Ken Bousquet, CoPlay Co-Founder, wants to democratize party playlists.

I think we’ve all been here: You’re at a rager really feeling that Kanye when the music suddenly cuts to the theme song of Frozen. Oh, hell no.

What if you never had to experience such a traumatic moment like that ever again? Your pals at CoPlay, a startup stemming from Wentworth, have your back on this one.

The company is coming out with a device that plugs into your speakers or sound system, connects to the WiFi and lets the crowd decide the playlist. That doesn’t mean any given person will have a monopoly on the music; people vote either to add or veto songs, and the majority prevails.

“I just remember saying, ‘Hey, can we make it so that people don’t play U2 at our parties anymore?’ And my roommate was like, ‘…Yeah, we can do that.’”

I spoke with Ken Bousquet, who co-founded CoPlay alongside Ben Greenier and Taylor Rosenblum, about how the device came about. Naturally, it was inspired by a party. Because college.

“This idea started after a party one weekend,” Bousquet told me. “It was a sunday morning and I was laying on the couch when roommate stumbled out. I just remember saying, ‘Hey, can we make it so that people don’t play U2 at our parties anymore?’ and my roommate was like, ‘…Yeah, we can do that.’”

From there, a startup was born. While they were initially building an app on Spotify, they had to put the kibosh on that iteration when the site shut down those capabilities. No matter – they decided to go the device route, which turns out to have its advantages.

“No one has to leave something unattended at a party,” Bousquet explained. “I don’t have to worry about plugging in my laptop and having someone spill beer on it, or plugging in my phone and having it stolen.”

Ready to launch

The CoPlay team with the prototype device. From left: Ken Bousquet, Ben Greenier, Matt Michaud (who’s since left the team) and Taylor Rosenblum

The CoPlay team is finalizing all of the details and is planning on launching a Kickstarter by the end of the year. Although the public may have to wait to get their hands on one of these devices, the co-founders have already rolled out a CoPlay prototype on their personal party circuit.

“We’ve tested it out at a couple of different parties, and people really like it,” Bousquet said.

“People love skipping other people’s songs,” he laughed. “Like at the end of the night when someone tries to put on a Disney song, and everyone says it’s horrible and skips it. Everyone has a moment together to make fun of them and say, ‘Haha – nope, your song sucked.’”

After the initial Kickstarter sales, CoPlay is hoping to scale up and get into the retail realm. And if all goes well, Bousquet says he can see the startup branching out to bars and clubs, as long as they can find a way around Spotify’s “cannot play in public places” policies. So keep your eyes – or ears – out for more music voting opportunities.

Images provided.