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Podcast Transcript

Here’s Why Social Tokens Are Critical For Music Artists

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Background

Mint Season 4 episode 12 welcomes William Bailey, Founder and CEO of Bolero Music, a platform that brings artists & fans closer together by investing in music through Social Tokens and NFTs. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:57 – Intro
  • 06:15 – What does Bolero look for in an artist?
  • 08:23 – Current State of Music NFTs
  • 16:03 – Understanding the value behind social tokens
  • 23:07 – Monetizing social tokens
  • 29:23 – Tokenomics
  • 38:24 – The creator virtual circle
  • 44:26 – How do we bring off-chain music data on-chain?
  • 50:29 – How can we convert more listeners into collectors?
  • 54:12 – Do artist have access to the accumulated social token value?
  • 59:02 – Outro

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


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!


Welcome to mint, my friend. How are you? Thank you for being on.

Hi, Adam. Thank you for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be

Intro

Here. Yes, yes. Yes. very, very excited to have you part of season four, you guys are doing some cool stuff at Bolero. I think you’re actually one of the only platforms I came across. That’s actually focusing on the social token side for the music industry in particular. There’s other platforms doing other social token related stuff, but I like yours specifically cuz the music social token angle. But before we get it in into there. Okay. Who are you, what does the world need to know about you? How’d you kind of get your start into crypto.

Yeah, that’s a good place to start. So yes. So my name is William Bailey. I’m the co-founder and CEO of Bolero. So before jumping in web three, I was already working in tech. So I’ve spent almost four years working in an AI company, basically doing some product stuff and business development stuff. During the year of 2019, I was going down the rabbit hole in web three, basically learning everything about web three blockchain. I discovered De-fi and I was also writing a thesis about the sharing economy and the opportunity of tokenization in this space. So after the first lockdown and like all this COVID crisis I was basically like everyone wondering what I was doing with my life and if I could probably do something more meaningful and during the summer of 2020 I had this like brutal ID actually. I had a few friends in the music industry struggling to make a living from their art. And I was wondering if we could be able to tokenize them and let people invest in them. So it was the, it was the Genesis of Bolero. So I basically quit my job in September, 2020 I went [inaudible] which is a coding bootcamp to basically learn web programming. During this bootcamp, I met Arthur who is the co-founder and CTO of Bolero. And because we had little, an employment compensation period in front of us we thought it would be a great idea to test something related to the idea of investing in music. So this is what we’ve started, from December 2020 during three months, we have programmed the first version of Bolero by ourselves. And then April, 2021, we released the first beta version, which was basically back at the time, a simple web app on which you could invest in more than 50 artists by tokens and access to zip rewards. So yeah. It’s been a hell of a ride since then actually. And I’m pretty happy, pretty excited to be in this space, really feeling like a pioneer, but not because it’s cool for me or for the team working at Bolero but it’s super like energizing to be working for artists for the music industry to try to shape something like farer in the future for the music.

So actually before we even get to the type of artists that you guys are looking after, what fair really means what value means. Cause these are all things I wanna kind of talk about. Are you a musician? I always ask that because a lot of the builders that I come across in the music scene end up coming from like a deep music background of some sort and deep can mean they’ve either played in bands, they’ve either produced or engineered music. They’re either DJs or whatever and they just pivoted into the, the music business side of things. So yes what did you grow up playing or did you grow up playing? Gimme some context on that

Actually mean like music has always been something really important in my life, the way I was like having a relationship with my father the way like it has a lot of weight in my family. Everybody’s listening to music, but everybody’s passionate about music, so we all have a huge culture based on music. So obviously I started to play guitar when I was a teenager. I was like really passionate about this stuff, rock and roll. Like basically, you know, the first musical genre is that you love when you are young and then I’ve discovered like electronic music. So I started to buy some vinyls to try to scratch some yeah, but just for the love of music. So I was not trying to become a musician because I think that you really have to be a special talent inside of you, to become an artist. But I knew deep inside of my heart that day I would join this music industry and try to do something. And just for you to understand the perspective and how we are building this company and what are like the background of people joining Bolero, the pitch is pretty simple. It’s a team of insiders and outsiders joining forces for the better. So we have tech the people really passionate about the blockchain perspective of the company. And we have music people. So people who have seen all the issues from the inside and getting a way to try to fix those issues in another company.

What does Bolero look for in an artist?

What are the types of artists you guys are after? There seems to be a shift in terms of the love for independent artists to already established artists that have labels and have backings, like what are you guys after? Or does it matter and why?

Yeah, it doesn’t matter, man. So actually we are looking at all the musical genres okay. It doesn’t matter since it’s music. It’s cool. But what we are really trying to see, and this is why also we affirm that we are curating the catalog of Bolero. We are really trying to find like potentials. Because if you are talking to your users that they can invest in an artist, it’s better to propose like two of your artists who will grow in the future. So what we are only looking at is what is the current situation of the artist where he or she is in her or his career arc and what would be like the best trajectory in the coming 12 months. So it’s just a way to protect the users because you don’t want to invest in an artist, someone who will like run away with the cash, you are doing that for a passion. You are doing that because you love music and you want to become like more than a fan, so you don’t want to see scams. So yeah, only looking at like the state of the career.

Got it, got it. So it doesn’t matter if they’re independent or they’re already established that doesn’t really come into account.

Nope. And also we are working with, and I know that it’s sometimes a little bit tricky to say that, but we like definitely own it. We are also working with the majors with the labels because we believe that they are young people inside the majors who want to change the paradigm. Yeah. So we are working hand in hand with everybody just trying to offer the best experience to the auditors and the final users, because at the end they are the one who decide. So you better have like the artist they love in your catalog, if you want to build something meaningful.

Current State of Music NFTs

Yeah. William, from your point of view, what do you think is the current state of music NFTs in 2022?

I think it’s really early. We are still at the point of experimentation. I think that’s like, so we are at the end of January, 2022 right. People are trying to find like the killer use case, but I definitely think that the killer use case depends on the artist category, if someone is an emerging artist or a youngster, a rookie, I think that the killer use case is unleashing the artist from all the tensions, all the financial tensions he can meet, but for an established artist or global artist, the killer use case is how music NFTs help him or her to fiddlize the fan base and still grow the career, even if they are already on the top. So it really depends. I think we are seeing a lot of like pretty interesting dynamic, around this topic. Like we are seeing exclusive tracks, so tracks that will not be like, distributed on traditional platforms. We are seeing, ticketing initiatives, so backstage, like yeah, backstage tickets, VIP tickets and all that stuff. We are seeing like, pictures, like all the story behind covers album records. And finally we are, and I think that the value is definitely here. We are seeing some master shares NFTs. And I think that this is the sweet spot for both artists and fans, because for a simple reason, I think that an artist is totally open to give away five or 10 points on their masters. If they can have like the kind of admins, if they can have, like, if they can benefit from money, like before making money with streaming or radio. And I think that there’s nothing more powerful for a fan than owning piece of a song that is distributed on the platforms. So I think that the killer use case is here and we are still building it. And until artists didn’t like really like take over the topic, we still have a long way to go, but it’s definitely super exciting, and it’s my own point of view. Maybe I’m wrong. We will see in six months.

You guys have taken like a pretty substantial bet as social token, so you guys brand the project. Okay. And the intention here is not necessarily to show the project rather to understand more the mechanics, right. Because we are in the experimentation phase, we’re seeing music NFTs as the medium for collecting songs, right. Buying tickets. But you guys are trying to introduce this concept of social tokens for music artists. Sure. We have other platforms that are exploring social tokens as well, but this one’s the first platform that I’m seeing for music artists for the most part, at least. Okay. Why are social tokens or medium for a value capture than NFTs? And maybe it’s not necessarily better. Okay. Maybe each have their own respective category for value capture. Maybe you can talk a little bit more about that.

I think they are complimentary. Okay. Like I think that they are working well together. We chose the social tokens as the basics of Bolero because we believe that it’s the easiest way to take a stake in an artist carrier and to help the artiste be propelled through the carrier. The basics of the social tokens at Bolero is that we have an algorithm that we have called the index. And thanks to this algorithm, we are able to assess each artist progress on a weekly basis. So we are like gathering 30 different data points, which are basically related to streaming social media, radio, play-listing concerts, tours. Based on this assessment, we are able to give a score to each artist. This score is a figure and thanks to this figure, which is again, updated on a weekly basis, we’re able to track the artist’s progress. And we are able to give rational valuation to the artist. And I think that this is where the hack is. It’s the ability to give proper valuation to a creator based on the fact that his or her image is pretty subjective. Based on these figures, you can give a proper valuation. And then the whole social token aspect as an asset, because it’s a financial asset, this whole aspect is now like worth it for the user. And it’s also a nice way to see the evolution of your investment. And if the artist you are believing in is progressing. So this is like the whole, like yeah, mathematics behind our social token. And we chose this specific type of token because we believe that with the NFTs, if you use NFTs collection as a way to take a stake in an artist career, you are like not helping your fans who don’t have a lot of money because when you are simply releasing music, maybe you are like, maybe in your fanbase, you have people who have money, but there are also people who don’t have money. And if you can take a stake in an artist career, starting from one buck, it’s definitely great. But if you have to invest 500 bucks or a thousand bucks to get a step in it’s difficult and it’s start to feel like it’s something premium, something like almost like luxury,

Understanding the value behind social tokens

You know, when I had a Gary V on the podcast, okay. We talked about different trends, like creator trends for web three in 2022. Okay. And I talked to him about like, does he prefer creator coins over NFTs or vice versa? And one thing that he brought up that was interesting, he’s like these coins, these social tokens feel too much like a financial transaction, whereas NFTs have like a different element of collectability to a community, which I agree and I disagree with. Right. Like when you think about and by the way, like the whole premise of Mint is actually around these concept of social tokens, of tokenized, creators and whatnot. So I do see the value in it, but when you hear like naysayers say that, okay, it feels too much like a financial transaction, or it feels like to too much of a stock market of some sort. How do you guys think about that? Like, because there’s obviously value to it, right. There’s obviously value. Like we’re seeing people like Daniel Allen, for example, start the over stimulated DAO and accrue, 50% of revenue to the DAO empowering all of the token holders. Right. So there’s value in these currencies. How do you guys kind of think about that when naysayers hit you with these types of critical points or criticisms for the most part?

Actually at Bolero, we think that because the social token is trying to get the digital representation of the relation you have with an artist it’s pure, like the value of the social token is purely subjective. It’s purely based on emotions. It’s purely based on what kind of music is trending. So yes, sure. There is a financial aspect, but we don’t think like it’s going to overtake the initial premise behind the social token also, because, and this is what we are trying to figure out at Bolero is how do we make sure that each artist who is producing the social token is not doing that only to raise funds, but also to keep a meaningful relationship with their fan base. And, for instance, and this is a way for us to like reduce the financial aspect behind the social ticket, we are doing a lot of retroactive drops. So for instance, an artist minting his social tokens on Bolero will be able to airdrop a lot of tokens to their fans who have like previously bought some merchandising who went to gigs, who bought some physical, albums or CDs. So it’s not mandatory to make them costly for the fan, they can jump in for free. If they have been involved from the get go, then they can jump in for free. I think this is how we reduce the financial aspect, but I can only agree with Gary V, because yeah, there is a financial aspect, but yeah, again, I think that artists rather like to have a financial aspect on their career than becoming a luxury product, again, like the real fans, the one who don’t know Web three at the moment, they will not have the chance to buy the NFTs because it will be too expensive. So maybe you can fractionalize the NFTs for sure, but it’s complicated. It’s complicated regarding the UX regarding the experience. Like people are used to like click, buy, chao. It’s done. If you are telling, okay, so you gotta go on this website. So starting from there, connecting is already tough for them for not crypto enthusiast, connect your wallets, then buy these tokens, which are a representation of this NFT that you don’t really own, but you own these tokens, it’s starting to be like difficult, but I don’t know, man. We’ll see.

We’re all testing here. We’re all building in public. We’re all experimenting. One thing you touched upon right now is the value, the relationship between the artist and the fan, the community. Okay. How do you guys think about utility at Bolero beyond air dropping? Like, are there utility frameworks that you kind of guide your artists who get on-boarded onto Bolero? Like what are the most valuable add-ons that creators can implement in their communities? Talk to me more about these utility frameworks that you guys kind of think about internally.

That’s a pretty good question because this utility you’re talking about is like, really depends on the creative universe of each artist. For instance, if you are like trying to onboard a hip hop artist or rapper, these guys are used to have a close relationship with the fan base, but sometimes maybe you will talk to a pop artist or another music genre, but these guys don’t want to have like proximity with the fans, but still they want to have a relation, but they don’t want to take the phone, speak to the camera. Hi guys, how are you doing blah, blah, blah. They don’t want to do that. So you have to find the good ways to provide utility behind the tokens based on the creative universe of each artist. So each time an artist comes at Bolero and wants to make something meaningful, we are asking them. Okay. So how do you like to keep track of your relation with your fans? How do you like to release some tracks, release some records, how do you like to promote your, I don’t know, tours and everything. And then based on this assessment, we are providing IDs. So sometimes like for the most like engaged artists who will suggest them to bring up a discord or even just a private WhatsApp group sometimes we are suggesting them to create a close friend story on Instagram and each one who has got token, will access the close friend story. And they will like have insights of what’s happening in a typical day in the life of the artist and then it’s basically discounts on merch. It’s basically discounts on concert tickets and also what we are trying to do. And I think it’s a pretty good way to do that on Bolero for sure. We have the social token, but we are also allowing artists to Mint NFTs, and sometimes artists are using Bolero to make sure that they’re Mint. So the initial sale of the NFT is like token gated. So you have to be a token holder to access the NFTs. And it’s also a nice way for the artist to make sure that a fan has his chance to access the NFT first thing.

Monetizing Social Tokens 

Yeah. Yeah, it makes sense. So, okay. So utility frameworks, the concept of social tokens and NFTs differences and similarities, what they are used for. Now when you talk about actual monetization. Because a lot of what we’re doing here is to basically provide creators the opportunity to be the best version of themselves, right. And to monetize themselves their brand and do it in a way where it feels more authentic, more direct to the fan. And the question is, is when you take community building, when you take music creation, when you take all these concepts that you guys are kind of after what’s the real monetization here? Like how does a creator better themselves by using a social token. Why is that a better opportunity to make money, for example, versus let’s say issuing additions of their songs? Issuing one of ones? I ask this because I saw specifically on Bolero you guys have this concept of like rewards too. Right. So I guess, talk to me more about how you guys are thinking about like monetization around these social tokens for the artist.

So it’s pretty simple actually like the framework behind monetization. Let’s say you take an emerging artist who has 20 K followers on Instagram. What is the possibility for him or her to monetize those followers? Sometimes they will have to do some brand partnerships, brand content and they are not all really at ease with that. So sometimes it’s easier to raise a social token to monetize this fan base, then making some brand partnerships. Another important point is sometimes artists are like really seated on like a lot of merch and stocks that were not like sold before. So they have that. And for the fan, the value of these items is like going to the moon because sometimes it’s some limited edition, all that stuff. So you can use the social tokens to rewrite your orders with those remaining pile of items and merchandising stuff. So it’s a nice way to do that. And finally again, I really insist on that. I don’t think that we should like put in opposition the NFTs and the social tokens, because I definitely think that an artist should release the social token because it will follow like all the career and all his development, but a different moment of the career. So based on what is going on, if he plans to raise some projects, new records, tours, he should leverage the NFTs formats to make some more bucks on this. So actually what we are doing in Bolero too, is to like, we are providing royalties on the social tokens for the artists. So sometimes artists think that they can just make some money at the initial means that it’s wrong. You can still make money and rake in revenue along like during all the lifetime of your assets.

So where is the royalty coming from? From their craft, from their music? So that gets like denoted through or captured through the social token value?

For the social token? No, it’s based on the trades on the market. So the more, the social token is traded, the more they earn commission.

So there’s like a rev share going on as well. Okay. Yeah. So I wanna, I wanna take a moment really quick and actually share my screen and pull up one of the artists. Okay. Cause I think you guys have done a nice job with basically allowing people to see what the value add is based off the frontiers that they unlock. So let me see if I can share my screen really quick. And if I can’t share my screen, I’ll just end up let’s do this Chrome tab. Okay. Here we are. Let’s see if this works. So 10 KA, okay. A trap artist from France. Okay. I want to quickly take a look at fan rewards. And this is actually the most interesting part to me because it feels very much like, and I don’t want to compare the platform cuz Bolero is its own platform in its own respect, but it feels like more of a, like a web three of Patreon, where depending on the tokens that you buy, determines like your access and your utility in the community. Now that’s not a new concept more so I love how you guys kind of structured the tiers. Cause like, if you think about it like traditional SaaS products or traditional creator creator communities, if you’re looking at web two, they have these types of tiers. Like whether, like I remember doing research on only fans or doing research on Patreon or Sub stack, et cetera, like you can integrate tiers. So this is kind of like what you guys have done as well. Talk to me more about these like fan rewards, and does a creator get to choose this?You guys work with them to kind of steer the ship as to what they should be charging for each tier. Walk me through how you guys are thinking about this.

Thanks a lot, Adam. So actually it’s totally customizable by each artist. So each artist chooses the amount of token needed to access a specific reward. So let’s take for instance, this seven token stage. Okay. So on this seven token stage 10 KA is telling to the fan base, if you own seven TN K tokens, you will be granted an access to my VIP channel on this Discord. If you own 10 tokens, you will be granted a zoom meeting with me. And it’s like a nice way to reward their fans for the support in the short term, because obviously we hope fans are here for the long term, but until the artist is really like propelled for world, they have something to like to enjoy instantly. Yeah. So this is the purpose of the rewards and this is how we thought about it. But definitely each artist is really like choosing each piece of the reward and it’s fully customizable. So we are just here to provide advice if they need, but they have to handle this.

Tokenomics

Another thing that I noticed that’s unique the whole, I’m curious to learn more about like the tokenomics. Okay. Because you see total issued tokens out of total tokens. So 7.2 K tokens out of 18 K tokens issued. How do you guys think about tokenomics? Is that also flexible in the creators point of view? And I ask this again from a macro state, because a lot of what we’re seeing right now, we’re seeing a lot of communities or creators do like a million or a hundred thousand or 10 million, right. Yeah. And have that locked in reserve. So like, how do you guys think about tokenomics behind all these creator coins?

That’s pretty good question. So back to what I was saying, just before, you know, I was introducing the topic of the index, we have got it, to assess each artist, thanks to this index. We are giving to each artist a valuation in USD. So let’s say that an artist comes to Bolero he says, okay, what is my valuation based on my score? We will tell him, for instance, your valuation is at 1 million dollars. And we can simply ask him what would be the best starting price for you? What kind of initial price you would like to put in? If he says $1, then we will create 1 million tokens. It’s simply like the valuation we give divided by the starting price. So this is why it is rational. And also the supply is fixed. So it gives some [inaudible] to the social token. And just for you to know each time an artist joins Bolero and mints the social token he will be granted 20% of the supply in a vault. Yeah. So that he can be also incentivized on the value of of his tokens and actually gives a little bit more trust for the fans because they feel like, okay, we are all in the same boat. Like the artist has a lot of interest to see the tokens gaining value.

This reminds me Mint season one. I had this gentleman by the name of Dave Young. He has the Play coin. It’s a really, really cool ecosystem and many really cool utility frameworks, which is why I brought him on. But he shared this interesting insight where when the market tanks and all the holders like tank with the market, it actually okay, sure. Like it sucks. It’s annoying, but it ends up bringing the community closer together. Right. So whether the community’s down, whether the community’s up, you experience this interesting, like, I guess social, psychological, like effect where the community bonds over that. It’s like when the market tanks and all of crypto Twitter starts meme-ing, you know how they’re starting to work at McDonald or they’re gonna start doing all these things that, because they’re just like a bunch of poor de-gens that are rich on paper, for example. So these are like some of the things that I’m thinking about when, okay. Like why invest in an artist through a social token versus collecting their editions or their one of one music? Right. I do see the value in it, but I do think it takes a specific user to actually understand what it is and what it means to actually buy an asset that fluctuates more like a currency versus a collectible. So when you guys are trying to identify these users for the artists that you’re bringing on what is the ideal demographic? Like, do they use their traditional channels through like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat to bring in collectors? Are they trying to tap into a new group of users in web three that understand more of the concept of tokenomics? Like, walk me through that. Like, how do you actually find these collectors, these end users who not only like the music, but understand the financialization behind supporting an artist.

So this is like a really important question because it is where it gets interesting actually. So we have designed two types of targets and two types of collectors we have on the one hand, what we call the music lovers. So they are the ones who are not like, well educated about crypto and they will jump in the social tokens or just because they are loving specific artists. So they will jump in because they will follow an artist and they want to get closer to him. Yeah. And on the other hand, we have what we call the crypto enthusiast, which are obviously people already familiar with crypto and they are seeking new kind of tokens and new kind of opportunities to diversify the investment, but in a nice way, because it’s all driven by emotions and music. So yes, we are definitely using traditional channels such as Instagram, Twitter. But we are also trying to reach out to crypto enthusiasts on a daily basis. But the thing is we are trying to build this product for the users, for the [inaudible] but we are like shaping each feature based on what we see during our user research sessions. Based on the feedback that we have and the new type of user that we are seeing emerging lastly is what we call now, the music diggers. So these guys are like really like able to find new gems and new talented artists. So their [inaudible] is to find the next star. And what they love to do is to simply browse the catalog, listen to music, discover new artists, and based on what they feel when like jumping in the artist creative universe, they will decide to invest or not. But you also have to keep in mind that we are really trying to onboard regular user on this solution. We are not trying to build a product, which is only triggering crypto enthusiast. So I think today it’s much more like understandable for someone who is a stranger to this crypto world to invest in the social token than invest in NFTs. Because when you are talking to your neighbor or someone who doesn’t understand anything about Ethereum or web three, they will be like, what are you doing? You are like collecting digital copies of this track, but I don’t understand why. So until they have made their way through the rabbit hole, they will not be able to seize the value of this amazing asset, which is the NFT, but it’s super easy for them to understand that they can buy a stake in an artist career with the social token, they will be like, okay, so it’s like a digital card, like a digital membership card, or it’s like a stock. So it’s like easier to understand, I think, yeah.

The creator virtual circle

I’m starting to understand it more and to think about it more deeply is the social tokens are like non equity shares. Okay. And the collectibles and the one of ones and the additions that are in the format of like NFTs, whatever token standard of an NFT it is, are what drive a lot of the revenue that then gets circulated back into pumping the value of the social token, for example. Right. So beyond trading, beyond investing, beyond buying into it, there’s also the element of the appreciation or depreciation. And that comes from the value accrued by its other assets. So let’s talk like a real world scenario because I don’t wanna just theorize. So artists go and play at Coachella. They sell their tickets as NFTs. And the revenue accrued from playing that show as an artist, part of that gets sent back into the DAO or the social token treasury. Okay. So from performing to selling tickets, some of that revenue goes back into the treasury selling digital fandom. Part of that revenue goes back into the treasury to support token holders selling one of ones like selling your music on chain. Part of that goes back into the treasury to boost the token value. Selling editions, selling all these other assets that may be formed NFTs later than accrued back to the social token, back to the treasury and makes everybody happy. So I kind of see the social token, like on one element, like the NFT could be the access point in the membership that lets you in like the top level funnel. But I also see the social token as being the entry point as well. And all these additional assets linking back to that social token that ends up driving its value up or down. Right. I think it’s a model that makes a lot of sense, honestly, but I don’t know. I’m just like recapping based off learning lessons from season 1, 2, 3, and now four and seeing how people are kind of approaching this across other crowd-fund sites like mirror or the list goes on and on, right. Not important to name. Okay. But what do you think about that? Like, does that model make sense? Because I do see again, the element of buying NFTs as a membership and like getting into the funnel and then kind of like figuring out your monetization as you kind of go. But I also see the ability to buying a social token and that being the ultimate funnel and then all that other revenue generated from all these additional assets via NFTs kind of accruing back. I don’t know. I’m very much thinking out loud.

No, it’s pretty interesting because I’ve never like put the thing in perspective, but actually you’re right. It’s kind of a virtual circle, but like you told something really interesting here, you talked about DAO treasury. And this is an important criteria regarding investing in an artist because I don’t think that a lot of artists are ready to set up a DAO treasury behind a project, and allowing people to have a look at it. Maybe some artists will will be at ease with that. And I think it will be like far more independent artist, but I really think that the dynamic between the social token and the NFT is more related to the project cycle to during the artist career. So let let’s say on average age, it takes 18 months for an artist to release a new album today. What happens during those 18 months of producing, recording, adjusting, mixing, you have the social tokens, which is living. You can tease the fan base, right? You can do a lot of stuff. You can also like give some part of decisions to your fan base. You can ask them what would be the best cover art for the album. You can ask them what would be like the first track to be released, but at the end where NFTs gets interesting and also help to pump the social token is when you release exclusive NFTs related to this record, because you have been working on it during 18 months. So you have a lot of art and you also have a lot of studio takes. Sometimes, some record, some featurings will not fit the artistic direction of this record, but it doesn’t mean you have to let this record sleep. You can release it. And I’m sure that your hardcore fans will love to collect it because they will feel it’s a piece of history. It’s a piece of the creative universe that you can own. And so actually I think that social token are here to support the career during like quiet times and during touring times, and then the NFTs are here to support the artist, to leverage all the creations he has done in the last months

So this is sparking a new thought, okay. I think a lot of artists, a lot of creators who are entering the space, who’ve already been into the space. They’re gonna realize down the line, they’re gonna encounter a problem. Okay. And the problem is this they’re gonna have all these different types of assets on chain. Asset is a very like subjective word. An asset can be a ticket. It could be fandom. It could be a one of one, it could be editions of music. It could be anything, anything that’s mint on chain, that’s each gonna have their own respective value. A lot of artists are gonna have all these different collectors and like scattered everywhere online. And I think their biggest challenge is gonna be actually aggregating all that value into one asset.Like their own like index, for example, like their own ETF of some sort. That’s where the social token comes in. Right. I truly believe that because like the value needs to come back to one thing. Okay. Everything can have its own value. Every asset can have its own individual value. But for me it makes sense like, okay, what is that one thing that I’m buying into that allows me to accrue all that value for whatever reason. So maybe it’s less of actually like staking the assets themselves more so accruing some of the revenue back to that treasury, for example. But I don’t think enough artists are exploring that concept. Right. Like for the right reasons too. Right. Not shitting on anyone rather this, all this stuff is like so difficult to understand and catch up with. This sparks like an entire new thought and an entire new model of like how creators should actually be thinking about their on chain assets and really being strategic with what they issue and then how that accrues back to benefit all their collectors in the entire ecosystem. You know what I mean?

Yeah, definitely. Man. I couldn’t agree more because what I am seeing and what the team is seeing from where we are is that artists are also starting to be diluted. They are minting here. They’re minting on this platform. Yeah. They’re minting on Solana. They are minting on Ethereum. They’re minting like everywhere. How do you aggregate all those pieces of content? Yeah. And how do you make sure that you are offering the same, like quality experience to the user based on which platform you have chosen? So it’s very difficult and obviously I agree with you, the social token is the aggregator of the value you are sharing with your fans. Yeah. And I think it’s the best way to sum it up, but NFTs also have a lot of that.

How do we bring off-chain music data on-chain?

Sure. For sure. But what about the off chain value? Let’s talk about the value that doesn’t live on chain yet. For example, like streaming royalties or revenue paid out from YouTube or TikTok, right. These core platforms that actually help build audiences and are our main drivers of revenue today. So like that whole mechanic of bringing something off chain on chain is still really broken. Right. So if you start a DAO right now and you start like a music DAO and you tell your collectors X amount of royalties are gonna be circled back into the treasury, you’re really just trusting the person that that’s actually gonna happen. Like there are no dashboards for me to actually see the streaming data and what that accrues to revenue and how that kind of comes back into the treasury, which by the way, is like a whole other product, a whole other business within itself. Right. Like bringing the off chain value on chain. So again it all accrues down to that one funnel whether or not, again, this is the right model or not, this is something I I’m just like building upon as, as we kind of break this further.

Yeah. So actually I think it’s a little bit too early to bring everything which is off chain on chain because obviously there are a lot of technical limitations today. Imagine each time you want to stream a track, you have to wait for the transaction to be validated.

Let alone get paid every quarter just for the revenue that you accumulate. And that within itself is a headache.

Yeah. Also there are a lot of gatekeepers if you want to set up that you have to like, make sure that Tunecore, all these companies, all these distributors are on board, and I’m not sure that they will all find their value.

It’s almost as if you need to start a DAO and create this asset, that’s collectively owned by them. Right. And they band together to basically drive this new wave of music, adoption of technology.

Maybe they will find a way to have like a common standard or a common protocol to address this issue and to administrate all the royalties on chain.

It’s so difficult getting one party to do it.

I’m pretty sure it’s coming and it’s coming hard, so we better be ready. I can tell you that even if today we are trying to have breakthrough with social NFTs, we are already thinking about that at Bolero. But I think not before 2023 it’s still too early. Like I can tell you today, distributors are only experimenting with NFTs with merchandising aspect. How can we sell some digital merch? So they are really far from all this royalty issue and distribution issue.

Yeah. Another thing that comes to mind for those who are actively listening to Mint, I thank you. And you’ll realize that this is a question that I start bringing up with more and more founders or investors, is this concept of music labels transitioning into like on chain, creative hedge funds.So like, okay, in actuality, there already are hedge funds. Like they’re already making bets with their capital and their time and their resources, but they’re doing it in very like I, from what I understand, I’ve never been through one of these from what I’ve been told in very constrictive ways. Right. They end up owning the person and artists get cut out in really like shitty deals. They’ll get like an upfront of like half a mill but have to give up 80% of the revenue, for example. But this model will soon become outdated, I believe with the introduction of all these on chain assets. Right. And we talked about this again, excuse me, one of one NFTs. Editions, social tokens, digital merch, et cetera, et cetera, all these assets gonna be on chain. Do you imagine a world where the record label ends up actually being the asset purchaser, right. And ends up acquiring all these assets as a way to kind of reap the profits of their traditional model. So I guess in short, like, do you imagine these record labels end ending up becoming like web three native, like digital asset hedge funds

I couldn’t agree more again. Do you believe me if I tell you that it’s happening right now?

Yeah, that makes sense because man. We’re seeing, DAOs like collector DAOs pop up. Right. But we haven’t seen like an Atlantic records or Universal Music Group or an Interscope really form their own DAOs and explore this sub niche, they could be doing it investing in other DAOs like, definitely could be a thing.

Let’s take a simple example for the ones who are listening to us. Let’s say that you have a producer, a famous producer who is selling an instrumental. So the master is related to this instrumental as an NFT. What would do major or someone who is working in a record label, he will want to buy this piece of master to let his artist or their artists put something on it and sing on it. So you will see there will be a new way to produce records, to craft creative ideas around the fact that what kind of masters I’ve been able to purchase on the market. So you would see more and more things like that. And I also think, and deeply in my mind, and I think that people are meant to do that actually. And they’re already because of the figures they’re already doing that, but fans will become the new A and Rs . So fans will be the one who will tell which artist is going to popup and which artist is [inaudible]. It’s already the case, but it’s through like streaming statistics. Now you’ll be able to see how many people are really like investing in an artist and supporting him. So you will also have metrics and insights about, would it be a good idea if I buy this artist master in six months?

Adam (49:58):

So just so I understand. So when you say fan, are you implying one party as a fan buying it, or do you imagine a fan could also be a record label as well? Or like a fund as well?

No, actually when I’m seeing fan is someone who is not working in the music industry. Okay. It’s just someone who is consuming music who is only listening to music.

How can we convert more listeners into collectors

Got it. How do we make more listeners collectors? Cause if you’re a collector, you’re likely listener, but if you’re a listener, you’re not likely a collector.

