Mint Season 7 Episode 28 welcomes Reo Cragun and DLG, two talented musicians deeply involved in the web3 and NFT space. In this podcast episode, we explore their backgrounds in music and art and their work with LNRZ DAO, a music NFT distribution platform. Our focus is on LNRZ’s upcoming project, Satellites, a collaborative effort by a group of exceptional artists who came together in Joshua Tree to create groundbreaking music. We also examine the challenges faced by artists in the traditional music industry and the potential for web3 to offer new opportunities. We highlight the importance of collaboration, community, and data for artists to succeed in this rapidly evolving space.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
- 00:00 – Intro
- 02:20 – Introduction to LNRZ
- 03:02 – Reo Cragun’s Background
- 07:14 – DLG’s Background
- 14:21 – Collaborating with Mom
- 16:23 – The Emergence of LNRZ
- 21:26 – Incubating a Music Project
- 28:53 – Collaboration in the LNRZ Project
- 29:57 – The Joshua Tree Project
- 32:25 – The LNRZ Freshman Class
- 35:12 – The Impact of LNRZ on the Music Industry
- 39:26 – LNRZ as a Curation Vehicle
- 44:32 – Tokenizing Music For Verifiable Sources
- 45:34 – Importance of Data For Artists
- 48:20 – Tokenized Music and Traceable Payments
- 53:03 – Satellites Project Launch
- 55:09 – Community Involvement In Decision-Making
- 57:00 – Presale Price For Previous Collectors
- 58:20 – Outro
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We’re back with another episode with me today. I got Reo Cragun and the one and only DLG, both of them from LNRZ. Now guys, I’m really excited to have you on Reo. Welcome back, DLG on for the first time. How are we feeling? What’s going on?
DLG: Feeling good? Yeah, this is long overdue. I, uh, appreciate you having us on. Totally.
Reo Cragun: Yeah, I’m excited to be back. Uh, just got back from New York and I’m happy to be, uh, back in my own bed. nice. It’s a long week. Nice. But are you, are you in Vegas or are you in la? Where are you? Yeah, so I’m in Los Angeles. I ended up just moving back out here probably like a month and a half ago. So sick back, uh, to this being home base.
DLG: We, uh, we rented a a what, like a 26 foot U-Haul to move Reo out out here. Wow. . It’s crazy. That was, lemme tell you, I am, uh, baffled. They don’t make you have a special license to drive one of those things. . I was pretty like, I was pretty dumbfounded when we just pulled up at the U-Haul spot and they were like, yeah, here’s a almost an 18 wheeler. Go for it. Jesus. Jesus, right. Yeah. What’s that? I mean, I’m, I’m just, oh, I was saying I’m stoked to have you out here. Uh, finally. It’s, uh, it’s nice. It’s nice. We got some of the LNRZ, getting the LNRZ team a little closer together.
Completely. And, Reo How long have you been in LA for?
Reo Cragun: Uh, I’ve been here like a month and a half now. Yeah, it’s been, it’s been cool. Uh, just, uh, ended up getting a place in Van Nuys. Um, we have a backyard now, which is great cuz I have like a little dog , so yeah, she’s happy for sure. Uh, but no, yeah, it’s been great. Uh, like Dave said too, uh, he, he actually ended up driving the U-Haul , so shout out to him for that . But yeah, it was, uh, it was a mission to get back out here, but, uh, I’m, I’m glad I’m super stoked to be back, man. I was here for like, you know, like six, seven years, uh, before Vegas. So yeah, back to home. Let’s go. Welcome, welcome. Till a, we’re happy to have you DLG. If all else fails, you’ll be a professional U-Haul driver. I can see her now . Um, it’s gonna be great.
DLG: Hey man, I got the skills. I’d like to think I have the skills. We’ll see that I, we’ll leave that up to everyone else who was on the road with most of the time.
Introduction to LNRZ
On more important news. Let’s get into LNRZ and the reason why we’re here today. Okay. I want to, I want to take this conversation into a couple lights. Okay. Number one, understanding what LNRZ is. Reo. It’s the first time we’ve actually like done, uh, a more formal deep dive on LNRZ, um, and DLG having you here. I know you guys are, are like you and a few others, other brains behind LNRZ. So hearing it from your, from your perspective and kind of having a conversation focused around it will be really great. Um, I wanna talk about the new project that you guys have coming up that’s dropping on Friday. Talk about the, the, the, I guess the overlap between web three and music, um, curation, community, like all these buzzwords. Okay. Yep. Um, but I think a good place to start guys, is understanding who you guys are.
Reo Cragun’s Background
Reo Cragun: So for those who haven’t listened to previous episodes, how would you go ahead and introduce yourselves? We can start with Reo and then move our way to DLG. Yeah, completely. So, I’m an artist man. Uh, first and foremost, uh, you know, I moved out to Los Angeles, uh, in like 2016, I wanna say. Had about a thousand dollars in my pocket couch surfed and grinded it out until, you know, my music started picking up. And, you know, I put out my first, um, album in partnership with Virgin and, which is like Capital Records, like, I guess like subsidiary label. Um, and yeah, it did, it did really well and it kind of, you know, took me all over the US and yeah, it just kind of grew my career from there from, uh, about like 2019. Uh, a friend, a friend of mine, uh, flume and I like put out this project. Uh, it did super crazy. Definitely like, changed my life, uh, as far as like my artist’s career goes. And we toured that all around the world, came home and Coronavirus, , it ended up striking and, you know, it was, it was pretty wild cuz like, I, we had like a lot of stuff like booked out for that year. And then to be at stay at home order, I was kind of just like, well, I don’t even know what to do with my hands anymore because , I’m just like, everything that, you know, touring had just become such a, you know, part of my, I guess, identity, I would say. And so I, you know, I went pretty deep into crypto and I was, I bought some long-term holds and I just fell in love with this space. And it was around that time that NFTs were also kind of just like popping into the conversation, uh, a little bit more on a daily basis. And I was like, this is really cool. So I, I ended up collecting a whole bunch of PFPs and then I was, I realized was like, wow, there’s like a real application here for like, music, but where it’s, where is it happening at? And so, you know, I I spent a lot of time deep diving into, uh, who some of the builders were. And yeah. Uh, just completely took over my entire existence. And now I’ve j I’ve just been full-time here for the last like, almost two years. When, when you were originally on, I know we did a dual episode with you and Daniel, um, I’m pretty sure it was either it was for Glasshouse, right? Or what was it for? Which project was it for? Uh, for criteria. Criteria. That’s right. Criteria, yeah. And that was the first time you were on, um, and that was like, I think two til two til today. It’s like one of the largest, if not the largest music N f t drop, um, that that has happened so far in the space. Um, yeah. And, and I know LNRZ existed before that as well, cuz I remember for a while now there was a mirror campaign, a mirror post, a blog post where LNRZ did a crowdfund and I remember contributing to that campaign. So Yep. I’m og bro. As og as it gets saw that blog. Oh, we Crowd . Oh, gee man. No, we really appreciate you.
