Mint Season 6 episode 27 welcomes web3-native music artist Annika Rose to share how she sold out her Sound.xyz drop using a POAP-only pre-sale and how you can do the same. We also cover her transition into web3, her journey as a music artist, and so much more.
I hope you guys enjoy our conversation.
- 00:14 – Intro
- 08:45 – Being Picked Up By Simon Cowell
- 13:35 – Getting Started in Crypto
- 21:20 – Building the Confidence to Join Web3
- 27:08 – Converting a Web2 Audience to Web3 Supporters
- 31:49 – The Future of Annika Rose in Web3
- 34:13 – Key Differences Between Web2 Music and Web3 Music
- 44:19 – The Creative Process of “Bruises”
- 49:58 – Outro
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Welcome to the podcast. What’s going on? Thank you for being on.
Annika Rose: Thank you for having me. I’m very excited to do this. It’s gotten postponed a couple times, but we made it. We’re good. And I’m very.
Non the less. Yes, we are here. Now. It’s all good. I think as a podcaster, part of my job is to be postponed on or to postpone others because scheduling is a nightmare. But indeed, we’re here. It’s all that matters, I think a great place to start. Annika, who are you? What does the world need to know about you? Then we can start there and then we can work our way forward. All right.
Annika Rose: I mean, that’s a pretty loaded question. But I am a singer, songwriter, musician. I’m 20 years old. I feel like I’ve lived about 15 lives being in the entertainment music industry. I am just recently active in the web three space as of like, eight months ago, so I’m moving through all of that uncharted territory. And yeah, that’s about it, putting out music, doing a whole new body of work and utilizing web three in the process. And yeah, that’s me.
So that was a very like humble sort of like introduction. I would love for you to touch upon because you’re also pretty big on Tik Tok, you have a ton of listeners on Spotify and across web two. And I think also your transition into web three was very unique, which Nevada collective and I we’ve been chatting back and forth preparing for this one. But I’d love for you to talk about sort of like your entry into music, your gig with Simon Cowell, all that good stuff that happened and how you got to where you are today.
Annika Rose: Yeah, well again, loaded questions.
You can even do it in the one thing about me song, if you want to redo that to.
Annika Rose: unfortunately, I don’t have my fake karaoke mic on me or else maybe I could bless you with my God, awful rapping skills, but I think we’ll save that for another time. Yeah, so it’s just been a long ride. I’ve started a YouTube channel when I was seven, started posting covers here and there in my bathtub like one does, with my mom filming me. And I joined a band when I was 10. And that was a pretty steep transition because I went from like singing Katy Perry covers to playing like exclusively Zeppelin and Radiohead, which was definitely sick. Don’t get me wrong, it expanded my musical and listening horizons, which I’m very grateful for. But yeah, I joined that band, played shows all around LA for like two and a half years. And then that band did a cover of the pretender by the Foo Fighters and we like recreated the DVD. I was literally like, 12 years old. It’s hilarious. And we were scouted by an A&R, who was working for Sony Music in the UK at the time and she was super young. She was like my age, which I’m 20. So, she was she was about 20 at the time. And she was basically the A&R responsible for putting together like an all-girl rock band, that one of the guys from one direction was wanting to start in as like a branch of psycho music with Simon.
And so, yeah, so the bass player in that initial band, and I were the only females in the group. And so, showcase was eventually put together through a lot of communication between this A&R and my mom, because I was obviously a child and so yeah, we coordinated the showcase. The whole team from the UK flew out to LA, we did the whole shebang. They ended up not wanting to sign the two guys for obvious reasons. So, I left that band, the bass player left that band and we scouted for a drummer and guitarist, and eventually, we were just thrown into the fire. Like, I think a lot of people are quite unfamiliar with the whole blind dating that happens in the session world, when you are like a pop musician. And so, I was completely exposed to what’s on the other side of the curtain and it was a wild ride, that I wouldn’t trade for anything but I’m so happy is over. And so yeah, for two and a half years, we just wrote and recorded probably up to like three hundreds 317 songs, didn’t really get to play shows, which was crazy because we were all musicians, you’re wanting to get out there and actually, you know, play for people. And that just wasn’t happening.