Hmm. Good question. First out by on-boarding more artists. Okay. Because today like just for the record, I know so many people who are really enthusiast about this whole music NFT space, but they will not jump in until their favorite artists jump in. So they will follow these guys because they are the opinion leaders. So they’re waiting for them. Second thought I think that we need to find the best practices and we need to finish our experimentation to define the market standards. This is what we’re trying to do at Bolero with our four NFT types. We are trying to make it easy to understand and not going in any kind of way, you know because an artist can be real creative, but if you’re not providing scope, sometimes it’s difficult for the fans to like find good pieces of content that they understand. So I think that once we will have the standouts, the best practices, people will see similarities, common aspects between different artists NFTs and they will like more related to these NFTs.

Yeah. Makes sense. I’m so glad we’re as early as we are and we get to see this stuff happen in real time. Me as like as a documenter, you as a builder it’s definitely a very, very exciting point to be in, in history and technology.

Like honestly, it’s still a blank page. Yeah. We have so much work to do and I think that’s the most satisfying emotion that you can have when you are in this space

It also makes you super anxious too, because you’re like, like where do I go? What’s my direction? What’s the first step? Like, what do we do? Like, you’re just throwing shit at the fan always. You’re just always like everybody. I mean, not everybody, but I feel like many people are building in public and many people are experimenting and concept of social tokens, concept of NFTs. There’s gonna be likely new standards. There’s probably gonna be something after NFTs that everybody’s gonna latch onto at some point that they’re gonna realize it’s gonna be able to drive more value than the NFT standard for whatever reason? I’m just going on a tangent here and sharing my excitement.

And I’m super excited too. And, and just put the things in perspective, look back six months ago or eight months ago. Yeah. It was not the same statement. Like layer twos were not like mainstream.

They were not, no.

It was something else. So I really believe, and sorry for that and sorry for the one who listened to us, but I really think that there will be market cleaning though. I think that there are too many projects, too many stuff, scams around there. Just after this market cleaning, we will find like true foundations of all this music NFT space. And I think that it’ll be a really like nice time.

Do artist have access to the accumulated social token value?

Really quick now that I’ve been like marinating more on our conversation, again, we’re coming towards the end one quick question, which I ask from a very like dumb point of view, the pool of money that the artists accumulates through the social token. Do they have direct access to that? Is there access limited? Can they just take the money and run, like what’s the security level behind that for collectors?

So actually we don’t have we are not like locking the phones. So the phones are directly going straight from the smart contract to the artist wallets. So they are receiving the phones directly. Oh. But what we do here, it’s like, there’s no freelance, it’s not an open bar. So artists, before being able to release their [inaudible] tokens, they will have to show us and show to the music department that they are serious in this dynamic. And they will have to prove that they have 12 months in front of them where they are going to bring up value, record some stuff, release some tracks and return value to the users and to the fans. So actually we are trying to really give a lot of freedom to the artist. He can benefit from the turnover and the gains directly, because maybe he needs it to produce some new records. But then we are like supporting him also. We are like really following up, checking in. And we are doing that for the users because even if we are decentralized non-custodial. So even if Bolero disappears the social tokens in the NFTs will remain, but we are here to create and to support. So this is where we, as a company are bringing value.

Yeah. So are these tokens on Polygon, Ethereum on Solano? Where are they?

Polygon.

So we’re seeing a lot of activity on polygon. Okay. We’re seeing, obviously they raise money, they’re acquiring companies. I think they just also brought in the head of YouTube gaming to be the CEO of polygon studio, which is huge. They’re also like full transparency, a sponsor of this podcast. Right. So actually just to say it even more, or like your correlation being on polygon had no correlation to them sponsoring, rather, I just saw it on the website that it’s an overlap, but I find it interesting because these L twos are critical for actually allowing scalability for more micro collectors. People that don’t have thousands of Ethereum, you know, to buy and spend a hundred, $200, $500 on gas. It’s important to implement these L twos as a way to kind of scale what creators want to do in their, their own economy. So what do you think is next Bolero and how are L twos enabling that?

So actually what we are trying to achieve at Boro is to offer a real social experience. Okay. So, because we believe that music is profoundly social, it’s profoundly something that you are experiencing with your friends. We believe that you should be able to invest with your friends. So what we are trying to achieve at Bolero and [inaudible] are definitely helping in that way. We are trying to provide an experience in which you will be able to see what the influencer you love are investing in. You will be able to invest together. You will be able to do alot of, you know, actions in app, and you will be able to experience a lot of interactions in app so that we can be more than just the music assets exchange, because it’s not the mission. The mission is to get fans and artists closer together. So you have to provide an experience in which they can interact. So I think that this is the most important challenge for Bolero helping people to have a really like delightful experience in app. Also I think that the real goal behind that, because it’s more like product related and user experience related, but the real goal regarding [inaudible] and again, layer twos are helping that way. The real goal is to get on board the next million of regular users. And I’m not talking about the crypto enthusiast here, like early adopters are super valuable. They are super helping with feedback and all that stuff, but we will provide real revenue to artists when we will have on-boarded the regular users. So the one who are just here for the music and not only for the assets.

Outro

Yeah. Interesting look, dude, I’m excited for you guys. I think what you guys are after and what you’re tackling is super unique and really makes you guys stand out. We should definitely do this again in a few months and catch up with the current set of social tokens. I think, 2022, is the year of social tokens. So first of all, thank you for being on. I think it’s a great place to wrap up before I let you go, though. Okay. Where can we find you? Where can we find Bolero? Give us the details.

Thank you, Adam. O basically you can access Bolero on boleromusic.com. Obviously, you can find us on Twitter and you can find me on Twitter too. It’s William Bailey. I’d be happy to always be down for a conversation. So feel free to hit me up.

Amazing, dude. Thank you so much. We’ll talk again soon.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

How To Price a Song NFT

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 11 welcomes VÉRITÉ, an American singer and songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York. She’s also a music NFT pioneer, who played a huge role in setting the minting models and trends for what we know as music NFTs today. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:36 – Intro
  • 03:13 – Has Crypto Changed Her Music Style?
  • 08:16 – Music Ownership in the NFT Space
  • 18:05 – How Do You Generate Value for Collectors?
  • 23:18 – The Origin of Her Business Acumen
  • 28:18 – Three Types of NFTs
  • 37:11 – Lowering Barriers to Entry for Owning Music NFTs
  • 40:22 – How Do You Price A Song NFT?
  • 44:54 – The Future Relationship Between An Artist and A Label
  • 49:47 – Outro

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 

Shownotes

https://mirror.xyz/verite.eth/uMPE9XBbZ0dfxbuih3WabXUY6xPSEYLDZhb_4A2vMoQ


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

Okay, cool. Well, welcome to the podcast. First time on a part of season four, all about music. So we couldn’t do it without you.I wanna dive right in. Okay. Who are you for those who aren’t familiar with you? What does the world need to know about you? But more specifically, how did you get into crypto?

So my name is VÉRITÉ. I am an independent artist and I have been for the seven years of my life. And I’m a songwriter. I’m a producer. I am, you know, essentially the CEO of the VÉRITÉ world. And I’ve been playing music for as long as I can remember. And essentially how I got into crypto web three was realizing that the structures that I had built my project on and my career on were no longer a viable path forward for me anymore. And it led me to explore what’s next. And that kind of led me into the web three ecosystem and all of the tools that can be built on the blockchain for artists to build their own.

Got it. So when you talk about tools, when you talk about your experience, walk me through more of like your journey in crypto. Okay. So that was very much like, okay. The ethos behind what you were doing, but how did you actually get your start? Like how did you, what was like your first step in the door?

Well, my very, very first step is kind of silly looking back. Essentially I had RAC on my podcast, anatomy of an artist. Oh, cool. Where essentially I was talking about how artists balance, living life, creating their art and building their business. And I was able to discuss, how poorly the music industry values music and how web three unlocks potential doors for that value. And so that was my initial, entry point. And then I sold a few tweets right back when sent, like at sent was a thing. Yeah. And that was my entry point because RAC bought one and Jacob from Zora bought one. And I was honestly extremely confused, because I was just like, this is kind of dumb, but that being said, it kind of prompted me to get a meta mask. It put a little bit of Eth in my like $200 worth of Eth in my wallet, which then jumped from $200 to $600 because the market was rising and this was in, November, December of 2020. And it just really got my wheels turning. And I was just like, I don’t know what this is, but it’s something that I wanna try. And it’s something that I wanna participate in.

Has Crypto Changed Her Music Style?

Hmm. Have you noticed because you’ve obviously been producing music prior to entering crypto, has your music changed at all as your journey in crypto kind of got deeper?

Yes and no. It’s really interesting. I feel like entering into this world, it’s actually unlocked some doors, right. So when you consider what kind of music you need to create to be algorithmically viable, you’re put in a box, right? There’s literally a whole genre called Spotify core, which is music that is really tailored towards the algorithm. And I could name I won’t, but I could, you know, I could name you songs and artists that just like fit so clearly into that box. And the reason why I’ve been independent for so long is I have never fit into a box. I’ve always done things my own way and I want to have creative autonomy and I wanna make the art I wanna make and distribute it, how I wanna distribute it. Right. And so what I’m finding now that I’m, you know, officially writing an album now that I’ve spent a year in this ecosystem, it’s really just unlocked a lot of doors creatively because I’m no longer just creating for streaming viability because that’s been my primary income stream for the last five years. I’m recognizing that like, I actually have creative freedom to make generative art and how can I incorporate that into a song? And how can I make this record interactive with my audience? Can they choose elements that go into it? Can they choose the ending? Also just the idea of like, I get to make art for art’s sake because there’s now these tiers of value that like for a one on one music NFT. There’s now a market for that. So it’s really just expanded how I create and I’m still gonna, play the game over here and make certain strategic decisions perhaps in like cutting an intro and making it a separate track because that’s what works, in the streaming world, but also there’s no limits anymore.

Yeah. You know, VÉRITÉ, I recall you being one of the OG music, NFT people in the space been doing it for confidently over a year now. Right. Music NFTs are finally having their moment now with more platforms making it more accessible to issue songs on chain. One thing that stood out to me and something that I would want to ask is like, is your independence, that thing that has been able to keep you ahead of the curve and have you adapt to changes of like industry landscapes or are there other things that you feel like that are a part of your characteristic, a part of your personality, that has made you more malleable as times have changed?

I think it’s both. And I think honestly there are certain characteristics of myself and my brain and like what I’m naturally good at that have led to my independence. And my independence has been an asset for me as I’ve transitioned into these new systems. Back in the day when I started my career, it was like hype machine blogs, SoundCloud and there was this narrative that streaming was gonna ruin the music industry and that it was never gonna pay and that we were all fucked. And so I kind of was very early adopter of, please listen to my music for free. I’m gonna expand my audience. I was like really embrace streaming as a model because I recognized that the gates were down and that, that was a path to entry and access for me. So the same thing that now it’s like, I’m looking at streaming as a model and I’m saying, oh, there are a lot of barriers now.Yeah. That are not gonna allow me to continue. Let me pivot here. And so I think being an early adopter to new technologies and new movements is something that not everybody has the ability to do because they don’t own their masters. They don’t own their work. Right. But B it’s like much harder. Right. We’re kind of, especially like when I drop my first official NFT, not the tweets in February, 2021, there were almost no models for how to do that. So I was kind of in the forest with a machete, like kind of paving the way being like, I’m not sure what I’m doing, but I’m gonna try it. I’m gonna learn, gather data and ideally do it better.

Music Ownership in the NFT Space

You know, I think some of the most successful campaigns in crypto and NFTs one because of that level of experimentation, because that level of open mindedness, because people are just throwing shit at the fan and trying to see what sticks, so you’ve definitely been able to embrace that. One thing I wanna pivot to that you’re actually very vocal about is ownership. Ownership is a very grey area and I don’t think there’s like a definitive structure of what ownership really means in crypto. More specifically for music NFTs. How do you think about ownership when it comes to your art? How do you think about ownership when it comes to these minting platforms that people are grading assets on? Walk me through some of that and what your thought processes is around that?

Ownership, shouldn’t be as ambiguous of a term as it is in these days. Right. I think for me personally, like when I talk about ownership, it’s like I have, it’s about autonomy. I have freedom to again, create what I want distribute when I want, and I have the full control over my project. When we talk about ownership in the context of like web three, it’s interesting because we’re essentially creating a new asset class right prior to this, it was, you can own your masters and you can own your publishing, right? But now there’s ownership of the digital asset and authenticated transferred MP3. That is a one of one music NFT. Then we have additions that you can create. Then we have NFTs that you can create where you can actually give a percentage of ownership in a fractionalized manner to fans of some royalties. But ultimately my goal as I navigate all of this is to maintain that core ownership of having freedom to be the artist that I wanna be and create in the way I wanna create. And so everything else is just an experimentation of value in my opinion.

Hmm. Which values very arbitrary as well, which we can, we can go kinda get into later, but I guess more on the topic of ownership, what platforms are doing ownership correctly, because ownership within itself is also very arbitrary, if you think about it. Like people can define what they want to own. Like people may be buying merch online that may equate to ownership into the overlying brand of an artist. There’s different tiers and, and elements of what ownership means who’s doing ownership right? And this could be either from a platform play or a creator play. You think?

If I’m being honest, I don’t even know how to answer that question because I think that I’m pretty I don’t wanna be platform dependent. I don’t think any platform can do it correctly. I can say that certain platforms are providing a really beautiful experience for collectors and artists. So when I look at that I’m a really big fan of Zora, right? Zora feels like the independent platform in general. It’s protocol, lots of platforms are built on top of it. My first NFT was released on Zora. Right. And there’s no fees right now when I first started, I had to get invited, but right now anybody has access to it. Then you have catalog, which is focusing on one of one music NFTs and they have a really pure ethos. It’s like music has value without any strings attached. And one of one music NFTs feel like the Mona Lisa of music NFTs, right. It’s the one that’s gonna be created. Then you have sound XYZ, but I think it’s just sound that’s focusing on additions and almost gamifying the collection process by being able to like leave a comment, they’re really focused on community. So that’s again, another pillar of like potential. Then you have Async, which is focused on how do we create. I made a piece for async this year that had 246 unique versions of a song. And so again, that’s more in the participatory and collaborative with collectors lane. And then you have Royal, which is then focused on fractionalization of ownership, creating a bridge to real world assets and providing users the opportunity to use like Fiat credit card, et cetera. And then there are way more, right? Yeah. Now there are limitless, but it’s just like, I think each is solving a unique problem. And then it’s up to artists to be like, well, what problem am I personally trying to solve. And then using the platform and aligning with collaborators that are going to help each individual artist solve their unique problems.

So actually, what problem are you trying to solve? Do you have one big picture problem, or you break it down into different problems as your creativity takes control? How do you think about that

Limitless problems. I view everything a bit segmented. I think the main problem that I see, or that I saw, which propelled me into this was lack of direct access to my audience and platform dependency. Instagram shows my content to about 10% of subscribers. I have to ask Spotify to access my 275,000 followers and maybe they’ll give me that access twice a year. Those are just two examples of the many examples of how the platforms that we as artists provide value to, actually are no longer working in our favor. And so how do I take out the middle man and interact directly with my fans? And it started honestly with a discord. The idea of like subscribe. And when I talk, you can hear me talk if you are on the platform, but now has morphed into, well, how do I create multiple tiers of value for different types of fans and collectors? There are some collectors who wanna own one of one, they wanna own something exclusive. They want an exclusive experience. What can I create for them? And then what can I create for the fans in mass that doesn’t detract from what I’m already doing, but allows me to, when I have a show, know who came to that show and not rely on Ticketmaster for that information because they don’t give it. So it’s really like there are limitless problems and each one of my experiments has been an attempt to solve that problem and learn more and figure out, ultimately like in the end, what am I building?

So that kind of comes down to building like a minimum viable community, like a bare naked form of your collectors, of your supporters, of people who are kind of collecting stuff from you on chain. Right. And I think you, you nailed it VÉRITÉ because you have the one of ones, you have the additions, you have general music fandom, you have digital merch, you have tickets, you have Po-ops, you have all these different, like on chain assets that you now need to build communities around. How do you do it in a way where you can create like a full encompassing experience, but also create more tailored experiences for those who either committed more or attend more or engage more, et cetera, have you found the right, like formula to kind of tackle that problem? And if so, would you mind sharing? Because I feel like it’s a problem that a lot of people encounter.

I think that we are so early, that there hasn’t been this like perfect combination where I feel like I have figured it out. That being said, it’s like, I know a lot more than when I started. Like I know that music has more value than the 0.004 cents and that we’re getting and the baseline of free and that people are extremely willing and excited to contribute to an artist’s success both financially and through time it’s like, and so financially it’s like music again, one of one music NFTs, but then you have fans on the other end of the spectrum that can’t participate financially and they want to participate by hyping your music up by tweeting, by just participating in a community. And so how we bridge that, I think it’s just gonna take time. Right. We don’t know how, like, which of these hundreds of platform forms that are getting built are going to actually survive the next three to five years. And so when I’m looking at this, it’s like, I’m gonna be here for a long time. Yeah. I’m gonna be here through the three to five years it’s gonna take to onboard the average fan into the ecosystem. And while I do that, I’m going to really pivot towards the web three community and be like, well, what do you want? What do you value? And like, let’s create some art and let’s create a world together.

How Do You Generate Value For Collectors?

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. You published this really great blog post that I mentioned earlier in our conversation titled A year in music and web three…… Which was an eyeopening blog for me to read personally, which actually helped me kind of plan for this interview as well. And I wanted to bring up a couple points that you mentioned over there. Okay. And the first one comes around value and we touched upon this earlier agreeing that value’s a very arbitrary thing. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Right. And how do you kind of like, how do you develop value and you poised a few questions okay. That I wanna bring up. You boiled it down to, and I quote, “recognizing that value, isn’t a fixed proposition, but a dance between two entities ever shifting, evolving, and reacting to its environment”. After you said that you kind to put, what is the value, right. Is something valuable just because I say it’s valuable, does sentimental value create monetary value? How can I create value for my fans? Could I use NFTs to build a better foundation for myself and my community. These are all solid questions. And I wanna try to tackle them, give or take each starting with like, what is value? Like how do you think about value? Because it’s so arbitrary because you know your audience because you have a vision of the problems you wanna solve. How do you tie that back into generating value?

So again, it’s like, I think value if we’re gonna sit and try and break it down, which is almost impossible. But like if we’re sitting here gun to head, we must create a definition. I think that there are two types of value, right? Depending on context, there’s sentimental value. And then there’s monetary value. Right? Sentimental value. Like when I talk about my music and like what I create and the experience that I have releasing that music to the world and interacting with fans on a one of one level who resonate with that art, right. There’s no dollar sign that we can attribute to that value. Like it’s limitless. That being said, when we take that and put it into the real world and a marketplace, it’s like the value is the dollar amount that someone is willing to pay for that. And so I’m a big fan of recognizing that two things can be true at the same time. Right. But it’s like, when people talk about the value of music and the value of art, we all get very emotional, right. Because it’s an emotional thing, creating art. And how do you put a monetary value on that? And so recognizing, the idea that it’s not a fixed proposition, just because I say something is worth a million dollars, doesn’t mean someone’s willing to pay a million dollars. So does that mean it’s worth a million dollars? And again, this is gonna take us into like a philosophical cycle that we’re never gonna solve.

Which I might wanna dive in for a second, but I don’t wanna tick you off

I live in this thought cycle. And so for instance, you know, in the spring I experimented with selling off a percentage of master recording and perpetuity. And I decided that for me personally, a million dollars felt like the right number for a hundred percent. You want a hundred percent of this, you pay a million dollars. Right. And so that was kind of experimenting with my own sentimental value, paired with the practical reality of like, I know what the potential of my music can return because I own all of my masters and I have 350 million streams. Like I understand the economics of that, but also there’s a sentimental value of like, this is my baby. Right. Like I need to get paid if I’m going to let her go and that being said, so I took that into the real world and I was just like, well, let’s experiment. I’m gonna give my valuation, but I put no reserve on it. And so ultimately I sold 2.3% of that master recording and perpetuity for 11 Eth, which was 23 K at the time. So essentially, so its like, I got to play with both. My own valuation, but then letting the market decide, well how much am I willing to risk on this? Right. and I think for me that experiment was really brilliant and felt very like empowering to me as an artist being like, okay cool. Now I have some more information of, I know how I value myself and now I see how others in the marketplace value me.

The Origin of Her Business Acumen

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. I wanna pivot for a second. Okay. And just explore more of like your business mentality because as we both agreed value is arbitrary, but it was season two episode two of mint. Okay. I had these two gentlemen on they were called Neil Harbison and Po Lombarte. Okay. And they’re like biohackers. Okay. One of them has like an antenna attached to his head because he is color blind. And he uses that antenna as a camera to scan colors. And this sends vibrations back to his head and tells him what’s red, what’s blue, what’s green. And then his friend loves experimenting with his heart. So he built a pacemaker and embedded into his heart. The only reason I say this. Okay. And bring this up is because they sold access to their bodies via NFTs. So if someone bought the NFT, they could change Neil’s color perception by what the camera kind of sees. And if they bought Po’s NFT, they could change his heart rate in his heartbeat and alter his temperature and his dreams and everything. And I asked them, how much would you actually sell this for? Because they were just testing it amongst themselves. And they both looked at each other like yeah. 100K I don’t know. And they’re like, that might even be too much. And like keep in mind, you’re selling access to your body. Right? 24, 7, 365. You come into the picture like, no, if you wanna buy a fraction of sliver, I think the entire pie is worth a million. Where do you get like your business mindset? Like where do you get this element? Like, are your parents like what are your parents’ background? How are you raised? Like, because selling access to your body a hundred versus selling access to your album, your art it’s who you are, a million dollars. How do you, you know what I mean? Like where does that come from? Did you grow up like that? Like in a very businessy type of environment? Tell me more about that.

It’s interesting. I need to meet those two people. So if you can hook, hook me up on email. Cause I’m just like, how can we put that into distorting someone’s perception of a song? So I’m actually very interested, but I feel like I grew up a, I grew up with I was born to work. Right. Okay. I was instilled a very, very intense work ethic from a very young age. And I think the business acumen has come over time. My mom is a professor of marketing. And so her and I have had a lot of very in depth debates, about all of this stuff. She really has expanded and challenged a lot of my notions and my mother’s brilliantly smart. And so to debate with her, you need to be on your toes. And so, but I think a lot of it has also been born out of the practical it’s like, I bootstrapped all of the initial capital for this project by like waiting tables at Applebees in times square. And so again, like having this work ethic and putting my own money into the project and I felt always like this responsibility for it. Right. And since like, that was the turning point of recognizing, okay, but this is a business I’m investing my own money. Right. I need to make sure that I can sustain this. Right. I need to make sure that this is a viable career and a viable project for the next 10 to 15 years. And back then it was because I had this innate fear that I was gonna have to go back to waiting tables. Cause I waited tables from the time I was like 14. Right. Wow. And now it’s just this sense of, oh, I have actually just wanna be doing this for the next 20 years. And I wanna be able to empower other artists to recognize that they actually have the capacity to develop the business acumen, to treat themselves like creative entrepreneurs so that they can put themselves in positions of power, when they’re taking on investment, when they’re sourcing creative partners, et cetera. And so that’s been my mission, really for the last five years of trying to drill that into people’s heads.

Super cool. Okay. So more on this business acumen, I remember reading in the blog post you’re like, okay, like, this is gonna cost me $400 for my first mint. We’ll just pull the trigger because I just took this as a business expense, many people enter the space and they don’t really have that mentality of being like, okay, this is a business expense. Something bigger is gonna come out of this. And they get stuck at just like signing that transaction. You know, just to put that thing on chain, but just to comment on that, let’s take it back even further. Like how long were you working at Applebees for ?

Since the time I was 14 to 18, I was working at random local restaurants and then18 to 24, I was at various Applebees initially upstate. And then when I moved to the city, I couldn’t find another job. And so I like walked in and I was just like, I’m a work here.

You, were creating like music and doing all that stuff during that time as well?

Yeah, so essentially, I mean, I think the first, for a while I was really aimless. I didn’t understand how to create a career in music.

More on the creative side, I guess like exploring.

So I was writing music in the pockets of time, but I was working anywhere from like 40 to 80 hours a week. Wow. And just like saving, like working so much,I couldn’t spend any of the money I was saving. Then in 2014 I had these four songs that I just something shifted. It was like, this feels right. This feels like my voice. This feels like what I wanna be doing. I just kind of hustled it on blogs. I sent a song to 500 blogs, one blog picked it up and that got me every major label in major publisher meeting, in the UK initially. And then kind of slowly started my career.

The Three Types of NFTs

Yeah. I wonder if there’s a correlation between people who started their careers in hospitality and then ended up being musicians and community builders. If there’s any like correlation between the charismatic personality you need to have the people skills that you need to have, et cetera. Because I also started in restaurants. I started off as like a host, busboy and like cleaning toilets and then like somehow ended up in crypto. I don’t know, but anyways, okay. We just sidetracked a bunch. Let’s get back to NFTs. Okay. Part of the blog that you wrote. Okay. You outlined three types of NFTs. Okay. One of one music, NFTs, fractionalized ownership NFTs and experiential NFTs. Can you talk more about these three types of NFTs that you outline in the blog and as a follow on question, how do you actually build a full encompassing campaign around these three types of NFTs? And I know it’s a loaded question, but I’m curious to see how you take it.

So one of one NFTs or where I got started obviously, and I think for me, it is, I think I said it before, it’s like the Mona Lisa of NFTs. Like there’s just one, it’s a much higher price point. That being said, when I started, I put no reserves because I was interested like again, how does the market value this asset? Because I had no idea. And for me, like I’ve experimented with a few experiences around them. But I think the highest, one of one that I’ve sold sold for like 4.5 E, which was like 20 K at the time. Hmm. And I had created this sentimental proposition. I actually, it was the song that I played at the NFT NYC event. Oh,

It was a slower, sadder song. Right. I remember. Yeah. Right.

And so when I got asked to play that event, I was just like, I’m gonna come play two sad songs and go that’s my style, you know? But it was really interesting because there were no perks associated with that particular NFT other then I was just like, why would someone value an MP3 that they can go listen to on Spotify for free. Right. Right. And so all of my, one of ones have been an experiment and again, trying to figure out the underlying psychology of why somebody wants to purchase and I’ve come up with like a few things, a, they feel a sentimental attachment to that song and they want it B patronage is alive and well in somebody who collected a, one of one music NFT who asked to remain anonymous was just happy and hoped that their purchase could provide me with the financial freedom to continue to create. Somebody else was just so excited that I was involved in crypto and wanted me to continue that journey because they believed that I would have an impact. And so I think there’s a lot of reasons for that, but ultimately I think one of one music NFTS are kind of my favorite. Okay. And I love what Catalog is doing because it’s literally just like, it’s able to reinvigorate the value of a back catalog, which as we churn through streaming, it’s like a song essentially dies once it’s faced out of the algorithm. And so it’s an opportunity to give life to old songs and also provide new experiences for new songs.

Which by the way, I think a lot of people forget that you don’t have to come out with a new song and issue that, mint that as an NFT, you can repurpose old songs. Matter of fact, a lot of the most successful drops from blao to yours to Latasha, et cetera, those were repurposed singles that then were brought back to life because of blockchain technology.

Yeah. I think that’s some of the most impactful stuff is like, we’re talking about the fact that music has value and it should be valued maybe more than the traditional systems. And like, so we’re able to give this music new life. Yeah. And I have a really big back catalog. So eventually it’ll all go up.

You’re gonna get a good airdrop. I’m excited for you. The next one is fractionalized ownership.

Yeah. So I guess in this, I have two pillars. It’s like we have additions, which I guess is not technically fractionalized ownership, but it’s a tier of it, it’s like one of 25, 1 of a hundred, et cetera and then you have things like party bid, where you’re actually, fractionalizing the ownership of one asset. Then you can take it a step further. So the additions, like I said is sound, and then you can take it a up further and tie the fractionalization to a real world asset. So maybe you’re getting a unique NFT, but you are getting a fractionalized royalty payment with that. And I think that why I like fractionalization is we have to realize that one of one music NFTs actually aren’t accessible financially, to the average participant and we’re still having to recondition an entire generation. So they don’t even understand why they should value ownership of anything digital. And so additions are good because they’re a lower price point and essentially more people can be involved in the process. And why I like fractionalized ownership of music and tying royalties into it is because it’s creating a bridge for the average fan to participate in a way that they can tie it back into the real world, which I think that bridge is gonna be really necessary for everything that we’re doing in web three and on the blockchain to scale.

Got it. Do you see additions being more liquid or less liquid than one of ones?

I think they’re more liquid and I think they’re more speculative, right? Because they’re, again, lower price point, more people are gonna participate and try to flip. Whereas I think one of ones, if you’re spending that amount of money you have a connection to what you’re buying, I would think for the most part you have a connection to the project or the song or the piece of art. And so you’re gonna want to hold onto that most likely.

The last one is experiential NFTs. I know you touched upon this in the past, but let’s quickly, let’s quickly revisit it one more time.

So experiential, it’s about, I guess, anything can be experiential, right. But for me I’ve been working, working with this company IYK and we piloted this thing called guest book for my last tour. Okay. Which was essentially, I was really frustrated a promoter that I was working with in DC went under in COVID. And so I had been building with them for years. And when we were promoting my show in DC with a new promoter, we were having trouble selling tickets partially because of COVID. But also because we didn’t have access to the people who had come to the years of previous shows and I was annoyed. And so I thought, how cool would it be for people to be able to come to a show, tap their phone, enter their Eth address and email, and be able to get an NFT where I can incentivize future participation to come for people to come to shows I can then know who actually came to a show. So we built it out and we kind of created a little experience around it where you can put your name, your email address. You can leave me a message. So I have all of these messages from fans who came to the shows and then we essentially airdrop them NFTs. We co-created the artwork. So it’s the NFT is actually pictures of all of my fans who took selfies at the show.

That’s so intricate. That’s so cool.

I’ll send you the link because it actually came out beautifully. But that’s just one example of it’s like, we’re trying to solve one problem, but ultimately you have to provide an experience for a fan to do anything outside of the realm of normal. Cause like we’re all busy human beings who have a lot to do. And so it was really kind of a beautiful thing to watch it unfold. And we got good participation. More people tapped than went through the whole process of entering their Eth address, showing us that like we are early and there’s a long process of on-boarding . But again, it’s like, you wanna create something where like there’s a value floor. So if all you wanna do is leave me a message, please do. Right. And then there’s incentive to, but if you go all the way through, we’ll give you this NFT. I’m gonna sign a few photos of people who left comments on the guest book page and mail them to them. So they have a signed photo of them from the show. So it’s like creating a bigger experience for people to, I guess just enjoy while again, creating a system where like now I know who came to my last New York show and ultimately ideally we’ll tie that to ticketing somehow, but again, that’s in the next five years.

Lowering Barriers to Entry for Owning Music NFTs

You know, my next question was gonna be, how do you create an experience for, I guess non deep pocketed fans who don’t have the ability to drop $400, $500 on an addition or a few thousand dollars on a one of one. And you basically just answered that question, but does it extend beyond that as well? Like how can you create more lower barriers to entry to be a part of your digital experience on chain?

So I think first off is you have to give fans the experience for free, right? And so that’s what we did with guestbook. It’s just like, we didn’t charge you. You just had to create a wallet, give us your Eth address. All of a sudden you have an NFT, then you have an NFT, right? That’s an experience. I think second, I have a project coming up and that involves fractionalization and I wanted to frame it like a merch bundle. Right now, my last merch bundle was a bunch of t-shirts, signed lyric book, all of this stuff for like $120. Right. And a lot of fans bought it and got their merch and I think for me, it’s like, well, what if I tied, an exclusive signed piece of merch to this fractionalized asset that also came with an experience. So I’m really conscious when I’m on-boarding fans to create a floor of value so that they’re never disappointed. So I’m not here shilling Eth on my fans or even my NFTs. I think that we need to allow it to be a really natural process because I don’t want people to have a bad experience. Right. And then look at me and say, well, VÉRITÉ told me to do it. Like, I’m not interested in that kind of disappointment. That being said, it’s like, if we can create an on-ramp with familiar language where you’re getting something physical and then you’re getting something digital. And if that digital asset plummets, or I don’t know, crypto is outlawed in all these platforms vanish. They’re not gonna feel disappointed because they actually have something physical and an experience. And so I think that creating a whole world around it is going to be better for fans coming into the space.

