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- 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
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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.
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.