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Who Needs NFTs More: Hollywood or Independent Filmmakers?

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Background

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

In this episode, we discuss: 

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

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


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

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

Intro

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

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

So what year was your first crypto purchase?

2016 or 17 probably.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is The FilmDAO?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Importance of Community in the Film Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Crypto can help Hollywood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re not buying Anthrax. Yeah.

It’s OK.

NFTs being used in Hollywood

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

The Matrix Resurrection. Oh yeah.

That’s right. Nifty’s did that? Yeah.

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

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

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

Independence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using NFTs as a vehicle for Crowdfunding Films

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

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

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

Yes.

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

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

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

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

Sound you’re saying.

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

When will Movie Funding Have Its Way in Web3?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like 10.

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

Outro

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Podcast Transcript

The Parallels Between Music and Crypto with Grady

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

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

In this episode, we discuss: 

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

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


Intro

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

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

I bought my first Bitcoin, something like that.

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

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

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

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

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

Good Karma DAO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Karma DAO’s First Showcase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Makes alot of sense.

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

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

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

Just join your discord. Introduce yourself

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

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

Are you talking about the party bed?

Yeah.

Oh yeah. Yeah. That was cool.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you sick?

What do you mean you can’t feel?

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

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

Loser

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

$CHERRY Part 1

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

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

Ok cool. Cool. Yeah, we see that.

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

So is that you?

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

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

I love concise names,

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

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

Future of Music in Web 3

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

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

Parallels between Music and Crypto

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

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

Web 3 Investments by Major Labels

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

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

How can new artists join the Good Karma DAO?

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

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

What can we expect from Grady in 2022?

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

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

Right

We’re going to the moon.

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

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

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

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

This was fun.

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

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

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

Thank you. We’ll see you soon.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

Breaking Down The Infamous $OVERSTIM Journey

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

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

In this episode, we discuss: 

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

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artist Management/Community Management

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

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

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

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

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

Evolving Role of Record Labels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Songwriting Camp

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

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

Henry, walk me through.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reinvestment of Earnings

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

Henry: 50% of it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Live Performance of Overstimulated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel: Should I drop some alpha

This is gonna come out next week before the show.

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

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

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

Oh. Okay.

Daniel: $OVERSTIM.

Nice.

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

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

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

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

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

What’s Next?

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

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

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

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

Awesome. guys,

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

Outro

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

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

Daniel?

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

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

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

Categories
Podcast Transcript

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

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

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

In this episode, we discuss: 

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

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


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

Great, Adam. Thank you for having me on.

Current State of NFTs in 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Record Labels evolve into hedge funds?

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

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

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

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

Because they have gone mainstream.

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

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

I have not.

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

In a substantial way.

Why Buy Music NFTs?

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

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

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

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

I’m down.

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

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

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

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

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

Creator Coins vs NFTs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forming A DAO to buy the jets

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

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

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

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

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

People don’t even vote.

Similarities between building an MVP and an MVC

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

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

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

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

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

I thought so too, but I don’t

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

I don’t it’s that high.

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

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

Trends in 2022 and beyond

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

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

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

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

Game: Bullish or Bearish?

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

Social as in like around people?

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

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

Okay. Music NFTs bullish or bearish bullish.

Bullish.

Punks, flipping apes, bullish or bearish?

In perpetuity.

Yeah.

Bullish.

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

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

V friends, flipping apes and punks bullish or bearish.

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

Last two DAOs bullish or bearish.

Very bullish.

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

Bearish.

Really? Okay. Yeah.

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

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

Happy holidays. See ya.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

What is a Community Contribution Opportunity (CCO)?

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

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

In this episode, we discuss: 

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

…and so much more.

Show notes


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$HAUS and DAOhaus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CCOs: Community Contribution Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

It is German. We probably could say house.

CCOs vs ICOs

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

Spencer Graham (21:48):

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

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

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

What is the legality around this?

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

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

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

What are the Cons of CCOs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got it. Interesting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outro

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Podcast Transcript

This Artist Is Raising $50,000 in Crypto For His Next Album

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 4 welcomes Xcelencia, a Puerto Rican songwriter and musician who growth hacked his way through Spotify playlists and now has landed in the world of web3. He’s the creator of the social token $EQUIS and more recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on mirror to bootstrap the birth of Infinite, an immersive multimedia album and digital art experience that will grow in real-time as fans engage with the project.

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:39 – Intro
  • 03:45 – Playlist Building
  • 07:50 – Social Tokens
  • 13:47 – How to Incentivize your Community?
  • 24:48 – Labels and Investors- How do they fit in?
  • 28:29 – Two Tokens – What’s the difference?
  • 34:01- How do you see the future?
  • 26:31- Outro

…and so much more.


