Why NFTs are the Perfect Medium for Songs

These two brothers on a journey to empower the creative value of music by creating on-chain music production tools for creators.

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Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 1 welcomes Kyle and Evan Dhillon, two brothers on a journey to empower the creative value of music by creating on-chain music production tools for creators.  

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • ​​00:46 Intro
  • 3:32 What is Arpeggi Genesis?
  • 9:40  Why mint a song?
  • 14:45 Does being family help?
  • 19:07 DOWS or DAWS?
  • 23:35 How does Arpeggi standout?
  • 28:49 Ownership on Arpeggi
  • 33:47 Community Building
  • 44:22 Future of Music vs Crypto
  • 46:32 Outro

…and so much more.


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

2. Polygon Studios – https://polygonstudios.com

Interested in becoming an NFT sponsor? Get in touch here!


Intro

Glad you guys are here. You guys are making headwinds online. A lot of buzz around our Arpeggi, so let’s dive right into it. Okay. Who are you guys, but more specifically, what were you doing before crypto and where are you now?

Wow it’s a long one. The road to get to where we are today is pretty interesting, but I guess less than maybe three months ago, I was working as a software engineer at a big tech company. I’d only graduated a year before that. So I graduated 2020 went right into working as a software engineer and was doing that for a while, just kind of coasting along. And then some buddies of mine from high school, started getting really into NFTs and crypto and whatnot, and kind of roped me into it as well. And then that’s where it all sort of started. They had a little project of their own, and then I got inspired to get something going myself. And so I hit up Kyle, my older brother who had been working on a sort of music side project to kind of figure out what we could do with it. And yeah, I’ll pass on to Kyle to talk about that.

And here we are,

Yeah, I’ll fill in some of the gaps there, but yeah, I’m also an engineer. I was working at Google for the last five years until Evan came to me and said hey, you’ve been working on this little side project. It was a hip hop, beat generator. I’d just been working on it for fun on the side since college , five or six years now. And he said, okay, there’s a lot of cool generative music projects out there. What if we took this little beat generator and, , put it on the blockchain and made it an NFT, but the big insight that Evan had that I think was pretty cool was saying like, instead of making this a generative NFT where people just buy music, that our algorithm will make what if we took the song format the same song representation that I had been using internally in this generator but kind of turned it into a creative tool that anyone could basically use to, to create their own song, to compose their own song. And then write their own custom song 100% on chain and mint that as an NFT. Then that’s kind of what led to the Arpeggi Genesis.

What is Arpeggi Genesis?

Got it. Okay. So I’m a musician myself. You can’t really see it here. I’ll go full screen for a minute. Okay. You see the drums in the back. Okay. You saw it in the green room, but I’m a big fan. This makes a lot of sense to me. Okay. I’m very crypto native. I’m very web three forward super user also musician. So I get the model for those who don’t really understand. Why do you need like a beat making tool from creation to the minting on chain? Why is that transition so important versus downloading mp3 file and then uploading it manually? Why is that flow so necessary?

It gets a little bit technical. I feel like when you start to explain that, so Kyle mentioned earlier about this song format that we have. So basically when we set out to make our Arpeggi, we didn’t really start with the problem of, oh, there’s no music creation platform. Rather., we started with the problem of there’s no music that’s fully on chain. All the music in the ecosystem today. Any music and NFTs you see aside from maybe, Orly beats and a few other of these generative projects, aren’t really fully on chain in the same way that like an art blocks piece is fully on chain. And what that means is that the data to recreate your song or recreate your art piece is stored fully in the contract, the way most NFT collections work today is that they create a token in the contract and they point to some third party storage system that stores the actual image or the actual composition. And so when Kyle and I set out to make Arpeggi, rather than framing it as a music creation platform, we’re like, all right, how do we get music to be on chain? And the way we solve that is that we needed people to write their music in this very specific format that Kyle had been developing in order for people to write their music in this Arpeggi format, we needed to build a [inaudible] around the format so that people could easily create music in a way they’re familiar with. And then the output would be in this very lightweight representation. That’s like 1/10,000th the size of a typical MP3, which is what allows us to actually put the music fully on chain versus most other NFT music projects.

Got it. Got it. I guess from a creative point of view, from a technical point of view, that makes sense, right. From a creator’s point of view, why is that important to the creator?

Yeah. Kyle, maybe you wanna talk a little bit about like, , why is having music on the blockchain cool. And what we’re gonna do with it, in the next version of Arpeggi.