Let’s say crypto does get outlawed in all these applications and needs to eliminate the beauty behind this technology is that it will forever live on chain. Right. So people just gotta get, be technical, know how to code smart contracts and they can access things via different sites and just interact with the different contracts, whatnot. So we still have hope. Okay. We still have hope.

I doubt many will do that.

How Do You Price A Song NFT?

I highly doubt as well. Okay. A couple more questions your way. Okay. This comes back to your business acumen. I ask this next question with the hopes of maybe providing some type of framework for up and coming musicians who want to mint songs and sell songs. How do you price a song? How do you price an album? I guess take this from the point of view of an up and coming nobody artist. Okay. That’s getting into NFTs and a more established artist like NAS, for example, did just their launch with Royal and soon more to come. So from two different perspectives.

I have a similar feeling on both but I’ll start with somebody who’s just starting out for my first three NFTs, I set no reserve price. Because I didn’t know how the market valued the asset. And so I think that there is a push to kind of go with, this is valuable to me, so I’m gonna price it high, but I think there’s a lot that can be learned by just putting something out and seeing what happens. And if somebody makes a bid of 0.3 Eth accepting it and saying, all right, cool. And then creating that relationship and building that value over time. I think somebody like NAS, who it’s very clear that there is a demand for what he was doing, also can price himself higher, but also did so in a reasonable way where there was a $50 price point and that’s really accessible right. And so I think that everybody should have the consideration of if you’re entering into a new space in, a new realm, remaining curious about where you’re gonna fit within that and recognizing that like you’re starting from square one and slowly but surely, building that value

I think it still, again goes back to our value conversations, very arbitrary. Right. You have your business level acumen that you said, okay, this is worth a million dollars. Right. And rightfully so, I think there’s value in being first to something beyond just valuing your craft. But I also think like we’re seeing, different platforms experiment with additions and how they’re pricing stuff. And it’s very much a 0.1 Eth right now, but it could very much be 0.75 Eth. I think it very much depends on what the goals are, what you’re after, mho you’re trying to sell to for the most part. Like if you’re trying to up-sell versus create new audiences that enter from the top funnel, I think there’s different. There’s different ways to approach it, but it’s something that I’ve been trying to ask more and more people just to provide more clarity on. Last question. Okay. Last but not least. Well, actually, well, there’s so many other questions. We’ll see where this one ends ok. When go to a sushi restaurant, you typically ask the chef, okay, where do you eat sushi? Like, where do you go get your sushi from? And it’s typically like an indicator, like. Like I gotta go try that place. So my question to you is like, where do you get your crypto knowledge from? Who do you look for? I know you mentioned RAC. I know you mentioned, we talked about blao in the past. Is there anyone that’s less known or that you haven’t really talked about yet that you get your crypto acumen from?

I think I do a lot of listening. I’m in a phase right now where I recognize that I actually have a lot more learning to do and partially I’ve just been so underwater with my own projects, but I really think it’s looking towards my peers. Right. I look at everything that RAC is doing and has built and how well he’s built it and how well versed. And I really respect it. I really respect what, what Justin blao has built and, you know, people like my peers like what Latasha has built in terms of pioneering music videos what David has built and in Amman who just started working at sound. And so from my perspective, it’s like, I feel like we’re all sitting and learning together and that’s really powerful and I’m kind of sitting and recognizing that there’s a hill I have to climb of developing like a more sophisticated technical understanding behind everything. And I’m really excited to do that. And it’s a bit daunting. I have some books that I need to read. But I think that I’m really focused on learning from my peers.

The Future Relationship Between An Artist and A Label

Always be learning. I love it. Okay. This is gonna be the final question I promise. Okay. What do you think the relationship between an artist and a music label might look like in the future? Thanks to crypto. Thanks to We three primitives, et cetera.

I hate the term label and here’s, I really believe that artist should be their own labels. Okay. I really believe that artists, when they are in control, when they have full autonomy are going to create the best art, be the most successful. And I think that outsourcing essentially a label infers that there’s an exchange of ownership for capital, right? And I really wanna empower artists to maintain that ownership, bootstrap, their own capital and web three is providing us with a whole host of tools to do that in new and innovative ways. But ultimately that the artist should be the CEO of their company and they should be hiring out services and strategically adding people to their team without giving up that core of ownership. And so I think that labels are going to have to shift into something different if they want to. Well, they’re always gonna exist because quite frankly, the reason why I’ve been, I talk a lot about empowerment and ownership and it falls on deaf ears a lot of times and people still sign with labels, right. So ultimately they’re providing a service that some artists don’t wanna do. And so they’re always going to exist, but I really are advocate for the artists who are willing to put in that work and build something of their own and be their own label.

So by that definition, let’s revert back to the example of you selling ownership of like the million dollar pie. And that was one collector jumping in and grabbing that last minute and like taking the lead that could have easily been through a record label, right? Like they could have easily up-fronted that capital and owned a piece of the work versus owned you as a person. Right. Quote, unquote.

Exactly. And, and that kind of ties back into our earlier kind of pontification about like, what is ownership? Yeah. It’s like the idea of that person owns a percentage of royalties. They don’t own me. Right. They don’t own my entity. Right. They don’t control what I do in the future. They don’t even control what I do with the song. And I think that that’s the difference. The fundamental difference for me is like, I need full autonomy and ownership of VÉRITÉ as a human, as a creator and as an entity. But I am willing to create ways and means that fans can participate in the upside of what I do. Right. And make that process collaborative. It’s part of the reason why I’m slightly skeptical of like, DAOs like music DAOs, that kind of force voting. Right. Okay. For, for what an artist can or can’t do. Right. Because that feels like a label. It feels like deferring that autonomy to a group of other people. And I think we have yet to see what that’ll look like in the future.

Adam Levy (03:15):

Interesting. Hot take you’re the first person that came on the pot on all the episodes, even my last show, blockchain and booze, like the first person that came on and said your opinion like that about DAOs that was interesting.

I’m not opposed.

In a specific context. Right. In specific context. Okay. Because then you see what people like Daniel Allen are doing. And like, they have this like overstimulated DAO and he’s actually initiating votes through discord and they’re reacting based off the little emojis, if you want me to do X, put the smiley, you don’t want it put the frownie, you know? And then him kind of like taking the lead off of that. But you’re saying like, don’t touch me, don’t touch my creative process. Just come along the journey and trust me, then I’ll make it right kind of thing.

Yeah. And I think that what Daniel Allen is doing, he did definitely the boldest and most extreme version of what you can do. And like it’s an experiment and we’ll see, like, we’re gonna see how it plays out in a year. And that being said, it was a really successful experiment. That’s moving the conversation regardless of how he feels about it in a year or two. Yeah. But I think that innovation can have unintended consequences and I think that for me, it’s like, I wanna create participation and collaboration, but I also need people to trust that, like, again, I was born to work. Like I’m gonna make this work.

Outro

About to be a Applebees to 3.0, let’s go. I love it. VÉRITÉ. I think that’s a great place to end off before I let you go. Where can we find you? Where can we stay in touch with you? Show yourself and let the world know.

Yeah. So I’m at VÉRITÉ on basically all socials. You should join my discord. It’s not a lot of web three native people. It’s mostly just my fans but that being said we do have an NFT channel. And other than that, you can just hit me up, send me a DM. I usually respond.

You do. Yes, you do. Yes. I can say that proudly, but this was fun, thank you so much for being on. We should definitely do this again at some point. We’ll talk soon.

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.

All right. And I’ll cut it there. Amazing. That was great.

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Podcast Transcript

Charlie Crown on Music Crowdfunding Mechanics

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Background

Mint Season 4 episode 10 welcomes Charlie Crown, the Miami-based, Colombian DJ & producer who has released tracks through Sony Music, Dim Mak, and PRMD; and garnered over 25+ million streams in the process. He’s received nods from some of dance music’s biggest names including The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, and Illenium; and shared stages with other incredible artists like Zomboy, Mija, and Le Youth; in addition to massive performances at Club Space Miami and Life in Color. His most recent single, “Sinking” with Bronze Whale reached the top 25 on Apple Music’s Electronic charts in over 40 countries, and peaked at No. 28 on the US Electronic chart. Charlie Crown is endorsed by McDSP, FabFilter, and Sonarworks audio plugins. 

He’s also deep in the world of where music meets web3. I wanted to have him on because, (1) I backed his project because I thought it was pretty cool, and (2) his crowdfund mechanics are quite different from what we’re used to seeing.

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:44 – Intro
  • 07:02 – Concerns Getting Into Crypto
  • 13:59 – Just Say It Crowdfund
  • 24:06 – Long Term Vision
  • 28:38 – Does the Creator Retain Profits?
  • 30:50 – How is A Song Valued On Chain?
  • 33:48 – Future Relationship between Music and Crypto
  • 36:11 – Words of Advice 

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


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

Of course, man. I appreciate you making the time I caught a glimpse of your crowdfund. Okay. Which I did support. The Just Say It  Crowdfund, which we’ll get into a minute. But I tweeted on what you yesterday. I wanna do a spontaneous episode on Thursday and I recall you tweeting at me in the past. For whatever reason, I couldn’t find that anymore. And then I saw you again and I was like, oh, I should bring you on because I actually really with your music. And you’re doing some pretty epic stuff, so let’s dive right into it. Okay. Who are you, what does a world need to know about you, but more specifically, what were you doing before crypto?

All right. Happy to be here. My name is Charlie crown. That’s my artist name. My name is Carlos I’m from Columbia. I work in music. I am a producer, an artist, and well before crypto was making music, you know doing the regular artist stuff, making music, releasing it, going through all the, kind of like the web two stuff including promotion, including, you know, playlist pitching all that stuff. And then I recall finding about crypto on December 2020. Yeah. And then for me it was just a huge rabbit hole fell into it deep and well, now I’m here and here we are here we are. Yeah. Taking advantage of as many opportunities as I can.

So what have you gotten involved with so far since this December 2020? So you’ve bought some crypto, obviously you have this crowdfund. What else have you done?

I’ve been everywhere, man. I’ve been trying to turn every stone every time I find a new application or a new protocol, I just try to find out how it works how can I use it for my project? I’ve been doubling on, on layer two stuff like, mint songs on polygon. I remember at the very, very beginning I was just getting fam familiar with meta mask, getting familiar with protocols like Uni Swap, exchanging tokens, buying my first NFTs on Open Sea and all that stuff. And then, I started finding about Song Camp, Catalog, communities like music communities on Discord and getting involved with, Cooper, Daniel Allen, Henry, like talking to them, tweeting at them and trying to get my name out there and learn as much as possible.

Those three names are like reoccurring names on Mint. Which I think is actually super awesome because obviously Cooper, Daniel Allen, Henry, and the list Valencia the list goes on and on and on of people that are just like continuously pushing the space forward. So yeah, for sure. It’s good to see that’s also rubbing off on you. Okay. I wanna talk more about like you as a musician. I’ve been checking on your music. I was like bumping it as I was preparing questions for this conversation. Actually, I really do enjoy your stuff. I think it’s great. But my opinion is completely irrelevant. I wanted to ask you are you assigned to a label like what’s your structure? What’s your setup? How does that kind of translate to your experimentation in crypto?

At the moment I’m independent I’ve been trying to stay independent for a while now. I like Record Labels. I respect a bunch of them. I’ve worked with them in the past. I’ve done remixes in the past with labels like Ultra Sony music in the UK D Mac but for my singles and for my project, generally speaking, I’ve always tried my best to stay as independent, as much as possible and trying to, you know keep control of my masters. Yeah, of course. Like giving percentages to artists featured artists and artists that I work with, but generally speaking. I always try to say independence as much as I can.

So how is the independent life? It’s a very general and very basic question, I know, but I ask it intentionally. And the reason I ask is because there’s a ton of independent artists entering crypto experimenting with web three, primitive, selling NFTs music, NFTs, social tokens, et cetera, as an independent, how has been your journey like in crypto? What does that look like?

It’s like the wild west. For the first time I’m really experiencing what creative freedom might look like in a world where creative freedom also provide a mean to make a living with music without, forcing myself to fit a certain narrative or a certain genre. I think also being independent gives you the freedom to go at the pace that you really want to go to because, you know, like, I think in music industry, given the current climate, you are currently forced to like go at a certain speed. And I think many artists are falling into this burnout situation where you’re basically forced to release music like every three weeks or every four weeks and that’s become like really unsustainable. And for me, at least it hinders my creativity where I’m kind of like falling into a trap of just making music, because I need to put something out instead of like with web three, I really can take the time to experiment and really put what I wanna put out and, and also like share with my community get their thoughts on what they think about the song and kind of like really have this participative scenario where fans are not just fans, but they’re also becoming more important parts of the project and kind of like get them involved in some bigger decisions, like what song is next, whether they like it or not all that stuff.So it’s definitely a freedom thing for me. Nice.

Concerns Getting Into Crypto

Yeah. Makes, makes a lot of sense. I wanna talk about like, as you got into crypto, okay. As you were exploring as an independent artist, getting to the trenches of crowdfunding on mirror, going through catalog sound, et cetera, seeing all these platforms, what were some of your biggest concerns getting started? If any?

My biggest concern, well, my first concern was kind of like not having the means to, you know, pay gas phase and get involved in these platforms that I really wanted to get involved in and not pay able to like being priced out basically. And there’s a lesson that I learned while getting involved with all these platforms. And this is a hard lesson that I learned while doing and was the fact that I didn’t take much time into building a community first and then, deploying all this stuff on web three. So I did it all the way around. So I started, messing with these platforms first without having a community to share with in web three, because, and this is the hard truth that I learned while the Mirror crowdfund was already launched. It’s very, very difficult at this point in time to bring people from web two over to web three, it’s just like a huge investment in energy and time to like basically hold hands and bring people over. So immediately after I launched the mirror crowdfund and, similar with other platforms that I’ve tried before, it seemed like nothing was happening, you know, because I, I wasn’t, I was doing it all the other way around, you know?

Yeah. Makes a lot a sense. Where does a lot of your energy go towards actually beyond making music, like after the creative spark, the creative part comes in, you have your song, you have everything kind of laid out. Where does the rest of your energy get applied to?

Just recently, I’ve been trying to invest a lot of energy in community building. Okay. And what does that mean exactly. It’s a very like general word that a lot of people like to use.I think it gets thrown out a lot in web three, but for me it means making friends connecting with people that resonate my music and the other way around, people that inspire me. So for example, I’ve been since probably April or May, I’ve been really, really focused in this part of the journey and I’ve been making really good friends with Excelencia, who’s been in the podcast before. Yeah. Henry and Daniel Allen have been talking to him a lot as well. And Cooper he was actually the one who brought me into web three and actually, sent me over to catalog and sent me over to song can nice and got me involved really early. So I took those lessons and I started to not only ask questions on Discord, but also if I was able to and knew the answer or also provide help to other people and contribute whenever I can.So I’ve been able to contribute to other artists crowd-fund as well because I think it’s really important for us to build out this community in terms of like, I’m not only asking for help, but I’m also being put in a position where I can help others. So I think that’s really important in building these relationships. Also attending IRL events here in Miami just in December was Art Basel. So I took the advantage and I attended a bunch of NFT events and network and if I recognize anyone, then I would say, hello, although it’s difficult, people usually on Twitter have their, their NFTs is perfect picture. So sometimes hard to who recognize people in real life

Really quick, Charlie, this hustle mentality of attending IRL events, like conferences, meet-ups joining discord communities is that same energy and that hustle mentality parallel to anything in music. Like, do you do the same thing in the music industry with like people you want to collab with? Like how does that element of community building and getting your name out there in crypto translate to doing that in music?

It’s actually pretty similar.

How so?

Well, for years before crypto, every, every March in Miami, the Miami Music week. So I remember with my former manager we don’t work together anymore, but we would go out to all these events and like maybe two or three months before Miami music week, we would be mailing other managers, artists record labels to get these guest passes or get onto the guest list or, get backstage because we were really focused on attending these events during Miami music week and meet, maybe managers and artists and record labels that we’ve worked before, but it was a really good opportunity to meet in real life. So being able to attend Art Basel for NFTs and for crypto kind of like reminded me of the same vibe, just people coming together, with similar interests and kind of like just happy to see each other, because we spent so much time online, especially, you know, with COVID and stuff like that. So it’s really nice to, put a face to the people that you interact with every day, like on a daily basis. So it it’s very, very similar. Yeah.

Just Say It Crowdfund

I think what you’re doing is very spot on, so this is very much like the Daniel Allen strategy too. Like you wanna mint something, put a pin in that and revisit it in three months and make sure you get yourself involved in community Discords get your name out there because if you just put something out there, nobody knows you how’s the world gonna try to buy something from you right. And support you and connect with you and whatnot. Yeah. I say this a lot also, it’s like the best way to solidify relationships and make friends in crypto is okay, get on Twitter, get in these communities. But the number one thing that solidifies all that is like what you just said, attending conferences, the Ethereum conferences, the Salon conferences, the local meet-ups, all these things. They want a hundred percent translate into who you’re building and like what you’re trying to do and kind of getting your name out there and whatnot. So I think that also like explains the success for this crowdfund that you have going on, the Just Say it crowdfund. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? First of all, congratulations on that. I’ll let you say the numbers and whatnot, but what is it? Okay. And why is crypto like the right way to kind of bring to life whatever it is that you’re trying to do with the, Just Say It Crowd-fund.

Yeah. So just the word on what you said before, like mint something, put a pin on that and that stuff. Yeah. I actually did it the other way around, so I minted at first and then I was like, wow, nobody’s contributing to this stuff what’s happening. And then like throughout the process, I discovered like, oh, wow, I needed to spend more time, getting my name out there building a little bit of like a group of people that know me that like resonated with my stuff before, going through that stuff. So now they just say crowdfund started of course inspired by what Daniel Allen did and because the couple, or maybe three conversations that I’ve had with Cooper about, you know, all this stuff. So what I wanted to do was kind of like get my feet wet. So I didn’t want to do something as big as what Daniel Allen did. And also I resonated with something that he said before, and it’s like using web three to fund web two activities as much as I’d like to, to go like crypto native and go full on web three the reality is I have so many like goals and dreams that is still heavily rely on web two metrics, like streams and monthly listeners and followers and all that stuff. What I did with the Just Say It crowdfund was I created a crowdfund to fund the release of my upcoming single, which is called Just Say It and is featuring my friend, Helen Tess, she’s from Miami too. And I asked for 2.5 Eth after like making a budget for what I usually spend on a song kind of like with a web tool strategy.So like stuff like photo shoots, stuff like PR promotion, playlist pitching ads, YouTube, all that stuff. But then I wanna to make it in a web three way, in the sense, like, okay, maybe let’s make it a, a crowdfund on mirror issue, tokens to, to the people that backed the project. And then I didn’t want the token to be like a community token because I really wanted to have like a social token, a community token, maybe further down the line, maybe this year. So I didn’t want this one specifically to be the community token. So I was like trying to figure out, okay, so what are people going to do with the token? So I came up with the system where the token is meant to be burnt, so what’s gonna happen in the crowdfund and now I get into like the mechanics of the crowdfund. There’s gonna be at first of course, part of the budget is gonna be used to fund the release, pay for mastering, promotion, all the stuff that I talked before. And then there’s gonna be three auctions total. So the first auction is gonna be the way file on catalog. The second auction is gonna happen in foundation is gonna be like an alteration of the artwork, but in different dimensions and animated. And the third one, it’s gonna be an auction on the glass protocol which is gonna be the video. Which at first is gonna be only available for token holders. So we’re gonna token gate, and it’s gonna be like an experiment. We’re gonna run with the guys over at Glass. And then after that period we are going to auction the video as an NFT as well. The way that some of the features on Mirror are designed it made me, it made possible for me to create it in a way that when those auctions finished, I can have a percentage of those sales go directly back to the contract of the crowdfund and without ever going through me. So I thought that was like a cool experiment to do and a cool thing to like, maybe get people excited about it. So from those auctions, 90% of those auctions is going back to the crowdfund. And then once that Eth is in the crowdfund, people are going to be able to claim a percentage of the Eth that’s in the contract by burning their tokens. And that’s also one of the features that native to Mirror

Got it, got it. Actually, this is like a much more complex campaign than some of the more standard crowdfund music campaigns that we’ve seen out there. Why did you decide to go down this route?

I was always trying to figure out while I was writing the crowdfund, how can I deliver more than what I’m asking for? Because like, throughout the, the building process, I was always asking myself this question about community and like, who’s gonna back this project. I have like some fans and some people know me over in web two, but who is really gonna put some Eth into this crowd. And so, like, I was always, like in my head was like, and also like asking myself, like, why am I doing this crowdfund? Is this just something that I’m doing to take advantage and make some money, or am I going to really build something that I’m proud of? And that’s like a representation of my passions or my creativity and like my goals here. I think web three is kind of like, as I’ve said before is kind of like the wild west. So it’s like, there’s so many task grabs here and there there’s so many rock poles here and there and stuff like that. So I wanted to, to like really figure out a way in which I can deliver more than what I’m asking for. Yeah. So I was kind of like, how can I add more stuff to it and make it more complex and making it more like entertaining and challenging to like build all this stuff.

Yeah. I’m curious to see how that kind of plays out down the line, because there’s a lot, there’s a lot of moving parts and which makes this whole entire thing super unique and super exciting, which also part of the reason why it caught my attention too. I’m just going through this crowdfund right now. So I guess like when you’re building the mechanics of this drop, because you have an entire list of bullet points and I wanna share my screen just so everybody that’s watching on YouTube can kind of see what I’m referring to really quick. Let’s do this really quick. Okay. Let’s share my screen. So there’s a lot of like bullet points here regarding the mechanics. Okay. Out of everything that you listed, what do you think is the most important point part of the mechanic that actually makes this drop unique makes it different? It makes it eye-catching for collectors, for example.

Well, I think, I think there’s maybe a couple. So the first one is of course the three auctions that are gonna happen and how they will be going automatically my on chain back to the contract without ever going through me and then people being able to burn their tokens to claim their percentage of the Eth that’s accrued in the contract and the other cool part. And this was something that I added later after I launched the crowdfund. It’s the milestones. So I launched the crowdfund first, and then, you know, I started asking for feedback to friends and people over at catalog people over at mean songs. And Excelencia, a bunch of friends from Audios as well. And kind of like one of them I remember recommended me kind of like to ask myself, like, how can I tie the crowdfund or the tokens to the success of the song. So that’s where, like, you know, the idea of the milestones came to be so like, okay, now we are attaching this crowdfund to the actual success of the song in web two. So like Spotify more specifically. So I create these milestones, we have one NFT air dropped to every backer when we hit a hundred K on Spotify, then a second air drop when it hits half a million and then the million. So like, if we hit the million, then you know, every bucket is gonna be air dropped a total of three NFTs. We make it.

Long Term Vision

No, we will make it. We’re all gonna make it. You know this reminds me of like the common example that people like to use when they try to explain to a normie, like why NFTs are important in the context of music and fandom, for example, and like the reoccurring example that I also like to regurgitate is like, imagine you could prove that you were a listener to Juice World as he was kind of coming up on SoundCloud whether you were in the first, like a thousand listeners, 50,000 listeners, a hundred thousand listeners, right. And this kind of like solidifies that in a sense, in a way, right. It’s not like a direct correlation. It’s more so a, a reward of like trophies, like congrats guys. Like we did it, we did this together kind of thing, which is super cool. It’s really, really cool.

Yeah. Yeah. That’s actually like my, my long term vision is to create this kind of like memorable moment. And I know, like it’s not like a huge project or an album, which generally has more longevity or like it has like more long term kind of thing. So, but my vision long term is like with the NFTs and the PO ops that like the backers are also gonna get for backing the project, like this sort of medal for being early supporters, is exactly that what you just said, like creating this moment in time, where people are gonna have this badge in the wallets that are gonna remember them. I’m also gonna be reminded that they supported this project early on. So it’s like a badge of honour.

For sure. Yeah. Makes, makes a lot of sense. Talk to me through kinda like breaking down expenses as a creative, this is very like very strategic and very well done. And to other people, it might seem like, okay, you just broke down the expenses, but for other people that are trying to maybe replicate something similar that you did or Excelencia did, or Daniel Allen did. These things like we can’t take for granted. Right. So from cover art to photo shoot to lyric video animation, like how did you know these were all like the components that you needed to raise appropriately, right and structure the crowdfund the way you did, kind of walk me through your thought process of breaking that stuff down.

So, so my thought process was kind of like also combined with the knowledge that I already have from releasing music previously and kind of like the teamwork we usually do which is like getting the art ready figuring out if it’s gonna be like a full on video, like with actors and actresses or if it’s gonna be like a lyric video, animated, 3d stuff like that. And then marketing I usually spend way less from like what’s in the crowd from right now, but the core idea of the crowdfund is also to like, be able to release a song and take it to the next level and not like do it as I usually do it because yeah. Usually being independent is cool, but the gave it to that is there’s no funds, you know, there’s no investment. So you’re basically just investing in your music from your own pocket. So that’s why usually, you know, usually labels come in and invest in the project and stuff like that. So my thought process kind of like breaking down the funds was combining what I’ve done before and kind of like seeing how I kind of take that to the next level. So maybe hiring a better PR person, instead of going like the stereo mastering route, maybe I can master the song by stems. Artist fees are what the songwriter and the singer, which are two different different people are gonna be paid as well. Even though they were like, oh, no, don’t worry. I don’t need to get paid. I was like, no, I’m running this crowdfund, which is gonna, probably raised, 10 K you’re getting a cut of it, for sure. Yeah. And then, reaching out to people and getting quotes, getting quotes for, video production, getting quotes for cover artwork, getting quotes for photo shoots and all that stuff. And kind of like when I did the, the, the funds and kind of like the breakdown, I did it with Eth at like 4,200, and now it’s like way less, so interesting. Yeah. I may have to make some adjustments there.

Did that screw up your process at all?

Not really. But now that I see the results, I think it might have been smart to do the use of funds section may be denominated in Eth instead of dollars. Key percentages, like kind of like the same. Yeah. Because very volatile. So

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense, but look regardless it’s almost at what almost at 9K 2.77 Eth to date. Your goal was to 0.5 E so you have a lot to be proud about and to celebrate and

Yeah, of course, of course be happy about it.

Does the Creator Retain Profits?

It’s really exciting. And one thing I wanted to ask you, why’d you put it so that the creator doesn’t retain anything?

So a lot of people have asked me this question and usually my answer is, I wanted to make it clear that I want that I was trying to build something for the people and not for me. So I was really focused on like, probably like under promising and overdelivering. Also like creating some, something where, where you put in X amount of Eth, I’m trying to basically make sure that I’m giving more than what I’m asking for. So the goal of the token is not for me to retain something and then get some Eth out of there and kind of like make money in that sense. But the goal of the crowdfund is to build like the foundation of the community. And I’m more focused in people becoming fans, becoming collectors, becoming like holding onto these PO apps and holding these milestones and enjoy the music, like on a different level than making money from the crowdfund. I would’ve probably kept some percentage if the goal was higher, but since the goal was really small, I’m gonna take the maximum advantage of this 2.5 E to build as much as I can until I run out of funds basically.

How is A Song Valued on Chain?

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense, dude. Amazing. I love to see it. I’m excited to kind of follow it and to follow your progress and see more of it come to life. All of us who supported him back to embrace the value of the mechanics that you kind of laid out for all of us to enjoy. I want to shift the conversation a little bit. To how do you properly value a song on chain? How do you know whether a song needs to be worth 0.1 Eth, 1 Eth, 10 Eth how do you think about that?

Well, that’s a tough question, Adam. I think comes down to if I were looking at songs let’s say in Catalog and kind of like browsing to see maybe what I buy, I say the artist has like a lot of influence in how I value a song. So I would like to see an artist putting in the work not just in the song, but, you know, putting work, like you see them working, you see them creating content, you see them getting involved, you see them kind of like valuing web three for what it is, and kind of like giving respect to that and kind of like taking it serious. I wouldn’t want to invest in an artist that’s just taking advantage of web three and kind of like, just putting out music just because it’s the perfect time to make one eat for a song on catalog. But because they really believe in this stuff, you can really see the passion and their love, not only for music, but for technology in their eyes. So I think that’s when a song for me shifts from being worth 0.1 to being worth one, when I see that I’m not just investing in one off projects, but investing in the artist’s career and, and future, because I see longevity in them. Hmm.

Interesting. So, so that tells me that the price of a song should be determined by the collector, not by the artist, because everything that you just mentioned is kind of like how you value an artist in their craft and what they’re doing with the community. So you think it should be more from the collector’s point of view rather than the artist point of view?

I think me as an artist, I can only control what I can control. So for me as an artist is like, the maximum I can do is like put a price tag randomly, basically just depending on how I feel about the song, how much work did I put in? How, how important or how emotionally attached I am to it. I can add like perks and stuff, you know, I can add maybe, rights or maybe I can add like licenses for stems and remixes and maybe the art work and maybe shows and stuff like that. And kinda like make the NFT more valuable that way. Yeah. And then I can randomly put a price tag on that, but at the end of the day, it’s the collector, that’s gonna say either, wow, this is just too expensive. I’m not gonna buy it or, wow, I’m getting this right now. Yeah.

The Future Relationship between Music and Crypto

Makes a lot of sense. Let me ask you, what do you think the relationship between music and crypto will look like in the next few years?

I think in the next few years is gonna become more of a hybrid in the sense, like we’re still gonna be dabbling in web two stuff. So we’re still gonna be in Instagram and Spotify and apple music and people are gonna be able to listen to music publicly for free, but musicians are gonna have like this very closed group of super fans that become collectors. And hopefully more than that, become investors and start earning from master royalties and streaming platforms, as well as artists. And I think also artists are gonna become more and more independent. And maybe also like a hybrid there in terms of like artists are gonna be able to decide what services they need or they don’t from record labels and be able to negotiate from that because, you know, with web three maybe you don’t need the advance anymore. Maybe you just need like infrastructure, or you need certain services that labels provide, but maybe you don’t need to give 80% anymore of your masters. Maybe you can retain control of them and then maybe have different deals. But I think for musicians and for music industry, the landscape looks pretty independent and looks at a scenario where us artists are taking back control.

So do you think the market will favor more independent artists than those who have record labels and already set off and well and well off and whatnot?

I think it’s gonna be a hard battle because, you know, labels have deep pockets but fan base and super fans and collectors are gonna be able to provide that for their artists. I’m not sure if one or the other is gonna win, but I’m, I think, web three is definitely gonna level out the little battlefield for us.

Words of Advice

I love it. My last question for you. For those who want to kind of replicate and follow your footsteps on what you’ve done since 2020, any tips for them, any words of encouragement anything that you you’d like to share that you kind of learned along the way that would make them skip some steps?

Of course, of course. I’d say the most important thing is just do, just jump in and do. I spent a lot of, weeks or even months reading a lot of stuff from, the crypt and [inaudible] and all this stuff, listening to Backless and good podcast out there like yours, but thank you. I learned the most when I was making mistakes when I was getting, failed transactions on Ether scan, when I was signing up to protocols when I was connecting my wallet to certain things, buying NFTs, selling stuff. So I would say like, just do, sign up to all these platforms, sign up to Catalog, sign up to sound XYZ, sign up to Mint songs, maybe create your first editions on min songs and kind of like get a hold of like, the hold mechanics and the mistake that I did at first, was not getting involved first before creating all this stuff. So, of course my advice here is like, get involved, get on Twitter, get on conversations, answer questions, ask questions follow, people of influence, depending on your niche, follow people that talk about those topics that you like and, get on discords, get involved in communities and create relationships, send DMs to people, connect on a personal level, give feedback and kind of like build relationships because at the end of the day, people like to help people they know. So I think it’s very, it’s very, very good that, you get out there and build these relationships and kind of like meet people, even if you don’t do anything, it’s just really cool to build, hind of like a very close friendship circle of people. Like like-minded people that inspire each other and motivate each other and kind of like creates this positive, like never-ending circle where you’re just basically feeding each other and kind of like making each other better. So that’s pretty cool too.