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


Xcelencia welcome to mint, my friend. How are you doing? Thank you for being on.

Good. Good. Thank you for having me. I’m excited. My first crypto NFT podcast. So super dope to be here.

Intro

Let’s go. Yeah, man. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time. I’m excited to have you on. I’m excited to feature you on season four. I’ve been watching you enter the web three space and mess around and throw all these crowd funds. How you doing? How does it feel? Welcome to web three. I know you just transitioned in, right. And which is also primarily why I wanted to have you on yeah man, how’s it going?

It’s amazing. I mean, the support that I got, like, by the way, like earlier this year I launched my social token through Rally. Then I’ve sold a few NFTs. One of ones on catalog works and it all basically aligned towards me putting out this crowd fund, which I’ve been exploring for some time now. Like it’s been living in my head for a while, I wanna say since 2018. So I’ve been wanting to crowd-fund through crypto through blockchain for that long. So I kind of like naturally transitioned, like I gravitated to it cause I’ve been in crypto since early 2017. So I’m new as a creator in the space, which by the way, I didn’t expect like any kind of success or support as a creator. In my mind, I thought like, maybe I can invest in crypto and that I can take from that and invest in my career, kind of keep self-funding my career throughout the years. But I made the transition like late last year and I’ve just been putting in the work to get to a place where like people can kind of see how I’m navigating and I’m trying to bring something new to the space.

I see it, I think, well, you’re the first Latin artist that I’ve supported that I’ve seen come across my feed that has like, we’ve engaged with different chats. But I guess before even we even go into rally, before we go into mirror, before we go into the crowd-fund, before we do any of that web three talk, who are you like, what does the world need to, about Xcelencia and explain your music to us as well and how you kind of got started in crypto.

Yeah. So I’ve been in the music industry for about 10 years now. I started off as a songwriter. I then started diving into more like the production side of things. I actually like, so I dropped outta high school. I still got my diploma and I went to school for audio engineering. So basically I grabbed from a little bit of everything, the writing, the production, the engineering and I decided like music is my passion. This is what I really want to do. I want be an artist. And I started making my own music. So basically fully on like self sufficient. Like I’m here in my studio, it’s been like this since day one. So I’ve been super active, super consistent for just about that amount of time? So it’s been a few years of kind of hustling on the independent side, like in the Latin music. Like there’s not that wave of like, I’m independent, I’m doing this, it’s part of my brand? So it means a lot to me to kind of maintain ownership. And I really believe in independence. Right. I’ve been doing it for, for that long now, it wasn’t until like 2017 where I really saw the change because happened was like, I saw what was happening in Spotify and how Reggaeton and Latin music was really exploding because of the playlist. So I decided to put out an album where it was basically like a playlist of different music, but I released it on a weekly basis. So I started dropping a song every Friday and things started to really pick up for me. So from there on, I just kept up with that consistency and that’s when my career really started to kind of take off to a certain extent.

Playlist Building

Oh. I didn’t know that about you. That’s pretty cool. So you kind of like growth hacked a lot of the playlist era quote, unquote, to kind of bring your career to life. Okay, cool. Interesting. What was that like? What was that like building playlist? How’d you get listeners to that? Like, I know nothing about that world. So what did that look like? How did you bring that to life?

Right. So it was 2016. I remember I was going through my numbers and I got a check for like a couple hundred dollars and I was like, wait, like what’s happening here from the distributor. And what I noticed was that I got placed on a playlist out in like Chile, it was like a Reggaeton playlist. So it was like the top 100 Reggaeton songs of the moment. And somebody featured me on there. So I was like, okay, I started taking notice, but that was 2016 before it really kind of took off. And then that’s when I decided on that strategy of like, okay, let me, I’ve always like tried to reimagine distribution, right? Like, I’m like, how am I gonna stick out? There’s a lot of noise. A lot of people are putting out music like every week? So that was my way of saying like, okay, I’m here to stay. And I’m here to put out, great music. So that’s kind of how I kind of leveraged that. And I built the playlist up and it was cool because it was like, it was like my website at the time where it was a place where everyone can just go and just listen to my music. So that’s kind of how I treated it. So instead of promoting the individual songs, I promoted the playlist. So I was able to get followers and get more placements and pushing to get the music heard all around

Okay. Got it. Yeah. That’s super cool. So when did you actually get into web three as a creator? Like what was that period? Yeah,