And one morning we got a call and we were dropped and before that, there was a whole other thing that happened where my mom ended up falling in love with that A&R who put the girl band together. She also happened to be in love with my mother. My parents got divorced, my dad moved out, he moved to Africa part time and Switzerland part time. She moved in, quit the record company a few months before we were signed, moved into my apartment, helped pack up. My dad’s boxes started managing me six months after, and now I live with all of them. So that’s what happened there. And then, as if that wasn’t enough. Yeah, the ban was dropped. So, I was like, sick because I dropped out of my freshman year of high school to like, do this full time. So, all my friends were like, 35. And I was like, 13, 14, 15, like, hey, what am I going to, I don’t have anyone to like, go see a movie with, this is awkward. And I stopped talking to everyone in the girl band, like literally the day we were dropped. Because there were a few very contentious relationships or like, just yeah, the relationships were quite contentious and not healthy and I was completely ostracized once, you know, Alice and my mom were together for whatever reasons people could come up with. And so, the band was done my friendships internally with the members were done. I wasn’t in school, I was floating, I had this new woman living in my house, who was apparently now my stepmother, but only a few years older than me, and also managing me. And then I signed a production deal. And three months into that I was like, why the fuck that I signed this production deal. I don’t want to be doing this, excuse me, sorry, if I’m not allowed to curse on here.
Annika Rose: And tried to get out of that deal. Once I got out, I started writing for other artists. Because everyone was like hone in on the skill you’re so young, you should like write for other people and see if you could like develop that craft and I was like, cool. And then I did that and realize that it’s really difficult to work with artists who don’t have stories of their own to tell, that you can’t really be there to nurture because it’s you creating it for them and I just didn’t like that, it felt like it took away the release that comes with making art and so I was like, I’m not doing this anymore. And at this point, I’m like 16, that I met the head of tap records. I signed another record deal, did that, put up my first body of work when I was 17 with top, then was supposed to upstream to capital and go on tour with like Dua Lipa and do this whole thing. And then the pandemic hit, left that record company, never upstream and never went on tour was independent, started putting out music independently, and like shooting DIY music videos in my downstairs bathroom, with my manager, or step mom, manager. So, for me, and then I met the Nevada crew, like a year ago, maybe a little bit over, like maybe like 18 months now. And I signed to them. And now I just put out my first song and like, over a couple years with them doing the web three thing. And in a nutshell, that’s my life for the last 7 years, 8, 9, 10 years. Yeah, I need to like after that to soothe my vocal cords.
Girl, you need a massage.
Annika Rose: And all the self-care I can get.
Being Picked Up By Simon Cowell
What a fantastic story number one, what an incredible journey, probably taught you so much, gave you so much strength, and gave you so many layers, to sort of tackle anything that comes in your way. And what a blessing to go through that so early on, right? And sort of be through this journey that you are at today. And I think that makes your story so much more unique. It makes your music that much more unique. It makes your character that much more unique. And I commend you, that’s really a crazy journey to go on. What was it like sort of being that somewhat childhood star, right? The attempt of like, going through that journey at such a young age, being picked up by Simon Cowell? Like walk me through your mindset, if you remember it at the time.
Annika Rose: I mean, it was the most exhilarating thing in the world. You like you have your everything you’ve ever like written down in your dream journal as a child manifesting right in front of you. And it’s really, it did feel like a dream for a long time. I mean, I wasn’t in school. And I was teaching myself, I was doing online school and you know, you grow up watching Simon Cowell like criticize people on the internet and on TV and then you meet him and he’s like the nicest guy ever. And you’re like, what? Like, wait, what? And so, to be a part of that sort of ecosystem so early on, it felt like it was, it couldn’t have been better. And to have the support of my parents at the time and to be doing it with like the bass player, from my previous band, who was like my best friend. It just felt, it felt so good. And it felt so exciting to be learning and developing the skill that I for so long, was doing on my own, but like in a more sort of, like real life sense and working with people who were the writers behind some of my favorite music that I was listening to, and just being exposed to that and learning, you know, how those things come to be. It was amazing. And it was so fun, rehearsals of your four teenage girls like hanging out with like, One Direction and rehearsing four days a week and like drawing with Sharpie on the wall at your rehearsal studio like and ordering pizza after like, it doesn’t really get much better than that. But it was a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, and there were aspects of it that were quite unsettling. I’ve always feel like I’ve been pretty drawn to writing and being a writer, my mom is songwriter and my dad designed recording studios for a long time and was always playing guitar in the house. And so that influence was in my life very early on.