I love it, dude. Charlie Crown. Thank you, man. I appreciate you being on good luck with the crowdfunding. Closing that off. I hope more money comes in. Good luck with everything that you’re trying to do. We should do this again in the next few months and do like a catch-up or recap.

For sure. For sure. I would love to. I’m always happy to come in your podcast. I love it. Thanks for inviting me. And it was a really, really fun time. Thank you so much.

Got it. Of course. And we’ll cut it there. Good.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

Who Needs NFTs More: Hollywood or Independent Filmmakers?

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 9 welcomes Spartan Daggenhurst, an award-winning Anglo-Greek filmmaker, composer, pianist, and poet. He grew up between England, Greece, and France before moving to Los Angeles at the age of 9. In 2016, he graduated from Bard College in New York with a degree in Piano Performance and Music Composition. He works actively in various artistic mediums, including film, opera, and poetry, and is fluent in English, Greek, French, German, and Italian. He’s also the founder of The FilmDAO, which is the first web3 Film Studio producing and financing community-curated original cinema.

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:27 – Intro
  • 09:02 – What is The FilmDAO?
  • 15:25 – Importance of Community in the Film Industry
  • 22:46 – How Crypto can help Hollywood
  • 31:38 – NFTs being used in Hollywood
  • 37:02 – Using NFTs as a vehicle for Crowdfunding Films
  • 40:51 – When will movie funding have its way in Web3?
  • 47:32 – Outro

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


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Spartan. Welcome to Mint. Thank you for being on how are you doing?

Thank you, Adam. Happy to be here very well. How are you?

Intro

Good. I’m good man. Living the dream. I’m excited for you to be on you’re the first movie film project that I’ve come across in web three and got super excited about at the time it was called a different name, but now it’s called The Film DAO. Before, before we jump into everything. Okay. Who are you, what does the world need to know about you and how did you get your start in crypto?

In crypto? Okay. I was buying Ethereum and Bitcoin, from years ago and that was kinda the extent of my forays into crypto. And then last year through our mutual friend Cooper, I started, entering into the NFT space , I was just buying into projects. I was finding projects that I thought were cool and buying into them, but that’s basically it. I was a collector and that was the extent of my experience in web three. Besides that I went to Bard for classical piano and music composition. I was composing operas, for a long time after school. And I was trying to do these animated operas, kind of like Fantasia, but a little bit more adult themed. And I was kind of finding that there wasn’t a market for any of that. And I was kind of just like pounding away in my closet, working, working, drawing these stick figures, to animators and scoring the music to that. And after a few years of that, I thought, okay, well, at this point I’m just making movies. So I should move into film because I was thinking, you know, opera composers back in the day would probably be making movies if they had the technology today. So that’s how I got into film.

So what year was your first crypto purchase?

2016 or 17 probably.

Wow. What did you purchase, do you remember and where?

Definitely Ethereum. I remember specifically and I’m making an exception because I do remember in 2013 or 2014, you know, some of my friends in my college dorm were like, oh, you gotta buy this thing. It’s called Bitcoin it’s 300 bucks a pop. I was like, ah, I don’t know. I think I bought one and then sold it when it, when it doubled.

So actually your love for crypto and your love for film, how did those two worlds collide? Like what’s the story behind that?

So it’s really interesting. The two world’s collided last year because I was in the process of funding, a big first feature that I’ve been working on for a year and a half. I’ve had the script, we have a full animat storyboard. We have actors, cast, we have locations. And then the same thing with most projects, but specifically with film, the funding becomes an issue. So we had some commitments, we had cash in the bank, but not the entire budget. And when you’re not doing, there’s something called pre-sales. So when you have someone like, let’s say Brad Pitt, you don’t actually have to have the money for the movie because, if you have a commitment from them, you can go to all the territories worldwide for distribution and get guarantees. Like I will give you X million dollars for the rights to stream this or to distribute this in theaters in my territory because I know that people will come to see Brad Pitt. So since we weren’t doing it that way, we had to have all the money in equity. And I was sitting there, I had a few dead fellows. I had some other projects that I was in and I realized because this story takes place on a fantastical, fake Mediterranean Island in the 1960s called Sangas Barre, which is like a bit, the germinating idea for that was, to do a movie about cat burglars. That’s what the theme is on a island that’s a bit French, Greek, Italian, Spanish, like a Malta that never was. So it’s this kind of weird setting that lends itself very well to creation. And so I was sitting there with Cooper and I was thinking, man, I haven’t had this storyboard artist doing these storyboards for the movie. I can send you some later for a year, drawing every scene with me. It’s a method that we use in filmmaking to know what you’re doing before you get to the set. And I was like, well, why don’t we just do 10,000 citizens of this fake island and immediately, it just clicked. And that’s so that was, that’s our inaugural, that’s our Genesis project. That’s funding our first feature. And that’s what bridged the gap between the creative world of film with the creative world of NFTs.

Got it. And you said that that initial project was called what? Remind me.

The initial project was called the, the actual NFT collection is still called that it was called the citizen Angus bar, right. And what we were doing, it’s actually interesting the route we took because at first it was, well, let’s make a movie financed by NFTs and that would be like a historic thing. And we were doing it and I slowly realized that the way to actually bring more value to the people buying in, rather than just perks, like, okay, you can come to set, you can be an extra in the movie, you can do X, Y, Z, that’s kind of perks. And kind of, not really, because there’s a problem with SEC, right? You can’t do this and then offer everyone a return. We went over this and it’s completely, it’s not feasible right now at where we are with legislation. So what we did instead, when I wanted to give more, to the people that were buying in, was we zoomed out and instead we said, okay, instead of just doing one movie, this Genesis NFT collection is gonna be your share of a web three based movie studio. And what happened was I met my friend Sobi and he was telling me all about this project that he had going to buy a copy of the dune Bible. I’m sure you saw with the spice down and everything that happened. And he basically called me and he said, you know, I need someone really qualified to help me make this space opera. And I was like, I’m very uniquely qualified to help you do that. Through a weird set of circumstances. And I negotiated that part, we’re gonna make this show and we’re gonna hopefully sell it, we’re taking steps to ensure that. And part of that now goes into the film DAO, and the idea is what we do is collectively decide what projects to do. It’s like, any movie studio that exists in real life or like a distribution house, like 8 24, they make, they make, targeted decisions about where they’re going with their content and what aesthetic they’re pursuing. So we’re doing that on mass, 10,000 votes. And the way we’re rewarding early holders is people who buy into the Genesis project and fund the first feature that we’re doing, et governance tokens, those are your governance tokens and further NFT collections we do for further movies that we do. Say in a year we wanna do a Western in eight months, we wanna do a space, whatever it is. We do an NFT collection for that. But that for the people who buy in, they’re buying into the vision of the feature and the animated series, we’re doing the spice DAO. So they’re just getting perks for the new movement and the governance tokens remain and it concentrates value because you can trade ’em on open sea. So if people wanna buy in, it depends on what they want.

So full transparency. I did buy into this, I think on initial mint which actually got me excited about it as I mentioned in the beginning. And I just wanna go ahead and share my screen really quick. I wanna pull this up so people can kind of get an idea of Sang Aspare okay. What that really looks like.

I should also give a disclaimer, this is the last vestige of our old, like we have a new website coming that says the film.

So I actually wanted to bring up the characters. Okay. And the reason why I wanted to bring up the characters because I think the upbringing of the creation to mint, to launch, to building the community, that’s an entire narrative that I want to run through right now. Cause you said you met up with Cooper. Okay. You guys had this idea or you had idea, however it went and you ended up starting to draw out these little characters. You drew them yourself you said?

No. So my storyboard artist from the movie drew them under my supervision.

What is The FilmDAO?

Okay. So walk me through that process. And I’m asking you from a very dumb down point of view. Okay. Totally. Because this is intended to be like a way a path for other people to kind of follow because while you guys are one of the first, if not the first to kind of do something like this, you’re not gonna be the last right. So how can someone else replicate what you just went through and approach it from a similar factor from the ideation to the creation of the graphics, to actually creating the site and doing the minting, building, like walk me through that from A to Z

So what we did is I went to the storyboard artist and I said, I wanna do 10 categories of citizen. That kind of encapsulate all the characters that we have in our story and also encapsulate life on this island in the middle of the 20th century. I actually now I only see myself, but yeah, yeah. From left to right. Fishermen, dock workers, policemen, monks, nuns. These are all people. These are all types of people that there you go, who have roles in the movie, these aren’t the characters from the movie, they are the flavor of it. So we took from the IP and we made sure it was completely grain. There’s a fisherman, for example. And there’s, I think there’s 800 fishermen of varying costumes and faces, et cetera, nuns aristocrats. And there are rebels that has something specific to do with the story. There’s some sailors aristocrats with the special frame Bour. And so what we did, it’s really interesting and it took forever peasants. We drew facial features for three age groups and two genders, right. So let’s just take old men. For example, we had, I think 20 types of eyes, 20 types of nose, 20 types of mouth for each category for each crossing of age and gender. And then also for each category profession, we called them, we had accessories and costumes and backgrounds. So you distinguish ’em by that means. And then you randomly assemble the same facial features. You don’t see them here, but there’s like North African citizens to represent its place in the Mediterranean between Europe and Africa. We have east African citizens as well, fewer number, but, and that was the process of at least coming up with how we’re gonna do this. Yeah. So there’s a designing app called Procreate that my story board artist uses for storyboards and for drawing. And so we did it on there and then we exported the PNG files of every single trait. So that’s something like 800, maybe more. And then my coder, programmer VIN and I basically sat in his apartment for days doing citizens, category by category. Okay. Now we’re gonna do middle aged bourgeois women. Okay. Now we’re gonna do old male doc workers. Now we’re gonna do young North African.

So I’m looking at mine right now. Okay. I’m gonna stop sharing this screen and start sharing a new screen really quick, just so I can pull up which one that I have, because I genuinely don’t know what I have in which. So I want you to share with me, so I’m into this one On Mint Day. So what is this one? That’s a beautiful one. That’s a old fisherman. That’s an old [inaudible] fisherman. Actually. You got lucky because he has a tri and that’s an accessory, not all of them have accessories. Let’s Go

That’s great. And then on the website you can see like your fisherman, not specifically him, but the category of fisherman, I wrote lore for each that explains the island and also explains the category. So like you have your own bit of lore and what it means to be a fisherman on [inaudible]. But that’s a great one.

That is a great one. It kind of looks like me too. I really like it. I like it. All I’m missing is the Pitchfork and the eye patch and the cigarette. So what does that mean for me now? Okay. Again, from a dumb point of view, what does that mean for me as a collector, as a holder, you mentioned because I’m part of the original mint, the strategy that you guys are using, why is that important? Like walk me through that.

And keep in mind, this is for the future as well. It’s not just because you’re part of their initial mint it’s because you hold a token from the Genesis mint. Got it. So you can sell it and your perks would go on to the person who buys it. As a Genesis holder, as someone who hold holds a fisherman, you have one vote in the ecosystem of our movie, of our film studio of the film DAO. And what that means is as we move forward, there’s gonna be especially, and there’s two levels. There’s the micro and the macro on the macro level you’re gonna be voting on: Hey guys, what’s an idea that we wanna pursue with film. What’s a aesthetic. Do we wanna do a cowboy movie? Do we wanna do a space movie? Do we wanna do a family drama? If we do, what kind of script are we going for? Do we have a script that we like? Do we know a screenwriter that’s doing great work? Do we X, Y, Z, do we know a filmmaker that has a great idea for a movie and just can’t get funding? Discuss together and vote on where we allocate DAO funds into the next project. Got it. On a micro level, holding that allows you voting on smaller details within movies. So for example, in our Genesis, in our inaugural movie, the Salt Ruby Affair that set on [inaudible] the inaudible] movie, there’s gonna be voting throughout preproduction and production on aesthetic ideas. Like it can be as small as what color should we use for these, the production designer will offer up two vetted choices. Should we do blue or red for these? Let’s let the DAO decide, but then it can get bigger. Okay. We have two choices for this role, two very qualified actors. Who do you guys see in the role better? You can come and be an extra in the movie. You can come to worldwide premiers, we’re gonna hold premieres worldwide that are just for DAO members which is gonna be great. So there’s a whole bevy of different perks that come from holding on the Genesis.

Importance of Community in the Film Industry

Spartan. Let me ask you, why do you think a certain level of community involvement is essential for the future of films, the future of move movie production? Is it essential? Do you think it’s important? Do you think this community stuff, not a gimmick, but do you think it has the potential to actually like change the way things are handled and done currently?

I think that in film, it’s a bit of, not a trick question, but it is a bit, the thing is in film, filmmaking is absolutely not a democracy. Any filmmaker will tell you that it just doesn’t work. Right? You have to make decisions on whom you’re delegating responsibility too for various aspects, right? So you can’t have a democracy where you’re all the deciding on how the cinematographer should be lighting a scene and what lenses they should be using. It just doesn’t work because it sucks at time and in film, there’s a metric where it’s literally how many dollars per minute are you spending on set? So that doesn’t work. What I do think works and what, and that would be a gimmick. Nothing would get done. What I do think works is democratizing and making more egalitarian the way that those delegations are made. Right? So rather than just being a small group of people that are deciding, let’s do this, let’s do this. Our algorithm says this let’s do this. It becomes a group of, hopefully like-minded individuals who are, in this case a discord together saying what’s a general vibe we wanna push towards. And what’s a general vibe that we want to encourage in filmmaking and what’s and who are the people to whom we should delegate those responsibilities, who is a director who will execute their vision and we can give leeway and funding to execute. If that makes sense. I think that’s what becomes not necessary because as we all know, filmmaking, Hollywood’s doing just fine. Movies will continue to be made. You know, it’s not that it’s a necessity that we’re filling what we are doing is, offering and creating a cool and engaging alternative to what it is right now, because the average person that’s buying NFTs, isn’t gonna be able to walk into Warner brothers and say, well, I think we should make this, you know, you can tweet at them, but what does that do? Whereas here you buy an NFT and then your voice matters in content creation.

So you’re on the stands. So on one end, you said, these are the few reasons why we need it. But on the other hand, you’re saying, well, Hollywood doesn’t need crypto per se, necessarily

If it does need it, I don’t think we found the way yet because, also keep in mind, I’m not a finance guy. I produce by necessity, but I’m a writer. So I’m not gonna be as privy and as understanding of like the future of where this could go, than someone who has more experience in that specific field. But from my viewpoint, the most exciting thing that crypto can bring to filmmaking is completely decentralizing the financing aspect of it and not having, big, big, big, big pressure to get financing from one person or from one studio. Right. But the problem with it that I’ve been, you know, led to understand from the lawyers is that that’s not gonna be solved anytime soon because when you invest in a movie, if I make a contract for you, Adam come invest in my movie with US dollars. I have to vet you, you have to be an accredited investor make sure there’s no links to terrorism all this stuff that you can’t do with crypto. So I don’t know when that comes to fruition.

Yeah. I’m curious to hear your point of view really quick, because you focus on a lot of the production writing side, a lot of the creative aspects of work. I wonder if inserting a level of community could actually be a distraction versus a way to focus. And by the way, the reason I say that is because when you set up these systems of governance and this system of vocalization through one vote, one NFT, one token equal one vote, or a say of some sort. I’m curious to hear, how does that actually change your creative process and your system and your structure of bringing an idea from your mind to paper, and then bringing that to life, to an actual product, right? And does the community slow it down? Does it community speed it up? Is it more so engaging your audience and keeping them in the process? Because it’s a better, it’s not a sales tactic, but it’s more of a way to kind of let people feel that they are involved, which makes them want it even more. So there’s different, there’s different elements of this. What do you think?

I think it’s the third option. I think it neither slows it down nor speeds it up. I think the key thing there is the engagement and the feeling that, that you have even a small voice. We’re not pretending that all of a sudden everyone that’s involved is gonna have a Hands on role in making the movie it’s completely unrealistic. So it’s not like you, and this I’m not just speaking for myself, but any filmmaker that, that we end up working with, it’s not like they’re sitting there waiting for approval on the shape of a mug to put in a scene.

So that wouldn’t be determined by the community, right?

The only things that would be determined from an actual production point of view are what the team request input on. I think the key value that something like the film DAO brings isn’t micromanagement, but general guidance and general aesthetic choices, and then delegation. Creative delegation to the people that actually, spend their life doing it. The micromanagement part is I think a fun perk, it would be gimmicky if you were saying, come make a movie and have every decision made by the DAO, you know, you’d make it maybe in five years. The key thing there is the general guidance and the feeling that you belong to a community where, we’re having private events private premieres for these movies that we make altogether that only the DAO members can come to. You can come to the set and be an extra in the movie that no one else could be in. And you’re also deciding which movies get made, but not the color of someone’s dress. That’s a wardrobe person.

How Crypto can help Hollywood

You know, it gets me thinking that, okay, Spiderman is the recent movie that everybody has gone crazy over across TikTok, Instagram, all the memes. I think even in terms of sales, it’s like done exceptionally well. I’ve yet to see it, but I’ve wonder what an established franchise, an established movie studio how that could, like for more of these established organizations, how crypto could actually benefit them, how NFTs could benefit Hollywood in that regard, because they already have a system that works, right. They already produce stuff that their fans love. Right. And I wonder, how could you take that up a notch? Maybe that’s the missing link. That’s preventing it from going to the next level where right now fans love it, but how could you make them like insanely obsessed, even though some of them already are, you know what I mean? I’m thinking out loud here.

You know, I hate to be a pessimist and this is really where the independent side of it comes to light, that’s why we’re doing it in a way that’s so engaging is because it’s Indy, and it’s not gonna be made without this, the thing is when Marvel does something like that, it ends up just being merchandise. That’s what it is. Because they don’t need the NFT sales, for example, to fund the production of the movie. Yeah. They have 150 million to throw at it. They don’t care, you know? Yeah. So in the end, I think for big pictures like that NFTs and crypto become marketing tactics that just add to their income.

There’s a few like train of thoughts that kind of stem from what you just said. Okay. When I had Adayo who is the founder of Glass Protocol. It’s like a decentralized YouTube essentially after we stopped recording, we had some like post call, like conversations and our conversation kind of sparked an idea for me and I presented it to him. I was like, okay, imagine there was like a mirror, you know, mirror.xyz sound.XYZ. Okay. Imagine it was like you had a format like that, but you would invite Sundance music, festival producers and directors. And you’d actually be able to sell their movies as NFTs, but done so in a way where you have to watch the movie first and maybe after watching it or before watching it, at some point you bring more of these independent directors that already have some form of class. They already have some form of establishment that have gotten their respect in the underground world. I’m approaching this because I don’t know anything about it, but if there was a way to kinda, so you form a DAO or you, issue assets that then allow you to form a DAO through, but the way you kind of mint those assets is by creating a more, surreal watching experience digitally. And you could watch the movie online, live with a bunch of other people. And then maybe in between the movie there’s chances to actually buy NFTs or even afterwards, once the movie finishes, you can buy the NFT, co-own it. Or maybe that even works with trailers, that’d be sick. Like if you could, preview trailers and then that would allow for the minting of NFTs for people who want to be of it and then form a community.

Now I’m actually curious. Cause I have some thoughts on that, but I’m curious in this situation could it be infinite mints or could only one person mint the movie as an actual NFT.

It would have to be a limited amount of mints. Right? So you have to think about what’s the goal is the movie are already produced. If the movie’s already produced and you do like a watch event where it’s globally accessible and then you have a bidding for the one NFT equals the ownership to the movie and then you can sell the rights and everything of the movie through the NFT live post watching experience. Or you can take it from the point of view where you issue a trailer, like a preview, right? The office did a pilot. You can issue a pilot of a TV show. And then after that you could like mint NFTs based off how you got, if you got excited about the pilot, you could buy co-ownership of it or fandom, whatever the medium is and then be a part of that process, as the rest of the season develops,

It’s an amazing idea. And I’ve been seeing this kind of model work with music, right. With songs. I hate to be a contrarian, but the right side of my head is thinking about this. So let’s go worst case scenario. Let’s say you spend, let’s just pick a number. Let’s say you spend 3 million making a small movie. Right. It’s a small budget, but it’s a lot of money. Right? Okay. You spend 3 million and instead of going and selling it to Netflix or go hiring a sales agent and selling it throughout the world for various amounts for various periods of time, you decide to do this. Right. And you stream it. And it’s just, it’s a high gas day or it’s off, whatever it is. And 400 people mint for 0.2, Ethereum, let’s just say right, hypothetically, okay. You made a couple hundred thousand dollars, right? And now you’ve given ownership legally. Right? You have to work out the way that you do that. You’ve given ownership of this movie to all those people that minted it. And now you’ve cut yourself off from the other ad revenues, because now there’s a chain of title problem who owns this. How many hundreds of people own this? If I distribute this in Italy, am I incurring legal risk from one of the 200 people that minted that might sue me for presenting their work without permission. Oh my like headache complete headache. You could even face financial ruin. I’m also separate subject. There’s two types of art, right? There’s temporal and non temporal. So non temporal art is what NFTs have been flourishing in for so long. So you have photography, painting drawing and sculpture. Those kind of things where in one second, you experience the entire work of art. You can spend time looking at the small details, but basically you walk into a room, you see there’s a Jackson Polluck, there’s a Board Ape. I understand what’s happening in one moment. It’s all there in a frame. Then there’s temporal art. It takes place over time. It’s music, it’s storytelling, it’s literature, it’s poetry. And these kind of things are harder to break up into NFTs, how do you do a music video? How do you do movie? Do you mint different seconds or different frames to people? Well, that’s just turning it into pictures. So it’s interesting. And I’m, you know, I’m of the camp that doesn’t believe in kind of token gating access to films, right? You can look at an NFT that you have of like a PFP project. And anyone can look at that, but you can see that it’s yours, that you can see that it belongs to someone, but you’re not barring people from looking at it. You people can still see the art. And if you make a movie, you spend millions of dollars making a movie. I don’t think it’s right to have a, you know, a lot of people are trying to, or not a lot of people, but some people are trying to do a system whereby you belong to or you mint it and then only you can watch it. Or you, you belong to an organization or it’s token gate. So only people who have, have an NFT. I think stoner cats was doing that can watch this. I’m of the camp. That’s saying you made a work of art. It was financed through, it was born out of a web three kind of cradle, but, and that’s where the money came from, but go and give it to the world, profit from it and do more stuff that and find ways to reward the people and the holders that brought it to fruition. But don’t stop a work of art from being seen because it exists in a tempo. And from a point A to point B,

If that makes sense. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. You know, that gets me thinking there’s almost as if there needs to be like why Combinator came out with this legal contract called safe. Okay. I know it’s almost as if like there needs to be a safe, but for movies. Right. But from the point of view of outlining what’s controlled by the audience, like really getting granular about what ownership means so that you can still have the positive outcomes of crowdfunding, of participation of contributions, by bypassing those those hurdles that you mentioned. So it’s almost as if like every single, every single NFT or every single drop. I feel like this could, this, these types of legal terms could be applied to more and more community type of, of things beyond film, but almost as if there needs to be some type of YC inspired safe, but for more of these crowdfunded film NFTs or crowdfunded movies through NFTs, et cetera,

I’d be interested to see how you do it. You know, we have a great legal team and they’re basically saying, you know, that could be an interesting thing, but the way at least for the next few years is you cannot promise any returns, personal returns. And like, we’re still, I don’t even, well I can’t say too much, I guess, but it’s going into a DAOs treasury. That’s not being paid out to the holders and you know, you’re not spending it on anthrax. Yeah. But if you have your mission, like we’re making movies, we’re not doing anything else, but

We’re not buying Anthrax. Yeah.

It’s OK.

NFTs being used in Hollywood

Anyway, I love it. I’m curious to see when Hollywood, like when, when a big mainstream movie or TV show will implement NFTs,

The Matrix Resurrection. Oh yeah.

That’s right. Nifty’s did that? Yeah.

It’s as I said, it’s merchandise. The movie’s been made you buy it after the fact. And you’re like, oh, look that. I’m not discounting. I used to buy Star Wars action figures. I go to City Walk, Universal City Walk, watch Star Wars, and then go to the store with the spaceship crash [inaudible] by star wars.

I think the number one reason why Hollywood would need NFTs, why they would need crypto is merely for funding. Crowdfunding.

I mean, it is Hollywood, that’s just, it that’s what we’re doing, but we’re independent. It’s not Hollywood establishment. They don’t need it.

Independence.

It’s the smaller people that, right now, if you’re not getting funding from a production company or studio, you have to go to, you have to either do pre-sales. So somehow negotiate a actor with enough clout to get presales, to come on board and sign onto your project. Or you have to go to high net worth individual or a group of them, or several of them in various bits and get the funding piece by piece. So this is where it comes to fruition, especially once you build the platform. This is the hardest hurdle we’re doing with the first one, but one we do this, once we deliver, we’re also doing the spice style stuff, that’s gonna be even faster, you know, Uhhuh. So once you deliver that, then you have your own platform to be like, well, we’ve done this.

So it’s less about Hollywood. It’s more so independent filmmakers need crypto.

That’s where it comes into play. The same way that, you know, Justin Bieber doesn’t need to make his songs into NFTs. I’m sure it would be very profitable and fun for him to do it, but I don’t know whose label is, but anybody, you know, whoever his label is paying for everything and he doesn’t want for anything creatively, he can make a phone call and have any studio in the world, open up to him with any producers, et cetera. It’s the same thing with major motion pictures, with big budgets, they don’t need it. With Grady, like that’s literally like a perfect fit to like sound and with Daniel and everything that’s happening there. Yeah. That’s just a perfect opportunity to say, well, let’s see what the people who like my music want, and let’s see what they say. So

Does that same line of thinking also apply to music? So established artists don’t need crypto. It’s more so the independent artist that need crypto. And I only ask this from a point of view where, okay, let’s see what someone like Royal is doing Justin blouse platform, where he’s doing the NAS. NAS is an established artist. He has money. Like he has support. Then you see individuals, like you just mentioned Daniel Allen, right. Who’s who just started making music who just had like his third live performance. Right. Who spent, COVID getting into the deep, like the rabbit hole of production of production, et cetera. Yeah. Thank you. So does it still apply you think or because do people want NAS NFTs? Do people wanna own NAS’s music?

I’m gonna say no comment. Not because I don’t have an opinion, but because I think my opinion isn’t educated enough specifically in that to comment correctly on it and not sound ignorant,

But here’s the thing I don’t think anybody knows. Right. And that’s the point that I’m getting at, because it’s so new because it’s so fresh, this was Royal’s first drop and like seeing what sounded, what Catalog is doing all these other platforms. It’s all like in the moment experimentation, it’s really testing. What do people wanna own? What do people care about? Right. So I think you approaching from a no comment. Go ahead. Go ahead. Sorry.

No, I agree that I think nobody knows, but I think that the people that are building in it know a little bit better and can, you know what I mean? Like, I wouldn’t expect Daniel to come on and say what he thinks the logistics of selling distribution rights on an NFT based movie are, but that’s not because there isn’t overlap, but it’s just, for example, I personally working in the film industry, know what distribution is for that, you know what I mean? But, you know, I see capital records right over there through the window, but I don’t know what goes on in there. And I don’t know, like the traditional model that could then be supplanted by the web three model. Yeah.

Using NFTs as a vehicle for Crowdfunding Films

Another thing that comes to mind so just for context, your name drop Grady, you name drop Daniel Allen, just for everybody that’s listening. Grady was a part of season four mid season four. So was Daniel Allen. So definitely go check out those episodes too. Yeah. But when it comes to, I guess let’s talk about like more short form videos. Let’s talk about more YouTube for a second. Do you imagine someone, a creator like Mr. Beast using NFTs as a vehicle for crowdfunding to help bring something like the squid games episode that he did to life?

Yeah. So short form, I think is much more interesting from a financial point of view, right. Because I’m, you know it’s not that I can’t say it because I’m not doing it, so I guess it’s fine. But like the idea is with a $5 million motion, picture, big actors and, you know, distribution rights all around the world, that’s very public and very easy to crack down on, you know what I mean? But like, are we all sure on the legalities of Daniel selling the right streaming rights, his album I’m personally not, I don’t know what, what those are, but it’s a little, it’s easier to go under the radar when you’re not, you know, spending five to 10 million on something. So with short form videos, you have an opportunity to kind of like it’s, from my perspective, it’s the transition from the web two Patreon model into web three, where it’s not just look at me, help me, or look at me and support me. It’s be a part of this support me, but also kind of profit from it. You know what I mean and fly under the radar with that kind of stuff with smaller, with shorts and with music videos, I

Think. Interesting. Do you ever see a world where shorts will be published on chain and it’ll be an entire platform like Youtube?

Yes.

Yes. That’s strictly whether on Ethereum salon, wherever it may be.

Spartan: A hundred percent. And the reason is because to make a, like, that same viewing experience that you described before, right. That doesn’t work when you’re trying to recoup 10 million from making a big movie. Right. But when you spent 20 grand making a short film, you know, all of a sudden yeah. That works out. Yeah. Yeah.

I’d be curious. I’d also be interested, because a lot of like TikTok shorts, all these very, short form videos, they incorporate elements of music, very, very short form videos, but, but they incorporate elements of music as well. Right. So the way they’re kind interface is set up is obviously you have the, the video and at the bottom you have like the link for the sound. Right. Right. And that makes you think like, okay, that component down the line will be another element on chain. And it makes you think whether there’s gonna be specific platforms that just link with video platforms and all the streaming will be traced on chain and how they kind of intertwine across all these different videos and it’ll sync back to one NFT.

And I mean, sound is building towards that even if they don’t plan on it or think, I mean, it’s so early for them as well, but like that’s something that they could easily easily implement at some point within the year. I think personally

Sound you’re saying.

Yeah. And or anyone that’s already working, in that space, I feel like the farther one goes down on one route of that. Like you’re talking about merging the music and the video NFT portions of it and the further one goes down on one route, the easier the transition becomes, because you have so much experience with how it works and essentially it’s the same technology. So you just look over the little chasm and you say, okay, well now let’s bring it into this as well. With short form stuff, you’re flying under the radar. It’s dynamic. There’s so much volume, I don’t have the numbers, can you even imagine like the difference between the amount of short films coming out month compared to feature films? Probably tens of thousands to one.

When will Movie Funding Have Its Way in Web3?

When do you think movies will have more of its limelight in web three? How far away are we from that?

I think we’re doing it. We’re still minting, we’re doing a slow mint, which I’m happy with because everyone that’s coming in is quality. They’re either re-listing for 10 Ethereum or they’re not listing and they’re just excited to be part of it long term. Which is great. But you know, the second we mint out and we go and make this movie in Greece and then it like actually worked that’s that’s huge. That’s a talking point A, all around the world and B shows other people that are trying to do it, like hey if you have a good idea for a movie, this is possible or come to us and we’ll help you. You know what I mean? Because now we’ve done it twice.

Yeah. One thing that I’m personally excited about is seeing the rise of like music videos on chain and also using NFTs as a vehicle to crowd-fund an entire album like Daniel Allen did, except he did an EP, but with elements of video creation, video development. I know Daniel did this the images for his album. He also for sure used some of that money to create the backdrops that he used for his EP release. It was  a couple days ago? So I’d be curious to see music videos particularly and linking the audio on chain to the video on chain and what that would look like. Another thing I’m super curious about that I’d love your take on is all these creators are having different forms of, tokens being issued on their behalf. On their behalf by their, by their say of course, but they have their mirror campaigns, they have their music NFTs. They’re gonna have their tickets that will likely be on chain. They’re gonna have their fandom and merch. They’re gonna have characters that might live in the metaverse. They’re gonna have all these different components. How do you construct something? Whatever that something is in a way where all value accrues back to one asset. Does it need to accrue back to one asset?

That’s easy for us because with an artist we keep using Daniel as an example, that’s a human, that’s a person that has all these different avenues and different partnerships and different platforms and all this stuff with the studio, it’s quite simple, you know, that why we put the voting rights into the Genesis project, you just stream it all back into that original token, which as we move forward, gets more and more ingrained in the process of making the movies and also more and more perks with the more stuff that comes out. So you just keep putting it back.