Yeah, no, for sure. I mean the, the crowdfund, you know, like that, it’s crazy to think about. I think that was about two years ago at this point now. Wow. Which is, yeah, man. So yeah, this is, uh, the first body of work that’s, uh, coming to fruition, which like, we’re super excited about. Obviously we’ve done a whole bunch of things in, in the between time as a community. Uh, but yeah, this is, uh, this is the, the first, the first big project. Yeah. , let’s go. And DLG for you. I mean, I gotta, I gotta get started and just say on the record like, I’m such a fan of your music, genuinely, like no bs um, I, I collect your stuff, I have your shit saved on Spotify, like, I’m a fan. So the fact that we’re doing this same mode, I’m, I’m actually super, super excited. But for those who don’t know you, for those who haven’t collected your music, for those who aren’t as big of a fan as I am, who are you DLG what does the world need to know about you?
DLG: Uh, well thank first thank you man. I’m, I’m honored. I, I love hearing stuff like that and really appreciate it. Um, yeah, my name is Dave, David del Garza, de la Garza, d l g. So it’s just the, the initials of my last name. Um, I’m an artist. I’m from Austin, Texas. I grew up between Austin and Germany, so I spent a lot of time in Germany as a child. Um, but yeah, I, I, uh, I’ve kind of always, you know, I’ve always been musical. I’ve always been an artist. I, my mom is an artist as well. Um, and, uh, so yeah, I grew up drawing, painting, playing guitar. Uh, I played classical guitar since I was five or six. And, uh, and kind of have that going throughout my life. In high school. I like, I guess middle school and high school, I got into like, songwriting and, and end of high school, a friend of mine had Ableton on his computer.
DLG: You know, he, he got a, a new laptop. He had Ableton. He was like, Hey, come over. Let’s, let’s, uh, let’s learn how this shit works. And so I, I kind of started diving into production at the end of high school and, and yeah, I really like Ableton grabbed the hold of me. And then into college, I, uh, I went to school, uh, at Cal Poly in the central coast of California. So went out there. I was studying music and business. Um, I didn’t really ever, I, I wasn’t a hundred percent sure I was gonna be a professional musician. You know, it’s one of those things that, uh, it feels a little crazy to, to think that’s a possibility before it becomes an actual possibility. But I just, I knew that I wanted to make music my whole life no matter what I was doing. Um, and you know, even if that meant working a job on the side, that was something I medium liked, maybe some graphic design stuff that I did for a while. Actually, I, I, I was a graphic designer for, for a decent chunk of time after college. But yeah, I, I just started kind of building my craft, uh, when I was, I was in college and getting a little better here and there and, and eventually getting more comfortable with like, telling people I was an artist and putting a song out here, a song out there. And, and it really just kinda, there wasn’t really one moment where it was like, oh wow, that changed my, like, that took me from, from not a professional artist to a professional artist. It’s just been a snowball, honestly, like consistently from the time I put out my first song to, to now. And it’s just been very steady, constant, constant. And then suddenly this past year I was working as a graphic designer and it was just like, I was like, I, you know, I’d always said for a while, obviously when I get to the point where I don’t need the day job anymore, I’ll, I’ll quit. And it was kind of crazy cuz last year I came to a realization, it was like, well, I don’t really like, need to do this anymore. So transitioned out of that into being a full-time musician, um, and LNRZ, uh, you know, I like LNRZ had always been on my radar. I, I met Reo, uh, I guess, well, I, I should say about kind of my introduction to web three that happened through Daniel, um, Daniel Allen, you know, we were, we were internet friends, uh, kind of before even he was introduced to, to the web three music space.
DLG: And we had a Zoom session or two during the pandemic, um, connected through some mutual musician friends of ours. And yeah, it made, made some cool stuff. And I remember him telling me like, yeah, I’m gonna throw a little event, little backyard concert, invite some industry people. One of those people was Cooper, he’s told this story like 500 million times , but, and I’ve also heard him tell it 500 million times. But it’s a great story. And like, that is what, you know, that was the only example I had of a musician thriving in the web three space. I’ve been familiar with crypto for a while, but not with NFTs or with any of what was possible for me as a musician. So just seeing Daniel go through that journey. Um, it was probably like October of, um, oh my God. Like, I guess, yeah, almost two years ago.
DLG: 2021. Um, anyways, I, I can’t even remember when it was, but it was like a little bit after Daniel’s kind of n f t journey had started. And we were both in Austin together. He was visiting and it was during his like, initial crowd fund and he did, and like that closed. Yeah, we were all in the room when that closed. And it was crazy. And I was like, this is insane. I have to, I have to see what this is about. Cause this is nuts. I mean, you know, we just have an independent musician here just hustling. Just as you know, lots of other independent musicians are out there hustling just as hard. But like Daniel really found that pocket and, and you know, so did Reo and now me and all these, like, all the loners freshmen. Like, it’s crazy to see how that has just snowballed into being like truly one of the most exciting areas of the entire music industry.
DLG: Like, there are more hyper talented musicians in this tiny pocket than like anywhere else, um, which has just been awesome. So yeah, I, I mean, LNRZ was on my radar, like from kind of the moment it emerged because of, you know, Reo. And then I kind of got involved though this past year when it was like, you know, we were, LNRZ was gearing up to do a lot more than it had been mm-hmm. , and it was coming outta hibernation. And, uh, and that’s been crazy. I mean, that has it, like, it’s been almost like six months plus of us doing like the weekly drops, the spotlight drops now, and, and it feels like it’s been a, a week. It’s just been cr it’s been a whirlwind and so much has happened, but, uh, yeah, I’m super, super blessed to have like, you know, seen this awesome thing happening in the web three space that I thought was one of the most exciting things. And now I’m, you know, working on it every single day, right. With Reo and Braden and Jeremy and, and all the freshmen. And it’s, it’s just been super cool to see it all come together. But yeah, that’s my, that’s nice. That’s my spiel. Yes. Um, yeah,
Collaborating with Mom
One thing that I picked up on your background, DLG is yeah, you brought up how your your, your mom’s, she’s also creative and I couldn’t, yeah. I couldn’t help but think like, what influence has she had on your work?