And I I always felt like I had this skill, that I was just waiting to be able to, like, give the world in a sort of more substantial way. Because at that time, like, you’re 13, like, what are you going to write about, I was waiting for those real-life experiences to be able to really have something to say and stories to tell. And my goodness, when all of the family stuff started happening that, like in retrospect, I can understand just how much I needed that for my craft. And like dealing with that and having to experience such profound changes so early on, to really kickstart my motivation to write and like actually use it as like a cathartic measure to be able to tell stories and get things out and make sense, of all of the complicated internal things I was dealing with. Like, it was crucial, honestly, in my development, I think as a person and as a songwriter. And it was crazy, because like I said, it was like Disneyland every day, with a lot of hard work. And then it was like the rug was just swept from under my feet with a phone call. I lost my friendships, felt like I lost my family, felt like I lost whatever, like closeness I had to my mother because I had so many questions about her identity and who she was. And I lost the friendships and the sort of like productive structure of my days, being in the studio and having that like hyper engaged sort of relationship to music. And so, it all turned around very, very, very quickly. But when it was good, it was really good. And when it wasn’t, it really wasn’t.
Wow, one thing that’s really cool about your story, Anika, is you went through all that, didn’t publish music for what you said two years, right? And then came into crypto, came into web three, releasing all that energy, all that emotion and choosing that platform as a way to kind of like rebirth, right.
Annika Rose: Yeah.
Getting Started in Crypto
And I was somewhat just like scoping or Tik Tok. Just watching through your videos. And what I think you did that’s really well executed is, when you’ve been documenting your process. So, despite not releasing music, you’ve still been documenting your journey across Tik Tok and Instagram. And I caught the snippet of you actually going to NFT NYC back in June, right and showing the world that you’re doing your homework, that you’re out there. And one thing that I talked publicly about the podcast is like, before you decide to drop anything, do your homework, go attend a conference, go meet people, go shake hands, find a way how to give something. And you sort of just like you checked all those boxes off, like even your first drop. And I’d love for you to talk about it, was a free NFT drop. It wasn’t a paid drop, right? Can you can you talk about that, like talk to me. So two years fast forwarding, you come into web three, why web three, number one, how did you make your way into it? Just share with me that entire Journey.
Annika Rose: Yeah. I mean, to be completely honest with you, I was highly skeptical because I sort of conformed to like the mass adoption of this, like misconstrued narrative around crypto and NFTs and it makes sense. Like, I don’t fault myself for that, there is like a huge stigma around NFTs and all of this, like very specific implications that like the mass general public have adopted. And I didn’t do enough research on my own to actually develop my own opinion. And back it with real evidence and research. And so, when I started working with Navak, I remember so distinctly, going to a coffee shop on the west side with Alex, who’s one of the cofounders of Navak and incredible creative and producer and just person in general. And he was like, someone had brought it up to me at a lunch like, are you familiar with web three? And I was like, web what? What do you mean? What is that? She’s like, oh, like, we got to talk about this. And I was like, all right.
And so, I called Alex and I was like, I want to meet with you, I want you to bring a laptop, I’m bringing a notebook, give it to me, like, what do I need to know? What do I need to learn? And don’t tell me what in it for me? Tell me, like, start from like, square one. I want to know, like, what crypto is, I want to know how Bitcoin is mined. I want to know, like, why the mass general public have adopted this narrative like, okay, there’s environmental implications, tell me why, tell me how, and tell me what you guys are doing to not feed that. Like, I want to know, all of the foundational aspects, give me the podcast to listen to, I was listening to guests on your podcast in the very beginning, like, tell me what I need to learn. So, I can find my place in this authentically. And he did just that and I have like, I have notebook pages in my notebook of just notes and notes and notes and notes. And, and yeah, a lot of the very early months of me, sort of like trying to circulate in the space was just, it was me doing my homework, it was me listening to podcasts and listening on spaces, and understanding what communities actually meant, what they have to offer, what it means to be involved in, what it means to create your own and having a purpose behind doing so.
And like I’m on over prepare, I’m a planner. And I really don’t like speaking on things that I don’t know about. And so, it was really important for me to gather as much information as I could. So, I just have like a baseline understanding and I could develop and grow from there. And part of that was going to NFT week in New York. And like really being there, being present in there. And starting this like big, sort of like, I would call it a community building exercise for myself. So that down the line, when I was ready to do a drop or to like identify myself as a figure in the space, that it would be, it would have a substance, it would have a purpose, it would have a meaning. And so, it all kind of did start with NFT week, NYC. I did like a few performances. It was so scary. I remember like hiring, like getting with my guitarist, he’s like, what are we doing? And I was like, I don’t know, I was like, but we’re gonna do it. And I flew out there and I just like had a slam packed schedule of just like going to different conferences, going into different rooms and meetings and talking to people and excuse me, and then playing shows and like connecting with people and showing people that like I have something potentially valuable to offer in this space.