Well, you’re onto something okay. Definitely referencing Daniel. Okay. Let’s look back at his thing. Where he had the OVERSTM campaign on mirror. Okay. He has the DAO around the social token that was created for him. And then he issued a sound drop. He sold catalog songs. He also issued album album art and he’s soon gonna do like merch and whatnot and all that, like 50% of everything generated, goes back to the OVERSTM DAO, the treasury, the multisig. I’m curious like is that rightfully presented in the price of his social token, which I think there’s a uni swap pool already and I’m getting way more technical than I initially need. But I asked this in a very, in a way where I’d be curious to see how this applies to movies, because I don’t know the different elements of movies. I know there’s obviously the movie itself. Okay. I know there’s merch that comes from the movie there’s action figures that come from the movie, there’s all these different things that can accrue revenue as a result of the movie studio DAO that helps bring a project to life. Yeah. Right. So what does that look like from, from your point of view? So the revenue,

If something is native to the DAO, right? So say we make an idea for movie. We write the script, everything right, then the DAO would own all the revenue streams in perpetuity. So if action figures made even not on chain, that goes back into the DAO, any NFT happens out of a movie, goes back into the Dow treasury. It’s very, it’s not even like a new thing. It’s just the same as if, you know, Marvel studio releases X, Y, Z movie and XYZ movie has X, Y, Z merch and video games and whatever it is, it all just, you know, all goes back into the central place.

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. What are some projects you’re excited about bringing to life beyond this, this initial one that I bought, for example.

You get into me not as a founder or a producer, my main thing, I’m a writer and a director and I make music. I act in my movie and yeah, so the, I have, you know, six movies ready to go. I’m not gonna tell you the log lines. Cause [inaudible] fantastical, you know, my kind of style is, my two heroes, you know, besides Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart Bach, Bogner, you know, composers, but in terms of storytelling. When I was a kid my two favorites were always Miyazaki and West Anderson and Woody Allen, I said two favorites, but, you know, and you list

Like 10.

That kind of like bringing the fantastical element into what could be real world situations. So, you know, I have a few movies that from a concept stage that are ready to, to go after this, it’s just, I can’t put any thought into any of them. One’s in Greece, one’s on the moon, there’s, it’s gonna be fun, but at a certain point you just have to focus on doing the first one cause in any creative endeavor like this, the first one is the one where the first big one, you know, I’ve done a ton of shorts and commercials and etc. But the first big one is the one where you have to overcome the most hurdles and then everything gets progressively easier once you’ve delivered on an idea. If that makes sense.

Outro

Yeah. That makes, that makes complete sense. For sure. I’m curious to see how 2022 plays out for film for movies, short form, mid form, long form. I’m super excited for what you’re doing at the film DAO I’m super excited for the project that I minted. I’m excited for you in general. I like to see more of this type of like creative energy entering crypto, and it’s a pleasure for me to like cover this stuff as well. So thank you for being on before I let you go, where can we find you? Where can we learn more about what you’re doing? Gimme the spiel.

Our Twitter is the FILMDAO, same for a discord. Our website is the film do.io. That should be up in the next couple days. I’m sure this won’t cool for a couple days anyway. That’s us, we’re there. We’re having fun. We’re talking about movies. During the conversation we have along with the blockbuster DAO and the Hollywood DAO.

Oh, we didn’t even talk about blockbuster DAO.

It’s interesting what they’re doing. I think their the best, because you know, in the end you don’t know if you can buy blockbuster, if you can buy the rights, the branding of it, there’s a lot of stuff that goes into that. I think their most interesting avenue I was talking to, I’m in the discord as well, I’m in the group is a streaming service, much like what you’re saying, web three based streaming. It’s a different conversation, but I’ve been hosting a film X web three Wednesday, every Wednesday, from the film DAO’s account. We’re bringing on the Hollywood DAO and the blockbuster DAO to the kind of like, we’re gonna be the trifecta that just does this every week [inaudible] voices in the film web three world, every Wednesday, we’re gonna be doing that. Swing by and talk film.

Dude. Thank you for being on we should do this again in a few months and do a catch up and see where the project’s at, where the film DAOs at, et cetera.

So thank you man. Thank you. All right, I’ll talk to you later, brother. Peace.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

The Parallels Between Music and Crypto with Grady

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 8 welcomes Grady, the LA-based singer-songwriter and producer who’s been making a lot of noise in web3. From starting a decentralized record label called Good Karma DAO, selling music NFTs online, and even crowdfunding his next album on-chain – there’s a lot to learn from this guy. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 02:04 – Intro
  • 13:19 – Good Karma DAO
  • 18:42 – Good Karma DAO’s First Showcase
  • 27:44 – $CHERRY Part 1
  • 36:22 – Future of Music in Web 3
  • 39:53 – Parallels between Music and Crypto
  • 45:19 – Web 3 Investments by Major Labels
  • 50:38 – How can new artists join the Good Karma DAO?
  • 54:06 – What can we expect from Grady in 2022?

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


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

For those who don’t know who Grady is. Which is hard to believe. We’ll throw that out there. Give us a quick intro on yourself. Tell me, like, who are you, where are you from? And more specifically, how’d you get into crypto?

I’m from Santa Barbara, little bit north of LA. I moved down here when I was 19 to do some music with my boys and I had a band for a few years and then I started producing and writing for other artists and that led to me going, why aren’t I just doing this for myself too and started a solo project. I got into crypto, got into crypto. I don’t know why that sentence just is so silly. It just sounds so like elementary level, what’s the professional way to say that I got into crypto. I aped in?

I bought my first Bitcoin, something like that.

I probably bought my first portion of a Bitcoin in like 2019. Cool. I didn’t really actually like step into the rabbit hole that I threw some pennies into until like 2021 really. It started like percolating around my ears in 2020, but I was so consumed about what I was doing at the time that I just didn’t really allocate any to it. Around this time, last year like Alt coins were just like going bananas and it was like this crazy thing that, that I had no idea was underneath the surface of like the Bitcoin. I don’t even think like NFTs were mainstream yet. It was like Defi Alt coins were like the thing and I thought it was super silly and like a fun way to create buzz. And so I started like just asking like, Hey, I need as much information as possible about this stuff. And Cooper had been following me for a few years. We met at a concert that he was going, my friend that I was doing an album with, was performing San Francisco and Cooper was there. And like when I was walking in, he was like, Hey, you’re Grady. Two years later that led to him coming over to my house and like basically telling me not to start a Defi Alt Coin. I was like, I love your suggestion, but I’m gonna do it anyway. It was insane. Like it was such a roller coaster and just because of the hype that it generated, it really made me realize that people were ready to give it a shot, regardless of the outcome, I think it was such a risk intensive sector of the internet that a lot of people were just aping in and seeing what came out the other side. And so you saw a lot of these like crazy experiments and rapid, evolution of what people were paying attention to. And when that started simmering downCooper asked me to meet his friend Daniel Allen, and the way that he worded it was so funny. Like Cooper’s just so humble and like, is so bad at like putting things on aggressively that he was like, you’d be doing me such a big favor, dude. Like just, just meet up with him, please. Like, I’ll owe you so big time. And like, I thought that he was just gonna be like a really whack producer. And then I met him and like everything he played me was just mind blowing and he was just such a cool kid and was already like tapped into Catalog. Then I tapped into Catalog and started selling like the records that didn’t make my album that came out last year, The Love Umbrella. They weren’t gonna have a place to like be exposed for at least like six months. And I was like, well, this is like a cool opportunity to maybe like give this to a specific group of people that are like web three savvy. Because of that, I started just meeting like all these epic people that were trying so hard to like push the envelope of web three music and music NFTs, ike Blockchain Brett, Patrick and everybody at [inaudible] everybody with Jeremy and all them land the, the one thing that, that was consistent with all those people was like just really wanting to extend a handout as far as possible because there were so few artists that were trying to tap in at the time that everyone was just so willing to help. And like I’d be on the phone for hours doing such like menial tasks with Cooper that I know he’d done like hundreds of times, like on-boarding people and like, he was just super helpful. Everyone was always so helpful. Like helping me set up like multisig wallets and all these things that I just didn’t know about. There’s so many people I wanna thank for like, for being, an essential part of my on-boarding into the space. Like I literally would not have been able to do anything that I’m doing without these people like, Neer, Cavesa. I can’t even start it’s like, it would be like a Grammy speech, it’s like where do I stop? You know, that it’s like, everybody that I’ve encountered in this space has been nothing but helpful. And it’s really motivated me to do the same thing. And that’s where good karma really came from I was like, I’m like really doing well in this space. And like, I know that that this space really roots for the underdog more than anybody else. Like they’d rather see a kid come from nothing and start popping off in web three than like someone that’s already established. So many of my friends are like, working Postmates jobs, doing jobs that like aren’t full-time music. When I knew that that was what they should be doing. They’re like my favorite artists in the world. And so I thought, what better way to do that than expose them to the space and also expose me to artists that I’ve never heard of through a community project. And so that’s where Good Karma records.

So let’s, let’s break apart this entire intro for a minute. Okay. You mentioned the love umbrella. You mentioned Good Karma DAO, you mentioned in the beginning you moving down from SB to LA to make music. Can we start really quick from there? So who like, if people aren’t familiar with your style. Okay. How would you explain your genre and maybe list some of the songs that you’ve created that may be more well known than others that you find, more enjoyable that you have worked on? Give me some more context on the music side of things just for everybody that’s listening. I wanna also talk about Good Karma DAO, but we’ll get to all that in just a minute. So more on the music side. So for those who don’t know you.

Favorite songs that I’ve made, I mean, there’s records that like they were cool moments for sure and have stuck with me and motivated me or got me excited about the different genres that I do because like Grady as an artist, like the Grady music is very different than like a lot of the stuff that I’ve done for other people. I did a record last year for Ty Dollar Sign and Jack Harlow and 24 K Golden for Fast and Furious movie. I’ve done shit with June Alex from Chain Smokers and, and they did a record with Kigo that I worked on. I feel like I’ve done most like genres of pop. I’d love to get into country. I love making country music. I just feel like it’s gate kept pretty hardcore as far as like, actually making hits in the space. But I get a lot of joy outta making those records just because like there’s so is what it is, you know what I mean? Like country music is so cool to me just because like it’s not embellished in any way and like it is very easy to like break down what it’s about. And when you do, and I compare it to other, you know, iterations of pop I’m like, well, rappers are mostly singing about money and girls. Right. Like girl pop stars are usually singing about heart break and you know, guy pop stars are usually singing about like trying to get a girl. And it’s like, okay, those three things like kind of excite me I guess. And like, I relate to that, but like what about like being on a boat with my friends, like drinking a beer and just like listening to music, like the fact that that’s like, what that genre is about is just so epic. I just like being on a boat fishing, make stuff, drinking beer and listening to music with my friends and I’m like, yeah, I relate to that. It’s sick. Like, why wouldn’t we wanna listen to that? It’s good energy.

All right. So the next album is gonna be all country. That’s what’s gonna be on chain, right. You’re gonna tokenize a country album.

I mean, ironically it is the closest thing that country has ever done. Cherry is very much a like folk leaning album.

Good Karma DAO

Which by the way, gives off the vibe, just looking at the imagery and how you kind of position the whole look and feel of the entire crowd-fund on mirror. You’ve honestly done a lot in your career too. So Good Karma DAO. What is it? You brought that up a little bit in your discussion, which full disclosure I’m in Good Karma DAO. I don’t have the tokens. I missed that. So when are you guys gonna do another sale for me to buy selfishly, but I’ve been attending. I attended the first show. Okay. Saw you perform I love the vibes that all of Good Karma DAO kind of pushes out. Tell me about the birth of Good Karma DAO. What the goal is? Why are you doing it? These showcases that you put up every month? Gimme the spiel. What is it?

Sure. Yeah. Good Karma DAO is the name that we’re running with right now, that is an umbrella of different projects that will be released over the next few years. First one being Good Karma Records, which is a decentralized music label that we have, I think, 87 members right now. We did a raise for 20Eth in October and had 87 backers with a cap of 0.2, because I wanted to make sure that we had had established a breadth of people instead of just like a few heavy hitters would kind of defeat the purpose of it being decentralized. So we launched that and for the last few months have been basically setting up the infrastructure, locking down the studio, locking down the offices, locking down all the equipment required to like give artists that don’t have those resources, a space to be developing themselves and developing their sound. So we’re actually like in the process of signing our first two artists right now we’ve gotten their contracts over to them. We’ve been back and forth negotiating and we’ll be presenting it to the DAO in this next week.

Yeah. So how do you actually get involved? How do you become a member and an artist in Good Karma DAO?

So right now, well actually it closed yesterday, but we did a roll call to see how many people were looking to buy in and how much they wanted to buy in for the next 5% of our token supply. Cause we’ve only allocated 20% so far. We’re doing it in batches so that we can continue to get more and more people in. So right now,I think in the next few days I have to check with the team, but there should be a link for you to be able to exchange Eth for karma.

So the way the decentralized labels set up, how does scouting work? How does placement work? How does all these other components that a traditional label would’ve otherwise done? How does this now get mimicked in a decentralized fashion?

Yeah. Good question. A lot of the set up of a label is the exact same. The biggest differences are that instead of like one or two people making the decisions as far as like where the money goes and who gets on-boarded and just the biggest decisions of a label are made by an entire community of passionate music lovers instead of just a few people on top.

Got it, got it. Got it. Yeah. Okay. Got it. So Good Karma DAO these showcases that you put on every single month all the members that you guys put in and give a spot to perform, are they in the DAO? Are they artists of the DAO?

Not every time. No. So it’s pretty much always independent artists every now and then we’ll have an artist come on that we just love, but for the most part, it’s independent artists and it’s mostly artists that we are interested in signing to the label DAO.

Got it. Okay. Yeah. Makes sense. Recap quickly, the love umbrella.

Wait before we go there. You went to the first one, right? In December. How was that?

Good Karma DAO’s First Showcase

Honestly, I haven’t been out to a live performance in a long time. It’s been a minute. It was so exhilarating. It was so like heartwarming. I felt like I could finally disconnect from work for a minute and just enjoy myself and be present, which if you ask people around me I really love what I do. I’m online a lot. Right. And you see the drums behind me. And I feel like ever since I got a crypto, I am a drummer. Yes. I’ve been playing since like five years old, from everything from like rock funk, jazz R and B gospel, like all that stuff. And I feel like ever since I got into crypto, my like passion for music hasn’t died down rather has become little faint. And my energy has shifted towards this digital economy, whatever you want to freaking call web three. And being at that showcase, being at the performance, I don’t even know how to, it was amazing. I really had a good time. I’ll give it to you. It was really good. And Grady, I’ll tell you this too, bro. Watching you perform. That was the first time I saw you perform me and my friend, Joey, we both looked at each other like, wow, this guy’s a superstar. Like what the hell? We were honestly like super impressed and the way you were able to move the entire audience and the intention is not to fan girl. Like not to be like such a whatever right now, but just to give you credit where credits deserved, it was really well done. It was really well done.

Thank you. I’ve been performing for a long time. I think what really impressed me was a, the energy from some of these artists that have done either no shows or like less than five. Also, I was expecting the energy to be electric, but I really was astounded when I was standing on stage watching some of these guys perform just how connected everybody was, because most people in the audience hadn’t heard of a lot of these artists before. And the fact that that the entire room was moved, to that degree strictly off of the vibe right there and then instead of like the nostalgia of being excited about the records that you know, because a lot of time, that’s what hypes you out, but seeing how connected people were with that moment, as, it was like, it was very proving to me that that we were on something cool.

So check this out. So for those who weren’t there, it wasn’t just live performances. There were dancers, right. There was an, there was a bar, right there was all these different characters and individuals from all different backgrounds there that all like came under the roof of somewhat of crypto of like mindedness of web three to some extent. It was really, it was really cool and I’m really excited to see what, what Good Karma DAO kind of pushes out next. I know you guys have a showcase coming out at the end of the month. Was it January 30th or something? The 20th. So in 10 days from now we’re recording on the 10th.

Some other really cool things that we’re doing at the beginning of February as well and end of January.

Yeah, dude. Epic. I love what it stands for. I want to buy in which I probably shouldn’t say that on the recording. So this is not investment advice. I’m just a musician I love this stuff I align with it and I love where you guys’ heads are at.

It’s really like if you’re interested in being a part of the decision making that is traditionally present in a label, then it’s a great place to be. There’s so much going on in the next few months for this sect of good karma that I’m so excited and there’s so many incredible people working full time on it. I’ve never been so confident in something that that I’ve surrendered entire control of. I feel really confident about the people that we have building this with me. So I’m excited to see where it goes. And like I said, like, it’s so weird to try to envision what eight months from now looks like, because there’s so much that we’re built thing that I just don’t even know where my time is going to be best allocated and where it’s gonna be supplemented by other people that are more competent in doing the things

Makes a lot of sense. I guess for full transparency, like sure. I’m excited about it. Right? Sure. I wanna be supportive, but by no means, does that mean anybody else should be a part of it? Right. So I think I need to say that so I don’t get shot on in the comment section.

It’s just like anything else it’s like, don’t join a football club, if you don’t like football. This is for a specific group of people, which to me it’s like, do you like music? And do you like to see people come up? Do you like to be literally invested in the artist that you believe in, then this is a cool place to be. And that to me is everyone that I know, I don’t know, a single person that wouldn’t want to like be on the ground floor of an artist and, and know that they are actually a part of this person’s journey and they have vested interest in them, you know? Cause as they blow up, that’s actually the main thing that we’re doing at Good Karma records like four artists is helping them develop their social tokens so that they don’t need us or, or anyone all they need is their own and community. So we’re like a community curation community.

Makes alot of sense.

We’ll be doing that for artists that we don’t even sign. Just helping them build their web three social presence.

So for the artists that are listening to this right now. Okay. How do they get involved? How do they jump in? How, if they want your support, how do they do that?

I mean it’s just like any other web three project

Just join your discord. Introduce yourself

Introduce yourself in the telegram. There’s very specific chat channels and channels to get your stuff listen to and find collaborators. We have like, you know, producers, mixing engineers, A and Rs basically anyone in music that you can find through that discord. There’s so many places to look now. It is a good hub. There’s so many talented people that have tapped in and it feels like there’s just more every day. So yeah, if you’re an artist and you’re interested in getting more involved in web three, not even necessarily with Good Karma, come check out Good Karma because we’ll help you out regardless of whether or not we wanna sign you. I just wanna see more kids getting their presence in web three solidified because like, I really do believe that that it’s going to change the music industry. It already has.

Yeah. I love it. All right. The love umbrella.First of all, I listened to that. It was very theatrical. It was very different than any other thing I’ve come across, especially the introduction. It’s hard to put into words like on the podcast. And that’s why I was so pissed that I missed the actual like crowd-fund, because I was also on the phone with Cooper right before it happened.

Are you talking about the party bed?

Yeah.

Oh yeah. Yeah. That was cool.

Yeah. And he was like, check this thing out. And I was like, I was like, okay. Yeah, cool. I’ll do it. He sent me the link. He sent me the link and I was like, I forgot to do it. But whatever the love umbrella was that your first piece on chain?

No. No it wasn’t. It was the third piece though. The first thing that I put out and the second thing were two records off of the love umbrella that didn’t make the final cut of the album. I wrote over 40 songs for the love umbrella and just as far as sequencing went, it got boiled down to 19. And then I had all these records left over that I’m like, these are awesome and I’m doing a deluxe edition and like putting it out on vinyl and be releasing the album. But in the meantime I’m like, why not just put out some, some records exclusive to web three? I think that that separation is also cool. I’ve been able to like push new records in the space that I wouldn’t otherwise like have time in the timeline of my music on like DSPs for . So it’s been super exciting to be able to expose, like the future records early in that space, because it is the future.

It is the future bow. It is the future. I do agree with you.

I wonder how many people watching this are gonna be sick of me, like popping my, my air drums over and over.

Honestly, I think it adds the entire experience of Grady.

It’s not, but it’s not the Grady experience. This is just the cold Grady experience

Are you sick?

What do you mean you can’t feel?

I don’t know. I thought this was part of the act. This is part of the showcase, the part of the performance that you’re putting on.

I’d rather have COVID, then I like at least have an excuse. I just have a cold, I have a sore throat. I woke up with a cough

Loser

Yeah. It’s funny how like this is probably worse than the current strain of COVID like symptomatically and like it’s, it’s funny that people are more terrified of COVID than this, you know? Cause this sucks. This really sucks. I am powering through for you, Adam. I want you to know this is a labor of love.

$CHERRY Part 1

Dude, power through for me and introduce cherry. Talk to me about cherry. This is the latest project that you’re working on. Full disclosure I’ve contributed to this because I’m a fan. Okay. And I’m excited to see what you do. You mentioned earlier that this is the closest thing that represents somewhat of a genre to country or folk music. I said earlier how the graphics kind of mimic that type of look and feel, but tell me what is the idea behind Cherry and why call it Cherry?

Well it’s called cherry for just a specific reason. I’ll tell you why it’s called cherry. It’s called cherry because the girl that kind of got the ball rolling for me to start making the album had a cherry tattoo and always wore these cherry ear rings. It was just kind of a little homage to her, even though the project ended up evolving into more of an exploration of like my inner self and the girl that the love umbrella was about. It all started because of her. And also like the first record on the album that’s coming out in a few weeks Jersey, feels the most like the album to me. Like it kind of walks in representing what I wanted the album to feel like throughout and that’s just very cut and dry and and soft and and bare. And that’s why I wanted it to, if you go look at the graphics,I’m collaborating with my friend, Kate, her artist’s name is the Ghost Cat. She’s a incredible artist and tattoo artist. And she gave me this one.

Ok cool. Cool. Yeah, we see that.

She’s slick with the fine lines. This is actually a piece for the album. And so Kate and I have been spending like pretty much all of our time together for the last few weeks. There we go, that’s on my arm. Look at that guy. He’s so cute.

So is that you?

Yeah. It’s anyone though, there’s no face. There’s probably not gonna be much of faces throughout the project. I mean, like, this is, it’s so funny. You always wanna say it’s like, you’re best and like your coolest work .The love umbrella is like infinitely more electric. This album is very confidently, I can say the most cathartic project that I’ve made. The thing that, that has felt like the most genuine medicine of anything, we’re at 38 backers. Let’s go. Let’s go. So basically what, what this crowd-fund is for is a, because I’m an independent artist, like trying to continue to like, show what can be done for other independent artists, shouts out to Daniel Allen of course, for getting that ball rolling. I wanted to think of new, new ways to like get the community engaged that like is a fan of me and is supporting, my music to like be a part of the process of kind of defining and shaping this album. And obviously, like I’m never gonna take any sort of criticism on the music. That’s something that I will do on my own from start to finish, aside from listening parties and like making sure that it all scans well, but at least for this project, it was very definitively, like I had to be the one to make all the music, but I wanted to get the community involved in new ways. And so when we started making all the art for it, I thought, this could be a cool idea. What if, the community that’s that’s backing this with me is playing a part in deciding how we represent each album, because I’m gonna be putting out each song as an individual NFT and so all of them are going to need artwork, single artwork. And so Kate’s been absolutely crushing it making a whole bunch of stuff around what she feels when she listens to each song. And I told you I’m sick and I have in my head what I think works for each record and she has in her head what works for each record. But we just wanted to get other ears on the project to see how they felt when they experienced it prior to it coming out and develop like a closeness with the people that are making this album come to life also having vested interest. 20% of like all the sales are going back into the token supply. As the album gets sold and resold over the years, that just continues to compound.

That goes through the as you coined it, who invited Grady DAO, right? Name pending. I think it’s actually a cool name.

I love concise names,

I think it speaks for itself. Along with the creation of cherry, I will be establishing who invited Grady. A DAO to represent all past present and future Grady projects, musical and beyond. Okay. Yeah. What does that beyond entail beyond music? Like what do you imagine that experience kind of unfolding into? What should collectors expect? Like why should we get into it beyond betting on you?

For sure, beyond betting on me, I don’t, I don’t know, because as it says, it is just all things that are an extension of me. I just know myself well enough to know that I’m not going to stay exclusively in music forever. And have already been designing outside of it and developing outside of it with the other projects I’ve been working on for like the last year. It’s more of, it’s more of like, take my hand if you’re interested in seeing where this thing goes, because I don’t know. It’s like I just said, I really don’t know what seven months from now looks like there’s so many things that I’m working on that, I kind of want to do it together and see what makes sense for us, because I’ve spent so much time alone making art and I’ve found that it’s good for getting ideas off the ground or for incepting them for plant the seeds. But once the seeds are in the ground, it really does take a village to water it. I want to, with everybody continue to expose them to the things that I’m thinking of and the projects that I’m working on and what I I think could exist and getting the green light from everybody else on where we can devote energy collectively, because I know that I’m gonna always gonna fall my heart and try to do that without interference. But that being said, like wherever that thing goes, I want to have people along for, and I’m excited to be starting that with Cherry because this is such a personal project for me. Whatever leftover funds we have after we’ve made all the, music videos and all the assets for it and the website that is gonna be so epic. We’re also just gonna be getting other artists involved in web three. That’s something that like I’ve found incredibly rewarding is being able to like buy an artist first NFT. I’ve been collecting my friends’ work for like basically like since I started selling work and in web three. And so like, continuing to have that synergetic relationship with a community of artists is important to me.

Future of Music in Web 3

Let me ask you this Grady, what do you think the future of music looks like in the world of web three?And by the way, it’s such a broad question. It’s such a general question too, so you can take it from whatever angle you want, but I think you bring in a unique point of view to this.

Cool. I think the way that I feel about it probably isn’t the way that a lot of artists right now feel about it. ButI realized probably like five months ago that music was probably gonna get to a place where it was free to listen to. That just makes the most sense as a metric. There’s people that are developing ways to continue to add value for artists. Catalog was really one of the first, Audius being another. But I got involved with David Greenstein, to develop Sound XYZ, probably like five months ago. And I think it’s the most promising setup that I’ve seen so far, because the buy-in cost is low enough that you can get a whole bunch of fans engaged and feeling a part of a song, but also getting artists paid. The way that I see it is we’re continuing to have like a greater and greater disparity of wealth. And I’ve always felt that gate keeping art in any way isn’t kosher. It’s not what I want. I would prefer to have music be free, but be cherished and be valued and appreciated. I think that all these incredible sales like me selling the love umbrella, like Halik selling his project, all these artists selling their work,I think is really telling of the importance of finding real supporters of your work. In the current setup, like you can have literally hundreds of thousands or millions of fans and still not be living off of your work. And that to me is insane when, we can have a hundred fans in web three and, and be full-time musicians. So if you take that and you spread that out farther and farther, I think that you’re going to see that every artist will agree that being able to listen to music for free makes the most sense and being able to be a part of that artist trajectory and journey, and actually invest in them is what makes the most sense? Because we all are companies, all musicians are companies, you know what I mean? Like you’re a company, you are an individual with other individuals working for your identity, for your brand and your product is your music and your merch and all this now NFTs are just another thing, right? It’s another thing that people can purchase, but this time you’re adding like actual connection to your brand, they’re investing in you as a brand. So I think having that availability, what’s going to redefine the music industry. I don’t see streaming services lasting in the way that they are currently for more than 10 years.

Parallels between Music and Crypto

From that tangent, what are the parallels between the music industry and the crypto industry?

It’s a good question. Well it depends on what sec of each you’re talking about I think as far as like culturally relevant things, it’s pretty top heavy. There’s a lot of people making decisions and kind of guiding the ship that maybe shouldn’t be, I think the relationship between the music industry and the crypto industry are like, they kind of have the ability to flip each other on their sides because music has a shit ton of culture, music defines culture and crypto has a whole bunch of commodity. It has a whole bunch of future shaping. And so right now you have all these incredible, DAOs popping up all these crazy ideas that people are just aping into being. It’s exciting and it’s new and it’s fresh. And now you have thousands of people that almost bought the declaration of independence. And it’s like, everyone’s just kind of high minding around these crazy concepts and new like ideas that may or may not work, but who gives a shit because we’re in it together and it’s fun and it’s new and no one’s done it before. But now you have a group of people that used to be a few people making decisions. And now it’s like a whole bunch of kids in their bedroom are competing with like with like the richest people in the world on bidding words and Sotheby’s like, that’s insane. If you take that and you apply it to musicians and artists and realize that every good artist has the ability to have that, fever, pitch, excitement around their project. It’s just about finding those fans, getting them to be a part of your journey and having you grow together with them. So that’s why Good Karma records made so much sense to me. I was like, why wouldn’t a label be owned by the people that support the artists? Why wouldn’t the artists also have equity in that label? All of our artists get equity in Good Karma as well. And like those things just make the most sense. If you think about it from like the fans are the ones that are buying the tickets and they’re the ones that are listening to the music, they should be a part of this process. You know, they should be involved. They should have equity. These artists wouldn’t exist without them and vice versa. Artists give the energy and fans give the gasoline. And I think we’re noticing now like a big mental shift and a lot of my friends and a lot of musicians hitting me up through sound XYZ and through Good Karma and just through what I’m doing, like being like, yo, like I can do this. And I’m like, yeah, you can like, just take the time to commit because that that’s really, the only thing is it’s just time. It’s like, if you’re willing to commit the time, it will work out. I promise like we’re so early in this, that people don’t realize that like, most people don’t hold NFTs. Most people don’t hold crypto and this stuff is going to continue to get more and more popular. You know, we’re talking about 4% of the world having crypto wallets right now, 4%. Imagine if 30% did. Imagine if 40%, you know, imagine if that 10 X it will just continue to get more and more valuable. So just step in while it’s still early, because this will be what people are doing. Like Good Karma records will be one of a thousand music label DAOs. I’m confident because it just makes sense for a whole bunch of people to get together around a certain vibe that they connect with and be like, let’s make this happen. Let’s make this vibe happen. Let’s make a train and say all aboard.

Web 3 Investments by Major Labels

Do you ever see a scenario where, so let’s look at FWB okay. Yes. A hundred percent. Let’s look at FWB for a second. Okay. They got a capital infusion from Andre Horwitz. And it basically solidified the club like on a mainstream level. Okay. Got a lot of headlines and whatnot. Do you imagine at some point, Good Karma DAO getting some type of like similar investment from like a Universal Music Group or an Atlantic records or a Sony working in this DAO format, or do you imagine them spinning off their own DAO and changing the way they kind of have been approaching, artist management, record labels for centuries, right. For what, what the standard is? You know what I mean? How do you imagine that kind of unfolding?

That’s a good question. I’ve been approached by VCs already. And the main thing that I’ve been steadfast on is I don’t want any one entity to hold more than 5% of it or else it defeats the purpose. The simplest way to put it is I would be happy to help any major label or any Indy label transition into a DAO structure. I just don’t see a world in which that is going to happen anytime soon. It’s just such a different setup. And in the priorities that it feels are, are so different. I mean, the deals that that artists get from major label are just so backwards compared to what I think they should be and what kind of deals we offer. We never take a majority share of master or publishing, whereas most major label deals are between like 60 and 80%. I just don’t know if I’m correct, I feel like I’m correct in it, maybe there’s some middle line maybe like we continue to offer more and more, and maybe they continue to offer less and less. I think that’s kind of where the tipping point will be. I think labels will have to start asking for less and less from their artists as artists realize that they can get the same level of support from their fans without giving up as much. Because labels are incredible. I mean, my experience with labels has, has been awesome and I’ve met so many amazing people at different labels that are in it for the right reasons and they’re not the ones that have anything to do with, with the shitty deals that artists are getting. So I know that like systematically there’s a lot of problems, but intrinsically there’s a lot of good. At its core, music labels are helping artists get their music heard and that’s the main thing that we’re interested in doing is getting artist music heard and getting them paid for it. Short answer. I don’t see a world in which we collaborate with a major, unless they were willing to adopt the same ideologies that are present in web three. But that being said, I would be more than happy to help them and also just get their input on how they see that shaping because they are giants and they, they have done so much like for music, they are the music industry. I think we have a lot to learn from each other. We’re all out here in web three, like still figuring out exactly what works and what doesn’t. I think a lot of this is still very educational and preliminary and we’re going up against an industry that’s been in place for almost a hundred years. They obviously have a lot of things that are right and that are useful. I just think that there has to be some redirection of like how much they take from their artists. I just hear so many stories about artists, like having their projects done and then their label won’t let them put it out for whatever reason. And like, that to me is just backwards. The only reason ever to do that is like, if you wanna make sure that, that artist doesn’t shoot themselves in the foot. I am never interested in telling someone when they can and can’t put something out. I mean, we’re all just sitting on so much shit because of like that just being ingrained.