DLG: Yeah, great question. I actually very glad you brought that back up cuz So my mom actually, uh, we make all of my album artwork together, so, um, oh wow. Like, yeah, so she’s a, she’s a like, next level watercolor artist and sculptor and designer and art and architect. But, um, the watercolor was the thing that, like I always, I I can’t draw architectural diagrams, but I can also kinda watercolored paint. So that was, you know, I, I grew up drawing with her and, and I would, we would do this thing when I was younger. We would, I would draw something and then she would take that drawing and, um, paint it in a way that was like, you know, added shading and depth. And it was really cool. So it was like a children’s drawing that had this very like, you know, detailed like depth to it and almost kind of realistic feel.
DLG: Um, and we actually, I actually have a, a book that my parents like and I published when I was probably six years old, and it’s filled with my, um, drawings that my mom then painted. So it’s been something that, uh, that kind of method of collaboration we’ve been doing since I was five or six years old. And, uh, my album artwork when I started releasing songs and was like, well, I, you know, the first few, I made the artwork myself, but, um, I like always thought that that art style that my mom and I had collaborated on together was so cool. So we started doing it again, and I would draw some stuff and I would send it to her and we’d talk about what colors we wanted for it and, uh, and then yeah, she would paint it all and on, on a lot of ’em. She would paint it in, in segments and then scan those and send ’em to me and I’ll take them in, arrange them in Photoshop, and that way we can get really, really clean cut lines, uh, for something that, like, for watercolors, sometimes it’s, unless you are masking out parts of your art, it’s very difficult to get those. So yeah, we, I mean she’s had a enormous influence on, on the way I create art, but also like, actually still makes art with me for my music. Um, yeah. Which I’m, I’m very thankful
The Emergence of LNRZ
That’s really cool. You guys have a very, very cool story. Um, each of you individually, Reo, from your like, couch surfing days, Dave, for you being in that room for the Iconic over stem drop, um, and somehow you guys sort of parted ways, um, I’m cuReous to learn more about like the both of yours, uh, your, both of your backgrounds and how that sort of merged and even from a bigger picture, kind of like the emergence of loner style. And maybe even start with like, what the heck even is loner style? We’ve said, we’ve said that keyword so many times, but I feel like people still listening, they still don’t know, like they don’t know what exact, like, help us understand what that is exactly.
Reo Cragun: Yeah, for sure. So, um, to, to touch on like how our paths kind of like diverged. Um, it was actually at Glasshouse, the variety camp. Yeah. Uh, and that was kind of around the time that also, you know, I had realized like there was such a need for, uh, you know, more in depth curation in this space. So like for musicians in web three, uh, who are new to it and looking to make an entry point, I kind of like, you know, always hear the same things, uh, very similar to like what, you know, David from Sound says. It’s like artists, it’s not the easiest thing to discover or to, to put a finger on what you should price your initial mint at, um, what you should, how much quantity you should have as well. And like, that’s just not, it’s not an easy thing . It’s, it’s actually a lot like at the, as you do it more and more, you know, you get like a gut feeling and you’re like, cool.
Reo Cragun: Like, okay, this feels correct. Um, but at the very beginning right, it becomes difficult and, and so the idea was cool, we have so much talent in this space, um, but no one is really like creating music together and no one’s like curating it. I’d like an extra level I think, like we need to build this vehicle that, that does that and that is a home and kind of like an incubator for new talent in the space, uh, and where we can guide artists and put a spotlight on the music and, you know, know really, um, uh, set it out into the world like in a proper way. And so that’s kind of what the initial idea of LNRZ was. Um, and we still, you know, even with this project, this is, that’s exactly what we set out to do. Um, it ended up evolving, um, after we realized that if we just sit and work on music one project for like, let’s say a six month peReod, that’s six months of us kind of not being in front of everyone’s faces and, you know, we really want to build community and we want, you know, a lot of people to be a part of this rather than, you know, just having like a select group.
Reo Cragun: Um, and so we rolled out this curation system where we started dropping like a song every single week, and it was called, um, you know, season one. And so the moment that we started doing that, kind of like, everything I think clicked, um, and it was just insane at the beginning, like how fast like the community was growing. Um, and now we recognize that, you know, I think that what LNRZ were, what we’re setting out to build is kind of like the next iteration of, you know, what a, a new music Friday or like a pollen looks like on Spotify. Hmm. It’s this community, you know, like that people are paying attention to. It’s where you can discover new music, but we also want to take it, you know, a step further where you can get, you know, content, uh, know more about the artists who are, you know, releasing, um, on these drop days, you know what I mean? And really like, be an actual part of the community rather than just, you know, clicking follow and then having, you know, hearing the new music on like Thursdays . Yeah. Yeah. So it’s a step further. How would you add to that DLG?
DLG: Yeah, I would, I mean, I would just say that like, yeah, it’s really the, our goal is to make it a hub for, I mean, really all things music that just has a level of depth to it that like doesn’t currently exist. Um, you know, sometimes the elevator pitch we give is that it’s a, a web three music distributor, but it’s really so much more than that. There’s a, you know, a huge community aspect. We, as Reo said, like we wanna be a place, a taste maker, a place that people go to and the way they go to Pollen or New Music Friday, or these, uh, these playlists that exist on, you know, DSPs that people love. I mean, the crazy part to me is those, those, uh, taste makers, it’s just a list of songs and there’s no further depth there. There’s no further way to engage with other people listening to that music. There’s no way to further engage with the artists that are on that list of music. So, I mean, that’s where we really think that the, the game has to change and, and we wanna be the first ones to do it, to just bring a level of depth to music curation and music discovery that hasn’t existed before. And yeah,
Incubating a Music Project
That. Like I love that. I, I I love how you guys called it an incubator, um, yep. Music Web three incubator. It. I can visualize that. I can, I can really understand what that means. And a lot of this conversation was predicated around the first project that you incubated, um, called satellites, right? And, um, yeah, I wanna spend a lot of the, a lot of our conversation sort of going into this first project that you incubated. What does it even mean to incubate a song, a project, let alone in, in Web three? Like, what does that really look like on a step-by-step basis? I can’t really visualize, help me understand that when you incubate a project, um, like satellite for example, which maybe this is a good time to even introduce satellite. Um, what goes into it?
