The Hookist Story • Hookist

The Hookist Story

“A glorious new use of the web
to create art with great music artists.”
Sonic Scoop


Why Artists Need Hookist

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Guitar Legend & Grammy Nominated Songwriter,
Gary Lucas,
on the Value of Hookist to Artists

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 What do users say?

  • The bucket list item that never occurred to me until it happened!  Ray L.
  • What a brilliant idea.  Tim A.
  • That’s some addictive platform you got there – looks like 20hrs is the longest I can stay away!  Jerry B.
  • Really freaking awesome. Hamish C.
  • To hear my lyrics sung by such wonderful artists gives me chills.  Grant E.
  • You have created a really unique, intimate platform for artists to interact with their fans. Dan H.
  • How cool is it to have Brad Roberts sing lyrics you wrote? I can only imagine! BC Bell
  • Reality Check: Well, we are off to the hospital to have a baby. I’d like to say how much of a pleasure it has been participating in this initial release of Hookist. I’d also like to thank Brad for taking the time to not only read over our lines but in giving such great critical feedback. Robert H.


3x Grammy nominee, Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies,
explains the Hookist songwriting process.

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Watch Hookist Founders,
Meredith Collins & Terry Derkach on FOX-TV!

Hookist cool factor

The Hookist founders are both artists who are mad music fans in love with the creative process —  and both have significant business experience. We know what our audience thinks, feels and dreams. And we have spent our lives defying the odds and climbing over, around and through brick walls.  We also have the experience, guts and proven teamwork to make Hookist a force to be reckoned with, having helped grow one of Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies almost 800% over 3 years and having been “life partners” for the last 17 years.

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Meredith Collins is CEO of Hookist.  Formerly, she was a producer, actor and IATSE camera person. She helped break boundaries as one of the earliest women in a highly technical camera position in the feature film industry, she designed a sales strategy that helped increase expo sales from $5m to $100m/yr, and she produced high-profile live events including over 100 shows for the world’s premier fashion event, NY Fashion Week. Meredith has an MS in Negotiation & Conflict Resolution from Columbia University and has performed in theatre, film & television.


Terry Derkach is a 30-year veteran of the music industry.  He is a music producer, engineer, life-long guitarist, and founder of VRTCL Entertainment, a recording and production studio in New York City. Previously, Terry was Director of Operations for The Learning Annex, and Technical Producer of over 30 expos in the US & Canada with audiences up to 65,000 and sales of up to $100 million/ year.


Hatching Hookist

Like every great startup idea, the Hookist concept was hatched in our corner bar on St. Marks Place in NYC.

Hookist co-founder, Terry Derkach, is a life-long musician and music producer, and his friend and long-time collaborator (who shall remain nameless) is a multi-platinum, Grammy nominated singer-songwriter who writes the most moving, beautiful lyrics that frequently make entire stadiums – packed to the rafters – SING in harmony.  The fact that you might not know exactly what you’re singing ABOUT doesn’t really seem to matter.

Hookist co-founder, Meredith Collins, is a producer, IATSE camera person and actor.  She does not have a musical bone in her body, but she is fascinated by those magical people who can capture the zeitgeist and make people SING!

The two drank Belgian beer and discussed the “enigmatic amazingness” of their friend’s songwriting and the sad state of the music industry.  Music sales have plummeted by 2/3 because we buy singles now instead of albums. The sparkling promise of streaming is unproven at best and is certainly controversial.  Music royalty of the highest order has been reduced to tweeting photos of their lunch to stay relevant in a world where attention is the most expensive currency.

Having struggled for years as an actor and paid hefty fees to perform in showcases for one promised industry heavy hitter or another, Meredith was surprised to discover the music biz does not have nearly the number of networking or showcasing opportunities as the acting world — at any price — yet there are far more aspiring musicians than actors.  These showcases are a big business fueled — and paid for — by an aspiring artist’s belief in themselves, their talents and their dreams… so the sky is the limit when it comes to price!

Despite the beer, it became very clear that there are currently several significant sources of PAIN in the music industry for artists at every stage of the game, as well as music lovers and fans.

1.  Established artists need a new income stream
2.  Established artists need an AUTHENTIC & MEANINGFUL way to engage with fans that creates real value for fans and fosters “evangelism”
3.  Aspiring artists and songwriters need a forum to showcase their work to industry insiders, get feedback from respected artists and their teams, expose their work to new audiences and grow their fan bases.
4.  Fans want insider access, exclusive content and insight into the creative process of artists they love
5.  Everybody wants to be a rock star, so why not let folks in on the process and feel the messy excitement of watching a song take shape before your eyes — and with a respected artist at the helm, it will be a good song no matter how little rhythm or skill you have!

From there, Hookist took on a life of it’s own and would NOT be denied!  We willed it into existence and seeing the joy and excitement it brings people has been an incredible thrill.

And the music is AWESOME!  Take a listen to the songs we’ve written so far with so many incredible artists at Hookist Music!

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