How can new artists join the Good Karma DAO?

Yeah. So let’s, wrap up with a couple questions here. A new independent artist wants to get into crypto the first step, get into Good Karma DAO, step number one. Step number two. What’s next? Like how do you get involved? How do you get started? Yeah. And I’m asking it from a very like dumb down point of view, right? Sure. For people who want to follow a path like yours, like Daniel Allen’s, like Valencia, like Harrison First, the list goes on and on and on.

So the biggest issue right now is that everybody wants to be integrated that I talk to now that everyone is like, it’s like, of course, like why would I not want to make $10,000 in four seconds? That sounds awesome. The problem is like we’re still a really small team. We don’t have the whole world working on the back end yet. And it’s a lot of work just to get these things going every time. So my biggest advice to anyone, at least that’s an artist, that’s trying to get tapped into Web three is start at Good Karma. Start, start in any, in any community that is web three music centric, Good karma is a great place to start. But then tap into the discords of sound XYZ, of Catalog, introduce yourself, show your music, start being an active member and being helpful and you’ll find that people are more than happy to help you in return. I think we’re, we’re still in a super synergistic phase where people do have time as busy as we all are. Like I allocate time to helping people get into web three. And I know that even the busiest people, I know Cooper still does this. Everyone, I know, regardless of how busy is more than happy to help, as long as you’re willing to put in the time. It does require time and it does require attention and it isn’t cut and dry yet. There still is a lot of legwork to do and you have to be willing to do it and be active. Everyone that I know in this space, it’s become a huge part of their life. And it’s interesting for me, knowing that I had to give up part of being a creator of music right now, to be able to facilitate other music creators and get them to a place where I felt that everybody was winning. Cause I haven’t really been making music in like four months. I maybe written like three or four songs and I know that that won’t last forever. I just feel like what I’m doing right now is super necessary to making sure that other people can do the same thing, and can get in the space and, and start being as free as possible. I care at least as my much about that as I do about making my own music is, is watching other artists flourish.

What can we expect from Grady in 2022?

I love it, dude. Last question. What can we expect from Grady in 2022?

The moon is where we’re headed. That’s all I’ll say for now.

Right

We’re going to the moon.

If you’re listening to the audio, come watch the YouTube. You’re the man.

I love you. I’ll see you the next showcase

You got it. I’ll see you Thursday. Are you gonna Daniel Allen’s thing?

Yeah, of course. You kidding? I’ll be in the front row with my book.

This was fun.

I did wanna talk about citizens of Stanley Gaspa and Spice DAO and the film DAO and all of that, but I know that you already have Spartan coming on. I know that he’s just gonna crush it. And we already had so much to talk about, but I’m so excited. You guys have to tune in to listen to Spartan. One of my best friends collaborator on that project. He is the brain behind it and absolute genius. I’m so excited for what he’s doing and we’re in together.

I’m stoked to have him on. I’m glad for him to be on season four and Grady we gotta do this sometime again soon, in a few months once Cherry is complete, the songs are out, Good Karma has developed more.

Thank you to everybody that is tapping into the Cherry crowd-fund through this. I’m excited to have you in the group chat. And also if you’re not, thank you. I feel like by the time that you listen to this, there’s a good chance that the first songs out. So I hope you like it. Thank you for listening and listening to me, talk for an hour and Adam,

Thank you. We’ll see you soon.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

Breaking Down The Infamous $OVERSTIM Journey

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 7 welcomes the Overstimulated duo Daniel Allan and Henry Chatfield who are setting the example for how a music creator DAO should look and feel. Here’s an end-to-end recap of their journey, analyzing the last three months of their work where we break down October’s crowdfund as showcased in a previous episode and the day-to-day of bringing this on-chain EP to life. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:44 – Intro
  • 05:26 – Artist Management/Community Management
  • 09:56 – Evolving Role of Record Labels
  • 17:17 – Songwriting Camp
  • 27:37 – Reinvestment of Earnings
  • 34:22 – The Live Performance of Overstimulated
  • 41:19 – What’s Next?
  • 46:07 – Outro

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


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

Let’s go guys. I’m excited to have this power duo on mint. I think you guys are the epitome of what communities will be like and feel like in the future specifically for music. So excited to kind of deep dive into the last few months, Daniel, I had you on in October. Okay. Right. When the mirror, the infamous mirror campaign launched and started all of this. How are you doing, man? How’s it been since October?

Daniel: Whew. I’m good, man. It’s definitely been a roller coaster of emotions for me. I think the at, at first it was tough to adjust. I remember when we spoke whether I was admitting it publicly or not, I realized that I was having a tough time trying to figure out how I was gonna recruit part of our stimulated what the roadmap is. And I think one thing that I’ve kind of learned since then is there is no roadmap and everyone’s kind of just building in public and trying to figure things out as they go. And I think once that kind of made itself clear to me, I was able to move forward a little bit more efficiently, but yeah, that first, that first month window of just being uncertain, not knowing what’s happening next was rough, but I think I’ve kind of entered a clear patch here, which has been nice.

How did you achieve that level of comfort of like uncertainty? Like how’d you get to that conclusion? Because I feel like when you raise that amount of money, you’re forced to kind of be like, okay guys, here’s the next plan? Here’s the roadmap. Here’s what we’re doing next, but you’ve actually embraced uncertainty. And I think that’s also made part of your project really unique.

Daniel: Yeah. Well, I remember like I was talking to a lot of people in my circle and just like telling them my complaints. And at the same time I had so many people that were hitting me up asking me for advice. And just like for the sake of transparency, I wanted to be like, yo, this isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Like one of the things that I did afterwards was I wrote a mirror post called sunshine and rainbows where I was saying like, web three is an amazing resource, but it’s not necessarily necessarily the silver bullet. Right? Like it’s not like it solves all your problems. There’s still a lot of things that I wanna accomplish. And a lot of things that, web three is taking away from it. And I just wanted to be real about it because instead of just calling all my friends in the middle of the night to talk about it just made sense to treat it like an open diary kind of, and use mirrors that platform

Makes a lot of sense. Henry, what about you how long have you been in crypto for, I usually do these formal intros. Like tell me about yourself. What were you doing before crypto? Where are you now? Let’s, let’s start that off with you. Because you’re new to the show, new to the podcast. You did the audience, give us a quick brief about yourself.

Henry: Yeah. I’ve been in the music industry for quite a while. Now, I would say about 10 years professionally, about twice that doing something in some capacity started out throwing a lot of shows. Then in college I really kicked into full gear, did a lot of shows, sort of unofficially and officially. After college I got into artist management and that was sort of my main thing. The last couple years I’ve had this really debilitating back injury and that’s actually sort of how I started getting an interest in web three and crypto is I just, I couldn’t do really much. And so I was lying on my back, just reading and slowly, the more I learned about it, the more interested I got I realized that there’s just this amazing way for it to potentially help music. And that’s when I really started going down the rabbit hole. So April of 2021 is when that started and every month I just get more interested, more excited, more inspired by it.

So how’d you come across Daniel’s project? Like what’s the story behind entering the world of overstimulated? Walk me through that.

Henry: So I think, I think Daniel’s project happened on September 27th towards the end of the month. I, at that time was deep down the rabbit hole. Twitter really was sort of my main source of information at least to of get started and find little snippets and little signals to go explore other stuff. So at the time I really think it was just good timing where Cooper or someone else said that it had just launched on Twitter. I was right there. I think, it sold out very quickly and I think I barely, barely got to be a backer. I think I was number 72 of 87. The project just really struck me as very unique and having a lot of potential for the future for artists. So I just DMed Daniel, like the next day or in the next couple days, I know that he had mentioned he was looking for a community manager and really, I just wanted to help in any way I could. And when I see artists doing creative, new things, it makes me wanna, just also try to support them. So, yeah.

Artist Management/Community Management

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. I like the duo that you guys have because something that I’ve been talking about on Mint a lot was I think the role of artist management, community management, and just this whole like centralized point of view of like bringing an artist to life to record labels is gonna decentralize and democratize. And it’s gonna feel more like a startup than it is a big corporation kind of thing. And I think you guys have really embraced that ethos, Daniel, when Henry hit you up. Okay. What were like some of the initial thoughts? What were some of the expectations you had to find the right candidate? Like, walk me through that.

Daniel: Yeah. I mean, I think along what I was saying earlier, there was really no roadmap. And so for me, what was most important was like, are you a good guy or girl. That was like, what was important to me because I don’t think that anyone, I’ve learned pretty quickly that if you are in web three and crypto and you say that,  everything, it’s very likely that that is not true. I think it’s because no one knows. I remember like I’ve I went through a conversation where someone really prominent web through was talking and he’s been in it for like 15 years. And he was like on the grounds of the early work. And he was like, it’s the wild west. And after that moment, I kind of realized like, no one knows. And so when I was like doing these things for community management, like obviously I had seen some semblance of what a community manager looks like, because like I was building my first discord and I needed someone to help me do that. But like my first thing was just vibe honestly. I think that’s how a lot of people view, like their investment portfolios is like, oh, I’m just going by vibe of the founder or whatever. And for me, for community management, it was like, none of us know, so you’re just down to like help out be a good dude and that’s kind of what I went off.

So what does a day to day look like at $OVERSTIM internally, you guys actually build in public and you’re very vocal about that, but I feel like there’s some form of internal communication or organization structure that happens to build an open public community. Can you walk me through the day to day? And I want you guys to focus on this question like Daniel, how do you prioritize creating Henry? How do you prioritize community building? How do you guys not overlap each other between the two skills? Because I think this is gonna be an important example for other creators and musicians that want to enter down this route.

Daniel: Sure. So, I’ll start to answer this one then. Henry, I think you could pick it up a little bit from your perspective for me, I absolutely love web three, but what is most important to me and the vehicle for everything is creating? I find that even if everything is going amazingly well for me in the web three world, I’m not the happiest that I can be if I’m not making songs, because before all of this, before I had even made money, like I was making songs out of happiness, I was broke living in, like, I was splitting a bedroom in Hollywood with my friend paying $600 a month with like fugitives living downstairs, and I was so absolutely stoked that I got to like wake up and make music every day. And so for me, when that started exiting my life in a way, for the first time, in five, six years, when I got super into the web three rabbit hole, that’s when I had to reset be like. Henry and I never had a formal conversation because things were so up in the air of like, oh, well, let’s like, this is a problem. Let’s go fix that. This is a problem. Let’s go fix that. But I was like, wait, wait, I need to stop focusing on problems and start focusing again on music. So it kind of just became, I’m gonna be doing, I don’t do music at the sexiest hours. Because I have like responsibilities to like talk to web three and like just be in the space as much as I can and help other artists. So for me that just moved from 7:00 AM to noon. Like right before this, I did five hours of music stuff? So it’s maybe not the cutest hours to work on music, but it’s like, as long as I’m doing it, I found myself in a really good mood and happy, and then I can kind of actually have more energy to move into web three stuff. I think Henry can to talk a little bit more about the random FaceTimes that I give to him, but that’s Henry, if you wanna take that away, go for it.

Henry: Yeah. We really don’t have a very defined schedule, I would say. Outwardly I think the most important thing is trying to get back to anyone who reaches out to us as quickly as we can, which is something I’m still learning and finding cadence with. Daniel and I have had many late night FaceTime conversations. I think for me when we first got started there was first sort of like this initial, like, okay, what are we trying to do here? What sort of assets or infrastructure foundation do we need to have built and then that we can kind of rely on? And then from there we can kind of figure out and navigate. So the first thing was the discord. Qe came on board, we just sort of touched it up. We reorganized the channels a little bit , added some emojis to them. I had this like big Daniel will probably laugh, but like, I really like taking notes and my Google docs get out of control. Like all of a sudden we’ll be on a FaceTime and it’ll be like 17 pages long. Sort of my creative process. So I think that’s sort of like a lot of times when we come up with a new idea or working on something new, it will start off as just him and I talking on the phone or on FaceTime. Notes will happen. We’ll think about it, iterate, do another copy, iterate, and then just sort of keep, consistently working on it like that.

Evolving Role of Record Labels

Got it. I’m curious. Okay. And I’d love to hear your point of view. As more and more and more musicians enter crypto. I think at some point it may become like an artist’s market. I feel many times artists are going after record labels for getting their big break. Maybe it’s the other way around, depending on the artist, of course, but I feel like at some point more and more artists are going to be basically doing a startup mentality like you guys are right and operating very lean, issuing assets on chain, having their fans be collectors. And actually these record labels coming into the picture and like community management and capital as a value add. Just like Henry, like you’re the very lean version of that and myself and a bunch of other collectors and $OVERSTIM are like the banks kind of thing. Right. Do you imagine that kind of like progressing over time, do you imagine that the same model kind of sticking with what we’re seeing record labels doing right now? How do you kind of imagine this like unfolding in the future?

Daniel: Yeah. I mean, I may have like a little bit of a hot take on this, but I think that essentially like the, the record labels will just, I think that what they will provide more than anything is kind of the infrastructure rather than the funding. Okay. Because obviously like the bank, I think like you were saying is to have web three, is to just have like web three fans. I was talking to my friend verte about this, she’s absolutely brilliant when it comes to stuff like this and her thesis was, I think that what it’s gonna trend towards is having like 1000 true fans and having 30 to 50 web three fans. And then what I kind of built on top of that was taking like the web three fans using those as resources to be able to bring up a web two following that’s kind of like a win-win for everyone, right? Because that way more and more people can hear the music more and more people can then funnel into like what I’m doing in the web three world. And then it kind of helps the web of three world. But to me, I think where record labels can kind of insert themselves in that is like essentially being a super fan. But being a super fan and providing more infrastructure than they would capital, because a lot of the times the trade off is here is capital. Here is some infrastructure we have in case you need it. Whereas for me, I would need the infrastructure, but I’m less interested in the capital.

What about you Henry? How do you feel about this?

Henry: Yeah, this is a great, great question. And I think we’re all still kind of figuring it out. I mean, in the future, what is a record label even gonna be? I mean we’ve got the big three, who still have a lot of power, they still have huge catalogs. But in terms of an independent artist like Daniel, I think we’re figuring out the services that we can kind of build amongst ourselves, which is really, really exciting to have that. One of the things that is really appealing to me in web three is just sort of like this optionality in artists, being able to choose how they get funding, how things are funded and then yeah, what that looks like afterwards. I hope that in the future, I, I don’t think that labels are just gonna go away, but I think that there is a possible future where it can be a little bit more a la carte or more like buffet style, where you can go in and you say, I need help with marketing, or I need help with distribution or funding, and then you can you can create a deal based on that.

Yeah. Makes sense. Daniel, what’s more important to you? The 1000 true fans or having millions multimillion listeners on streaming platforms?

Daniel: This is a tough question because that’s like one of the things that I wrote about in my mirror crowd fund, I think that they both kind of allocate themselves to different goals. I think that if I were to play a Lollapalooza, which has been one of my biggest goals since I was a kid going with the route of having millions of listeners, I think would be a little bit stronger. I think one of my other big goals for a long time has been creative liberation. And I think that web three has enabled that far more than anything else. I think that if I were forced to pick one, I would say I would prefer the web three side, because I think it also lends itself to more sustainable lifestyle. I’m able to kind of not be a crazy person and like just kind of make music whenever I want to, and not necessarily have to um I would rather, make the music that I want to, and not play major festivals than not play the music I want to and play major festivals

Interesting trade off. I don’t know because there is a lot of value, like you have to think about. Why do you create music? Okay. There’s a, a component of having your song, reach the, the hearts and the souls of people and resonating with many and having that creative energy reach thousands to millions to even billions. But then there’s also the trade off of not making a living from that. And getting sucked up into all this corporate bureaucracy of not being able to showcase who you are on your own your own terms and all that stuff. So there’s definitely trade offs. And I guess, how do you go by optimizing for both? Because you have, you have a good amount of listeners, like a solid amount of listeners on streaming platforms. You have a solid collector base in web three. There’s a couple questions here. How do you kind of mitigate the trade off and how do you combine the two, right? How do you do it in a way where you don’t have different audiences on different platforms and somehow merge? And this could also be like one of those like 40 chess type of questions where we’re figuring this out. Walk me through that.

Daniel: Sure. I mean, I think that it’s a little bit cliche, but the best way to answer this is I can only control what I can control. And I think that what that looks like for me is just trying to have a hand in each basket. Right. I think that when I put the sound drop out that I recently did for overstimulated, there were a few things that I did. I mean, I put it out and then I got like a lot of people like listening to me on the web three front, but I also put up a TikTok that took me like five minutes to do. Cause I sent it to my friend, Ryan to put it together and that got like a bunch of plays. And then some people are gonna funnel in through the web three story, but if some of them become fans of my music, then I’m absolutely happy for that because I do think that that’s really important. And I don’t mean to minimize that, like you guys are saying, I don’t think Spotify or major record labels are going anywhere, over, like a three to five year time frame, they’re here to stay. They’re like absolutely industry giants. And I, I still have to play within a certain game, which is like optimizing my music or optimizing what I’m doing or the story in some way to be somewhat consumer friendly. I totally get that. But I think the best thing that I could do is just control what I can control in terms of the, like the output in me, making music every day and then whatever happens after that happens. But as long as I’m staying diversified in each bucket, that’s kind of the max. I can control you now. Henry,

Henry, Do you have any thoughts to add to this?

Henry: So the other day I actually, I had a past management client reach out to me. I hadn’t talked to him in probably two years. He’s in a string band. So not the type of artists that you see in web three, at least not right now. And he’s a really smart guy. And just asking me like how, how could I get involved with doing stuff? And the question that I asked him was like, what, what do you wanna do? Like, not just like getting involved with web three and doing NFTs, but like, what’s the goal behind that goal? Is it to raise money? Is it to sort of like bring your fan base together to potentially use new technology to, , better communicate with them or trying to build community. I think that’s like the important question and the first step to ask, because I think that this can look a little bit different for everyone.

Songwriting Camp

Yeah. Yeah. I hear you. One thing I want to talk to you guys about is kind of like the journey since October. Okay. And I’ll throw this really quick for those who haven’t seen the first episode of Daniel Allan. We published it, I think October 19th, again, it was right after the mirror campaign where raised nearly 180 K in 48 hours you gave up 50% ownership of your EP called overstimulated. You were gonna use those funds to kind of bootstrap the birth of the EP Bring that to Life, which you just released this week. So first of all, like congrats on that. Okay. We’ll start with that. Like, congratulations on that. I’ve been listening to the songs I got into the sound drop for the 100 editions, like been buying the assets left and right as much as I could. So walk me through the timeline. Okay. Because you started off with the mirror. Okay. But before mirror, you even started selling songs on catalog. Okay. And the reason I’m introducing this question is because I wanna understand the timeline and use this as a roadmap for other people that want to do what you’re doing. Okay. So from what I recall, Daniel, you started posting on catalog, right. Then you issued the over stimulated mirror campaign, raising crowdfunded 50% of the EP. Right. Then you continued dropping songs on catalog. You got involved with the sound. Okay. And then you even introduced the songwriting camp that you and Henry collaborated with. Right. So let’s take a pause right there, the songwriting camp. What is that? How did that come to life? What’s the goal behind that? I know I even bought into that. So full disclosure for everyone that’s listening. Walk me through that.

Daniel: Yeah, actually I think that’s a really good segway. Good job, Adam. It’s almost like you’re a pro at this. I was at a point where I was just at a juncture of like, I have web two goals and I want to go on tour. I want to be able to make a song in a random city in Arizona, in the back of a tour bus with three of my best friends. I mean, I think that that’s something that I idolize as a kid, and I realize that there are certain things in the web two world that I have to play into. At same time I was meeting so many of my like favorite artists through web three, because fortunately it was kind of like my story and what I attached myself to. And I was just really lucky to be able to meet so many amazing people with it. And I was like, oh man, like, what if I could do a songwriting camp where I just make music with all these amazing artists. And then I, think the reason that we did it, like as an NFT model is something that Henry could speak to. And then at the same time I was working with Henry on stuff. And then I came to him with the idea of like doing the songwriting camp, but then he was like, oh, like, , we’ve been working together. Maybe we can find a way to make this like, equitable for both. I don’t know. I think that the songwriting camp was really interesting because I’m using, it’s the prime example of using like web three resources to be able to funnel some of my web two goals. And Henry has a lot to say about this cuz, he played like a huge part and I definitely have been open about like viewing him as like an equal partner on this?

Henry, walk me through.

Henry: Yeah. When Daniel first proposed it to me, first of all, I had known him for a month and a half, I think at that point or maybe two months. So for him to come at me and say, Hey, do you want to do a project together? Is just like the biggest honor to me. So I was really excited about that, we were trying to figure out initially, like what does that look like? So what Daniel just described, he’s gonna be recording new music and we’re raising money to pay for the expenses for that. Like, how do I, especially when we were talking about it being written mostly in my voice. And so like the question was why, why my voice and something that I’d been starting to think about a lot at that time also was just compensation models in the music industry. We talk a lot about screw the major labels, screw Spotify. There’s a lot of, I mean, and fairly so there’s a lot of sketchy stuff that happens behind the scenes and something that I think Daniel and I both really respect and appreciate about web three is that there is a way that you can set it up where it’s much more accountable. It’s much more transparent and hopefully in the future it will also be more accessible. But, we were trying to kind of keep those things in mind as we designed this new project. And so for me, I wanted to sort of explore from the artist management or business side of things. What does it look like for those other team members to be compensated in a fair and transparent way in the music industry? And so that’s sort of where the project went from there.

So before we continue on the timeline, the songwriting camp, you guys raised money for that. I remember we were in like Twitter group chats, like voting on stuff and talking actively about everything. What were the economics behind that for those who aren’t familiar with the songwriting camp. So you guys raised money to rent out, out the studio in Malibu, from what I remember, right. Bring together like some of your favorite artists to create some dope music. Did the people who put money into that? Did they get anything in return? Like, and I asked that in a very like dumb way, right. To kind of like better understand for others listening, walk me through that.

Daniel: Henry, you got this, or you want me to, or you want me to get it?

Henry: You can throw in any comments that I’m happy to jump in after, for sure.

Daniel: So I think that one thing that we wanted to experiment with, and this is absolutely not to sound tone deaf here. I went through a project for overstimulated where we created a social token around it. And then I didn’t want to dive in to making another social token before overstimulated came out. Frankly it felt like a money grab and it just felt like a little bit too much. So we decided to do these strictly as NFTs as patronage based NFTs, because we wanted to explore like how many people would be down to support the project if they were just patrons. And another thing that we did that was very important was there are a few apes in the music NFT world. Some of them were like my closest friends, obviously who I’ve met over the past, like six months. And we, I think that what we wanted to do is $OVERSTIM sold out very, very, very quickly. And some people just found out about it and they weren’t able to contribute. So we did, we set it, so that 0.1 E is the maximum contribution per transaction. If you wanted to make multiple, like you couldn’t a few people did, but you had to pay gas for each one. So we kind of wanted to be like, look, how much would people be down to just support as patrons for this project? And our ultimate goal was like, how many people can we get involved into this? Like we wanted to break the record of the $OVERSTIM crowd fund, which had 87 backers. And ultimately we did break the record by two. We got 89 backers last. Outside of that, I think that one of the ways that we also like did did compensation is like the first five Eth like 100% of that goes to the expenses like that was like the Airbnb. And then like getting people’s flights and like food and like everything and like putting on like the events at the very end, cuz the people who bought the NFT, like at the very end were gonna do like a listening party for everyone to be able to come. After that we did 25% of everything after five Eth was 25% was a stipend to me, 25% was a stipend to Henry, which was important because we both wanted to highlight that like this kind of relationship, like we’re very much like partners in. Another 25%, which is very important and well another 25 went to the overt, went to the overs, stem treasury. And then that’s kind of me being like, oh, like I am still very much providing value to the initial backers. And it provided me that cushion to be like, I’m not just like grabbing money here. Like I’m here like to put on a project and still like return value to like the people that believed in me first. And then the most important bit is this is 25%, which is one Eth very close to one Eth is a resource allocation pool. So that resource allocation pool is a place where artists, when they are going to mint. Like when they go mint their first NFT and they need gas money or whatever it is, they can just pull from there. I think the overall incentive that I forgot to mention here is like the writing camp while it does align a lot with like some of my web two goals. One of the things that I’m providing is, I’m saying there are so many web two artists that are scared of getting into web three and Henry and I have had so many open conversation on Twitter spaces of how we’re supposed to bridge the gap. Because we kind of have this responsibility in a way to help artists get involved after like I’m doing things like this and telling the story of how it happened. And the thing is, what I have to be transparent about is I got lucky with timing. Like I was one of the earlier ones, so it was easier to get on catalog. It was easier to get on sound. And what we started doing is for these artists who come to the camp, we’re gonna help them a little bit like fast track away onto like web three. So what that looks like is like, like if I drop a song that I make with an artist on catalog, than they get a creator share, when they get a creator share, then they’re able to like be a little bit more involved in the platform, be able to talk and network to more people because their name is on it. And I think that was one of the, very important things that I forgot to mention.

Henry: I think there are a couple things that we did differently with this campaign than even like what’s common in the web three space with other mirrors, which is kind of silly to say, because , these mirror campaigns have only been happening for a few months or, , three or four months now but yeah. Like Daniel said, we, it was important to us to try to have accessibility. And also recognizing that the entry point was still around $375 to $400 for the 0.1 NFT. But yeah, the goal was to try to get as many sort of people into the community as we could. Daniel actually, I think we got one more right after I texted you that screenshot. So I think we ended up closing out at 9 Eth, which is great.

Reinvestment of Earnings

We say 9Eth like it’s like no big deal, but like I reflect on that, like it’s crazy how one deep pocketed people and two how aligned they are with these types of visions and how supportive they are, to help bring these up and coming artists, whether it be you Daniel and Henry, whether it be someone like Latasha, whether it be someone like Valencia, the list goes on and on and on just bringing their visions to life and acting as a support vehicle to make that a reality. It’s very inspiring. And it makes you think like shit, like there’s another whole world that’s kind of appearing that many people don’t know about, which I hope ends up being like a vehicle for that. Okay. Let’s continue on the timeline. So the song camp came in. Okay. Around that time you started posting on sound right around that time, your first sound drop came out and you started putting those sales into the treasury? So how did that process work? So like from all the money that you made from that sound drop, it was like 10 K or something, pulled out in less than like 30 seconds insane. How much of that went back into the treasury?

Henry: 50% of it.

So, and then from there you went into doing, the release of the actual $OVERSTIM album, right. How did you kind of like, and I guess you’re building in public here. Cooper Charlie, by the way, tweeted about this as well. Like the perfect like use case for music down. Okay. This was obviously like learned throughout the process. When you look back at this entire thing, are there any things you would’ve, done differently, anything you would’ve added to, anything you would’ve subtracted, lessons learned, I’m trying to like get like a summary from this entire process. Right. And it’s why I also outlined it from like the get go to where we are today, kind of thing.

Daniel: I would say, I think I may have said this in the first interview and if I didn’t, then it makes even more sense. I think just way too many people in the space spent too much time thinking and not enough time executing. And I will say that very publicly for a long time, because the biggest takeaway for me was that we just kept moving forward and we did not have, like, I think that some people look at the projects that we’ve done or the projects that I’ve done and they’re like, oh, like, Daniel’s so smart. Like he had this, he had this thought, like he had it planned out. Like I genuinely didn’t have any of this planned out. Like I just kept going with it. And like kept seeing like, as a new, as I was turning over a stone, I didn’t just kind of like turn over and be like, ah, like nothing’s there, I’m gonna move on to the next one. I turned it over and I was like, oh, like, this looks like shit, but let me like, keep scraping away at it and keep cleaning it. Maybe there’s like a diamond under it. And sometimes there weren’t right. Like I’ve had a project on catalog that didn’t do as well. And that’s okay. Like it’s, I think like people don’t necessarily look at the Ls and I think that way too many people are like a little bit scared of being judged in this space. I was talking to a good friend of mine recently who manages like these amazing artists. And I was joking at the end of our call. I was like, when are you gonna, when are you guys gonna hop in and do some web three stuff? I was just trying to like, red pill them a little bit. And he was like, we’re just trying to think of like the perfect campaign and like how we can like get in. And I’m like, man, just don’t worry about it. Just kind of get in. And like it’s still so early that like, it doesn’t matter. And just having your face and your name involved, I think is gonna pay more dividends.

It’s enough to leave a stain to show that you’re getting it and you’re with it. I agree with you 100% for sure.

Daniel: Totally. And then, yeah, man, the only thing that I really would’ve done differently is like, it took me about a week to get the discord up and running. I think that if you’re about to drop something and this is the advice I tell to people, if you think about dropping your first NFT or your first social token or whatever, it is, put a pin in that and do it in three months and then spend the three months building out everything. And then once that hits run and go full speed ahead and don’t look back and just experiment, but take those periods to ingratiate your yourself similar to what I did the summer before my mirror post. And then when it’s up, like you’re okay, discord, is there, boom, like telegram, is there, boom, like everything’s ready to go. All the resources are there because you’re gonna have this moment where you’re funneling everyone in. And I think good karma Grady. Like one of my close friends did a great job of this. As soon as you dropped Good Karma, like everything was there. Like Roe, his community manager was there and they were like running it all together. And I think that that’s also very important just to capitalize on that initial momentum.

Henry what about you? You joined the process, right? You were part of this community, obviously very vocal and very hands on and very supportive. Anything. When you look back now that the EPs out now that this release party’s about to happen next week, and there’s gonna be a crazy live performance that I’m so excited about and we’ll get to it in just a second. Any learning lessons, any tips, any advice, things you do differently, your biggest takeaways, et cetera.

Henry: Yeah, definitely. And so part of the mirror crowd that Daniel and I just did we really emphasize that we’re trying to build in public as you said. And so a sort of the next component to Daniel Allan and friends, which we kind of unofficially call Malibu. One of the next components of Malibu for me and Daniel is gonna be to kind of write up our next post is gonna be about what we’ve learned so far, what went wrong, what went well. So stay tuned for that. Get a look at, get some stuff in there. But one thing that I wanted to, to touch on with Daniel is that he has this really interesting, unique combination of skills that I think almost kind of give him this superpower to be successful, which is one he’s incredibly focused on goals that he’s set. And then he’s incredibly hardworking and extremely consistent in trying to move towards and execute those goals. And like you touched on, on the outside, it kind of feels like this just happened overnight, but, he’s been grinding, every day and just keeps moving forward. He’s one of the most actionable people that I know. We actually, I feel like our strengths sort of bounce off one another because,I’m the type of person who’s like, all right, let’s think about this a lot more. Let’s sit on it for another week. Let’s edit it down and write more. And Daniel’s like, Nope, let’s ship this. Like, it’s good. This is good, good work. Let’s ship it. See what works, get our spots and then keep it writing from there.

The Live Performance of Overstimulated

It’s very Russian of you. Daniel. I feel like it’s like super embedded in your culture. Like, that aggressiveness. Next week, the grand release live performance overstimulated $OVERSTIM holders are gonna be there. I know people flying in. I know it’s gonna be this crazy event. You rented out an entire thing. There’s bottle service. There’s an entire experience around it. How do you feel like coming up to it? What’s going on through your head? I remember, dude. I even remember a few months ago, you hit me with like, this is my first live performance. Like you were playing somewhere. Like you were just, I think it was at NFT NYC at Brett’s like music NFT party where Latasha and Verde and all these people were playing. Like, you’re just like on there with like your drum pad and your stick are just like rocking out. And now here you are today. Okay. So how are you feeling what’s going on?