DLG: Yeah, so yeah, so the, give a little context, satellites is a six track EP from Loaner’s, first freshman class. Uh, the Loaner’s freshman are a group of five artists acts that were selected by the community a while ago. I I think Reo can probably go into that process a little more later. But it’s a list like from a large list of artists narrowed down to these, uh, these five acts, and they’re crazy talented. Um, I think the thing that artists do best is make art. So, uh, to incubate that process. I mean, we take care of, you know, we want it to take care of the rest of the surrounding, uh, items that have to go into a large, uh, project. And, you know, starting initially with just getting all the artists in the same room, able to create music together unobstructed by distractions in a place that like facilitates that creativity. So, um, yeah, we, we flew all the artists in or in some cases drove ’em. We got a few who were in la um, got all the artists in one place and Joshua Tree in, uh, January of this year. So got a big spot for ’em, made sure they were all in one place, happy, and just like able to create to their fullest extent. And the project was all supervised and executive produced by, um, Jeremy on the LNRZ team, aka Clear Eyes, half of MaReon Hill, who’s a insanely talented producer. And Anne was definitely the, the glue that helped, uh, kind of guide, you know, these, these, uh, six artists all in the room together, uh, in certain directions, maybe like, okay, this song, this is sounding like a song, this is sounding here. So he, he really like, was instrumental to keeping that whole, uh, process organized, focused on the end goal, and just like, kind of, kind of overseeing the immediate day to day of everything there. So, huge shout out to Jeremy. Um, definitely couldn’t have this project without him. And a huge shout out to all the freshmen because they are incredibly talented. Um, and like the project itself, I, I would like to say I think we did a really good job at incubating it because I listened to it like every day. And, um, the songs are just really cool. They sound really fresh and new. They’re all over the place in a really good way. They sound cohesive while also just like you can see all of these different artists who have very different sounds all blending in a way that’s just so cool. And, you know, some of the songs are like, really aggressive and go super hard, and then other, like, one of the songs on the project just gives me chills every time I listen to it. And it’s super like spacey and just, oh, like, I’m like getting chills thinking about it right now. the first time I heard it, like Reo is in the room with me, I was like, I was like, what the fuck is this? This is nuts. Like, um, so yeah, it’s just awesome to like see like, you know, I, if you told me those artists were coming into the room together, I have an idea of all of their sounds. Uh, and so I can like kind of think in my head, oh, maybe it would sound like this. And it’s so rewarding to like, hear the end result and have it be something I never in a hundred years would’ve expected. And it’s like, so just so goddamn cool. Um, so yeah, I mean, we like facilitating, you know, incubating the project definitely comes down a lot to, uh, getting all the artists together and able to create, it also means getting all of the visual assets, uh, you know, organized and made shout out to Everlasting, who’s the super talented visual artist who is putting together all of all the 3D assets and all the renders for this project.
DLG: It’s like super awesome stuff that just helps build the whole world and I think is critical to having an awesome end result. Um, so, you know, the artwork, there’s all just the like, kind of behind the scenes, like just administrative, just legal shit marketing, like, you know, there’s a lot that goes into, I mean, this right now, you know, making sure that we’re, we’re talking to people in the space, we’re getting on the best podcast in the game, and we’re, uh, you know, getting like the word out there. There’s, there’s so much extra that goes into these projects. Um, and, you know, it’s really, it’s, it’s super, it’s super rewarding just to like curate awesome music that’s already out there and helped it succeed. Having that music start from the ground up has been like a whole other type of experience and is is just that much more rewarding. Um, so, and, uh, yeah,
Let’s, talk about that because Bellow, uh, the project that I’ve been working on for months just got into an accelerator. Like, it’s more of like, um, um, a startup accelerator, but in many ways I feel like LNRZ is very much like a startup for artists and a startup for creativity. Um, so when I think about like creating and cultivating the right environment for an accelerator, right, it’s all, it’s all about like people coming together. It’s all about doing things together. It’s about learning the process, collaborating, shooting the shit, like throwing stuff at the fan, seeing what sticks very quickly. Can you sort of like sum up up the environment that you guys built in Joshua Tree, um, and how you think that sort of contributed to the final product of what we have of the six track, uh, project?
Reo Cragun: Yeah, for sure. So, uh, again, shout out to Dave and shout out to Jeremy for the, for the setup for. So like, really what ended up happening was we got this really large lake house in, in Joshua Tree, and it was a two story house. Uh, upstairs we had like the B studio and in the living room we had the, a studio, um, you know, when you have, uh, five artists and an executive producer, and then one of the ax is actually two, uh, individuals, so really like seven people total in the house, right? Um, there you need like, more space than just one studio . So that was really important. Uh, and yeah, so that, that’s pretty much what went into it. Um, a lot of ideas, um, happened as a group and then like people would break off, uh, go flesh out the ideas, um, come back. There’s, you know, a whole song made off of it now and like, so that was really cool.
Reo Cragun: Um, we did not have like, you know, all the time in the world. I believe that it was like four or five days that we were out there. So that’s also an important factor to like, think about. So how do you make really good music in like a limited peReod of time? Um, so yeah, we just wanna make sure that everyone, you know, was comfortable had their own space and, um, yeah, I mean we actually overshot, I think like the freshman of Jeremy, uh, made like 13 songs when we were out there. Wow. Uh, we ended up condensing down to six songs. So we still have like a lot of great music, uh, kind of just in the vault. Yeah.
Collaboration in the LNRZ Project
So really, really quick. I can imagine with so many like creative minds in the room, there could be clashes and there could be like always a frustration or there could be, and like, not from like a negative standpoint, but somebody wants to add their input here or they think this should go over here and that that had to have happened. Right. Are there any stories you could share around that?
Reo Cragun: Dude, honestly, no. It really didn’t, uh, really, you
DLG: Know? Yeah. Like
Reo Cragun: Shout out to Jeremy too. Yeah. Because like, I think that’s like the important thing about, um, having like an executive producer in the room too. Uh, he really just like did his thing.