By the way, I asked this from like a very devil’s advocate, like dumb down point of view, right. Because there’s a lot of creators entering web three, we’ve seen like the sexy art and video side kind of emerge with a lot of these Instagram, corporate artists evolve. And now we’re seeing a lot, a lot of like web three musicians get into the space. So just to add more clarity around the creator side would be great.

There’s a few layers here. First question, why would you want to create something on the blockchain at all? Or why would you wanna create an NFT at all? It’s a philosophical question in a lot of ways, but there’s a lot of interesting benefits for artists. The things that we really love and the things that we think are the most relevant for musicians, especially is the accreditation, the fact that once you mint something on the chain, it’s always gonna be associated with your name. Like, there’s no way for somebody to come along later and say, actually, I, created that melody originally. It’s always gonna be associated with you. Something that I think we really tried to hit is it opens up access to this new type of digital consumer, digital collectors for music collectibles or digital listeners who are excited about web three and decentralized music platforms. That’s something that’s just getting started. We us starting to see the emergence of kind of the web three consumer market, but as time goes on, and as I think more and more people around the world realize the benefits of decentralized platforms over the sort of web two centralized services for music, SoundCloud, Spotify, we’re gonna see a lot, I think, a lot more benefits for artists who kind of embrace new technologies and new ways to distribute, their music. So that’s a little bit high level. The thing that we focused on for this was like, Evan mentioned, how do we put this fully on chain? How do we put the full data of the song on chain? And that’s a good question, too, is why is this relevant for musicians to have all of the data of their song, be fully on chain? Evan mentioned, permanence, like your song will always be there. If you upload your MP3 to a third party server and create an NFT that just references that data, if that third party server crashes, or that company decides that, , if they run outta money and they pull their servers, you’re not really holding anything anymore. What you own is just a dead URL basically. IPFS is another file server solution and there’s similar problems with, if nobody wants to host your file, then it doesn’t exist. Putting the data on chain is an interesting technical problem. And we looked at Art Blocks, which is probably the biggest and most popular, fully on chain Art, Visual Art marketplace as, inspiration and Art Blocks is fascinating and a really inspirational project. They have had like immense success. I think they did, as it 80 million of revenue, in one year, just because of the fact that their art being on chain makes it so much more valuable to collectors. So that’s, that’s one reason, but there’s some other interesting technical elements we’ll get into in a bit.

Yeah. what I envision, so I played around with it a bit. I look forward to the day where everything is on chain. Okay. Now I might be a maxi for that, but I think there’s actually a lot of cool things you can integrate from the actual composition to itself being minted on chain to then collaboration. So multiple people kind of contributing to the same track and then splits occurring automatically on chain and all these, nuances and intricacies that otherwise are like major pain points of web two now being automated by smart contracts. And the premise of that is minting a song on chain. So I think it does unlock a lot of like value down the line and Evan I see you nodding your head. You wanna add to that?

Why mint a song?

Absolutely. Adam, you almost just outlined our whole game plan for the next couple of months. So yeah, I think that the logical next step with Arpeggi is we have a way to put songs fully on chain, but beyond the whole song itself, we also have a way to put the song components and have them separated out from the whole song and track attribution, not only on the whole song level, but on the stem level. So each individual instrument track you can have attribution and association and royalty splits potentially down the line, tied to those. And then even one level deeper than that, you can have attribution tagged to the samples and the sample packs that actually make up those stems. And with that, you can kind of picture this whole ecosystem within Arpeggi where I’m making sample packs, and someone else uses a stem or makes a stem using one of my samples. And I have a certain amount royalties tied to my stem and they have a certain amount tied to their sample and someone else uses that pulls it in their song. And all of it in just automated away. And kind of the benefit of that as a creator is I have this massive library of stems and samples to pull from. And I don’t have to think at all about, am I like taking this from someone else without their permission? Like everything in this library people will like consent and have certain attribution and royalties and licenses attached to each one of their pieces. So it’s a really powerful tool for creators to not only not have to worry about their stuff getting stolen, but also being able to compose tracks from this massive library where they don’t have to worry about , actually stepping on someone’s toes with using their samples. So, yeah, definitely nodding my head in agreement with you there. Yeah. I think it’s a really cool idea too, and we we’d like to make it happen.

Kyle, when you were, kind of like building this out initially, like back in college and you were just like tinkering messing around, did you ever imagine it would get to like this level of like legitimacy and it actually be solving pain points because there’s a ton of beat makers online, a ton of them. Like even in the Tesla itself, for example, like in the entertainment section, they have the ability to compose beats. And one of my questions, like when are you gonna do an integration with Tesla?