And so, like I played the, the FND, did a panel at Noye house with sound. And Omar, who’s the other co-founder of my label, spoke on the panel with David and I performed and I’m super close with Naomi, who like founded FND and did a couple other performances, just around the city that week, and then just talk to people. And I actually handed out like little, like scannable almost business cards, that lead people to my Discord and to claim my po op, which now you know, I can talk more about what that’s going to mean, what that means now, and the sort of things the value that it has at this moment and the value that it will continue to have in what I’m building. But that was sort of where it started, was just getting off these POAPs and I didn’t really, really understand what that was doing at that time. But I’ve learned so much since then.
And then, you know, I did my first drop on October 7 with sound, which was my first like audio NFT drop. And that was really fun because we made it, we made the presale only accessible to those POAP holders as like a reward. And it was like, okay, let’s see what communities here let’s see what I have built, let’s see if it’s actually working, if people are invested. And because I’ve spent a lot of time really giving out these POAPs and gifting people and getting people to involve themselves in the community. And so, it was sort of a test, I guess. And it sold out in presale to the POAP holders, which was amazing and so rewarding. And then like three days later, I did my first Genesis NFT Airdrop, which was 250 Genesis NFTs, that were only available to po op, holders, collector, master token holders, which was like a whole other collaboration I did with the human collective. And Navak founding member. Navak founding members.
Building the Confidence to Join Web3
Wild, at what point did you actually feel comfortable and confident to pursue this space? And to come in there with like a blast, you know, like, put your foot in the door be like, my name is Annika rose and this is what I’m doing. While you were also sort of like being very low key and very, you know, under the covers, just studying till you felt confident, you know, to make that first like, how long did that take and what did you have to do to sort of get there, right? We talked about the conferences, we talked about the podcast, is anything else that you sort of did beyond that?
Annika Rose: I called Sammy, who works at my label, and Alex, every single day. If I like, I didn’t understand, I swear to God, I would listen to spaces and I would hear like, bearish versus bullish. And I’d be like, I’d write things down, what the fuck does that mean? Call Sammy, like, explain this to me, what does it mean? How does it work? Just questions, questions, questions, questions, and still every single day, I’m asking more questions, because I am very, very much a student. And although my confidence is evolving, it’s still not, I’m still not like, yeah, I’m and I mean, I’m partially I’m like, yeah, I’m in this, but I’m like, I’m never gonna claim to know what the hell is actually going on. I just like gather little bits and pieces. And it’s like this puzzle piece that just somehow gets bigger and bigger, the more I fill it in. But I like that it keeps me engaged. It keeps me curious. And so that’s, I think that goes for sort of anything I apply, that sort of same rule to anything in my life, is just like if I don’t understand something, but I want to just keep asking questions.
Right. One thing’s for sure is that, web three rewards the hard workers, the storytellers and the innovators, right? And I think you’re very much close at that intersection, right? I love your approach of starting first with a free NFT giving out POAPs. And then understanding who that community is right and really nurturing them before trying to take quote, unquote, even though, it’s not taking, it’s collecting, it’s being a part of something. But like, if you think of like what two contexts like giving before you take, right, and I love that, and you really you really nailed that. And what was super unique and I haven’t highlighted this in my Sunday newsletter, is like you only allow the people to mint, if they’ve collected your pops. And one thing you didn’t say very humbly, like you did in the beginning was that NFT sold out in less than a minute. Like, instantly, like, I couldn’t even get my hands on it, to be quite frank, I was really pissed, I still gotta get on secondary. But I love that. And that was the first time I’ve seen anybody do something like that. And I really, I was like, wow, that really stood out to me. That’s a really unique strategy of how to build community. It’s like you give, you build your top-level funnel of free collectors. And then you try to incentivize through a different type of drop. And you did that perfectly and it was really cool to see.