DLG: I mean, honestly, like, I I will say we lucked out and uh, like I would say a really good trait of a, of a good artist is being able to, to work like with others and understand if maybe their ideas are worth fighting for in a, in a certain location in the song, and maybe, or they’re not in this other idea is better. And I think like we just, we have the best group of freshman acts here and everyone like, I mean, the times I was in the house, like everything was just blowing. It was like, we got, you know, Ali and Tate up here, we got Madeline and like Farwell, you know, they’re down here like doing like this and Jeremy’s tinkering over here and, and, and like Naomi’s over, like writing over in the corner over here. Uh, it was, it was, it was awesome to see cuz that definitely, I mean, that comes up like all the time in collaborative situations.
DLG: But yeah, I think Jeremy’s role was, was perfectly executed. He was like, I’m sure if there was ever, you know, questions like Yeah, I know he kind of brought it to everyone was like, what are we thinking here? What are we thinking there? And I like, it just goes to show, I think when you get, um, when you get a lot of artists in the location with like that singular goal and kind of get all of them out of their comfort zone. Like, it’s not like anyone was from Joshua Tree, you know, we, we put ’em, ’em all in a new location. They’re all on on level ground here now and, and they’re, they’re all tasked with the goal of creating the best thing possible. I think it just speaks volumes as to what, like caliber of artists they all are. That they are able to, they they did what was best for the song in every instance, you know, every, the greatest artist, they just do what is best for the song. It doesn’t matter. Like your ego shouldn’t be involved. Whatever you think might be the best thing, you know, it’s a real whatever actually ends up sounding the best and just making the best song. Like that’s what they put out there. Um, so it was like, yeah, it was amazing to see. Honestly,
The Joshua Tree Project
It seems as if, um, none of it was really individually motivated. It was very much collectively motivated. Yeah. And yeah, I feel like oftentimes not, maybe not oftentimes, but there are certain situations where people could feel like their, their input is more valued, um, than the rest. But it seems as if like you guys really made this environment the way it should be, um, where everybody has sort of like a balance say, and you really feel like you’re building towards a collective project.
Reo Cragun: Yeah. And then also, you know, something to highlight too is like we, we’ve all been working together for the last year, you know, and so it’s all been on the internet or virtually, you know what I mean? And so I think there was also the factor of us all coming together for the first time and actually, you know, like bonding, like, and being able to, you know, talk about, you know, everyone’s individual careers and you know, some of the goals that everyone has. Uh, it was just really cool. I think it just added to that. And, um, yeah, I mean we were just, uh, we were a unit out there . It was like family, you know what I mean?
The LNRZ Freshman Class
Uh, I do also want to, you know, you know, explicitly highlight, uh, all of the freshmen as well, the talent that we have. Um, uh, yeah, we’ve, I’ve been, I’ve realized like we’ve been saying freshman and like yeah, .
DLG: Yeah. Let’s get, we’ll get little proper introduction.
Reo Cragun: Yeah, for sure. Uh, you know, first off, we have Ali, super talented, uh, multi-talent, uh, producer, artist, songwriter. Uh, we have Farewell, who’s the duo, um, out of, uh, London. Amazing. Uh, we have Madeline Duke, uh, really super crazy like, um, singer. She also does a little bit of rapping too, which is pretty cool. Um, Tate Tucker, uh, California native, uh, born out here and, uh, super talented. And then we have Mark Johns, uh, the Goat, uh, and, uh, yeah, man, and that’s pretty much, that was our squad out there in Joshua Ry. And yeah, in my opinion, like definitely some of the craziest talent in, you know, web three music in music in general, but for sure like Web three as well.
How’d you, how’d you pick those individuals? Was there a curation process involved? Is there, was there any certain criteria that I guess like the heads of voters were sort of like eyeballing, like what, what went into selecting those fuel?
Reo Cragun: Yeah, for sure. So there was a lot of thought that went into, um, that process. We ended up putting out, um, uh, pretty much like an application, um, for the original, um, freshman class. And we had like over a hundred applicants, which was like really crazy at the time because, you know, for something that had just got spun up, uh, there was a lot of interest there, which made it very difficult, uh, to choose. Um, and so, you know, hats off to the community as well because we ended up narrowing it down to I think like 10, um, of like, you know, our, our of the choices. And then the community, uh, played like a massive role in, uh, choosing the first five acts.
Wow. Yeah. So when you say the community, you mean like LNRZ holders or? Yep, in, okay. Wait, how did, how does that work holders?
Reo Cragun: Yeah, so we had, um, we had a vote and, uh, back then it was just in Discord, because we didn’t have many NFTs at the time. Uh, so it was like if you were, if you held something, we had a, a discord. And these days most of the communication happens in Telegram. Uh, we, yeah. But that’s, uh, that’s what ended up happening.
The Impact of LNRZ on the Music Industry
I love that. Can we sort of talk about, um, web three music at large for a minute? Yeah. Uh, I’m curious, how do you see this program, whether it be LNRZ, um, the incubator or this project as a whole contributing to the growth of the web through music industry? Um, and is there any impact that you hope it’ll have on the broader music landscape?
DLG: Yeah. Yes… Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, I mean, I can say like in the short term, like, you know, our, our goals were really at least the past, like, you know, six months, the goals were really curation focused. I think we’ve been crushing it in that regard. Um, you know, we’ve kind of turned our focus at, you know, the current day and age to these long form projects and figuring out out how we can best facilitate, uh, these, these projects that we’ve made. And, you know, we’re also, we’ve, we have lots of ideas of like tools that we want, uh, to be able to offer to LNRZ artists and LNRZ community members that, uh, either enhance listeners experiences or artist experiences. And, uh, there’s like, there’s a lot kicking around. I don’t know exactly how much, uh, you know, I should talk about that yet.
DLG: I think that people are gonna be stoked when, uh, when a lot of that stuff comes to fruition. But I think, like at the end of the day, um, me, Reo and Jeremy are all artists and, you know, and we like, have dealt with the pain points of the music industry. So I think like something that’s very important about LNRZ is, I mean, one of the reasons we’re able to facilitate a good environment to create a project is because we’ve all been in good environments to create projects and bad environments. I’ve been in horrible environments to collaborate, so like I know what that looks like, and so does Reo and so does Jeremy. So like we have just years of actual experience as an artist to help draw from. Likewise, we have years of actual experience of all the bullshit that we’ve had to go through to try to like, get a song that we love, you know, the love it deserves or like, deal with all these like random musical entities that were spun up like 50 years ago and now collect all of our money from random places.