No, it’s actually, that’s a really funny question. Like over like the years there’s been months where I gotten really into working on that side project and I made like a fun website and me and my other brother, we used to freestyle over the beats that it would generate. And just like, , it was just a fun project and then every now and then I’d be like, oh, how can I monetize this? And then like about a year ago, early in COVID I was like, how could I make this into a VST plugin for Ableton and fruity loops? And I just got really demoralized after like two or three weeks of research, because I was like, no, this is too complicated. Like there’s no way to integrate generative, full song arrangements into like digital audio workstations. And I just kind of said fine, whatever. I’m not gonna force it. And like the craziest thing is that out of nowhere, Evan came to me with this idea. I’m not one to just like work on a startup project idea. I’m kind of a cynic when it comes to like ideas. I think that they, a lot of them are a little bit too, I’m an engineer, I like building stuff and seeing real stuff. But when Evan came to me with this idea in particular, I kind of was like, when, , like something’s gonna work, you just like, know it’s gonna work. And when you told me about this originally, I just was like, all right, this is the one thing that I will like quit my job and work on. And thankfully it worked like, here we are. Yeah. ,

Evan, are you the more entrepreneurial one then?

Maybe in some senses.

Like in school, when you were growing up, you had like the lemonade stand kind of thing or is that the narrative?

We had a couple lemonade stands back in the day. I did study entrepreneurship at Wash U while I was there. I studied computer science and entrepreneurship, but I hadn’t really, this was like my first actual venture though. U I’d done all the side projects in school and case studies and whatnot, but in terms of really building something, building a product and pitching it to a bunch of people and releasing it to the general public, this was the first time. And I think, I feel very lucky that it’s gone as well as it has so far. And we’re definitely learning as we go here, but yeah. I hope to continue it after I remember like maybe three weeks after launch, when we had started to get a little bit of traction and I was still at my old job for a little bit. I remember I had this realization. I was like, oh God, like, even if this tanks, I could never go back to like working for someone else in a massive organization ever again, like it’s just too much fun building stuff with my friends and with my brother. After that realization, I do think I am a little more wide for it than I was beforehand. So it’s been very encouraging.

Does being family help?

Yeah. How has it been working as brothers together? What is that like?

Overwhelmingly positive.

Both of you guys are laughing, probably like reminiscing on stories right now

I mean, honestly from the root, it’s been awesome. The first like four months. And I think the best part of it comes in the hardest times. So in the times where we’re thinking about our roadmap and we’re at, we have many different ideas floating around, or we have a hard decision to make one way or the other, and you get into some tough conversations with one another and you might be disagreeing completely. And , it helps that my co-founder is my brother in the sense that I can be fully honest with him and just let him know my honest opinion and we’ll get into it, as brothers, but, , five, 10 minutes later we are just back to normal. I’m like, Kyle, I need to take five and I just come back and it’s good.

The honesty is really there. And like just the foundation is really solid. It’s one of those things where I would never talk to a coworker at a company the way that I talk to Evan sometimes. We kinda get emotional about things, but in a respectful way, like, we have a really good relationship with each other and with our other brother, Austin, who’s, who’s our like audio engineer we’re lucky that we have a good solid kind of foundation there to build on, it has been quite fun actually.

Yeah. So all you guys are musicians? What is the connection here?

That’s funny. I think we all have like a strong music background. We used to play music together and jam all the time when we were growing up, but I think our middle brother’s the most serious about it. He’s a full-time producer and engineer. And I just worked on that beach generator just for fun. The big thing is we used to to go to a lot of festivals together, go to a lot of concerts together and share a lot of music together and we’ve always had a really strong like musical relationship where we would each try to one up each other with like the best new artists that we just found and kind of impress each other with our like indie music knowledge. Yeah. And I think that segued really nicely into a project like this, cuz like we all can speak the same language about like, , these more advanced music stuff. But for me I’ve learned way more about music in the last four months than I have probably in my entire life. It’s awesome.