Annika Rose: Thank you. Yeah, I mean, I appreciate you saying that. I felt like, you know, coming into this community was like, the word in itself was just being tossed around so much. And I really wanted to see if it held any truth because for me like, it is crucial to build that relationship with people and even before immersing myself in web three. It’s like I have and tactics and tools and ways of connection through stuff I was creating, just on my website, like I remember, like I had a couple songs I put out independently during the pandemic, one was called, fuck you and another one was called hypocrite. And we made little portals and tabs on my website for people to like, tell their story, like come on my website, and let’s talk like, what makes you genuinely feel like a hypocrite? Like what advice do you, we have vent boxes like for people to go anonymously and talk to people and say, you know, I’ll give this really amazing advice to my closest friend, who’s like struggling through this relationship or this family dynamic thing, or whatever it might be. But it seems that when I find myself, in a precarious situation, I’m not able to apply that same sort of knowledge to myself, and I don’t advise myself in the ways that I do for other people. And it really hurts because of XY and Z. Does anybody here in that box have any other advice, and it was like, it was all community building exercise. And that’s, and so when I heard that word being, you know, so heavily talked about, in web three, I was like, alright, well, let’s see, like, let’s see what other people are doing. And, and let’s see how I can really, like emphasize on that word, through whatever sort of like innovative things I can come up with, that can exist in this space. And so that’s sort of what it’s all about, for me. And it’s working, which is great. And, you know, I get to talk to those people every day in my Discord, and on Twitter DMs, and it’s such a valuable relationship, these are the people that are enabling you to be able to continue to do what you love to do. And so, you really have to, you have to appreciate that and you have to feed that.
Converting a Web2 Audience to Web3 Supporters
I agree with you 1,000,000%. Can we touch upon how you did that exactly? Like how did you onboard your supporters and your fans to create the community that you’re building today? You talked about the POAPs, sort of like handing out these business cards, but did you just capture like the conference crowd or were you able to sort of also bring in your listeners on Spotify, Tik Tok and whatnot?
Annika Rose: Great question. Yeah, so the sort of, like, handling of the POAPs. It was like, I did have that like, sort of tangible experience, where I could give things away like that. In the very beginning, and then it became more about like, you know, I’m rewarding people for showing up for me, and not just showing up at a show at NFT week, NYC that you were gonna go to whether or not I was performing or not, but more like I host a weekly Twitter space, are you showing up in my Twitter space? Because I can see the names that are in there, if you are, you bet your ass I want to DM you after and give you a po op, because thank you, I need that support. And if you follow me on Twitter, and you engage with a few of my tweets, I’m going to DM you and I’m going to say here’s a po op, thank you so much for engaging with me. If you join my Discord, and I can see your name consistently popping up. Thank you so much. You’re starting conversations, you’re engaging, here’s a po op. So, stuff like that, it’s just taking very consistent notice of the names and faces because it’s on such a small scale right now. It’s not really hard to do that and I appreciate it. And that’s the only way it’s gonna scale, right?
So, I stay pretty on top of that. And if I’m speaking on somebody else’s Twitter space, I’ll be like, hey, if you stayed for the whole hour, you’re still here at the end, like cap it off. I’m like, DM me for a po op, I really appreciate you taking an hour out of your day, to like sit here and listen to me ramble on about God knows what. Thank you so much. And then there’s other things that I’ve done where you know, I did this, this sort of community blend with warp zone holders, Genesis holders, and what was the third? Yeah, warp, Genesis and then, like, I forgot the third, but it was basically three communities that I had bought into in the very beginning of me starting to purchase NFTs and actively participate in other communities. And they’re all pretty music centric communities, which is why I felt you know, aligned with them enough to you know, sort of be a part of them. And I really liked what they were doing and I love what he was doing with Angel baby. I love the narrative that they push it and the creativity behind it and the dedication and hard work that’s so apparent. And so, for me this like collector’s mashup token was a way to merge those communities.
First of all, just to bring different music communities together, because I do think it’s fairly easy to, to find yourself getting sort of locked into the communities that you are already a part of, and maybe not branch out as much as you can. And so, I thought it would be a fun way to like cross pollinate music communities, and through that, have people pre saved my song, have people join my Discord, and then claim this collector’s membership token. And if you were a part of those communities, if you own a party bear, my first NFT I bought was a party bear. And he’s purple, he wears a lei and a party hat. I said, if you own a party bear with one of those three assets, or a warp sound, Naomi, number 005, because that was the first warp NFT that I bought, or your huge Genesis holder, sign up, you basically can sign up, you can claim this collector’s mashup token. And with that token, you’re going to reap all of these rewards in my community later on. Plus, now you’re entered into a competition for a huge Genesis NFT, that I will Airdrop to you if you win. So, it’s an exchange system and I feel like I brought in some really awesome community members through that. And now that token is pretty valuable for the virtual experience that I’m launching in January. And I think it’s just about being creative, like coming up with new ways to incentivize people to want to partake in what you’re doing. And, and keep them involved in it. You know, and so there’s different ways and I’m gonna keep trying to come up with more. But yeah, that’s sort of where I’m at right now.