DLG: Like, getting paid as an artist is a nightmare. So it’s like, you know, getting your song heard by other people is a nightmare. Like in the music industry, a lot of stuff that isn’t making the actual music can be an absolute nightmare. So I think anything that, just like, we’re very focused on how to, specifically in the web three community, how to get artists like, you know, into this space comfortably and give them the resources and the tools like immediately available to them that they need to, to get eyes on their stuff and to, you know, have, be able to have a successful career here. But for the music industry at large, like, I, I think it’s just about, um, yeah, it’s about like providing tools for artists that we actually want and not like this stuff that is like, there’s a lot of shit out there that I look at as an artist, and I’m like, I don’t, I don’t care about this .
DLG: Like, I don’t know what I, yeah. There, there’s a lot of people out there that aren’t artists and they’re looking at data and numbers and they’re thinking like, how can we make these datas and like the data and the numbers better? And we’re sitting here as artists thinking, how can we make all these artists have a better time in the music industry and be more successful, um, and just like, make music fun to interact with. Again, I think it’s just like, I personally have just been, I think that it just, like, there was, you know, the blog era was this whole thing and it was just this energy was there and then like, you know, I, you gotta focus on where that like, energy is at that intangible feeling like that holy shit, something really cool is happening here. We’re gonna, we’re gonna talk about this as a historical event like in the future.
DLG: And that’s how I feel about the Web three music space. I just, it’s never have I ever seen so many artists that like, have such raw talent and are so pissed off by the traditional music industry, converge in one place altogether, um, and just like have the resources to build themselves, you know? Yeah. It’s really crazy. Like Reo and I talk about all the time how, how stoked we are that like, we don’t have to sit here as artists and wait for someone else to build us the tools that we want, like we have the resources to, to build them. And that is thanks to the web three music space at large. So yeah. We’re, I that was a long-winded answer to your question.
Reo Cragun: It was very
LNRZ as a Curation Vehicle
DLG: Well said. We have, we have a lot of, a lot of tools. We, we want to build a lot of, um, a lot of curation, a lot of community building, just want become the best hub for music interaction and discovery in general. Yeah. Real Reo, you can
Reo Cragun: Also to add to that as well, like, you know, on the artist side, uh, you know, we, we want to help facilitate, you know, the visibility and whatnot, but also on the collector side and like the community side, I think it’s really, it’s becoming more and more difficult, right? Uh, the conversation used to be like, you know, is it gonna take one or two artists to like really break in web three for like web three music to have its moment? And, um, I, I’m becoming a more firm believer that it’s going to be, you know, communities like LNRZ, uh, who are like these, um, like curation vehicles, right? I, I just, I, I really think like that’s what it takes in order to scale. Um, because we’re finding, you know, there’s so many artists that drop music NFTs now, there’s thousands, right? It’s like, if you think about a year ago there was a few hundred there really were, uh, and now you gotta go on Twitter and, you know, try and create, dig through Twitter and find like all the emerging talent in this space.
Reo Cragun: It’s like, how is that scalable? It’s just not right. , I think, like, I think what we’re building here at LNRZ right, is an access point or a gateway, um, for you to discover amazing talent and for talent to discover amazing community as well. So we wanna be the bridge that kind of glues all of this together and it’s like, cool, uh, I know where to go every single week in order to find some really cool music and to be a part of something that’s like, you know, bigger than just the music, right? It’s just that point of connectivity. Um, and really I think that’s, you know, that’s what we’re trying to, uh, scale. It, it already exists and we have an amazing community. Um, but as you know, web three music continues to grow. Uh, we think that LNRZ will for sure continue to grow, um, beyond LNRZ and what you guys have built, are there any other channels that you guys look to in Web three for finding a new artists?
Reo Cragun: I think another good one that comes to mind is Noise Dow and their editorial. I think another one that comes to mind is all the sub pockets of Telegram group chats that we’re in. Um, are there any other that you can speak to? Yeah, there’s a whole bunch, right? It’s like, um, cha no. Uh, I’m a member of the Dow. Love it. Uh, yeah, I mean, there’s Twitter, word of mouth, uh, there’s like vehicles on the traditional side as well. Uh, certain playlists on Spotify. Uh, even things like Lyrical Lemonade, these like other, uh, which I think is like another vehicle for curation as well, uh, or at least like what it started out as. Um, and yeah, and I think that’s like our main points of where we like look for talent currently. Um,
DLG: Also like a, a lot, a lot of ’em is just through our own personal network, you know, of musicians. I think a lot of, uh, discovery of of cool artists just comes from us. Like, you know, seeing an artist that we fuck with on an artist we’re friends with, like Instagram story or something. We’re like, oh, you know, who’s this? Or, um, just, I, you know, between me, Reo and Jeremy, we have met a lot of artists who are really talented and, um, and gives us a, a wide, a wide, uh, array of people to, to pick from. But yeah, I mean, you know, Cooper has a amazing newsletter, um, and, uh, yeah, and Dreams Never Die. Shout out. Um, they’re, they’re a great vehicle for discovering cool talent and, and there’s just, you know, being at these events like, you know, nft, N y c, you go to events, you meet cool people, like that network grows and it’s, it’s, uh, it all kind of channels into us being able to find, uh, really awesome talent.
Yeah. I love that. Those are, those are great answers. I have a few more questions for you guys. Um, before, uh, kind of like diving into the details of the drop. Um, from a high level perspective, because we’re already talking about the intersection of Web three music, how do you guys see the value proposition of music changing, uh, because of NFTs? And what new forms of value do you think can be created because of these new tokenized assets or these digital collectibles, however you want to, to frame them? Anything come to mind?
Reo Cragun: Yeah, for sure. Um, you know, it’s actually crazy. Uh, I just saw this tweet, I wanna say it was by Rob, uh, earlier today. And what’s going viral right now is, um, you know, the ai, uh, recreation of, you know, the Drake song featuring the weekend. And, um, he brought up like, like a super valid point.