Same goes for me. And it kind of ties into today’s product that we have. So we have Arpeggi Studio Genesis which is the [inaudible] that’s in browser today. And Kyle and I kind of hacked that together pretty quickly in only a couple months and it it’s reflected in the do for sure. It’s pretty limited in its features, but what’s also reflected is the fact that Kyle and I haven’t spent that much time in DAWS and are very kind of DAWS illiterate to begin with and so DAWS is really made for dummies in a way right now to where, if you’re a new user, who’s never made music before you can kind of hop in there, drag and drop, click around, , randomize a beat. If you want to, you can have kind of a template to start with. I think it makes things a lot easier for people who are less familiar with some of the leading DAWS today, like Ableton and pro tools and whatnot. So blessing and a curse, not knowing too much about production, but we’re really fortunate that our third brother is a very experienced producer and has spent a lot of time in DAWS. So we have the right resources to pull from in terms of building the next iteration, which we hope to be a little bit more or a bit more powerful than today’s DAW, but still maintain the usability and the ease of use for new users as well.

DOWS or DAWS?

Well. Yeah. You keep saying DAW initially I thought it was DAW.

Yeah. Some people call them DAWS. Some people call them DAWS, but it’s Digital Audio Workstation. I mean, Adam you’re probably very familiar. What’s your favourite DAW?

Honestly, I’ve never really produced. I’ve always just been like behind the screen, the glass screen, just playing. Right. So I’ve never really been the producer or the engineer. So I know pro tools obviously. I know Fruity Loops. So there’s a few of them and like I have the one in the Tesla too, for example, where I make like dummy beats, , but yeah, I’ve never really spent time, but one thing that I really liked about your layout is like it’s super dumb down and easy to create a beat. Like it’s approachable, right? It’s not scary to use the second you open pro tools. Obviously it’s more advanced for different problems that need to be solved. But I like the very friendliness and how approachable it is because people like my thesis, like everybody’s a creator right. In their own respect. So having an interface in a program that’s as easy digestible and easy to use, I think that’s a winner. So I assume down the line, there’s gonna be different use cases for different types of music, full composition, whether it’s beyond just beat making itself, but we can get into that little bit later. One thing I want to talk to you guys about is what has been that transition from web two into web three, like? Cuz you guys, have a deep like web two background. So a lot of the ethos is a lot of the principles, a lot of the foundations that kind of like stem, the narratives for web three are much different, , than web two. What has that been like for you guys?

I kind of want Kyle to talk about this one because he almost had the web three mentality, like before learning about web three, like I kind of had to tell him about what it was. I had my foot in the door a little sooner than he is, but I feel like he’s almost been like preaching a lot of the ethos of web three, his whole life without even knowing it.

Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s the funny thing. It’s a good point. Cause it’s funny. Cause I worked at Google, which is like the definition of a web two centralized platform, but while I was there, like the projects I worked on thankfully were actually all about decentralized machine learning, which is a really cool new concept. So I was lucky that I got to work on projects like that. I was a little bit of a trouble maker. I’m really into like libertarian socialist stuff, which is like an interesting branch that talks a lot about co-ops it talks a lot about like decentralized organizations where everybody has like one vote. There’s a lot of like discussion about how do you build communities without centralization basically. So it’s kind of a web three before, without the tech side of it. Right before I started working on this with Evan, I was working at a co-op that was doing like a ride share app that was basically owned fully by the drivers. It was competing with like Uber and Lyft. You should check it out actually it’s it’s called the driver’s co-op.

That’s like very like anti anti, like other way around and like really experimentative that’s really cool.

Yeah. Right, right. So the funny thing is I was doing that and then we started working on this NFT thing and I was like, okay, these two things aren’t related at all, there’s completely different things.

Gotta learn what a DAW is.

Yeah. Yeah. So Evan sent me resources on DAWs and stuff and I would just say like to summarize like the biggest difference for me, the coolest thing I think about web three is like the emphasis on community and that’s a buzzword in a lot of ways, but I do think that it’s, it’s so deeply ingrained into like how you succeed and what it means to really build a good web three product is more about building a strong community of people who are like all aligned and that’s just so cool. It’s really fun. Thankfully we have a product that I think people get emotionally excited about because it’s a creative tool and it’s fun to use and we’ve tried to put our community first.

I was just gonna say, and I’m really grateful that we’re not trying to build a community that’s hyper focused on value creation and like the floor of like the collection.

I love that by the way. I think that’s such a unique distinction about you guys.

How does Arpeggi standout?

