Saji Girvan is on a quest to put music–and how it’s experienced–back in the hands of those creating it.

His app, Plug, is a tool that allows creators to craft augmented like experiences for fans. The app gives artists the ability to control everything from how their music is listened to, to how many times it is played.

Artists can also determine how their music is experienced. For example, an artist can set it up so their music can only be listened to through headphones. 

Girvan says the state of the music industry was tumultuous when he and his team began working on their product in 2014. Labels were in tough situations due to a lot of factors,  music streaming and changing business models being chief among them.

“It was like a graveyard, it was like showing up at the end of a funeral,” Girvan said. “Some people had left some people had stuck around, it was sad.”

Girvan says the mood among some of the biggest players in music has shifted because large portions of the industry now rely on big tech companies.

“Today, the smiles are back on people’s faces,” Girvan said. “These labels thought they were going to die, and now they have a new set of daddies. Those daddies are Spotify, Apple Music, and Google is praying that they can be one of them too.”

Girvan sat down with AfroTech to explain how he launched his app, how his core values have become part of the fabric of his company, and where he thinks the music industry is headed.