Tokenizing Music For Verifiable Sources
Reo Cragun: It’s like if more of these kind of like, you know, deep fakes start happening, um, it makes sense to tokenize the music because that’s like gonna be a verifiable source, right? , um, I think that’s like actually an insane value prop and, uh, is like true because, you know, it’s kind of wild, but these days it is, I feel like there’s so much, you know, information out there that is just not correct , uh, whether that’s intentionally or by mistake, you know what I mean? Uh, it’s harder and harder to like actually see what the truth is. Um, so yeah, having verifiable sources, um, you know, uh, on chain, uh, I think is like a, in a really good value prop. I think also, um, you know, uh, scarcity, uh, direct, uh, cu cu linkage as well between artists and supporter slash listener, uh, is super important.
Importance of Data For Artists
Reo Cragun: Um, you know, for example, I mean on Spotify, if I log into my Spotify for artist’s account, right? I do not know if Jimmy is listening to my music in Toronto. You know what I mean? Like, and I think that’s, it’s kind of messed up and it’s, it is a little wrong that like you don’t have access to hardly any of the data, right? Um, and then you actually don’t even know, um, if you just, your song got playlisted, right? Um, are the people who are part of your monthly listeners actually true fans of yours, right? Like, so does that mean because my song is pumping in Los Angeles this week because I got put on a playlist, does that mean I can go sell out a show in that area, right. Or should I even go, you know, do some type of live activation? Uh, I think that from an artist’s standpoint, uh, having the data is super important and you know, like the, instead of top down communication between supporters and listeners, like Web three has been so cool because it’s like center out, I would say. Um, it’s a lot easier to communicate with community and um, yeah, man, do do meaningful stuff. . Totally. Yeah. It’s been cool. Yeah, it’s, and that track slaps, by the way, that AI track the ghost writer. Yeah,
DLG: It does dining. It’s actually good. Dude, it’s good.
Reo Cragun: It’s wild. I think the piano is, is too, is too loud, but I think they got, they got the point. I think it’s, uh, it’s really well done. I, I feel like I’ve listened to it a few times by now, like, shit, this fucking slaps . It’s
DLG: Uh, that’s crazy. It’s fun. Yeah, like that’s a huge, I mean that’s a huge unlock in the value add of, of tokenized music over traditionally. And even adding to that, like I think the artist’s goal is always to be successful regardless of what platform you’re involved with. And like the cross-platform portability of, of, of fan base and of your actual music assets is like something that we only would’ve dreamed of, you know, five, 10 years ago. Like, I wanna still have, like if Spotify like, you know, imploded and, and the, the platform completely shut down tomorrow, I would want to make sure I still have a connection to these fans and that they can still listen to that music. Um, whereas now it’s like I have to send my music to a distributor who then they, like behind the curtain send it to everybody. And then also I get, I mean, you know, most people don’t know how we get paid as musicians.
Tokenized Music and Traceable Payments
DLG: And the funny part is most musicians don’t know how we get paid either. Like on the, on one side, on the, on the master side, it’s pretty simple. My distributor pays me every month, you know, just for streams. I get whatever. On the publishing side, there’s like, I think there’s like six major types of publishing, uh, money and each one has like 30, 40 entities involved in it. And like someone is, you know, your song is played here in a movie or something. Someone pays this person, they keep a cut, this random entity keeps a cut. The it goes here, they keep a cut. I have no idea who those people are. I don’t know who’s touched my money before it gets to me having a tokenized song. Like just having everything on chain is, is the future. It has like for, for artists especially where our industry traditionally just like fucks us completely.
DLG: I, I want all of my payments to be able to be traceable and just like have that permanent data. Um, like to even speak to the bullshit of it. Do you, have you ever heard of the Black Box? No. Do you know what this is now? What is that? This is cr this is crazy. So Buck buckle up, this is like, when, when, when people say the music industry is fucked up, it’s like this is what they’re talking about. Um, so the black box is this name for this essentially bullshit that, um, , I think it was like the Millennium Act or something. There’s some like Bill passed at some point, I should probably know more of the details on it. But essentially, uh, when you as an artist don’t collect, um, it was like a small little line somewhere in like a giant bill to do something.
DLG: Uh, when I as an artist don’t collect my publishing royalties, that side that goes the side of my money that goes through all of these random entities. When I fail to collect that money, which most artists do, like most artists out there today, if you have to, I have to hire a company to help me collect that money. Do I have a publishing admin? You do, their entire job is to collect that money and then they get to keep a percent that is like necessary to make that money. Cause I’m not gonna out go out here and call up hundreds of organizations to get like a cent here, a cent there, blah, blah, blah. But either way, when I inevitably as a just independent artist who doesn’t know what the hell I’m doing, when I fail to collect that money, it goes to the black box.
DLG: The black box is, is essentially the bank accounts of all the top recording artists in the United States and the top record labels. There’s like a, it’s like the top whatever percent of artists and like these few like record labels, like, you know, like the big record labels that everyone’s heard of, they just get a check every year of everyone else’s royalties. So it’s crazy. I like, when I hired a publishing admin, I, they were like, Hey, like give us all the information, you know, cuz you’re definitely like, we, we are at risk of losing, you know, we’re like a year and a half, maybe two years out from um, this, you know, I had a big song like Blow Up a couple years ago. They’re like, get us the information on that right now cuz we need to get on it. Cuz we, you’ve probably already lost, uh, some of your royalties just to the ether, to the black box, to other people’s wallet that have nothing to do with my project.
DLG: Like none of these major labels are providing any services for me. I’ve never talked to Beyonce, you know, these top recording artists, but they just get a check for my publishing royalties that I failed to collect and all like, these probably hundreds of thousands of other artists royalties. So like, it is that level of fucked up for artists to just get paid that. Like, it needs to just be traceable. I need to like, it needs to be like, I made money here, it went to this wallet, then it went to my wallet. None of the middle men, none of this black box bullshit, right? Like it is, it’s, it’s nuts. wow. You just lose it. Like it’s money that I earned and it’s like now it’s, oh, I waited like one to two years. If you leave money in a bank account for two years, it should still be there. , right?
DLG: Right my money. I forgot to fucking hire a whole other company to help me get it. And now it’s, it’s
Gone. It’s messed up. messed up, messed up. So I just hope you guys claim the funds from the contract that’s about to happen on Friday. And that doesn’t disappear. It doesn’t, it doesn’t
DLG: Enter the black box, right?