Thank you. I appreciate that. Cause I mean, it’s, it’s hard, right? If you’re an artist in web three and you release a collection of your art and it does really well to begin with and the floor is high and everyone’s really excited and everyone’s having a great time and you’re like, oh my God, these people love my art. Like I’m a great creator. And then all of a sudden, , a month later things get stagnant, bear market comes along and the floor goes down and your community like can almost like turn on you in a sense. And it’s like, what? Like you’re supposed to be buying it for the art. You shouldn’t be buying this stuff to like flip it and make a profit if it’s like an art piece. And so I think we’re very fortunate in that kind of the roadmap and the product that we’re building, isn’t hyper focused on value creation. It’s focused on value creation for creators. It’s like kind of the value is what you make of it in a sense rather than speculating about the floor price and all of that. So true. So really, really fortunate there for sure.

What a cool model to like shift the focus on the creative energy versus the financial energy, because the second things are high. Everybody can get excited, but like to really establish a genuine community, you gotta be in it through the thick can thin. And I think you’re right, like putting an emphasis on the creative energy is a great way to kind of take that step forward and empower creators through their creative like act versus the financialization of the creator, because there’s a lot of talk around ownership, there’s talks around social tokens and the speculative nature. We talk a lot about that on mint, on the podcast. One thing that stood out to me about you guys is like that step to put creative energy first, which I really loved. I guess, like how does that kind of like move forward? So once they, once they create the song, they mint the song on chain, minted as an NFT, then there’s still the financialization of it, right? Like how does that work post creation? Post mint? Just like any other asset on chain, right?

I think for the Genesis collection. So right now we have our 600 studio passes and each one of those converts into one song, we see this Genesis collection as more of a historic sort of the first on chain music platform kind of the way autoglyphs was the first on chain, generative art piece. Obviously you can’t equate the value of those two things, but we’re not super focused on like, okay, how do we generate value for creators and like holders with the Genesis collection? We’re really focused right now. We have a lot more resources at our disposal, fortunately, so we can afford to look forward rather than backwards right now we’re really hyper focused on building up the next iteration of the DAW and the next collection. We’re looking at a much lower barrier to entry. So right now, in order to mint a song, you have to own one of these studio passes floor and a studio pass right now is 0.3/0.4 E, which is way too high for a music producer coming into the scene. So we’re like, okay, Genesis collection, it’s great. It’s gonna have historic value and it should be hyper scarce. But with our next collection, we wanna really open it up to be a platform for all creators rather than just the really crypto native and the crypto rich ones. We’re looking at bringing the mint price down to zero, or like very, very small fees and hopefully getting it cheaper to mint as well with a new contract and then ton more features in the DAW. And then I guess to answer your question about, okay, I meant a song like now what, as a creator we’re hoping to tie in some interesting incentives and financial systems into it with stem royalties. So you can create a song and maybe all your stems get minted along with it as tokens, or maybe not as tokens. And then you have royalty splits tied to those stems and people can remix them lots of fun, interesting stuff. And it’s all kind of a grand experiment to us. , We don’t wanna set out with our next iteration and be like, oh my God, we’re gonna create so much money for creators, cuz it’s a hard thing to promise, , ideally you want that in the long run, but I think it’s gonna take a lot of iteration and a lot of experimentation to see what kind of patterns and what sort of behaviors our community latches onto within our product. And so, I don’t wanna promise anything about financial incentives, but in the future, I think we’d really like to integrate with some of the other web three music platforms who kind of are more downstream, right? So you have platforms like Audios and Royal that are experimenting with streaming, royalty splits and that kinda thing. And I feel like those two projects are really not maybe those two, but one of those projects in that vein are really gonna drive value creation within web three music. And I think if we integrate into one of those somehow that’s really where we start to bridge the gap between, music creation and blockchain and value generated for the end user.

Ownership on Arpeggi

Yeah. I love that. Speaking on top of ownership, for example, obviously a major, major primitive and backbone to the whole ethos of web three. Okay. A lot of what people celebrate about this new environment. How do you guys think about music ownership at Arpeggi? Like what does ownership mean to you guys and how do you try to empower creators with your thesis on ownership?

