement, letting your hair down, letting loose, taking in the ambiance. Their events engage multiple performers and are vibrant, full of boa feathers and live music as well as singalongs. It’s a concept realised in a unique way. There’s nothing else like this in London, and probably in England. Shamil is on a mission to change this state of affairs.
1 + 1 = 11
Putting La La in every city in the UK is their goal. They are starting with London, creating open La La nights once a month. These events are a chance for the public to see what they are really capable off – but La La Piano Bar is a serious events company.
David Roper is the soul behind the creative development and Shamil Sharshek watches over the business side of things. It’s a great partnership as they have very different skills, and are aware and respectful of each other’s skills and talents.
David has the show business know-how, having been a ¼ of the ‘4 Poofs and a Piano’, livening up the Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years. Shamil has experience in project management and business development. This combination propels La La forward.
Delivering to many through personalised experience
Today apart from organising La La nights they also manage private bookings – book launches, private anniversaries, weddings, corporate parties, award ceremonies, you name it. They’ve gotten so far thanks to self-funding and resourcefulness. But there’s only so far you can get on your own. The business is definitely scalable and they are considering franchising in the future, but to get to that step they need funding. That’s their next biggest challenge. Audience grasps La La’s concept in a heartbeat. When it comes to investors, well, La La does not seem to play the right note yet and finding its way.
So they are investing in themselves and concentrating on organic growth. Success may take longer to reach, but will be more sustainable.
Make space and they will come
They are unstoppable, they are growing and learning. Testing new waters and slowly trying the format outside of London. So far, so good; but they want to make it better. They have their own crowd and their audience also outside the capital.
These are people looking for a different style of entertainment, for a new experience. Thinking outside the box La La will write an original song to go with the theme of your book! They will write a personal birthday song for a birthday party. All to make an event special, special to you. All they will need is a bit of space. They have everything else – performers, music and La La atmosphere. They specialise in creating and uniting communities, be it for one night as after a few songs even the shy sing along.
“There is something special about the whole room singing together.” – says Shamil. La La makes it happen… and soon, coming to a venue near you.
Why LaLa Piano Bar is my brand hero
They are on the way to make the world sing along. “Let’s start with the UK.” – smiles Shamil. To me, that’s a great mission behind a brand. The spirit of La La really comes alive during the events. They are currently experimenting with their marketing and ways of making their essence present across various communication platforms with equal strength.
Their youtube channel shows who they really are the only better way is to see the real deal. Now they want to make their website more swinging, singing and dancing. It’s a process, they are aware of it and most importantly they enjoy it, because they enjoy La La themselves and created from their own personal experience. They would, perhaps, like to make it faster, but first and foremost they want to make it right.
My lessons from this conversation:
– keep at it, even if the success does not come straight away
– it’s hard work, be prepared for it
– having long term goals will help you overcome issues on the way, find ways to innovate and keep moving
Further reading from Shamil:
Richard Branson’s biography, because he’s open about the up’s and down’s of business. In addition, Branson’s involved in so many things and that’s entrepreneurship: having ideas, developing them, not necessarily keeping to one industry, one business. But whatever he does, he has a vision, and it’s clear though all of his endeavours.
Elements of a strong brand:
learning from your own mistakes
ability to grow
Shamil did not verbalise one as such, but it seems to me, it is could say: when you’re down, stand up, adapt and go on.
Find out where LaLa Piano Bar is popping up next:
- visit their website lalapianobar.com
- follow them on Twitter @lalapianobar
- find them on Facebook facebook.com/LaLaPianoBar
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