The Future of Annika Rose in Web3
Speaking like a pro, the level of confidence, it’s fantastic. It’s so cool to see. And you’re only, I guess, on your second NFT drop, but your first pay drop? What is the future of Annika rose look like in web three?
Annika Rose: Another great question. Yeah. So, a lot, I’m going to be doing a lot. But right now, I have another NFT drop in November, sort of few weeks, in honestly, less than a few weeks. So that’s coming, it’s going to be 50 editions, not 25 and it’s going to be with sound. And the song is, so I love it somewhat, like I’m so, I’ve been waiting for this one to drop for so long. So that’s the next thing. And obviously more details to come on that, when it gets closer. But yeah, so I’m doing that. And I’m also launching a virtual experience in January, that is basically given like a more contextualized long form experience with the music. And people who have my tokens pump holders, smash token holders and audio NFT holders, are going to be able to access some pretty amazing things in that virtual world that you can unlock. And that’s all going to be around the narrative and the lyrical content within the songs that I’m dropping. And so, it will translate into real life utility as well, when I start playing shows and touring and doing all of that. But there’s going to be a lot of very, very fun perks that come for those holders. And so, we’re building that out right now. It’s insane or working with these animators and they’re building on real Engine and it’s crazy, like I just like working on like the mockups of like this character and these little rooms within this experience. It’s unreal. And that’s like, that’s what I’m saying. It’s like it’s unlocked all of these sorts of things for me creatively that I wouldn’t be able to do in a traditional form. And so, you know, it’s exciting for holders, but it’s equally as exciting for me to.
Key Differences Between Web2 Music and Web3 Music
Talk about that for a minute because I agree with you, web three enables a stronger connection between the creative and the fan or the audience or the collector in this case. And when trying to understand the difference between web two music and web three music and I guess specifically from the artists a fan, sort of like connection. How do you sort of see that evolving? And what’s the real innovation here you think?
Annika Rose: I mean, obviously like the utility like to be able, because everything is so traceable and transparent like for me, hopefully as I evolve and scale as an artist, like there’s a way for me to know who’s here from day one. And there’s a way for me to reward those people and not because I feel like I have to, but because I wouldn’t be able to scale without them. And so being able to give them experiences, just for helping me get to wherever I’m going, is so valuable. And, you know, you can’t do that on Spotify, you can’t like click on X amount of monthly listeners and see who’s been there, since you put out your first single, and then actually talk to them and communicate with them, and give them reason to stick around and be invested emotionally, or financially, whatever it is. And so, I think, like, there’s so much value in simply just that, but also like gamifying my songs, and making it fun for people to like, actually be sort of inside the song versus just listening to it. You know, through like an actual sort of like tangible experience, where you can touch your computer, you can enter these things. And then, like, that’s something that I wish I could do for some of my favorite artists. So, to be able to build that super early on, feels really inspiring.
It’s so interesting that you highlighted, like the level of transparency, the level of access, right? And very much alludes to sort of like the data that happens in crypto and how you’re able to really pinpoint like, who the token holder is? At what date they came in? What song they came in? And be able to cultivate a token gated experience.
Annika Rose: Claps for Bello. Let’s go.
Yeah. Which I wanted to talk about because we were working with the Navak. And I was talking to Alex and Samuel on the incredible team. And we put our heads together, like alright, Annika is killing it already. Like she’s going to these conferences. She’s building a top-level funnel of free collectors, she’s being able to import her fans from web two into web three, her audience is vibing with it, we want to go on sound, we want to do this smash release, how do we, one price it, number one? And how do we find the right communities to sort of tap into, tithe or cross promote? And what I think is incredible and I’d love for you to talk about it as well, is like we were able to use like Bello as a vehicle to help figure out prices. And we were able to use Bello as a vehicle to figure out what communities to tap into. I’d love for you to talk about that.
Annika Rose: Yeah, I mean, it’s incredible. I didn’t even know that technology like that existed. But I was looking at all of the analytics in front of it. I was like, this is incredible. What you guys and honestly, like, you should talk about it, talk about what you guys do and like, and how sort of crucial and beneficial that is to somebody like me, to be able to create these experiences and reward the right people, for the right things. Because you guys were a huge part of being able to have bruises come out the way that it did. And figuring out the best strategy for us to be able to do that productively. And so honest, like, you go off, can you tell us about it?