That’s such an interesting question. I just wanna bring up, there’s a great water in music, their web three music publication, last week, they published five articles and one of them was about the different ways you can own music NFTs and highly recommend diving into that. It’ll probably raise more questions than answer for you. But, ht’s an ongoing discussion that we have almost every day about what it really means to own a music NFT. And I know Kyle has, has his own opinions and I have mine, but it’s kind of defined by the artist in a lot of ways, historically, but for us it’s tricky because we’re building the tech and we build like the licenses and the policies around the tech. So, there’s different options we can take and I don’t think we fully landed on what they are I guess, to zoom out a little bit, talk about the different types of music NFTs. So, historically there’s been a bunch of different collections and a lot of them are just like one of one collectible. So an artist will make a song, make an NFT out of it. And then you can own kind of just a collectable vinyl copy of that song. It’s sort of just a piece of memorabilia. You can still have a lot of value as a collector’s item, but there’s no rights and, royalties or anything like that associated with it. So that’s one type and then another type is one that has rights and copyrights tied to it, which is more in the vein of Royal and something bla has done a couple times now with some of his NFT jobs where you buy one of the NFTs and it represents not only the song, but rights to a portion of the royalties of that song, which is super interesting territory that we’d like to experiment in as well, mown the line. And then there’s all other kinds of, of music NFTs out there as well. But I’d say the distinction between those two is probably the most important. So some music NFTs act is just collectibles and some actually have utility where they have royalties attached to them and it’s still very experimental in the space and there’s a lot of like legal risks associated with delving into the royalty side of things, which we’re kind of sussing out. But, Kyle, maybe you can share your take on that too.

So Evan mentioned something like we have a conversation a lot about why NFTs at all, like are NFTs really the right model for music on the blockchain. And we started off, obviously our project was the first ever fully on chain NFT music platform that musicians could use to create songs. And we did it with FTS because that was what we understood and knew. But the more that, like I personally look at at the music space and see what projects are where they are and think about how music will be changed by web three. I’m more and more excited about like non NFT side, like the more of the protocol side, the lower layers, the lower level stuff where it’s not like I’m buying a one of one song from another, from another person it’s more like Audius where they’ve built this protocol that is for storing songs and metadata with those songs and providing those songs to be available to listeners, as long as those listeners meet certain criteria and it’s all decentralized and nobody’s like, there’s no Spotify controlling who gets to post what and who get to listen what.

The artiste gets to decide what they wanna

Artist gets to decide. So I love that model personally. I really think that there’s some really cool opportunities for us to do some interesting protocol stuff at a upstream layer, more at the sample layer at the creation side at the remixing side and to have protocols like that, where ownership is more about, like, I signed this contract on this day with my stem, but nobody gets to like own that. It’s not like there’s an NFT floating around in my wallet for that necessarily it’s like that protocol was just defined.

Community Building

Yeah. Yeah. It makes a lot of sense. One thing that I’m like really, really curious about is creators, or let’s talk about musicians for a minute. They’re having all sorts of different tokenized assets on chain from fandom to samples, to songs, to social tokens, to all these different types of elements. And I know like a ton of ton of companies and projects they’re focusing on minting you guys are approaching from a completely different light, which I love all these creators have all these types of assets. What happens after that? , Like how do you build community around that? You have all these collectors that live online that have all these assets from, again, your social token to your fandom, to your songs, to all these things, and how do you combine them into one product to actually build a community? What I mean? Like what, what does that look like?

Million Dollar Question.

I think that’s a fantastic question. It’s interesting, let’s talk about like visual art, cuz that’s a much more mature side, and has that been solved for visual art? The closest thing that I can think of right now to be honest is like an open sea, it’s like I have my wallet where I proudly show off my art collection and I kind of use it for like the social capital people know that I have these pieces.

They are entirely different and it’s a huge question that’s been raised in the space and one of the biggest problems too. Like you can’t skirt around it, but the music collector market is very small right now. There’s only a handful of music collectors actually in this space. And I think you can attribute that to a number of things, but one of the biggest is that there’s no way to like flex your music NFTs in the same way that you flex your PFP. Unfortunately, if you’re dropping a couple Eth on one of these things you want some way of displaying it, it’s kind of like the nature of humans to own something you wanna like show it off. And so I think music, I honestly don’t think that’s the solution for music though. I don’t think music is consumed in that same way. But I still think that owning music as a collectible has a lot of value, I’m not sure if it’s found the right way to manifest itself yet. And this space is so new that I’m more just excited to see what kind of creative solutions people come up with. And I don’t wanna know if that’s too much in our ballpark for right now in terms of [inaudible] but I think that’s a strange question to ask honestly, and I guess heard it from

I guess I only asked that because like I talk to a lot of guests on the podcast, each one solving minting or creation or empowerment for creators in different fashions. And we kind of forget to zoom out sometimes be like, wait, now all these creators have all these assets from the tokens created on mirror to rally to roll on open sea on this, on that. And like all these like on chain assets and all these different collectors, how do you actually bundle them together and like build community because that’s what it comes down to. Right? That buzzword that you talked about, Kyle, like you can, you can mint and mint and mint and mint and mint to have all these things, but what’s next kind of thing.