So I would say, I always say like, so I got into crypto, like early 2017. I saw what Ujo music was trying to do at the time. And I thought that was interesting, but I didn’t see it as like something that would benefit me as like a Latin artist. Like I just didn’t see a lot of the music was like instrumental or like electronic music, which is super dope. I follow that movement a lot. So then I kind of just kept researching. I kept learning. I kept seeing what was happening on Ethereum. That was like the ICO era, of course. And then I saw Grammatic, he did a fundraise on a platform and he was able to raise money to put out, I think his next album, or just fund his tour, just something along those lines. And I thought that was interesting, but I told myself like, what, right now is not the time. So let me see if I can just stay on this for a few years. I was already, like, my conviction was in crypto was like super high by then. So like I said, let me wait and let me see what happens. I always told myself 2022, 2022, which was five years from there. So I’m like, let me give myself five years, stay, stay involved, stay active, which I kept it really low key. Like if you go back on Twitter, you’ll find like some crypto tweets, but like I had like a separate account for crypto. I would like follow VCs and traders and like the projects. And that’s how I kind of stayed on top of everything. I was part of Audius like 2019. So I would say maybe kind of when I started that, , I was following them when I think they had like two tokens, it was audio and loud, and then they kind of transitioned this audio and that’s kind of how I started, like my creator. I understood streaming so well that Audius just, it clicked for me like right away. Yeah,

Yeah, yeah. Makes a lot of sense. So then that brings us I guess to what you’re doing right now. Okay. Which is what I wanna primarily talk about. So you have your own social token. It’s called what $EQUIS, if I’m pronouncing it correct?

X in Spanish.

Social Tokens

Okay, cool. That shows you how illiterate I am when it comes to that, but all good. All good. Okay. And it’s on rally coin. Okay. On the rally platform and you also have this new social token that you’re putting out via mirror. Okay. Let’s talk about rally for a minute. Talk to me about the journey of becoming like a rally creator, but more importantly, like the process of issuing your first social token, what did that look like? What did that feel like? Tell me about that journey.

Yeah. So I definitely took my time because I, I found out about rally like last summer. I used to follow a lot of like the VC websites and stuff to see like where the smart money was going. Like, what were they involved in? And I saw it on the Coin-base venture site. So I clicked on it. I’m like, what is this? It says something along the lines of creators. So it resonated with me. So I started researching rally like deep. This was even before the network launch. So like, I think I cold emailed them like maybe when they launched or around the time they launched, which was like October. And they put out the ROI token, they launched the platform and I started really researching, but I didn’t actually launch until April of this year, 2021. So it was for like, from October to April, I was doing my research. Just kind of figuring it all out. I got approved on another platform, but I went with Rally because like the on-boarding process was, to me it was super like personal. It didn’t feel like, it just felt real, right. Like I had to meet with them, it was email. But then we had a video call, they on-boarded me, they told me the process, the flow of everything. So I decided to go with them because I saw that there was a strong community there and just the on-boarding flow of it was, was great. And it was really fast, , like they issued the token within a few days, I had my profile, I had everything set up. It happened right away. It was like around April or May that I launched, which at the time, the market actually took the dive at the same time that I like. So that was interesting too.

How how’d you get your first few holders? Like how’d you get the first few Xcelencia fans buying the token, holding the token and then eventually building some type of utility around it.

For sure. So I put a lot of thought into like the use cases, the utility. And I found that like, if I focused on my super fans and the fact that a lot of them are out in Latin America and like different like emerging markets and things like that, people that don’t have prior crypto experience, I thought like this was a more familiar experience. Like you sign up, you create an account, you have a username and ID and I can airdrop the token. And so I started by air dropping. So I never promoted, like buy the token or the sale of the token or anything like that, it was more like, do you wanna be a part of this? Get access to my discord. Discord didn’t move the needle for me at first. So I pivoted to WhatsApp, so I bought a new phone.

Interesting. Wait, can we hold on that for a minute? Why did you think discord worked for you?

So I don’t wanna generalize, but I think that like WhatsApp in Latin America is like the top like messaging platform. So like for example, all the producers I work with whether they’re from Columbia, Chile where else? Argentina, which is like one of my, my big users that I work with, they use WhatsApp. That’s how they communicate with family friends. So I had that idea in mind of like, okay, if I build a community, I can use a WhatsApp group. So it’s like a WhatsApp business. So I decided to like focus on, so I have both the discord and the WhatsApp group and I use those two to kind of communicate.

Got it. Okay. You were saying continue before.

So I got them in with like, airdrops I got in my collaborators, like my close team, the people that like, I trust, I brought those in first and then over time I started like just really building up and showing that like, Hey, I didn’t just do a token just to do it. Like, I’ve been looking into this for some time. I believe in it. I know it’s gonna take me some time to grow it. But I, think that like in rally, like a lot of people took note and they, kind of gave me that like vote of confidence and they started becoming a part of like what I’m trying to do, whether it was through supporting and holding my coin or just kind of like, just connecting with them. Right. Like I never really tell anyone like, Hey, buy the coin or anything, but I always say like, if you want, some I can airdrop you some. I can send you some [inaudible] ?

