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Critica is a new startup that is currently building a music discussion application/platform, which aims to give people a voice in the music they listen to. Founded and managed by an intrepid team of Columbia University students, Critica is looking to create an environment where artists can receive qualitative feedback about the music they produce. Critica’s principles include fostering community in music, advancing self-thought within music commentary, and promoting exposure to new music.

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Meet the team of Black college students who want to change the way we listen to music. They range in specialties from UX/UI design to marketing. Read their profiles below and click here to visit the website for more information.

Obinna Okoli is a cofounder of Critica. He is a junior at Columbia University majoring in computer science and economics and is currently working on designing new features and on the user interface. He leads Critica’s vision, guiding business strategy for growth, setting agendas, UI/UX design, front-end development, creating marketing materials, networking, pitching, and forming partnerships. “I believe that by connecting through music on Critica, we gain the opportunity to understand politics, relationships, and emotions in ways that transcend backgrounds of differing interests.”

Olaedo Okoroafor is also a co-founder of Critica and a computer science (CS) student at Columbia University. She is currently working on the backend development of Critica ranging from organizing backend tasks and implementing Spotify playback. “I hope that Critica can shape the culture surrounding listening to music from its previous disposable nature to an experience that puts the appreciation of the art at its center.”

Muse Gimicael is a cofounder of Critica and a CS student at Columbia University. He is currently working on the front-end development of Critica. “I hope that Critica can cause discussion around music to deepen people’s understanding of the work and bring about more appreciation of the art form, learning of the dozens of producers and artists working on an album and the effort put into every second.”

Nigel Boachie Kumankumah is a developer and CS student at Columbia University. He is currently working on full-stack development. “I hope that Critica can become an escape, where individuals are free to discover and inspired to embrace the essence of music.”

Miira Efrem is also a developer and CS student currently working on the backend development of Critica. “I hope Critica challenges the current state of the music critique space and helps foster a community where this discussion is more accessible to all music enjoyers.”

Hagir Khalil is the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Critica and CS student at Columbia University. She is currently working on developing an ambassador program through different universities, promotional events/marketing, and forming partnerships for Critica. “I hope that with Critica we are able to provide a space for people, for whom music means more than just lyrics, to express their thoughts and emotions revolving around these songs and connect with others who share the same passion. I hope to bring more exposure to underground artists and allow for a better relationship for artists with their listeners.”

Chukwudubem Anwunah is the operations manager of Critica and a biomedical engineering student at Columbia University. He is currently working on the business and legal side of Critica, managing operations within the organization. “I hope that the industry becomes a place where diverse and unique music tastes are embraced, and individuals are encouraged to find their own path. I really think Critica can put the individual back into music, rather than the masses”

Asia Gray is Critica’s product manager and CS sophomore at Columbia University. She is currently designing Critica For Artists, conducting interviews, and market research. “I hope that underground and independent artists can continue to be successful and stay true to their art through meaningful and innovative music discussion.”

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