There’s a few projects that are really geared towards answering that question. Like I know Sound XYZ, that’s one of their biggest goals is like building communities between fans. I’ve been invited to a few discords by some artists that I really like, such as Camou fly and Daniel Allen and that’s an interesting new thing that’s happening is you have an artist who just makes a discord community for their fans where they can chat each other. Discord has been amazing, I think for building communities like that, but it doesn’t solve the problem, like you said.

Yeah. But I mean, it’s kind of a good example of how I think at this point in time, it’s really up to the artists to kind of decide what those mean to them, right? Like you said, Kyle, you have artists like Danny Allen Camou fly and like Oshi who are super embedded in the community and they’ve kind of built a reputation for themselves. And I think that, , generates more value for tokens, not in a monetary sense, but as a holder, I feel like more connected to one of those artists who’s really active in the space. Because I feel like it’s almost like a means of reaching them, especially when you’re talking about the fan side of things. It’s like, oh, I have this Ocean token. I see ’em in these discords. I feel like one step closer to the artist and my support for them versus if I didn’t have it.

I think in time there’ll be platforms built around it where you can kind of bridge all these assets together in one place. And I think other platforms would build around it too. So like so much about one of the biggest things about web three that I love is there’s no like scarcity mentality. It’s an abundance sort thing where all these different web three music projects rather than compete against one another, they really wanna collaborate. And so I think you’ll start to see in the next year, lots of different integrations between these different web three music platforms, rather that’s us or catalog with, with sound, with Audius, with Royal, rather than everyone like, being tunnel vision and staying in their lane, I think you’ll see a lot of overlap and it’ll kind of bolster the experience for holders and creators.

It’s so cool that you bring that up because I think for a lot of the early founders in web three, that ethos of composability is very native to like who we are. We see the value in collaboration, but now you see corporations like Adidas or Nike acquiring artifact and then imposing like all these legal rules in terms of what they can do with the assets and kind of removing the whole ethos of composability here and there. I don’t know. I guess my point is like, I think we, as like early stage, like creators, collaborators, builders, whatever you wanna call it, we see the power and ethos of composability, but there’s a big corporations I’d say like even meta Facebook, right? Yeah. Like they wanna own the metaverse, , they wanna own the metaverse. Like, it’s curious to see how like all these assets are being built on Ethereum and all these experiences are built on Ethereum and like Meta had this era where they were gonna launch their own chain in their own wall and do all these things with the blockchain and like, how do the worlds collide? Like if all these songs live on Ethereum and then Facebook puts billions of dollars into marketing to express this narrative of the meta diverse, just to sell more Oculuses right. And to get more people in that world, where do those two worlds collide? Because those assets are unique to the chain that it lives on. Right. So yeah. These are like the big picture things that I’d love to pick your brains about, like, are you guys thinking about that in terms of music creation?

I’ve been inside the belly of the beast. Google wasn’t as bad as Facebook. I think you’re completely right. It’s it reminds me of astroturfing the concept of like a big organization, pretending like basically putting a bunch of money behind a propaganda campaign that says that they’re behind a grassroots movement and the web three decentralized crypto, all this stuff is very much a grassroots movement and was very much a kind of countercultural thing for a long time. And now that like, Facebook’s kind of using the term meta and co-opting the term metaverse, it’s astroturfing. They’re trying to ride the wave and trying to like put their name behind a, a thing while it’s popular. I think it’s really good that you brought up the fact that they tried to do a coin. Right. They tried to do a token a few years ago,

By the way. That’s the reason why I bought Facebook too, because they were gonna do a token.

But what happened? It didn’t work out? I think they had regulation issues and it was just too complicated and they tried to do it before. They’re trying to do it again. We’re gonna keep seeing it happen over and over, but like, I mean also to be fair, like you’re gonna have a lot of big investors, it happens to all these crypto companies and they’re getting a lot of attention from investors. And so there’s gonna be a lot of big money coming in, but I think the ethos and the kind of the core driving principles, the cool thing is that those are pretty consistent amongst these projects. Every crypto founder that we’ve talked to, even, other investors or other big names in the space, the people who are on web three, like you can tell, they do believe in these principles for the most part. Maybe I’m an optimist and maybe I’m not, maybe I’ve seen the best in people, but I didn’t really think that, like that mentality of like, of like, let’s actually decentralize, let’s actually bring the power to the users.

That stuff I think is real. And I think it’ll stick around. I don’t think like Facebook is gonna take that away.