Daniel: Yeah, man, look, I mean, I’m a little nervous. I think, I think every time, I mean, I try to always turn my nerves into excitement. I think that the experience I’ve had with playing shows has been like that where I’m like a little bit nervous, but as soon as I press play on the first song and like, nothing goes bad. It’s totally good. But man, I’m, I am, I’m so incredibly excited. I feel like everything has led up to this and I feel like it’s also so interesting and it’s gonna be such a big moment for music NFTs. The cool thing about music and why I think it’s gonna work so well on chain in 2022 is the consumer experience that you get to have. And like, you can do that in so many different ways. Like, yeah, you can stream the music. That’s amazing. You could be a patron and have like a fan relationship with the artist via like being a patron of their NFT. But to be able to see it come to life, right. Like I’m like debuting my first like visuals package, , that’s gonna be just like so insane that was like custom made with my friend, Zach. It’s just like, it’s the full experience. And I feel like everything has kind of led up to this. I mean, I know that I had like a big day, a couple days ago when I was, when I dropped the bonfire site. But this is also like, this is, I don’t know, like live music, dude. That’s this is what it’s all about. That’s like the moment where I get to connect with people the most. And I feel like so many people who maybe have questions about what $OVERSTIM is and why they got into it early on. And I think a lot of those questions will be answered at the show and just being there. And that’s what I’m really excited about. Yeah.

I guess one thing we didn’t touch upon really quick, like leading up to the show that happened this week is the the EP drop. We touched a little bit about it earlier, but I want to go more in depth into that as well. So you sold a hundred editions. I got lucky enough to buy one as well. Hell yeah. Let’s go. I’m be excited. So that sold out also within like less than a minute. How many Eth?

Daniel: 10 Eth and then I put five Eth back into the $OVERSTIM tray.

Okay. Okay. Crazy. Like also, like what?

Daniel: I went to sound about three weeks before it happened. And I was like, Hey, look after you guys are done, I mean, I know that you have plan for season one. David had the idea of doing it as like a feature. And then I came to him and I was like, look, let’s try it. Let’s just see what happens. And it took some convincing, but I’m really stoked with how it turned out because I don’t think any of us expected it to kind of sell out like another sound drop, obviously like a hundred editions is a lot, man. I gotta tip my hat to sound here. I think that they rolled out an incredible kind of idea for this, because normally sound does from 1:30 to 2:00 PST. You get into Twitter spaces talking, and then it drops right at two. And then everyone’s in panic mode to like keep going. And sometimes like, people don’t even get to listen to the music. I think that what sounded so incredibly here is 1:30 to 2:00, we were talking, got a lot of people like interested and just having a conversation about me and my journey, like how important this project is to me. And then like, I got to sit there for 12 minutes and like, just wait, anxiously as everyone was listening to my music. But like I was, I was in like the sound telegram chat and like a few other places, the sound discord. And everyone was like, oh man, like this song’s crazy. Like, who’s this thing or this production’s wild. What are these scents? And I was like, oh my God, like, it kind of cured some imposter syndrome that I’ve had in a lot of ways, because like so many people were I’ve always been so confident in the project musically, and I’m so thankful for the web three resources and tooling that I was able to build around it, but part of me has always thought like, do they love the music? Or is there some thought here that it’s just like a really dope web three experiment? And I think that while that’s kind of left my rain more and more over these past few months as I’ve built a community around it, that moment was a really gratifying one. Cuz everyone like these amazing artists, like Iman Europe and sassy black and whatnot were like talking in the telegram they’re oh dude, like this song’s crazy. This is crazy. And I was like, wow, like that’s cool. I got emotional, like sitting there listening to it, thankfully like my video wasn’t on but dude, it was just nice, like play the whole thing through and I almost got closure, I like let go of my baby.

And now we’re gonna enjoy it live on the 13th. Okay. So gimme a little bit more detail. So what can we expect from the 13th? What’s the layout? What’s the structure? Free for $OVERSTIM holders, right? Let’s go. What can we expect? Like what’s the structure? Walk me through it.

Daniel: Should I drop some alpha

This is gonna come out next week before the show.

Daniel: I’m gonna drop some alpha then first time. I’m gonna be dropping my first merch at the show. It’s gonna be these guys and it’s gonna saw that on your story. It’s all gonna be custom sewn $OVERSTIM on the inside. That me and my girlfriend are sewing together.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, hold on. You’re sewing this yourself.

Daniel: Me and my girlfriend. Yeah, right here. As you can see.

Oh. Okay.

Daniel: $OVERSTIM.

Nice.

Daniel: Custom sewn owned by us. I knew it’s on the right way. I have some special guests that are gonna come to the show that are gonna play. We have an opener who’s playing doors. I did a competition in my discord, but I wanted to get someone to open. I ended up getting one opener from the discord and one person that’s gonna DJ to close the night. The two other people on the bill before me. Sober Rob is gonna be the first act and then Oshi is gonna be up next and then me. Wow. It’s gonna be a pretty cool three nights for sure.

That’s exciting. I’m excited. Henry. Are you gonna be, I know you’re in SF right now. You’re gonna be down for that.

Henry: Sadly. I’m not still working through my injury a little bit and travel’s pretty tough, but I’m definitely gonna be there in spirit.

We’ll FaceTime you. We’ll keep you there. We’ll keep you there. It’s gonna be good. I love it. Please.

Daniel: I’ve always told Henry that’s the goal is to one day, get him to one of the shows, which is gonna be amazing. I’m excited for that to happen.

What’s Next?

Okay. Before we wrap up. Okay. You issue this entire project around the EP. The entire social token was centered around the name of the EP, this entire performance experience, all the MITs, all the songs, the live performances, the merch, the excitement, the energy was all around this project. Now that you’re performing this project, it’s gonna be out everywhere to listen. Your holders are gonna be there. People are gonna buy tickets and enjoy and listen to all these other people perform live. What’s next?

Daniel: Putting me on the spot. Not kidding. I think what’s next man is I have some very, very big projects planned for this year. One of them, I’m not gonna go into detail for a while, but there’s definitely something very, very big that I’m working on. Outside of that, man, I have a responsibility to myself to make better music every day. And yeah, I’m working on music every day. I’m gonna start putting my next music project together soon. I think that a lot of that is gonna live at Malibu during, with the writing camp. I recently dropped like the custom storefront for $OVERSTIM with bonfire. They’re an amazing company. I worked like super closely with them to make sure that it’s the most user friendly experience that we can have. And I think that that’s gonna serve as like a big central hub that we’re gonna continue building for $OVERSTIM and for all Daniel Allan stuff down the line. But I think the only thing that I can say now is just like continue making music and just trying to get better. I think that when I dropped overs stem or when, a few months after the crowd or a few weeks after the crowd-fund happened, I was like, man, like I know I can make better music cuz they’re like artists up there that I really look up to and I still have this feeling, but I’m like, oh, like I want to chase like that level of like proficiency. But I think I’m like starting to discover like a little bit of a new Sonic palette that I want to do moving forward. So for right now I’m keeping it simple. I’m gonna keep bringing value back to $OVERSTIM holders, just like I always have and in tandem just trying to make as good music as I can. I

How about you Henry? Like what are you excited about as community manager for the Overton community for Daniel Allan’s like future as a whole walk me through your thoughts and some ideas that you may have even if they may be like in the open air right now.

Henry: Yeah, sure. I think that these last couple weeks have brought a lot of really amazing new artists actually into Daniel’s discord and the amount of. Gms has skyrocketed GMs are booming but like also a lot of like very organic, interesting conversations are starting to happen in there. And it’s sort of become this place for artists who are either already in web three or in web two and trying to transition in to discuss just ideas. And, that to us, I think feels like a success cuz we’re sort of fostering this community or nurturing this community, and growing it. And, it’s really important to us for other artists to be able to not necessarily replicate this, but be able to sort of build on what we’re doing too. So I think it’s happening. I’m really excited about Malibu cuz for me, for my part it’s not only just the writing camp, but it’s getting this opportunity to use the camp as an example, to look at these other, other parts of web three. And so I’m looking forward to doing some more writing about that more reflection. Yeah. And just seeing, where the experiment goes.

Awesome. guys,

Daniel: One more, one more, one more thing that I want to bring up outside of just outside of the macro is over the course of the next week. As I’m leading up to the show, obviously it’s gonna be on Thursday the 13th, really excited for that. I am doing two more drops that are surrounding $OVERSTIM before moving on to another series of NFTs. The first one is I’m doing a foundation drop, so I’m doing the six canvases for the songs. The canvas are like the background visuals that you see on Spotify. I’m gonna drop those as visuals on foundation. Over the past three months, I have been doing a short film for over stimulated. Basically every song, think of it as like one huge music video. It’s a it’s six and a half minutes long. It’s basically condensed versions of each song. All kind of tell a story. It was directed by girl of the year. Who’s someone that she’s my creative director. I’ve worked a lot with her Lisa Morale with the really like, since we’ve met and that’s gonna be dropping on Glass Protocol whether it’s gonna be this week or next, those are kind of the two projects surrounding $OVERSTIM that I forgot to mention that I would feel remiss if I didn’t, that are coming up.

Outro

I’m excited. I’ll be taking a look and checking it out and keeping my eyes on the pulse with everything related to you guys. Congratulations on everything. Congratulations on these last few months from October till now and seeing it come to fruition, I can only imagine how good that feels and how excited you must be. So props to you guys. I hope you take a moment to celebrate and enjoy, but for now, before I let you guys go, where can we find you show yourselves? Show destinations. Let it go. Go ahead, Henry. We can start with you.

Henry: Yeah, pretty active on Twitter. It’s just my full name, Henry Chatfield. Also in Daniel’s discord and a variety of other discords, so you’ll probably see me around, but Twitter’s the best place to connect and follow.

Daniel?

Daniel: Gotta hit up to Daniel Allan discord. That’s where everything lives outside of that, I’m @imdaniel on Twitter and @danielonmusic on Instagram.

Guys. Thank you. And hope to have you guys again soon.

Daniel: Awesome. Thank you so much for having us, Adam. Thanks

Categories
Podcast Transcript

Gary Vee on 2022 Web3 Trends: Music NFTs, Social Tokens & DAOs

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 6 welcomes serial entrepreneur and social media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk, who’s the founder of VaynerMedia, VaynerX, VeeFriends FlyFish and so much more. It was a pleasure hearing his POV on the evolving landscape of web3 and all that it brings. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:39 – Current state of NFTs in 2022
  • 06:14 – Will record labels evolve into hedge funds?
  • 11:34 – Why buy music NFTs?
  • 17:10 – Creator coins vs NFTs?
  • 22:31 – Forming a DAO to buy the Jets
  • 24:41 – Similarities between building an MVP and an MVC
  • 30:06 – Trends in 2022 and beyond
  • 31:32 – Game: Bullish or Bearish?

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


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!


Gary. Welcome to Mint, my friend. How you doing? How you feeling?

Great, Adam. Thank you for having me on.

Current State of NFTs in 2022

Of course. Thank you for being on my let’s dive right in. Okay. I want to talk to you about the current state of NFTs right now. Okay. You’ve obviously been a very big proponent, very vocal on this stuff. What is the current state of NFTs?

I would say the current state is incredible innovation on how humans interact, communities are built kind of the same reason sports teams work, bands work, financial interest, but I also think a ton of bad behavior where people are really incredibly navigating through greed and short term economics. And I think that’s a formula for a lot of projects to fail and it’s gonna be a game with hits and misses.

Okay. But with every exciting thing, there’s always like the bad actors. There’s always the greed, I guess. What is like a more of like the optimistic outlook you think for 2022 that we’re approaching?

Well actually I actually think what I said is incredibly optimistic. I think to your point, the internet was insane. In 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, when everybody first heard about it. And a lot of people weren’t even bad actors. They weren’t scams. Their companies were just valued too much because people didn’t anticipate the timing that it would take for everyone to catch on. So I think that my statement there isn’t to create negativity it’s to create caution because I think so many people are gonna buy a $7,000 snail with a party hat. So I view it as, NFTs are like stuffed animals, but there’s gonna be beanie babies in there, there’s gonna be, cabbage patch kids. There’s gonna be things that go up and things that go down. And I just want people to be thoughtful. That’s just on the collecting and the art part. Nfts overall when they become smart contracts for ticketing, access, leases, contracts between people I think are gonna be pretty powerful and I’m really excited about the evolution over next decade.

Love to hear it. Okay. I wanna dive into music. Season four of Mint the whole theme is around music. Okay. I’ve seen videos on you online talking with different artists in your office on how they should be thinking about their NFT music strategy and whatnot. How should musical artists be thinking about NFTs? Right. And I want you to take this from the point of view of independent artists and also artists who have record deals, for example, because the current state, from what we’re seeing, we’re seeing a lot of independent artists see a lot of success from crowdfunding through NFTs, through social tokens, et cetera, how should they be looking at it? You think?

Independents should be looking at it as a financial opportunity versus taking an upfront check from a record label. If they think that they can be great at continued sustained marketing. And so the economics 50 50 deals or 20 80 deals with a label. Is that better than selling a piece of your royalties in perpetuity to your fan base is a really fun and fascinating question. And most people will today won’t put in the work or build the team around them to successfully launch a $500,000 $1 million NFT launch where the artist keeps 80% of the equity and the fans get 20% of the royalties on this first project. And as pennies come in for the Spotify’s and the Apples forever, it gets distributed, but there will be a couple and somebody will be that person that comes along and is the Chance the Rapper, is the Russ, is that person that what chance and Russ did as independents, is much harder than today, than if both of them were 18 coming up the game and knew everything they could do on the blockchain, they would quote unquote, pull it off. And the reason a lot of those artists that stayed independent then signed deals is that short-term influx of a million, 5 million is so hard. I mean, you know, I’m gonna negotiate a new book deal right now, and I could go on chain. I might, I probably will. But Harper Collins, especially cuz we’ve done five books together is gonna have a chance to buy me out from doing the work. But I think a lot of independent artists, 2, 4, 7 years from the filming of this will opt to do a project that represent a piece of the action versus taking up front check because they’ll take all that money and their manager or their homies will become the marketing engine and try to do the things that the record label does to create sustained demand and in a world of SoundCloud and a world of TikTok and everything in the future, that’s gonna come out. That looks like it. I think it’s gonna be viable to the most entrepreneurial and operational music artists, not to the people that are just an artist that don’t even want to deal with it. Those people are gonna continue to sign record deals. And I think it’s a game of both. It is not like these are gonna kill the record industry. It’s just gonna evolve it. Yeah.

Will Record Labels evolve into hedge funds?

So you just mentioned a bunch of stuff that actually I have follow on questions too. Okay. But for starters, what do you think the relationship between like record labels and music artists looks like now with the introduction of NFTs, all these tokenized assets and whatnot. And I only ask you this because back in season three, I had this guest on her name was Latasha super talented artist. It was an amazing story. We basically had this hot take music labels are gonna become like creative hedge funds. Meaning a lot of these, artists are gonna start tokenizing themselves. They’re gonna have different forms of assets on chain, from social tokens to NFTs, to music NFTs, to fandom, to all these different things. And that these record labels might actually evolve into hedge funds. Do you see that kind of coming to fruition? Do you have a different take on that?

I feel like they’re kind of that now, but the collateral is the music royalties and this is just becoming another version of another tool in that toolbox. So I mean, I would argue that that’s what they are today. They’re a bank making bet. 8 out of 10 artists, 9 out of 10, 99 out of a 100, the music people are listening, know this better than I do could be 999 out of a thousand really don’t hit. And if you get an Adelle or Eminem it probably pays for it all. And by the way, no different than hedge funds and venture capital firms. And so, yeah, I think that’s happening now. I think the bigger question is an NFT project can now generate a million or 2 million in an hour if you do it well. Yeah. Will that lead to the fans, getting the royalties versus a record label? Because of the technology of the blockchain is the most interesting conversation in music.

So walk me through that more. So for those who don’t understand.

If you’re Nirvana and you haven’t signed a deal yet, and it’s 1990 and you’re on the come up, 88, 89, Nirvana fans will know this better. I’m just guessing the time range. Instead of signing a deal, you put out an NFT project cuz now it’s 2025 and everybody knows how this all works. And you put out a bunch of tokens with different art, maybe your album cover with different variations. And you say that, this token represents a slither of the royalties. We have, you know, we have a thousand units and you know, it’s going to add up to 20% of our royalties. So 0.2, whatever the math is there and that’s it. And fans can now buy 5, 6, 7 and then as the economics come from the distribution partners of today, you are as a fan getting royalties on the music. I mean, musicians that really hit make a lot of money on royalties in whatever deal or good or bad or in different deal they have. And that is very good for the artist because an artist on a good day will get 50% of the deal with the record label. Sometimes 20%, they also have to pay back the label for every expense. So when the album, when the record gets promoted, they spend a hundred thousand dollars on a billboard. That’s really, the artist is paying that right. Cause they have to pay that back before it’s profitable. I think if you have 10,000 fans who have financial interest in you being successful, we’ve already seen fans of music forever wanna pump their up and coming artist until they hit big and then they get mad.

Because they have gone mainstream.

Now instead of getting mad when Dave Matthews or Nirvana or whoever Lady Gaga exploded, now you’re gonna have people that are thrilled because they’re gonna money. Like, could you Ima like this is gonna change the relationship graph between artists and fans, fans who now were really good at picking up and coming artists almost like a and R, they’re gonna now be able to potentially over the next decade as that’s matured, be part of the action. Imagine you’re living, I know a bunch of people who are passionate about music are gonna hear this and be like, oh, this is exciting. Imagine what you do for a living is try to find up and coming artists and buy their NFTs to get a piece of the royalties. And that you’re good enough at it that the Billy Eilish or the Weekend or the, Roddy rich or whoever you find hits enough that your little sliver cuz you bought seven tokens is strong enough to make it a go.

So that’s the thing. So we’re already seeing like friends aping together creating these multi signature wallets, contributing Eth buying assets of artists that they love and adore that are up and coming on platforms like catalog on sound on mint songs, on Valero, et cetera. Are you buying any yourself? Have you bought any music NFTs?

I have not.

You have any interest to in the future, do you see yourself?

In a substantial way.

Why Buy Music NFTs?

What are you looking for? Like what would you look for?

I have a huge secret weapon. I’ve Mike Boyd. I’ve a unlimited videos on the internet of me sitting down with artists that we thought were gonna be hitting and successful and whether that’s Gunna or whoever, it might be like Tiara whack or you know, Little Key like T Grizzle. Like these are people that I would love to buy. They, you know, Saweetie was in my office doing a podcast when she just got out of doing car wrap videos, you know, if I go and buy 35 of her NFT projects, which represented 0.35% of her royalties, I believed in her, I believe her swag, her hustle, her creativity. I would’ve done really well.

Yeah. Makes sense. I want to talk more about these independent artists because a lot of them are getting much favorability from the Ethereum community. How do you go by building a well oiled machine? Like how can you build a system where the creative, the artist can focus on creating what they do best. And I guess not spend too much time on the day to day labor of community building. And that could be actually taken in a different way. Right? So should the two even be treated separately, right? Because we’re seeing a lot of creatives, like they get the creating part, they understand the producing of music, they get all that stuff. And then when it comes to opening the discord, when it comes so opening the telegram, when it comes to creating consistent content, keeping the narrative alive with their collectors, how do you actually go by doing that? I feel like it’s one of the biggest challenges, plaguing, a lot of these artists from jumping deeper into web three,

They give 3% of the action to the Adam or Gary in their life. These artists have given up 10, 20, 30, 80% of their economics for the last hundred years. They’re gonna build new partnerships. The modern day Scooter Braun these people that came, coach K, these they’re gonna evolve these managers into different business kind of partners. I can take three of my good people right now and start a record label that do all of what you just said better than anybody on earth and dominate.

I’m down.

I think that’s, what’s gonna happen, Adam. I think the role of the manager, the role of the record label, the role of the agent promoter, it’s gonna get convoluted into some new transformed version where the guys and girls that we look up to that have crushed management and representation and distribution will now have to tweak into a new form. The best manager or record label in 1967, went into radio stations and strong armed the guys and girls to play your record. Then it was who could get you on TRL. Then it was like, who understands Spotify algorithm? Like it’s always evolving who brings the most value.

Yea. I kind of see the relationship and this goes back to my other question about like the role between record labels and artists, right? As more and more artists, they tokenize themselves on chain, these record labels will be buying these assets rather than owning the person. Right. They’ll be co-owning pieces of their work. And their role will kind of shift to community managers right. Of managing all these collectors and being in the discords being in the telegrams, being in these communities, setting up IRL events and URL events and whatnot, and seeing that kind of model like evolve as this demand for fan to artist relationship kind of grows. So I kind of see that taking shape and I echo that you kind of feel the same way. I want to jump into social token.

Community management is the slang term you’ve decided to use for it. I would just call it a modern, contemporary marketing executive. Whether it’s discord or making original content on TikTok or knowing how to run Spotify ads. Back to what I do for a living and what Vayner media does for a living. It is a lot more nuanced that has six to 17 things. I think a lot of people think it’s a spoon and I think it’s a Swiss army knife. It’s not just TikTok or discord community management content for TikTok versus Instagram versus YouTube shorts. It’s also running ads to amplify underpriced art. It’s also audio it’s copy it’s influencer marketing arbitrage. It’s community replying in Twitter. It’s meme creation. It’s a lot.

Yeah. It’s, it’s an entire new beast. I’m excited to kind of see it unfold even more over the next few years.

Few years. I agree there was beasts, she and he in 1967 that were just as good at radio and television and doing a print ad and doing an outdoor ad. And that was a 360 marketer in 1967. You were a unicorn, if you could do what I just said, and I’m sure there were plenty of people here on Madison avenue that could, I think one of the things that has been the tell tale of my career is that I can do them all. I can have a podcast. I can win on TikTok. I can have a website, an email letter, a text messaging platform, an NFT project. And I think for the artists that are gonna say, I’m not gonna work with a label, they’re gonna need somebody that’s at least good at two out of seven of those things, three outta seven, four outta seven. Otherwise they’re gonna be better off taking the upfront bag from the label.

Creator Coins vs NFTs?

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. I wanna pivot into social tokens and creator coins, something that was the impetus of starting Mint from the get go about five, six months ago. I wanted to ask you, why don’t you think creator coins have had their spotlight yet, like NFTs, right? Like in 2020 we saw excitement around platforms like big cloud creating human stock markets. We saw platforms like coinvise, pump out thousands of social token projects and community coins in 2021.

I don’t think they feel as good. I went down the rabbit hole in 17 or 18, right. And really thought about V coin and this and that. And it just feels too much like a financial transaction where an NFT has a different element of collectability community. It just feels different. I’ll give you a good example. Why do people take photos with Rolexes and Berka bags on a yacht in a private plane driving a Lambo, but ever post their bank account.

Do you know how many DMS I get of like random people showing their stock market portfolio.

I think you’ll agree with me that, of course there’s people holding cash people hard cash. You’re actually right. I agree. I think they do more on DM. We see it far less in the main social post, because there’s a level of douchery that you cannot avoid, if you’re gonna go directly to, I got 7 million in my bank account. Mm. But I have this apartment in Malibu on the border, different. It alludes to it. It’s one thing to say, I have $480,000. It’s another thing to say. I have a board yacht club. Yeah. And so I think the reason you’ve seen NFTs go, and this was my thesis is because they’re more how humans actually act. Currencies are very, very one dimension and hard to build back up when dead. Nfts are gonna be like brands, an NFT project can have a big 2011. Let’s pick one. I like a lot. Cool cats, great kids. I hope they dominate. Hope it becomes Disney, but let’s say it doesn’t, it’s had a great year. So you know what that means, Adam. It means if that project doesn’t win over the next decade in 11 years, I can buy that brand, buy up a bunch of the tokens and refurbish it the way the champion went from a private label, sweatpants brand for a 50 year old to the hottest streetwear brand for two years. Right. The way that LA cost was hot in the eighties, dead in nineties and two thousands. And a moment again, the way that Reebok now under the Salters may get rebooted. Like we’ve seen brands go from hot starter jackets up, down, right. That’s what an NFT can do, that a social token will have a much harder time doing.

So then what, what’s the incentive of? Let’s say someone like Board A yacht club the apes as like membership passes into the club and then sharing this grandiose roadmap of a governance token coming into play. Why do you think that’s critical? Do you think it’s a mistake?

I don’t know, because I haven’t really allowed myself yet to be thoughtful enough of tokenization to give you a great answer right now.

Which I think is the beauty of this space too. Right. We’re seeing stuff unfold in real time.

And also I do well when I observe and then communicate quickly, because then I have conviction and I have, I don’t wanna be on your show, have people watch. And then whatever I say right now, if I guess, be wrong, that hurts me. I’m very proud of every, like, I want everybody to watch every video receipt of me for the last 15 years. I think that’s my strength instead of a weakness. I don’t have a good sense yet as an entrepreneur and a businessman of what governance tokens, how they play out. I see the axis stuff. I see it. I see it. It’s all coming. Yeah. It’s all coming. It’s something that I know for sure. I will have a moment probably this year, since it’s mid, late, maybe early 23, that I’ll probably have to ask my question of, am I gonna do anything like that with VeeFriends? Because VeeFriends is forever for me. I’m excited that Board API Yacht club is doing that. I think I heard Cool Cats might do it too. Like, I’m not sure who’s doing it, but I’m gonna be watching all of them to learn and react. My belief is that it’s not super hard to make the tokens, have one set of governance and to have the NFT do a different. But I do think that projects have to be very thoughtful to make sure that the only reason….. They have to make big, big, honest conversations with themselves around. Are we issuing this strictly because it’s good for us financially? Or do we think this is gonna work out long term?

Forming A DAO to buy the jets

Yeah. Makes sense. Let’s talk about DAOs for a minute. Okay. You’ve always wanted to buy the jets. You always talk about it. It’s your lifelong goal. So what do you say? Let’s form a DAO to buy the jets. All different holders will be whitelisted. It’ll be a community owned first community owned NFL team. Right? It’ll be the destination for crypto and football lovers. What do you think let’s do it?

I think first of all, I think it will happen. I mean, I’ve already done it with a soccer team and I wrote a small check cause I wanna watch it and I wanna learn. Yeah. I think the thing that’s really interesting with me is that, I’ve been clearing this up for the last six years. Cause I want people to really know cuz it might help them. My passion is trying to buy the jets more than actually buying them. So I it’s run through my mind. I’ll keep watching the space. I also know that it’d be highly unlikely that the NFL owners would want that to be the case as my intuition, I could be wrong, but my great love affair is the process much more than the destination. My goal is to buy is to try to buy the jets more than to buy the jets. And I’m still young. I’m 46 years old. I wanna keep building blocks. And so I’m not in a quote unquote rush and I still have a lot of value I need to bring to the world, if I was to then go any kind of route that looked like that. And so it’s not on my radar.

Well, when it does come on your radar, I hope you decide to form a DAO and include all of us to buy it collectively.

You know this, your educated. I think it’s really fun to watch the DAOs. There’s a lot of things on earth that are amazing ideologies and then go against the human spirit. So one thing that I’m excited to see how DAOs play out is like, it’s great to think about these things, but like we’ve seen a ton of DAOs really struggle with human behavior. So there’s gonna be continued innovation. And I think the DAOs of 2025 are gonna be a hell of a lot more thoughtful and sharper than the DAOs of 2021.

Yeah. I think the current state of DAOs is a lot of people want to create DAOs but a lot of people like don’t want to contribute to them as much. I think a lot of people want to create governance processes, but a lot of people don’t want to contribute to those government processes.

People don’t even vote.

Similarities between building an MVP and an MVC

A lot of people don’t even vote. You end up seeing that the largest shareholders, like the funds end up controlling the direction of the protocol and you see them voting publicly on Snapshot or their own governance forms or whatnot. So in theory, I think, yes, there’s a lot of opportunity. I’ve started DAOs I’ve contributed to DAOs. I love the concept of DAOs. I love seeing artists issue assets of themselves like music artists, whether it be in the form of an, an NFT, a social token, whatever it may be. And then all these collectors coming together, collectively building this artist. So I think there’s different use cases that come into play that make it notable and worth exploring. I think like you said, these ideologies can kind of like stifle people and blur vision. All right. Let’s talk about minimum viable communities. This is something that I introduced on the podcast in like October 2021. And this concept of an MVC, how do you think about the differences and the SIM similarities between building an MVP and an MVC? What comes to mind?

What comes to mind is they work because you’re crawling before you run. Like I’m sitting with kids that have never built anything in their life and their opening line is like Gary, I’m building Hello Kitty. I’m like, brother, you haven’t even launched anything in your life. You have never run anything. And I’m all about it. I’m all about it. I’m like sister, you got this, I’m cheering for you. I’ll help you. Who can I help you with? But like I love MV whatever, because it creates a framework for people to be more thoughtful, patient. There are so many people doing everything right now for a cash grab, short term. I’m so excited how this is gonna play out for me because I know I’m doing this for the rest of my life. And I think 99.9999999% of the people are not. And for me, that gives me great comfort because I think historically that will play out well, for me. I’m concerned about the people that buy these NFTs because I think so many will fail for the reason that we’re talking about. But I love it. It’s how I started my career. Do you know many people in the first three years of wine lottery TV, there were 700 people that adored me three years, by the way, then I had to restart because I decided I wanted to do content about my actual life. Not just my wine. So I almost had to restart because all my wine people were like, don’t what are you doing? You don’t do business. You do wine. I’m like, no, I’ve been doing business the whole time.

But that’s the thing. How do you find those 700 people? Like the minimum viable people.

They find you. It’s all content. You don’t find them. They find you through content. It’s very easy right now for NFT projects, go put out thoughtful content on Twitter, put hashtag NFT link to your discord in your profile and let people come. 1, 2 17 or 190 at a time based on the quality of the concept you put out. The number one issue and this is why I push it like a fucker. Everybody is so uncomfortably impatient to build something meaningful, that all the comments, all the questions, all the strategies are grounded in instant success, which is why they’ll all fail from 2007 to 2011. I spent more than five hours a day on Twitter, replying to people about wine questions. Every day. Right? It’s documented. If I pull up my Twitter right now, right? Let me just pull it up. I have, how do you find this? Where did they put these now? I’m looking for how many tweets I’ve put out. Where do they put that?

I feel like it should be on the top of your profile.

I thought so too, but I don’t

I’m guessing like a million to million, something like that.

I don’t it’s that high.

Cause like as you’re finding that. Okay. So those first 700 people. Okay. When a creator, when an independent artist, when someone entering the space, tries to build that initial pulse around their vision, around their ideologies. Your take is to push out content, add these hashtags and like tap into these like discovery mechanisms that allow you to kind of find these people that resonate with what you’re trying to do. Is that how you’re approaching it. Right. So like, let’s say for like independent artists, okay. They want to issue music NFTs. They want to find collectors. How do they build like an MVC? How do they actually go by doing that?

They spend six months learning about NFTs and live on discord and Twitter. Or again, like I said earlier, have their homey right-hand manager, 2.0, do it. Cause there is no other way to do it. Yeah. Because the NFT community that knows how to buy an NFT today is too small, too tech savvy, too different. And they have incredible cynicism to anybody who’s not native. They don’t like famous people they can smell right. They can smell and so every authentic small community can always smell. And right now NFT buyers are too small.

Trends in 2022 and beyond

I know we’re running outta time. Okay. Let’s let’s wrap this up with a couple more questions. Okay. Really quick, biggest trends you’ve observed in 2021 that you see will set the tone for 2022 fired off

I’m sorry to say this, but it’s important to me. Greed is taking over. Something that in the macro is revolutionary. NFTs are here to stay for the rest of our lives. But 99% of the projects that are out right now will not be good investments. It’s a huge trend. It’s important for everybody listening here. I got everybody here the flip side. Yeah. When internet stocks crashed in 2000, Amazon and eBay were sitting there for dollars. And if you put in a thousand, it would’ve changed your life forever.

I think it’s a mic drop. So look for the dollars, follow the quality.

Whether it’s sport eight, whether it’s VeeFriends, whether it’s Creatures, World of Women, Doodles, Board API club, and friends, seven to 12 of these are gonna hit in the eighties. All these afterschool television shows, cartoons, Heman, Rainbow, bright care bears. Transformers. A lot of them hit many more, never made it on the air and many more made it on the air and didn’t hit. That’s what’s happening right now.