All right. All right, you know, the way I see it, Annika, is like, the reason why we built Bello in the beginning is, to basically empower this type of used case, as a creator and web three, you’re starting to build all these collectors, right? And these will end up being your most important asset as you build your audience, as you build when produce more music, as you create more initiatives on chain. And one thing that’s interesting is that, as like a web to creator, you build these fans and one, they’re not portable. So, like if you build an audience on Tik Tok, you can’t really bring that to Instagram, and even more so you really know very minimal about who’s viewing your videos, what they’re doing, right? And then you can’t really use that data to empower you, like the big platforms have that, like Tik Tok have that, they can find the right advertisers, but you don’t have that. And the whole sort of like, idea was like, if we can empower us little guys with that data, imagine what we can do. Right? So, to hear you say how integral Bello was throughout this process, makes my heart very warm. Because it’s like, it’s such like a win. It’s such a W because we were able to help a creator like yourself, figure out, one, how to price the NFTs, how to sort of like build that initial community and figure out how to sort of navigate this entire, I guess journey and play a small part in that because you did you did all the heavy lifting you in Navak. So really cool to hear you say that.
Annika Rose: Yeah, of course. I mean, it’s true. It was so crucial to having this come out the way that it did. But I kind of wanted to ask you like, where did that idea sort of stem from and like how did you develop it and build it from the ground up?
Great question. So, like yourself, I’m a creator, right? I’m a podcaster. Like yourself, I build audiences using NFTs. You use free NFTs, I use free NFT. And for the longest time, I knew nothing about my collectors. And I felt like if I knew more about who they were on chain, right, I could probably create better content for them. And I could find better ways to monetize and create more interesting opportunities, that align with the things that they’re doing. Right. So, it very much stemmed from a problem that I had. And from a problem that I sort of encountered and other creators encountered, when we work together to prepare for their campaigns. And, you know, it’s interesting Annika as like a music artist, you have all these listeners on Spotify, and you may be able to get sort of like geographic data around where they’re listening, but you’re very limited with the type of information you can get. But in crypto, when you build a listenership, and you build an audience, you have so much information that you can tap into, that you can use to create better music, you may realize by the way, that you may overlap with another artists on sound, and you guys have never created music before. But your collectors have a liking in common, it may be worth to create music together just for web three, right and see where it goes in web two, you know, you may realize when you want to do brand deals, you may want to find what communities your collectors are tapping into right now, because they may serve as excellent brand collaborations in the future, right, and you sort of like as a direct line of communication to these brands. So, you become way more empowered, when you can capture more of the value that you create. And that’s very much through the data that’s generated on chain.
Annika Rose: Absolutely. And I also, I think that, you know, so much of putting out music and putting out bodies of work, is a big guessing game, and a big question mark, because you can sort of like gather through, if your song skills big enough, so that you know that people are on a mass scale really connecting to it. You sort of ask yourself, why this versus the six songs that came before? And why this over perhaps the next six that are coming out? Like what about this is actually resonating with people? And how can I maybe like capitalize on that in the future, to ensure that I’m consistently giving a product that people are going to receive well? And I feel like that sort of like goes hand in hand with what you were just explaining about, the sort of thesis for Bello, and why you built it, it allows for me to have a deeper insight into that. So, I can sort of have a pretty good jumping off point, when diving into the next sort of creative venture.
Yeah, I completely agree with you, I love how you see that and you see the power of that. And I think you align with that too. Just from like this last 45 minutes of hearing your story and hearing that you started off as a YouTube creator, right. And you started posting like YouTube based content. And that sort of set your path as an artist, to open the first few doors for you and inspire a lot of your journey as where you are today. I’d also argue, Anika, like a lot of your hustle as an as a as a early artist, right? Being really, really young. I’m sure you learn so many things going through the thick and thin of it, that you’re now applying to sort of understanding what’s happening over here. Like, it’s no easy feat to be a YouTube creator and to start at that foundation. And I think that same mindset coming into web three, really rewards you, in my opinion, I think it will continue to reward you, as long as you and other creators, for example, stay consistent with it, and continuously to sort of like trying to drive value as opposed to take, you know what I mean?