Yeah. Evan, anything to add to that?

Yeah.I totally agree with every but these corporations are really scary in the sense that they kind of have a lot of hands in the government as well. And you’ve seen these crypto hearings recently where politicians in office right now are not necessarily the most informed and it’s, it’s hard because the space is like, , I have a background in tech and I still had a really hard time understanding what was going on in web three. So you can only imagine how these people in Capitol hill are having a time wrapping their heads around it. Yeah. So, with these huge corporations kind of at odds with the web three community, in some ways, especially Facebook , it’ll be interesting to keep track of kind of their involvement with the policies and regulations that have passed in the coming years and how that affects the industry.

And by the way just to jump in really quick, Evan, just to add to that. As many hands as these big, like Silicon valley corps have in government, it shows you that it’s not enough hands to actually make Facebook’s like coin reality come to life.

That’s true. I mean, hearing that, how the coin fell part was pretty, pretty comforting, but it’s worth keeping an eye on in the next, years. I’m definitely optimistic as well though. Like obviously I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t.

Yeah, for sure. And by the way, I don’t know if it was a coin just for like, just for like reference and for clarity. I don’t know if it was a coin or more of like a blockchain play. I know there was a wallet play coming into place, but if it keeps following that linear or narrative as a lot of other projects come to life, there would be a coin at some point those are our assumptions. So I don’t get shit from the audience or something.

I think one thing that’ll really help web three beat out some of these bigger corporations is building a better user experience around crypto right now. I think there’s still quite a technical barrier to entry when you have meta mask and , all these different chains going on at one time, especially with gas fees, as high as they are today. So, I think as more people enter in the space and the end experience gets better and better for users, it’ll become the obvious choice to go with the decentralized option, versus some of these more established solutions. , Facebook is gonna have a beautiful UI experience built around their products, but yeah I’m really hoping that we can, , beat them to it. And I’m optimistic that we will.

Future of Music vs Crypto

I think you will too. I know we only have so much time left, so I want to ask you one quick thing. You guys are now like a main player in music and web three, you guys are leading a core narrative. Okay. So first you have that responsibility on your shoulders, number one. Number two. What do you think the future of like 2022 looks like for music X crypto?

That’s a big question. Oh man. Let me think about it.

Considering where we are today with the platforms that we have from people starting to tinker with buying music, buying fandom, minting songs on chain, what could that kind of spiral into in the next 365 days?

I’ll say this I’m pretty confident that there will be sort of the first web three musician that goes mainstream and whose main revenue isn’t generated from DSPs like streaming platforms, but other web through music platforms and really hopeful on that front. And I think that’s a super powerful narrative to see play out within the space and we’ll draw a lot of attention elsewhere. That’s one thing that I won’t say I’m confident on. I’m excited to see

I think similarly, like one of the best things about music as a area of web three, is that the existing music industry is very old school. Like it’s very slow to adapt and they’re just now figuring out big data stuff in music. It feels like that it’s a great place to, to innovate because like the middlemen eat so much of the pie. So yeah, like Evan said, I think you’re gonna have of artists probably a lot more than just the ones that make it big. But a lot of artists who are gonna be able to like truly sustain themselves off of the fact that now they’re not losing 80% of their revenue to labels, they’re gonna be getting it themselves, whether it’s like using Audius or whether it’s with Royal, I think you’re gonna have a lot more artists who are gonna be like, holy crap. I can actually, I might not make a million dollars, but I’ll be able to like pay my bills because I can just get a lot more direct access to the end user. And that’s the stuff that I’m really excited about in 2022.

Outro

Love it guys. I think that’s a great place to end off before I let you go. Where can we find you? Where can we find our Arpeggi. Give us the spiel go for it.

Absolutely. Well, we got our handles down below, I guess [inaudible] and TG Luciano on Twitter. Those were like our aliases before we doxed ourselves. And so we’re holding onto those. Obviously the Arpeggi labs discord is always active. We’re running competitions all the time with the Genesis studio. I highly recommend getting in there, you know, cooking up the song and entering into one of those. Twitter is @arpeggilabs and we got the website there as well. We’re planning some, some big releases for early 2022. So stay tune for those and yeah, that’s about it.

Awesome guys. Thank you so much. We’ll have to do this again sometime soon when I don’t know when there’s a ton of people in web three specifically musicians that are exploring this route and hear the learnings and all the data collected, but for now, thank you so much. We’ll talk again soon.

Thank you, Adam. It was a pleasure.

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