Game: Bullish or Bearish?

Final series real quick. I wanna introduce something first time on Mint. Okay. Called bullish or bearish. All right. I’m gonna fire some things at you. So, and you’re gonna tell me whether you’re bullish or bearish on them. Okay. Social tokens, bullish or bearish.

Social as in like around people?

Like the currencies, like creator coins, community coins, et cetera.

Neutral. Tell you why. In theory, I like it. Most of the behavior around it right now. Short term cash grab.

Okay. Music NFTs bullish or bearish bullish.

Bullish.

Punks, flipping apes, bullish or bearish?

In perpetuity.

Yeah.

Bullish.

Were you surprised when that happened? When apes whipped punks?

I mean, BAYC has got so much momentum kudos to that team. Ga Siri, the original founders. Sometimes runaway trains are runaway trains. Their challenge, like for anything that gets that ultra hot is Nike just steams along. And you have moments of, you know, the kits, the Supremes that right. And so like what their challenge will be is sustaining the ultra-ness in those very hot things. And by the way, I’m cheering for them. I hope they do it. It’s hard. It’s like any supernova, right? Like a superstar, that lady Gaga is a legend, but like, it’s not what it was when she was on television, every second coming out of it. Right. Yeah. It’s like those moments that’s hard. And I think they’ve got the talent to do it. I mean, you look at Gao Siri, he’s managed Madonna. One of the few people that has been able to consistently do so like a really fun to watch, but it’s gonna be hard.

V friends, flipping apes and punks bullish or bearish.

Bullish. I think I’m gonna build the number one project in the space. If you give me the rest of my life, but much like trying to buy the jets, I just want try to do that. Like 78 year old, me seeing the larva guys or seeing the board eight and them being five, 10 X to me, I go up there with handshake and like real love, like, man, you guys really like, I’m really proud of what I did, but you like, I love giving roses to people that outperform me in my business. When I met the Sam’s wine club, people Sam’s in Chicago, big wine store. When I met Bob Offman may he rest in peace when they were a much bigger store than wine library and doing it better. I couldn’t wait to run up to him at the wine spectator and be like, you guys are doing like, even though every day of my life, I’m trying to do it better. I love when people outperform me because it’s based on merit. But do I believe that VeeFriends will be number one? I do, because I think, I think I’m more Walt Disney and Vince McMan and I’ve talked about who’s two and I think I’m that and I’m going to do it.

Last two DAOs bullish or bearish.

Very bullish.

Very bullish. Okay. The US operating like a version of a DAO, where every citizens vote is captured on chain during political elections, bullish or bearish?

Bearish.

Really? Okay. Yeah.

I think there’s gonna be too much defense in Washington for that.

Gary, this was fun, man. Thank you so much for your time. I hope to have you on again soon.

Happy holidays. See ya.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

What is a Community Contribution Opportunity (CCO)?

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 5 welcomes Spencer Graham, who is a core contributor at DAOhaus, where he helps with product development, internal operations, communications, and tokenomics. He’s been contributing full-time to DAOs since 2020, and introduces a solid foundation around product development in web3.

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:43 Intro
  • 07:15 $HAUS and DAOhaus
  • 16:03 CCOs: Community Contribution Opportunity
  • 21:48 CCOs vs ICOs
  • 30:42 What are the cons of CCOs?
  • 45:16 Outro

…and so much more.

Show notes


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

Spencer, welcome to Mint. How are you doing my friend? Thanks for being

On. I am doing very well. Thanks for having me, Adam. It’s exciting to be here.

I know season four, Big Bang came out on Twitter a little bit ago. I’m excited to cover kind of what happening at DAO house, you as a product builder in web three and this new CCO, funding vehicle that you guys are kind of like constructing internally that we’ll talk a little bit about more later, but before we go into all that, let’s start with the basics. Who are you, what does a world need to know about you, but more specifically, what were you doing before crypto?

Yeah, I think that’s a good place to start. So, well, I’m, I’m Spencer. I for, for a long time have been, you know, quite interested in, in technology and in economics and in, in psychology, that’s kind of where from like an educational background on that’s where, you know, what, what I focused on kind of centers. And that took me into in a few different places, in a few different directions. But ultimately into, into product management you know, working on building products, understanding what users need, understanding the industry and the dynamics of, of what’s going on around in, in the broader space. That sort of thing. But also on the side, I was just interested in, in technology and had been you know, learning about a little bit and aware of Bitcoin and Ethereum et cetera for maybe, maybe a couple years. And I kind of been growing in, in interest, especially in, in Ethereum. But it was really in my job as a product manager at a healthcare company where I started to really like internalize the power and the opportunity and the interestingness of, of crypto and Ethereum at the time. And that was, that was really brought on or like kind of forced to me by starting to really understand the structure of at least in the us, the healthcare industry and how all of that stuff works or more accurately doesn’t work because all of the incentives are so, so utterly backwards. And they’re so utterly backwards because all of the, the data that gets generated about an individual person about you, the patient is not owned or controlled by you. Instead it’s owned and controlled by all of these  disparate organ that sort of are fighting tooth and nail to maintain like their silo of that really valuable information. And that got it. There’s many other reasons, but that’s a key one that the healthcare industry doesn’t work. And I started to see how a like shared distributed database where that stuff could be more accessible to everybody else, but still maintain the proper incentives to make everything work would be super powerful. And that’s really what kind of took me way, way down the rabbit hole and several steps in between, but now I’m here today.

Now, here we are. So you mentioned building stuff that people need. Okay. So for starters, what’s it like being a product person in web three and what do people need in crypto? It’s a very vague question but intentionally right. Intentionally and intended to be vague from your point of view, what does that look like?

Yeah. I’ll get to the second question. Maybe second, because I think that’s a much, much harder one. The first one is also hard in the sense of what is it like to be a product person in web three? In one sense it’s actually not very different from being a product person in web two. In the sense that a lot of product people are used to leading, not by like dictation or not by kind of their own power, but by more by influence, they kind of sit in the middle of a lot of different work streams and a lot of different people and functions and different skills. And they are sort of tasked with leading group and providing a vision for that distributed set of people, doing lots of different things and kind of getting buy-in from all those different people.So in that sense, there is actually a lot of similarities, like where in a web three product setting or in a DAO setting. If you’re building stuff with other people, you, you don’t have power over them, you really only have influence. And that influence comes from being incredibly knowledgeable and having like both good understanding and also good intuition about how things work and being like willing to iterate and experiment alongside the people that you’re working with. So that’s that part, actually really quite similar. And I think a lot of product people are probably pretty well equipped to, to make the, the, the jump from web two to web three for that reason where there is a big difference is the vision part, like a lot of product people are kind of used to they’re the ones setting the setting, the vision and articulating everything. And that can maybe kind of work in web three, but it’s more about helping the people that you’re working with, helping the DAO or helping your project, helping with all the other contributors that you’re working with. Kind of collectively arrive at the collective vision, not kind of dictating what your vision is and making that like instilling that into the product or the team, but rather facilitating and drawing that out of the community and, and yourself and, and the other contributors.

Got it. Got it. So when you kind of were starting to build products in, in crypto, what was the first product you kind of worked on?

The very first product I worked on was something sort of, kind of maybe still working on today a little bit of a hiatus, but it was a hack-a-thon project at east Denver 2020 that I did with a, with a few other folks. And that was called save eye. And the basic idea was combining, essentially creating a liquid form of a trust-less liquid form of an FDIC insured savings account. So combining the interest bearing qualities

$HAUS and DAOhaus

Of something like CDI dye deposited into compound and earning interest with tokenized defi style insurance on compound and die. So if something happened like a hack on compound or some economic or financial issue with die, then you’d essentially get the, the value of what you held back and putting like basically combining that into a single asset that you could trade around and transfer or whatever. Got it. Got it. So how did that transition into you kind of working alongside DAOhaus and what is DAOhaus like? What, what does a world need to know about is just for some context really quick

So we’ve gone through a lot of iterations on how to describe DAO house, but I think the one that stuck for me has been that DAO house is the home for purpose driven community DAOs. And that can mean a lot of different things, but at its core DAO house is a platform, a no code, just user oriented platform to form DAO. So launch them or deploy them, or as we call them as we call it summon DAOs and then also to participate in and use DAOs to accomplish the goals that you and your community have and got it. When we say purpose driven communities, we mean DAOs that are focused on like lifting up the individual people within those communities as a collective, rather than what some others DAOs dos, which is also very powerful, powerful, which is putting a priority on the, on the protocol or the DAO itself rather than the individual people.

Got it. So what are the types of DAOs building and you using DAOhaus today?

Name of, yeah, so some of the original ones are DAOs like raid Guild, which is sort like web three design dev services DAO. The original is meta cartel. So kind of web three Ethereum grants DAO another one is, is ourselves DAO house. There’s a number of different iterations of it or, or flavors of it, but kinda a  DAO created to build a DAO platform. Others include me Gama Delta which is sort of a DAO that, that exists to support women and what they want to do in the space and kind of advance their goals and bring more women into the space. There’s also kind of in a very different sense. There’s a DAO that is XDI called, or I guess now called no chain called ion do, which is oriented around allowing people to pool their resources and collectively stake into different protocols. So they’re a go, they’re currently have been staking as an XDI validator and are gonna be trans into doing so as A SIS chain validator as well. So the got it runs a wide gamut or there’s a wide range of things, but they’re all kind of tied together or similar in the sense that they are focused on the community. That’s that makes up the DAO.

Got it. What are the biggest challenges right now facing you as a product person and trying to empower these DAO communities? Like what, what does that look like? How do you kind of, I guess not really discover them, but how do you build for their problems? Because DAOs are very, very early, right? I like, there’s been a lot of hype about them in 2021. Yeah, but still we’ve yet to see more mainstream organizations and DAOs, and, and voting kind of take control of like, not just the early adoption curve per se. Right. So when you’re trying to build products for DAOs, what does that look like in your sphere? What are the biggest problems facing DAOs right now that need better product and tooling. And walk me a little bit about, a little bit through that.

Yeah. I think the, one of our big challenges is the tension between focusing, focusing on building a platform that allows other developers or other people to build specific tools for DAOs and trying to, or starting to build some of those tools ourselves. Kind of when, when we started, when we, when DAO house started, there was not really this huge, awesome, or like growing infrastructure space for like DAO tooling that didn’t exist. So we were kind of thinking like, how can we do a lot of this stuff ourselves? And we had already started to thinking about this, this concept of boosts, or like plugins or add-ons for DAOs, where they could add, like pull in this boost from over here and add functionality to what they need to do as a DAO and pull in this other thing from over here. But we were thinking about it largely from the perspective of maybe we’ll build, we can build these things and then people can, can use them selectively as they like, but more and more as we have seen so many awesome DAO tools starting to be developed, and for like some developers, just focusing on a single small slice of, of what DAOs need to do much in the same way that like lots of different companies in the web two space are focused on a single small slice of what of what companies or corporations need to do. And that’s essentially the entire SAS marketplace is that we’ve been transitioning more towards creating a, like focusing on a platform, almost building like an operating system that other developers can build on top of and really focus in on go deep on the individual, like very specific narrowly defined problem spaces that DAOs are facing. There are a ton of those. So it’s very difficult for us to be thinking about it. Doesn’t make sense. I think for us as DAO house to try to build, build for those or solve all those problems, right. Makes much more sense for us to facilitate others to do so in a way that helps DAOs and provides a cohesive experience.

Now, are these tools that help start a DAO, are these tools that help scale a DAO are these tools that help with participation? What are some of like the biggest problems tools are trying to solve right now? That would be a good fit, for example, like DAO

Sorry, are you asking what is DAO house good fit for, or the other way around, like,

Rather, rather we’re talking about the ecosystem of tools, right. And you’re talking about the granularity of tools being built for organizations, some smaller than others, some larger than others. Okay. These tools that are being built right now, they’re obviously contract like you guys are trying to build it in a way where it’s composable enough, so developers can kind of build for these communities. Right. What are the biggest problems facing these communities right now that you’re seeing that tool providers and tool builders are trying to solve?

A big one. Is there, well, the, the three things you described forming, participating and scaling are definitely all very big, like there’s problems everywhere. As you mentioned, we’re still very early and everybody’s trying to figure everything out, a big one that I’ve started to see people thinking a lot about is compensation and kinda incentivization. So maybe that’s kind of a form of, of scaling in a sense where maybe instead of scaling in terms of size it’s, it’s scaling in terms of impact or, or power given a, a constant or a slowly growing size where DAOs are moving from, or are, try, are trying to move from kind of like a, a, a collection of people that have come together to do something and are kind of internally motivated to work on that thing, to like powering up and expanding their capacities to like, bring in people and, and allow people to spend even more time doing that because they’re getting paid in a consistent, potentially consistent way in, or in a way that’s sustainable for them. And I think a lot of DAOs are, are grappling with that. And there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of like treasury management stuff embedded in there. Like, can you pay people just with your, just with the token that your DAO is using or is, might be defined by, right. So it all kind of gets tangled together. So I, in one sense it could be very challenging to host things, but I think that’s, that’s really the strength of, of web three and, and the way that all of this technology and, and ethos work. So I think we’re all of us in the DAO space. I think we’re on the right path. It’ll take a lot of work, but yeah, but slowly but surely we’ll get there.

CCOs: Community Contribution Opportunity

Yeah. It makes a lot of sense. I want to transition into, because we’re already speaking with about like tooling. We’re speaking about payments. We’re speaking about like more money related stuff. I wanna transition into this concept that you guys are tinkering with. And I don’t know if it’s public yet. Maybe this is the first time we are actually talking about it publicly, but this concept of CCOs and you coin it community contribution opportunity. Okay. Give me me a quick, deep dive. What is a CCO? Why is it important? And what are you guys trying to achieve, excuse me by issuing this new, I guess fundraising vehicle.

Yeah. so we’re, we are pretty, pretty, very excited about, about CCOs C so this is probably one of the first formal ways that, that we’re talking about it. We are gonna have a, an article coming up very shortly, maybe this week, maybe early next week, that goes into a lot more a lot more detail about how the process works and why we think it’s important and, and how to get started, et cetera, et cetera. So we’ll try to try to get you a link if, if the timing works out. But we also used we used this or something very, very similar to this mechanism about a year or maybe 15 or so months ago to kind of kickstart our, our own, our own work in a more serious way that had been previously possible. And I think that gives a fairly good lens in, into, you know, what this is and, and why it’s important, and basically what we’re trying to do. And what we were able to do was as a decentralized community of, of builders and people who cared about building infrastructure sure. And tooling for DAOs. We were able to, as a decentralized community form, and, you know, have other people contribute capital and join us a as part of the community and, and then use that capital to pay for expenses and to pay essentially pay people for the time and the work that they were putting in to, to helping us build this thing in, in a fully trust, minimized, decentralized way where we didn’t have to have where basically the people that are contributing their capital never had to give up custody of their capital until that capital was going to be spent on the thing that they had contributed the capital in order to, in order to do. And, and that’s really at the, a crux of a, of what a CCO is. And I can describe in whatever level of detail is helpful, how that works and, and why that’s possible.

In, so let’s simplify that for a minute. Okay. Because I think for more of the inner crypto native crowd, that ma what that would make sense. Okay. Let’s talk about more of like the outside non MOOC, non MOOC, I mean, excuse me non con non E Denver type of audience, explain a CCO in like in eight words. Okay. Eight to eight to 12 words, how like super simplified. Right. And the only reason I try to ask that, and the only reason I ask that is because there concept of like ICOs STOs, this co that, oh, oh, all these different acronyms. Right. So I really wanna understand and differentiate it. So it’s super, super clear.

Yep. So I think it, it may not be the most direct analogy, but I think the simplest way to just, it is basically as, as Kickstarter, but with two changes where the first difference is that instead of like some socks or whatever you might get as a reward for your contribution on Kickstarter, you get tokens associated with the project you’re contributing to. So that’s difference. Number one, and difference. Number two is that when you make your contribution your contribution actually is something that happens over time and you can actually pull back if at any point you see something going, not the way you expected. So, so in a big problem with Kickstarter, for example, is that you like send in your money and then you get like sporadic updates and you can’t do anything about it. They have your money. And then maybe two years later, you get the, an email saying, oh, no, this like ended up not working and we’re gonna have to shut DAOn the whole project. Or maybe it was in a, like straight up explicit scan, or maybe it was just like something didn’t quite work. And, and things changed in a CCO, when you give your money, you can always take it back up until the point that is actually spent on the thing that you meant it to be spent on.

Got it. So, okay. Let’s let’s talk this through for a minute. Okay. So let’s say someone’s trying to raise a million to dollars. Okay. A hundred people, 120 people, whatever. A bunch of people come in, they contribute that organization sets out milestones to reach transparently and how much capital is gonna reach is gonna be needed per milestone. Is that how you’re imagining it? So everything’s laid out transparently, and if they don’t execute on those milestones, basically the money is returned, or the person has the will to self take, like take it back, right. Pull out as, as they would like on their terms at their discretion. So super low risk. Okay. Interesting. So then why don’t you think more people have done this? Like, why don’t you think, cuz I know, I know DAO experimented with this model to do the $DAO token. I think it’s like German.

It is German. We probably could say house.

CCOs vs ICOs

Why don’t you think more people have done this? And I guess it’s also part of the reason why you’re kind of like publicly sharing it, but like why do you think people have reverted more to ICOs versus an experimentative model like this? Cause it feels similar to an out ICO, but more transparent and with the ability to kind of pull out if, if you’re not happy.

Spencer Graham (21:48):

Yeah. Right. That’s another excellent, excellent analogy. I think there’s probably many reasons. One being the like foundational tools to do this are like is essentially using [inaudible] DAODAO, least as far as I know is one of the only projects that is kind of centered around providing interfaces and tools for molectyles. So not a lot of other projects kind of have the expertise and knowledge built up over how to work with molectyles like we do and then we haven’t really pushed this and like made it more possible for other people as much as we could. Another big reason though, is that there it’s just really attractive to maintain control as a founder. I think this is the same reason that we see a lot of, a lot of DAO projects maintaining a multisig that controls the treasury with just a few people on the multisig, rather than actually the entire community having power over, over what happens in the multisig direct actual, like non-custodial control. It’s just really attractive to it. It’s really hard to break out of the web two mindset. Even if you want to do something in a community way it’s really, really attractive and really difficult to, to just make a decision to give up power. That’s a fundamentally different thing that a lot of people are very not used to and it’s, it’s a very big change. And, and so I think that’s why we haven’t seen a lot of people making that choice.

So you’re right. Like as this narrative of decentralization kind of like gets stronger and stronger by the day. Okay. More, more founders, more people are building towards that ethos control is like a very underlying ethos that people take with them. I feel like to what they do, like that’s how society has been constructed. That’s how we’re raised. Like that’s what we know innately, you know, like we know growing up, like there is control in the classroom, you know, in elementary school, you know, there’s authority, there’s a leader, there’s all these things. And now to come into web three, you’re kind of trying to like re-engineer and rewire how people think, how people work in a very uncomfortable way, which I love that. But when you’re building a project, you raise money through a CCO. What’s stopping someone from actually just changing their mind and pulling out rather than just pulling out, based off, they don’t like the progress of the project. Right. So what if you get the wrong stakeholders in your CCO? Okay. And they actually fund, they help bring this thing to life and they’re like, actually wait, never mind. Okay. And they do that. Can they pull out or is there any, like, is there any like friction on the funders end as well for pulling out? Like how does that work?

So there’s a couple things. One the first in general, there’s nothing stopping them. It’s part of the design. So it’s very much the case that if you have somebody who shows up and says, Hey, I wanna contribute. And then they contribute. There’s nothing stopping them from un-contributing later. One thing that I haven’t fully talked about, I don’t think we’ve made fully clear yet is like during the, during the process of the CCO, you described it as kind of a milestone thing that is sort of one option for doing it. Another is just kind of as money as needed. And that’s really up to the like core project team that, you know, started the project and up to like mutually between them and the people who contributed capital to agree on, as how those milestones are conducted or how the capital is sort of spent over time or, what the framework for that is. But whatever that framework is, as capital is spent. So it let’s say it’s, let’s say it’s Eth that’s the capital. Everybody puts Eth into the DAO. They get, you know, their claim on that Eth that they can, they can redeem and leave with at any point. As we were saying, as Eth leaves, the DAO is spent to build the thing that everybody wants to build. It gets replaced via a process that we call transmutation basically gets transmuted into the tokens that represent the project. So if I were to contribute Eth and then like a day later, say I actually changed my mind. I can take my Eth back and it would be a hundred percent Eth but let’s say it’s two months DAOn the line and the project has proceeded. And some of that Eth has been spent. Now, if I say, if I change my mind, now what’s gonna happen is I get, let’s say 75% of my Eth back. And instead of the remaining 25%, I get a proportional amount of the project tokens. So if I don’t believe in the project anymore, then I might still make that decision and kind of take my roughly 25% haircut. But that could also, that potentially could be a reason for me not to leave at that point. And just to say, you know what, I’m gonna see this through and hope that the, the value of my tokens, increases or hope that just the societal value, the thing that I contributed to was worth it. But the truth is that there’s no, by design there’s flexibility, lots of flexibility and support for, or power given to contributors, capital contributors. Got it.

What is the legality around this?

So that’s something we are exploring. This is the case with a lot of this stuff is pretty big grey area. Our hypothesis, or maybe a good way. And I apologize is not a direct answer to this question. I don’t think I can, I don’t think I can give one. And I probably shouldn’t give one.

Which I assume, also, by the way, because like a lot of this stuff is grey area, right? Yeah. So, but go ahead, continue.

Like, I’m not a lawyer, this is definitely not like legal opinion in any way, but our hypothesis is that CCOs accomplish many, or maybe even all of the goals of the existing like SEC and other sort of regulatory requirements. Because they Institute such strong protections for capital contributors, or you could call them investors or whatever you wanna call ’em. Basically the point of all of these mechanisms and requirements and disclosures, and all of that is to ensure that the team that is raising the money doesn’t have a significant information advantage that there’s no information asymmetry between the team and the people that gave them money to do the thing. That gap, that information asymmetry is what scammers can exploit to just steal all people’s money. It’s what adds to a lot of the risk of giving somebody your money to go build something. And so, because of the strong protections that CCOs offer capital contributors, so that’s one reason that we think CCOs are, are really great and fit really well with the goals of our existing legal framework. The other reason is that by definition, the people that are actually using the funds, it’s not a very clear distinction between, you know, the broader community and the people that are using the funds. It’s a decentralized community that is making decisions collectively over how to spend the funds and what to spend them on, rather than a CEO and a board of directors, and maybe a CFO making those decisions and actually executing those actions.

What are the Cons of CCOs?

Got it, got it. When someone asks you, what are the downsides of doing this? Cause it sounds good. Like, it sounds super cool. It sounds like incentives are aligned. It sounds like an ethical way to kind of approach funding and be experimentative. And usually experimentation is highly rewarded in crypto. But what is a Downside of doing something that like this?

Well, I mean, you identified one earlier which is that people who contributed capital could decide tomorrow or in a month or whatever, that they changed their mind. If a project team, if a community, feels like that’s a big risk and they’d don’t wanna take that risk, then they might have to take a different route. The flip side though, is that because it’s so much easier and there’s so much less risk for contributors to contribute capital you typically project teams or decentralized communities have access to more capital than they would otherwise. So it may be possible to attract a little bit more capital than you actually really need to give yourself a buffer in case people leave. And that can always be refunded at the end. If you sort of meet your goals without needing that additional buffer.

Can you hear me now? Yep. I was saying, what about for projects that don’t want tokens? What if, like, there’s a lot of like for example, a lot of projects that raise a private round of funding. Okay.They don’t really disclose token warrants side letters, any of those things, rather they focus on building product and then wanna decentralize quote unquote. Right. Do you guys cater to those projects as well? How does that work exactly?

Yeah. So that process of transmutation that I described, we think that is a really important part of a CCO, but it is not a hundred percent required for that mechanism or a similar mechanism to be attractive to some community or some project team or project. So you could basically take the CCO framework and mechanism and you can rip out the token and you can rip out the transmutation. And essentially what you get is roughly the same thing, except for one big difference. Obviously there is no token. And what that means is that there is still some, or there’s more trust that is required from the capital contributors towards the community or towards the project team. If there’s an expectation of future returns of some sort or future value, then without the token, there’s not a direct link from what is, what was provided now to the a versus what could be coming DAOn the line in the future. The token is what provides that direct link. But if you’re a project that doesn’t ever want a token, and maybe you’re just, maybe you’re a public goods kind of project , what you’re asking for is not anything that’s gonna build something that’s gonna return value to somebody DAOn the line, then you could absolutely do without the token part of a CCO. And that would work really well. There’s probably other mechanisms that you could kind of add on to like bridge the gap, like the token does in, in the basic version of a CCO. The other option is that if you think you might want a token in the future, what you can do with a CCO is actually create a token and customize a token contract itself so that it is not transferable until some date DAOn the line. So you don’t act like everybody has a token, has the representation of what they contributed, but it has no utility. Nobody can use it until some point in the future.

Got it. Got it. Makes sense. So the big question here, okay. Is how does this apply to creators now? Okay. We talked about you building products. We talked about this new fundraising vehicle and this new experimentative collaborative way to raise capital and do so very transparently. How does this apply it to creators? Keep in mind, a lot of creators are issuing social tokens and using the liquidity from the tokens bot to kind of like operate the creator economy. They’re issuing mirror campaigns and crowdfunding based off of a blog, post of an idea that they want to bring to life. They’re either selling NFTs as membership badges, right? To create and bootstrap this community. They’re doing all sorts of things to kind of bring capital into their life, to own their creator economy remain independent and build strong communities and utility around their, on chain assets. How does this apply to creators and why is this better than what’s currently out there.

So I think there is a crop of creators that to whom this does not apply. Okay. And it would not apply to them because those are creators where the work they’re doing is an individual expression of themselves. Maybe they’re a musician or some kind of visual artist or really whatever it is, but like what they’re doing is and should be, and like would be, would be less valuable if it wasn’t under their own control, right. It should be under their control. Like they should have creative control over what they’re doing as an artist. And the quality of what they’re doing, the importance, the cultural resonance of what they were doing would be diminished if they tried to decentralize the actual process of making or creating the thing that they’re creating. So for them, it makes a lot less sense to try to raise funding, to allow themselves to do that in a way that kind of requires a much more decentralized process.

Got it. Interesting.

Okay. But I think what that, what tells us is that if the creator is somebody that is whether they’re doing that today or not, if they are interested in expanding the set of people with whom they are collaborating with as peers to create whatever they’re creating, then a CCO would make sense because then it would be something that would be governed by and controlled by and under the power of a wider set of people than just themselves.

That makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. You know, I could see this coming into play. I remember a while ago. Okay. Justin Blao wanted to create, I think this was back in 2017/18, like the first crowdfunded music festival. Okay. Where the lineup was picked by the crowd-funders, the location, the vendors, everything. Okay. And I could see like a CCO, like this being the right model for crowd-funding a beast of like an event like that, because there’s multiple legs, there’s multiple things going on. I could also see it working for, let’s say Daniel Allen, for example. Okay. And not that Daniel Allen is using this rather referencing the crowd-fund example that he did on mirror, that a lot of people know him for raising180 K in like what, less than 48 hours. And in the blog post writing the steps that he’s gonna be taking, where the capital’s gonna allocated to. And basically us treating it like a Kickstarter campaign, rather, we’re not getting socks. We’re getting like, co-ownership in his EP right now. I give this creator my money, whatever the amount is, doesn’t matter with the expectation, you know, that we’ll get the EP and that we’ll get royalties. I guess, like, it’s very modular for like, now that I’m thinking I’m like talking it through out loud. Right. It’s very modular for any type of funding campaign per se. Right. Hmm. Any specific examples come to mind, like on the creator side of things?

To me there’s lot of creators. So where I have spent, most of my kind of mental cycles is less on the creators side and more on the builder side, obviously there’s heavy overlap between the two, but the frame that I tend to use is builder. But that certainly doesn’t mean that, that it can’t work or doesn’t make sense or doesn’t apply to the creator frame. I probably wanna back a little of what I said. I think your example was a good counter, like counter argument to what I was saying about a CCO, not applying to an individual artist or an individual creator. I think some of the advantages of a CCO are that the decisions about what to do with the funding and how to spend the funding, are under control of a decentralized community of people. That’s so that’s one big advantage, but the other big advantage is that is that the, the investors or the capital contributors or the donators or whatever, whatever they’re called in that particular instance, they get a lot of protections. So even if there’s individual creator that is basically promising, I’m gonna make something, I’m gonna make a music video. I’m gonna produce a movie, or I’m gonna write an album I’m gonna make a sculpture or whatever it is. They could do that in a way let, so let’s say there’s a token involved and the token is meant to represent the future value of the album that okay. Maybe royalty writes on, on the album or something. People could contribute funds. And then as the artist is working on that album, let’s say, and this is a gross simplification of the album. Making process, but as they complete each song they basically say, okay, I’m now gonna pay myself out of this pool of funds that you guys all contributed. If I finish one out of 10 songs, I’m gonna pay myself 10% and then two out of 10 songs they all get the next 10%. As those songs are, are getting produced. The people who contributed the capital would have some visibility into what those songs are, how the process is going, how long it’s taking. And if, say, it looks like the artist is stuck and the album is not gonna get completed, they could always walk away with the remainder of their funds and kind of cut their losses at less than they otherwise would be.

So what’s the timeline, like, when are we gonna see more and more communities you think attempt CCO? I know you guys had a successful crowd fund for the $Haus token. What is the timeline for this stuff? What are you thinking? When are we gonna see this stuff more in action? Cause this is very premature, very early. Walk me through that. Like, what’s the plan of attack here?

I would say. So there probably a few different phases. Phase one is we’re working on an updated version of something that we’ve been calling the, the yeeter which allows people to just yeet funds into a particular place. Yeah. And then get something back. To date, that yeeter has just been, like, people send funds into a multisig and they basically are trusting the operator to, to do the right thing, deploy a DAO later, or send them a token later much in like very similar to a mirror fundraise kind of thing, but we’re updating that to use something that’s somewhat akin to the CCO mechanic, or really like the first part of it. So when you send funds into this contract, instead of basically getting back, nothing at first, you actually get shares in a DAO instantaneously. I think that is going to be a big catalyst when, when that is more publicly and widely available, cuz it’s gonna way lower the barrier for projects to use that kind of just very simple fundraising kind of kind of process, actually less for the people who are raising the funds and more for people who are contributing the funds because suddenly if they have shares in the DAO they can rage quit those funds out anytime they want just like in a CCO, then their risk level is way lower. And their barrier for deciding to contribute funds is much lower. So that’s kind of phase one. And then phase two is more some of the tools that facilitate the transmutation stuff. So when you start to expand that yeeting kind of thing from just sending funds into now this process of more slowly spending the funds and the ability to transmute the funds into the project token over time. So I think the phase one, and these are not official phases, but phase phase one is probably like roughly around Eth Denver, Q1 of, of 2022. And then the second.

Phase is probably like in the summer, maybe the fall depending on how much like immediate demand there is for us to spend time building this stuff versus fitting in and alongside everything else we’re working on.

Outro

Amazing Spencer. I think that’s a great place to end off as well. Before I let you go, where can we find more about you more about your project, more about CCOs, et cetera, et cetera, give us a spiel

So starting with the CCO thing. So we’re gonna have an article like I was saying earlier, that is gonna be published, might be later this week or early next. We haven’t made the jump to mirror yet, so that’ll be on our, on our Sub stack. So that’s DAOhaus.substack.com and then everything else about DAO. The best place to start is DAOhaus.club. And then from there, you can check out the actual application, come into discord check out our Twitter, check out our documentation, all that, and then me personally, best places on, on Twitter @spengrah.

Man. Thank you for your time, Spencer. Thank you for being on. Thank you for being a part of season four. And I hope to do this again soon.

Yeah, yeah, that’d be great. Thanks Adam. Really appreciate you having me on this was a lot of fun.

Got it and I’ll cut it there. Awesome dude.