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How Diaa El all went from classical musician to technical leader

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In this ongoing series, we share advice, tips, and insights from real entrepreneurs who battle daily business struggles. (The answers have been edited and summarized for clarity.)


Diaa El All

Who are you and what is your company?

My name is Diaa El All, I am co-founder and CEO of Soundful. Soundful is an AI music creation platform that allows artists, creators, singers, songwriters and producers to analyze, create and monetize music. We are on a mission to democratize music making in the same way the phone has democratized video making for the masses. This isn’t about replacing people as music makers – it’s about giving people a tool to help people open doors they couldn’t open before.

What is your background? What led you to this company?

I am a musician at heart. I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt and started playing the piano when I was 3 years old. I entered the Royal Academy of London at the age of 13 to get my first certification in classical piano and received my degree in sound engineering and music production in San Francisco. While in school I was able to work with Rockstar Games and then went the music route as an artist, DJ and producer. In the end I switched to the entrepreneurial route. I started several ventures, and the last one resulted in proprietary AI and machine learning technology that my partners and I used to create Soundful.

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Where do you think your entrepreneurial spirit comes from?

That’s an interesting question. I feel like my family has two sides. From my father’s side, he has been with his company for 36 years. But my mother’s side is very much on the entrepreneurial route. She always starts new businesses and gambles on herself. So I am both a team and an individual player. But I really like taking that first step forward – betting on myself where I can decide my fate. Everything is mine. So I can’t blame anyone for failure, and I don’t feel like success was dependent on anyone else.

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What is your advice for other founders?

I think my biggest advice is to really take that leap of faith by believing in yourself. It won’t all be perfect, it won’t all work out, but I believe in that cliché that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I consider all failures and things that didn’t go my way as steps down a flight of stairs. Keep ascending, keep climbing to reach the target.

Certain mistakes or missteps you have learned from?

Oh yeah! I’ve made the same mistake twice: putting all your eggs in one basket when raising capital. You know, you meet someone and it seems great, so you slow down all your other conversations and put other things on hold. But then, for various reasons, that one person doesn’t work out and you start all over again. It’s normal for things to fall apart when raising capital, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I cannot emphasize that enough!

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What does the daily life of an londonbusinessblog.com look like?

I absolutely love what I do, so for me I work 24/7. But if you are passionate about what you do, you just do what you love to do. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful. I have found that the key to coping with the ups and downs of this life is a good daily routine.

When I wake up, I start the day listening to 30 minutes of positive frequencies (you can find them pretty easily on Spotify). I don’t look at my phone. Then I go to the gym every morning at 5 o’clock. I turn off my notifications, don’t check my email, and don’t take phone calls. It’s about getting the blood flowing and focusing this time on me. After that? All hell breaks loose and it’s time to work!

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