Yeah. Why do you believe in social token so much? You said, I believe in this, like, why do you believe in this medium as a form to kind of build a community? What does that mean to you? Yeah,

So one of my first startup ideas was basically like building a community through like SMS. Right. So at the time, I didn’t think there was anything like that until like community actually launched their app and like super phone, things like that. And I felt like social media was gonna get saturated. So I was thinking that fans, or people would like to connect on a more intimate level with their favorite artists or celebrity or whatever it may be. So like, that was a few years before even social tokens were a thing. So like that to me was just like, I gravitated towards that. I was like, this is a way of like, instead of like having a Patreon where someone pays monthly, now they can kinda like, be a part of the value that I’m creating over time. So like a, a single transaction and it’s like a one way thing, it’s a bilateral thing, right. Where, like you’re kind of part of my success as well. Anyone that contribute I do bounties, I do rewards. I do airdrops you share my song on your Instagram stories and you can earn some of the [inaudible and then you’re free to do with it, whatever you wanna do with it. I do believe in it. I was looking to build a fan club for some time, but it was either like a Facebook group or a Patreon. I’m passionate about crypto. I can have my social token. I can build it out this way. It’s gonna take some time, but I’m gonna go for it. And that’s kind of where my thought process was at the time.

How to Incentivize your Community?

Makes, makes sense. Can you talk to me more about like the utility framework you use to kind of build value beyond the monetary value value for your holders and how to incentivize them to actually buy your first social token on rally? You mentioned Instagram stuff, you mentioned a WhatsApp group Chat, talk, talk more about that.

I think that’s what I’m excited about. Like, I think bounces and like, I don’t wanna call ’em tasks, but like, for some people it could be like, it could be a collaborator or like, they, they create some content for me and I can like, give them some coin for that? And then they can also earn ROI because of the way that rally incentivizes holders on the platform. So that just adds, a cherry on top to them supporting me. They could also earn ROI, which, it takes like a little bit of education to kind of let people know like how it really works. If it’s a small group, you can kind of communicate that a little better. So I I’m, I’m excited about Bouncies. I’m excited about, I wanna throw a showcase here in my city. Like I mentioned, in the $INFINXTE crowd fund. And part of that is like, I wanna do tickets through Ecky. So I wanna do like a campaign, you pay the ticket in Ecky of using something like Event-Brite. So that’s, I think that’s a good way of like, saying like, Hey, like that can bring value to the token, I’m doing like that token gating thing where like, you gotta hold X amount of Eckies to be a part of the show, whether you have your own section, like the V I P section or whatever it may be. So I’m excited about trying that out as well.

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. One thing that I think creators have a hard time figuring out is like how to get started. How do you jump first into web three and more specifically, how do you do it in a way where off the bat, you can build an audience off the bat. You can build a community and use your existing platform, like on web two to onboard some of those users from social media, web two into token gated, discord web three, right. Which I consider web three. Web three is a whole other beast. Right. But like, that’s like one of the components of web three, right? Token gating communities. How did you get your start? Like, how did you overcome those hurdles? Like, how did you kind of like find it in you to kind of be like, okay, I get it. This is the first step. Like, how did you make that transition? What I mean? Cause I feel like a lot of creators have that issue of doing that. It’s something that a lot of people talk about on Twitter. It’s a lot of things that sometimes like creators come and tell me’s like, yo, how do I get started? And you’ve seem to figured it out.

Yeah. I think it goes back to just like let’s say you’re a creator musician. Like you gotta think about like, you’re active like community at that moment, as well as like your art, whether it’s music or you’re an artist, like I think it goes down to fundamentals. Like you go down to that foundation, the fundamentals, and if you have like amazing art or music or whatever it is, that’s like what you wanna focus on. So like don’t let like web three and everything that’s happening. Kind of distract you from being in the studio and creating and making music. That’s what I did in the summer. Like in the summer, if you notice, I didn’t do a lot of minting, but I was doing a lot of researching and I was still working on making music and things like that. I said, okay, I need to focus on what’s important. And what’s going to actually build my community, my audience and give me kind of like that validation and say like, he’s actually about it. Not going off just to hype, like he’s actively working and trying to do that. So I still to this day, I still have resistance where I kind of hesitate to do certain things. I’m still on that like who’s gonna support this. I’m the only Latin, Reggaeton artist kind of doing this. I still feel that way. Like even with the crowd-fund, like I said, it in a tweet like before I actually like tweeted all, I like stepped back for a second and I was like, am I gonna really do this? Like if I do this, like there’s no going back. Yeah. And that’s what I did, man. I just went through it. But I’ve always been I’m optimistic. And I’m like super active. Like one of my phrases is the hustle never stops in Spanish and, and been like that for the last few years. So to me it was like, I wanna make this happen. I get a lot out of it. And again, going back to me being in crypto since 2017, I think that helped a lot? So that put me at an advantage where like, maybe I’m not the creator with the most sales or the most mints, but like the transition was easy. I had my meta mask, I was already using Eth I used a lot of different D five protocols, tokens. Like I’ve done a lot of research and, and I think that’s a part of it. It’s like kind of take some time out to, to learn the space, like just get involved, get active, get involved and keep going.