Satellites Project Launch
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Uh, but let’s talk about Friday. Okay. What, what’s going on on Friday? We have satellites dropping the first grandiose project since LNRZ started about two years ago since that Miro fund really, really big milestone, really big moment. Um, what is there to expect, what’s going on Phyllis in guys?
DLG: Okay, so satellites is a six track project made by the very talented loners freshman class. Um, yeah, this is our like, you know, this is our debut long form project. It’s something we’ve been building towards for a long time and we’re super excited to share, uh, a lot of the, you know, the music, most of the music we’ve, uh, curated and, and released up until now has been, uh, awesome songs that artists we respect have made on their own. And then we’re just helping distribute them, get them in front of people. Uh, this is, you know, kind of different for us. This is like we really incubated this from the ground up with artists that, you know, we in the community selected. So going into this week, we’re gonna be giving a lot more information on all these artists on, um, you know, the drop structure, just sharing bits and pieces leading up until Friday, which is the Mint.
DLG: Um, you know, collectors who own LNRZ pieces are going to receive like a discounted presale price. Um, we obviously wanted reward the, the current LNRZ collectors, but wanted to just kind of have the whole mint on one day and really make an event out of it and not do the like, presale day and then the day after public mint. So the mints all gonna happen at one time on Friday. Uh, it’s gonna happen@LNRZ.xyz l n rz.xyz. So we’re getting the whole site together right now. We’re working with the lovely team over at Bonfire. Shout out to them. They are, they’ve been incredible and just helping us build the infrastructure, the lovely people at sound, you know, uh, we also have a, uh, uh, kits activation. You know, we’re doing a, a sample pack of sounds collected from the project and stuff that’s on the songs stuff that got created at the camp, but isn’t necessarily on the songs. So there’s gonna be a free sample pack for everybody to, to collect and use, you know, in their songs. And we just kind of want to have, you know, everyone be able to dive into the world that, that we lived in when this project was getting created. So, yeah. Reo, I don’t, do you have any other, uh, any other things you wanna add on?
Community Involvement In Decision-Making
Reo Cragun: Yeah, so, um, also something that we wanted to do differently this time around, right? Is for most of these, like collection drops, let’s say, uh, the community doesn’t really have a say in kind of like what happens, um, as far as the decision making goes. So, you know, for this time around, like we, we really wanted to emphasize, uh, the fact that this is the community’s project. Like they helped put this all together. Um, you know, like even the camp was funded off of just like the treasury, which was super cool. Um, and, you know, so we ended up having a vote, um, as to what the price and supply would be, and the community decided on 1,250 additions at 0.01 for the mint price. And so that’s what we’re running with. Uh, you know, they helped, uh, curate the first class of freshmen, which is really cool. And we thought it would be completely, you know, the only thing to do was, uh, bring them into like a higher level, um, as far as the decision making went. And so, yeah, that’s what we’re running with on Friday and we’re really excited. Uh, it’s gonna be really cool. And
DLG: The, uh, the rarity of the songs as well was, was decided through, uh, through a community, like on chain vote. And we had, uh, some of the, you know, like percentages of the different rarities and then we let, we released, uh, previews of the songs, just little 15 second, uh, snippets of every song and let people decide which one felt the most rare, which one felt like it should have the, you know, largest supply. And that was just, that was, uh, that was really cool. Like, it’s just really awesome to, to have the community be the ones deciding like the order of the track list and like what the drop is actually gonna look like. So yeah, that will all be on Friday. Amazing. Our website at LNRZ X, y, Z.
Presale Price For Previous Collectors
And is there an allow list at all for previous LNRZ collectors? I’m sure people are thinking that. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So if you, if you were part of the initial crowdfund, if you were, if you hold any LNRZ piece Yeah. You’re, you’re on the allow list. Yeah. Got it. Is is it like a pre-sale price and a public sale price, or how does that work?
DLG: Yeah. I believe that it’s going to run in tandem, so it’s not gonna be like, um, you know, on the hour before, uh, you have this window to mint at, you know, your pre-sale price. Uh, but yeah, so it’ll all happen at once. That’s like the new,
Reo Cragun: Shout out to the sound team as well, because that’s like Yeah, they can, they can do that now. .
DLG: Yeah, so there’ll be, we’ll, we’ll like be definitely releasing more details as to like the actual pricing and like the exact time of the drop on Friday, for example. Um, so definitely like stay tuned for that. But there’s gonna be, um, yeah, there’s definitely, there’s a, there’s a discounted price for, for people, you know, based on their LNRZ, uh, uh, like, you know, LNRZ holdings and, and involvement with the community pReor. And uh, yeah, it’s gonna be fun. Amazing.
Reo Cragun: It’s gonna be cool.
Amazing. Amazing. Well guys, I’m excited. I’ll be, I’ll be watching and supporting. Uh, before I let you go, um, where can we learn more about you guys working?
Reo Cragun: We learn more about LNRZ she let away Yeah, at LNRZ_xyz on all the platforms. And, uh, for myself, I’m @ReoCragan
DLG: Yeah, I’m, uh, at DLG underscore sound waves on Twitter and DLG sound waves on Instagram. Um, but yeah, DLG sound waves and can find me and yeah, definitely, definitely give LNRZ a follow and, and stay tuned. We got a lot of cool stuff coming. Yeah,
Let’s go. Yeah. Uh, and yeah, I, like I said earlier, um, you know, would love to have everyone, you know, just like, um, join the LNRZ community. Um, you don’t even have to collect, right? I think, you know, the most important thing is just like listening to a lot of this music that’s first and foremost, like what we, you know, want to preach. There’s a lot of talent, uh, in web three music and yeah, I think, uh, just get involved. Um, like I said, you do not have to collect. Um, I think just being a part of the community and uh, having conversations, uh, there’s a lot of great people, uh, in our, you know, uh, in our chat and just like on our Twitter and yeah, would love to have you. Yeah.
DLG: But I will say if you do collect, make sure to join that telegram chat. Yeah. . And uh, yeah, we got the link in our bio on Twitter. So if you either already have Alon piece and you aren’t in that telegram chat or you are not in the lone community yet and you’re going to collect on Friday, make sure to join that chat cuz we would love to have you there.
Amazing guys. I’m really excited for you. Congrats on all the progress. Congrats on the big release. Um, we’ll have to do this again soon, but until then, keep killing it and uh, chat soon.