Annika Rose: 100%. I mean, that’s why I wouldn’t trade any of those, you know, quote unquote, bad experiences for anything, because I think I can come into a lot of my decision making now from a much stronger and more confident standpoint. And so, it’s invaluable, you know, it sucks to have gone through whatever sort of tumultuous ride anybody and everybody has to go through at certain points in their life. But I really do believe that there are some pretty profound and significant takeaways from those experiences that will serve you later on down the line. And I feel that way now, for sure.
The Creative Process of “Bruises”
I also want to highlight bruises because that was a song that dropped and it’s one, a really fantastic song. It’s doing great in web two, it’s getting a lot of views across Tik Tok listeners, etc. I would love to learn more about like your creative process of, one, producing bruises, right writing bruises, the backstory of it and like sort of like the whole nine yards around bruises.
Annika Rose: Yeah. Thank you for listening to the song. It’s so funny like it feels, it’s so strange to like, have a song come out, that you feel like was almost written in an hour, or done in a day, and then it takes a year for it to like land in the ears of anybody except your, like, close inner circle. And so that’s kind of exactly what happened with bruises I was, it was October last year. And I was going through like a pretty rough ride with a close friend of mine, who was just engaging in a lot of pretty like, self-damaging behavior. And it was really hard to feel like you’ve done everything in your power to help that person heal, or at least encourage healing and something that I talked about and something that I’ve learned throughout dealing with that and writing the song is like, you know, someone’s metaphorical or quote, unquote, bruises. And never inevitably sort of somehow morphed into your own because it’s impossible to be void of the some of the pain that the people around you are going through, when you care about them and when you love them. Because you worry and you take on some of that weight. And so, it was just really hard and it was weighing on me so much in my day to day.
And I remember I was going into the studio with this guy, Paul, and it was, he’s now one of my closest collaborators, but that was with my first session with him. And I write 99.9% of my songs on piano at home by myself. And if I feel like they need some, you know, shaping around the edges, and then a little bit of like TLC, I’ll bring them into a room with like a couple of very, very trusted people to help get them across the finish line. But it’s usually just me, myself and I for that session, this this situation with my friend was weighing on me so deeply and it was a little bit nerve wracking to sort of go with empty hands into that room and be like, I don’t have anything that I’ve written, that I want to bring in to make better, I just have something that is so prevalent for me right now, that I need to write it. And it’s hard to come in with something that carries so much weight to a person you don’t know, really. And to have that trust, that they’re going to help morph it into something that still feels like it carries all the substance. And that was sort of day one of like a very beautiful relationship with the school operator, who now I write a lot of stuff with. But it was just about that, it was, we wrote that song in literally an hour on the floor of Alex’s studio in Santa Monica. And it was like raining outside, I remember and it was just felt. It’s one of those things like, sometimes it takes a year to write one verse and other times, like you block out, you can’t even remember writing the song.
And that’s what happened. And then it sorts of had many lives in the last year sonically. You know, it took like stripping it, just completely back down to the chords, rewriting the chords and recording it on just piano and then bringing in live musicians and having a drummer track drums and guitars try eight different guitar parts to see what feels right. And then listening to the other music that was being written in that time and noticing like there’s an add sort of synth thing that’s happening consistently. And how can we take these new chords and add these at since to make it consistent with everything else and it took a year for that to actually, you know, be done and finalized. So that was the process for that and it looks different for every song. But it was a waiting game and I had to be very patient and I had to have a lot of trust and the people around me who were dressing it up in many things before it was like ready to go to the party. You know what I mean?
Two years and you come out with a bang like bruises and decide to release it in web three. I think it’s great. I’m really excited for your journey here. I’m really excited to see what you do down the line, Annika seriously. I really enjoyed this conversation too. I’m excited for the November drop, right? Share that detail one more time. When is it? When can we expect it?
Annika Rose: In a couple of weeks. Yeah, mid-November. I will obviously, closer to it happening. We’ll announce the actual release date but it’ll be out. It’ll be an exclusive drop before DSPs in early to mid-November. So definitely be on the lookout for that.
Fantastic. Annika, best of luck, I’ll definitely be standing by and watching. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being here. We’re gonna have to do this again soon. But before I let you go, where can we find you? Where can we learn more? Where can we listen? Show it away
Annika Rose: Everywhere. It’s just Annika rose sings or Annika rose music on every platform and that’s Annika with two ns and a k.
Fantastic. Thank you till next time.
Annika Rose: Till next time. Thank you so much.