Yeah, one thing that comes to mind as you’re talking about research, getting involved, the example that I like to use, that I keep like remembering when I have Daniel Allen on if you’re not familiar with Daniel Allen, for anyone who’s not listening, go check out the episode with Daniel Allen. He’s also gonna be featured on season four, talking about other stuff. But one thing that he did that was very different than many, many others was before he tried to sell or before he tried to build a community around himself or anything like that, he got involved with other communities and embedded himself in all these different groups online ecosystems via discord, telegram, Twitter, et cetera, and got his name known amongst different people. Right? Yeah. Whether it be collectors, other creators moderators, et cetera, et cetera, and built up his name, his friendship, his relationship. I think it was like for six months before he even did anything. Right. Yeah. Before he even decided, like, I remember he was telling me in the beginning, I was like, I was ready to go. I had everything up front ready to go to start the campaign. But I actually took two steps back. Right. I was like, wait a minute. Like, how am I gonna get people to recognize me? How am I gonna get this thing known? How am I gonna get my name out there, et cetera. He took a very like grassroots approach that was right. To kind of like bring this thing to life. So very, very similar.

That’s a lot of like independent artists. Like I feel like a lot of us are like, what they call the bedroom producer artists. It’s DIY it’s grassroots. Like we’re bootstrapping. We’re like self-funding. So I feel like you bring that attitude and that hustle from web two over to web three, and it’s gonna work for you, as long as it’s genuine, and it’s like organic, you wanna make sure that, you’re real and you you’re doing it because you want to, and not for the sake of doing it or because you’re seeing other people doing it.

Let’s talk about this mirror campaign. Okay. $INFINXTE by Xcelencia. Up until the date right now, it’s December 27th, 4:02 PM. Pacific time you have raised 8.39 E on mirror funding goals. 15 E that converts to right now 33 K with a max or with a goal of 60 K congrats. First of all, let’s no joke. Right? I know like numbers can be desensitized in crypto and like 30 K is not a lot, but that’s a lot of money. So congrats on that for starters.

And thank you for being a part of it, man. I told you before, but like, I didn’t know Adam, before I launched a crowd-fund, I think I was following him and just kind of paying attention, that’s another thing I like about the space is just like, everyone’s like genuinely involved and they wanna see where this can go. So thank you.

Yeah, dude, I back things and support things that excite me in that I’m like the guy on the side, like cheering for you right now. Like, let’s go, let’s go. But I wanna talk more about this. All right. I want to talk about this and what you’re trying to achieve here, because what this will essentially do this will give you two social tokens now to your name. Which for new creators, for new people and existing creators, it’d be like, wait yes, two different tokens. What does one do? What does the other do? But before we get into that, I think an important piece. What is $INFINXTE? What are you trying to achieve? Why did you issue this? Walk me through that.

Yeah. So kind of going back to what I said earlier, how, I kind of locked myself in summer and decided to work on my next album. So like usually when I’m making an album, like throughout the process, I’m also coming up with like, how am I gonna put this out to the world? How am I gonna brand the aesthetic, the cover art, the music videos that’s all running through my head as I create. So I had the idea for like maybe since last year I had an idea of like, okay, I wanna put out an album, but as a series of singles with NFTs and focus a lot on the artwork side of it. So like, whether it’s like the, the cover art or like the motion art or how we’re gonna actually put it out. Like I wanted to work with a variety of different like artists and not just musicians, but like also like the digital artists and motion directors and things like that to come up with the idea and the ideas that for the entire album and all the songs to lead into this showcase where it’s like a live performance showcase, but it’s also gonna be like a exhibition style where, the NFTs are gonna be displayed in real time and people can kind of experience both sides. So the music through the performance, but also like the NFTs and what we’re doing through, the, the actual art being displayed. I wanna try to make it like an installation, something immersive where people can be a part of it. So that idea has been in my head for a long time. So I said, okay, now’s the time to do it. I feel ready. And that’s kind of where the inspiration behind $INFINXTE started.

