Why We Are Launching at SXSW 2021: Interview with Sala.Live CEO Oscar Pena

This year, SXSW published 7 questions surrounding their 7 themes. These themes fall in line with the conference that SXSW is and “allows attendees to explore what’s next in the worlds of film, culture, music, and technology.” This is precisely what Sala aim’s to do, so it made complete sense for us to pick SXSW as our first affair to introduce our platform, and talk about our mission.

Since it is our first time attending SXSW as Team, we thought it was necessary to have the CEO of Sala Technologies, Oscar Pena, address these 7 themes from his perspective. As a music fan and entrepreneur, Oscar set out to not only build a platform that encourages more connection during these times of disconnect, but also to allow the shift from artist as a product, to artist as a business to thrive. The key stone of this venture for him is to help artists. That’s it.

Oscar Pena, CEO of Sala Technologies



2020 has amplified issues like racial injustice, poverty, nationalism, and the climate crisis amidst a global pandemic. The future depends on the business, non-profit, government, science, and technology communities all working together. What advancements are needed to create immediate and lasting progress?

Oscar: Our platform is deigned to connect artists, producers, venues and fans in a revolutionary way. Creating a new revenue stream for each, expanding artists reach, creating tighter communities, and eliminating cost and logistical barriers to live performances.


If we are to achieve real change as a society, then the many ways in which the tech industry impacts our lives must be leveraged as a positive force. To build a better tomorrow, what lessons can an industry integral to our existence learn from its current failings?

Oscar: We want technology that unites, simplifies, and empowers. We keep these pillars in the forefront of our design and development efforts as we firmly believe its the best way for us to serve artists and fans.


Great art often thrives in times of turmoil and chaos. How will the eruption of creativity we are currently seeing across music, film, experiential, written, and visual arts impact our culture for the next decade and beyond?

Oscar: I love the fact that a platform like Sala can shine a global spotlight on genres and artists who normally wouldn’t have that exposure. Also it unites people from all over the globe enjoying diverse music and culture. We aspire for our users to experience connections that are built on common likes and behaviors, something much more beautiful than focusing on what divides us.


From startups to small companies to major corporations, capitalism must be examined as we look to rebuild the global economy. A potential leveling of the playing field awaits if we seize this opportunity for more equitable systems across race, gender, and class.

Oscar: The pandemic desimated mid level artists and venues and we are on a mission to protect them from this ever happening again. By allowing creatives to create, manage, and perform from wherever their home or studio or partnering with their favorite venue we want all to be connected to their fans regardless of any circumstance.


Conventional wisdom from entertainment industries has lost its shine in the face of evolving consumer habits, technological advancements, and an increased focus on social issues. These pressures are forcing a much needed metamorphosis. What lessons can music, film, television, sports, and gaming learn to keep up with an ever-accelerating pace of change?

Oscar: Fighting the technological revolution is pointless, much smarter to join in and be part of a new way to experience live arts.


We’re living lives we never could have imagined as we head into our own brave new world. The consequences of social isolation have been brewing for years. Now online platforms are some of the only outlets available to foster a sense of community. How do we return to a world where individual concerns give way to embracing the value of humanity?

Oscar: To answer this one I really have to look at the connections I’ve made during this life changing transition. Sala blossomed out of a passion for music and our team is scattered all over the world. The reality of running a business is not only about human interaction but trust as well. When we do return to a world – whether that is the same or different – I think as long as we continue to be human to one another and learn to continue helping each other, then there will be no need for concern.


Biohacking, consumer space travel, quantum physics, radical life extension, drone delivery — these concepts that once belonged in science fiction are now part of our immediate future. What mind-blowing new ideas will inspire the next generation of innovators?

Oscar: All of those ideas should be enough to inspire the next generation of innovators. I think humanity does a very good job at trying to excel so quickly that we forget to actually look around us and see just how far we’ve come. Maybe we took a bit longer then expected to get here, but as the evolution of technology continues to expand our ideas and vision, the world as is is already a pretty amazing place to be.

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