Got it. Got it. So how has it been so far? So how long has the campaign been out for what has the feedback been have you made changes since you launched? Walk me, me through that process.

It’s been awesome, man. I came in with no expectations. Like I told myself, like if [inaudible] is not a success, like $INFINXTEs still gonna come out. Like, yeah, obviously I have to like self fund and like really hustle to get it. I’m still gonna do all of that. But like, , I was already kind of thinking like, okay, what’s gonna happen if it’s not a success. So far we, I think I launched it. I wanna say second week of December, first week we raised seven Eth. So now I’m like, okay, this is getting real and I’m not taking it lightly because it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. And I know, I know where I can deliver and that’s another reason, if you notice, it’s like, it may be a lot at first, but I’ve never told my story in this detail and kind of, I added a little bit of everything that I’ve been wanting to do over the years. If I had the opportunity, the difference is if I would’ve pitched this to a label, they would’ve been like we wanna move faster than this. We wanna to put out some singles with remixes collaborations, put out the album, do a couple shows, see what happens and then move on? But like this one’s a little more like, I’m taking my time and I’m gonna put a lot of effort into like the entire experience. So it it’s been great.

Labels and Investors – How do they fit in?

Do you think labels will start valuing this creative and hustle process more than the current process that they look for in an emerging artist? Do you think at some point buying into the assets of creators will likely become a thing and like people, like you will actually be the target for like investment collaboration, right. Building around, et cetera, and using all the resources to do so. Do you see a world where that happens?

I think it could happen especially to the second part of like, I don’t know if they’re gonna use this strategy for their releases just because they move at a different pace. I think they’re gonna be looking into different ways of like engaging or community building for an artist, as opposed to saying like, Hey, put the album out and like we’ll spend this much on marketing and push it out and see what happens, get a ROI on it. Like that’s kind of like the main, putting out multiple singles doing this big exhibition, performance showcase, they do similar things like a release party, stuff like that, but I kind of wanna make it more immersive and obviously, putting out the NFTs, integrating tokens within the entire experience is all.

I ask you that question because, so when I had blockchain bread on when I had Latasha and I think also an episode that’s gonna be released soon with M shadows from Event sevenfold, we talked about this concept of record labels becoming and transitioning into creative hedge funds. And as more and more independent, like the thesis is that as more and more independent artists transition into web three, whatever that means. Whether they be independent or dependent now going independent, right? Like we see like with disclosure they’re gonna be basically purchasing the assets, the social tokens, the NFTs of these musicians of these creators as a way to kind of they’ll realize that actually creators won’t be, musicians won’t be accepting these like crazy contracts. They’ll have to start like buying into the work of the creator rather than owning the person as the creator. So I guess that’s where that comes from. Like, do you think, like, yeah, to play on that thought to play on that answer right now that you have more context, do you think it might emerge and evolve into that?

I think I shared it today with a few people. There’s an article and it’s like, labels are turning into DCs even if they don’t wanna. So like back then, it was like, labels are basically, big banks, they’re too big to fail. Now the ideas like they’re transitioning into VCs because there are so many platforms available for independent artists that over time in the artist, whether they wet three or not, they’re gonna transition into a different, like, they have a different mental model. Like you can distribute on your own and get a hundred percent of that revenue. And then you can delegate and basically find the team or the people you need to get to the next level without having to sign your rights away, you can still partner up, do joint ventures, profit splits and things like that. But I think there’s a lot of platforms that you can use to your advantage and not have to give your rights away? And I think they know that. But I can see that, that would be interesting. I thought about it a lot. I’m like, what if a label came in and, with an anonymous [inaudible] and just started buying a ton of like NFTs.

I wonder if it’s probably even happening right now. Likely.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s probably happening. I thought about that a lot? So who knows?

Two Tokens- What’s the difference?

Interesting. Yeah. Well, we’ll see. So let’s talk about this concept of like two social tokens. Okay. $INFINXTE with an X. Okay. And then there’s also the one on rally. Okay. How do you think about the two? How do you think about community? Do you think about community building the same way for both tokens? How do you think about value accruation? Like it’s probably not even a word value accrual. One is already hard enough. Two is like a whole other game. How do you think about that?

Yeah, so I got great feedback. I got suggestions. Some people were kind of saying like, Hey, with this fragment your community. And I started thinking to myself, my community is still early, is still young to what I’m doing so I can explore. So I kind of look at it like ekis is like creator centric or Xelencia as the artist. And then the $INFINXTE token is like a project centric token. So it’s based around the album in the same way that like, if you sign with a label, you have the artist, but then you have the album it’s its own thing. It’s its own world, it’s its own spreadsheet. They don’t necessarily abandon it for the artist or abandon that first album, when they release a second one. So I’m kind of thinking of $INFINXTE like that, like $INFINXTE is the album token that represents those assets, whether it’s the NFTs or the songs themselves and over time, I can imagine, for example, like whether we add liquidity to $INFINXTE based off of like future earnings or revenue or royalties, whatever it may be once we get there, if we get there $INFINXTE could be that like, it’s almost like the asset. The catalog of $INFINXTE lives within this $INFINXTE token, which could also be used for like governance and things like that to see like where else can we, we take the album? So I see like best of both worlds, like I can explore on a side chain so I can transition like , super fans to a familiar experience, but then I can do stuff on main net that I’m unable to do on, on rally, which is like these platforms that are specific to music, like catalog and sound and like mint songs and things like that. I can now, focus on those, but, Eckes I’m not abandoning Eckes, it’s like, that’s the creator token. And I’m seeing $INFINXTE as an album token, which I don’t think no one has really done. So I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy or, anything like that. But I think that like my conviction is there, right. Like I believe that it can work it’s its own thing. And the idea is to kind of, see if integrating it, see where I can take it over time.

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. How do you think about the concept of ownership when it comes to these two tokens? Right. I know you talked about royalties if, and when it happens. But beyond royalties, beyond, beyond like anything that’s like verifiably, I guess on chain or like digitally tracked. What about like concerts? What about merch? What about all these other kind of components that equate to an artist to an experience.

I thought about that too. Like again, it goes show like let’s say, $INFINXTE or four, six months in the songs are doing well, I’m getting showcases and things like that. If it eventually leads into a tour, like I think that would be amazing to, to grab some of that touring income and say like, Hey, I can redistribute this back to the backers of $INFINXTE. Right. And like, I kind of mentioned like $INFINXTE is its own like spreadsheet, right. Literally it’s its own ledger contract. Yeah. And I can see that over time. Like imagine we’re two years in and $INFINXTE, is still generating whether it’s through NFT sales or I’m still touring based on those songs and things like that. Like I know that’s a lot in terms of like accounting and kind of keeping track and like all of that, but I can see a world where that could actually work and $INFINXTE could be its own like album. If I do a second album, it could live on that same contract or I can explore, another token that represents that album, that album as an asset. These are just thoughts that I’ve had in terms of how to use both.

Yeah. Makes sense. Now that you’re kind of like experimenting on this front and you’re experimenting with music NFTs, different social tokens. What do you think 2022 looks like?

Man, I think about it a lot. I wanna see where music NFTs really go. Cause I see a lot of people kind of making their predictions as to, what’s gonna happen. I kind of wanna say, I think it’s gonna take much more like education and on-boarding as to why should I do this and why do I need to do this for certain artists? I think certain artists, like it clicked right away. I think that social tokens might come a little more out into the spotlight. I think music NFTs will do the same thing. A lot of people are saying it’ll experience something similar to digital art because like last year, like around this time, like there weren’t like those platforms we talked about where they focused on like music as an NFT. So it’ll be interesting to see where it goes, from here, is it gonna continue to grow? Is it gonna find its place? Is it gonna be more niche or what’s, what’s going to happen, right. Cause like you have open sea, but it’s a marketplace where you’ve got a ton of like different, NFTs on there. Whereas these specific, hyper focused platforms, like you can kind of tell, okay, I see what’s happening. Like you can actually really feel what’s happening within it. So I’m interested to see where musics NFTs are going and social tokens as the market overall. I’m not sure where we’re headed, but it’s an interesting time to be honest, like I’m excited to see where we go from here.

How do you see the future?

What do you think is kind of next for $INFINXTE? Right. So let’s say we hit this funding goal or near the funding goal or even go over. Okay. What’s step two. Okay. Step one was issuing the campaign. Step two. What does that look like? What does that feel like? And talk to me about like step two through 10, that’s some arbitrary number as well. Right. That’s more of like me saying like the future

I’m taking what I’ve done in the past, but like I’m basically like leveling it up so I can see, like for example, the first single is ready to go or I would say like the first six singles are ready to go. I think it’s about kind of building the structure for it. So really finding the remaining collaborators, the artists. I wanna collaborate with more web three musicians and artists, like that’s a big deal. Like I, I got a song with Harrison First, for example, I think it would be perfect for $INFINXTE. Like he has his social token. I have one. It just makes sense. And I’m sure we can just go crazy with like ideas and things we can do. I wanna do the same with like a lot of other artists. Like that’s something that I’m super open to, but yeah, like, , I wanna put out the singles, like I wanna come out strong, I that’s why I didn’t wanna do like an EP or something because I’m thinking this could end up becoming a bigger thing. I kind of wanna like build more momentum and anticipation before I put out out an album. So what I’m hoping for is for like put out all these singles, continue doing what I’m doing in terms of like engagement and community building and everything leading to that showcase. I think that showcase is gonna be like the most important thing I’ve done in my career. It’s an idea I’ve had for a long time. So the ideas for everything to lead into that big moment. And I think from there,  it’s off to the races to be honest. So that’s how I feel about it, but I’m ready to go. Like I have the music I’m, I’m doing like perks and rewards in real time. Like I did something where like I showed the first preview once we hit seven Eth. And that was token gated. So I’m planning on doing a few more things in real time, as , the crowdfund keeps going and then obviously once the releases keep coming out. I’m gonna keep exploring, whether it’s different platforms or more collaborations. And like I’ve even thought about putting out more music than I basically said. That’s why I didn’t have a track list. Cause I’m like this again, $INFINXTE, like this can go on. I wanted to lead to that big moment eventually. I think that would be like the smart thing to do that way. There’s a little closure there.

Outro

I love it, dude. I love to hear it. Look, man, I’m rooting for you. A lot of people online are rooting for you whether with their pocket or with followers or with listeners, or we’re here for you, we’re here to support you. I’m excited for you dude, before I let you go, where can we find you? Where can we find the campaign also linking the show notes, but give us, give us the spiel, show yourself before I kind of let you go.

So I’m Xcellencia. On every platform with an X on Twitter, you’ll find the mirror crowd fund it’s it’s pinned on there. So you can check it out. Dms are open. If you have any questions or feedback, anything I’m open to that. And yeah. Xcellencia on Spotify, Instagram, and I’m mainly active on Twitter and of course Discord. As always DMS are open.

I love it, man. Best of luck. We’ll do this again soon. Thank you.

I appreciate you. Thank you for having me

And I’ll end it there, bro. Good. That was great.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

NFT Afterlife: The Future of Music Fandom With Deathbats Club

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 3 welcomes M. Shadows, founder and lead singer of the iconic rock band Avenged Sevenfold. I grew up playing their music on the drums and have admired them ever since I can remember. 

I wanted to have him on because he started the Deathbats Club, a 10,000 PFP project whose perks and utilities are inner-twined within each NFT. We recorded the episode pre-launch so keep that in mind while listening, but regardless he drops so many golden nuggets on the music industry, being early to Ethereum, community building and so much. 

  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 11:50 – The Deathbats Club
  • 17:58 – NFT Adoption
  • 21:50 – Thinking About Community Management
  • 27:10- Thinking Post-Mortem
  • 29:02 – On-Chain Royalties
  • 38:52- Creating Utility
  • 47:03 – Deathbat DAO
  • 36:33 – Outro

…and so much more.


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


Intro

Welcome to Mint, my friend. How are you doing?

I’m doing great. How are you doing?

I’m feeling good, man. Thank you so much for being on really, really exciting times. Big day is coming up pretty soon. How are you feeling? What’s going on through your head?

You know I’m stressed. I am nervous. I’m excited. Getting through a mint is really, if you get out on the other side, I think that’s when the fun can begin. But it’s the minting process with all the attacks and things that can happen. Things that can go wrong and contracts and this and that. You really want to make sure they get in everybody’s hands, so I’m just a little, I’m like a father figure, just worried about everybody. Like, I hope everyone gets what they want for Christmas. So I’m excited, but definitely just like keeping our eye on the ball.

Yeah. Nah, I hear you. Look I was telling you this in the green room, but what you guys are doing, a lot of people don’t realize it, but it’s like at the forefront of what the future of music and artists fan relationship will look and feel like. So to have this type of like level of nervousness to have all these feelings doing a drop, it’s a big deal and you have to play that father figure. Like you have to coach people before we even get into all that stuff. How did you get into crypto? Like what’s your journey into the space? Rumour has it, you’ve been buying you through them since like $15? Can you walk me through that?

Yeah. I think in 2015 I started hearing about internet money, you know, I heard about Bitcoin. I don’t remember how long it was after that I decided, but I remember the moment that I did, I was on a golf course with my buddy Scotty. I started, you know, like shilling him on this stuff, but I didn’t even own any at the time, and I was like, we just got to buy Bitcoin. We got to buy as much as we can. And I, and I kind of understood, I had read the white paper. I understood in a way, but to be honest, I just, I understood the idea of internet money and I believed everything was kind of going more and more online. Shortly after I had signed up for Coinbase, which was completely a nightmare at the time. The early days of signing for Coinbase was actually insane and dealing with your bank and like, why are they pulling money out for this thing came on my radar. I started learning about smart contracts and smart contracts really intrigued me. And I think there were a couple of really simple analogies, like say a guy’s on your roof doing the roofing, and then you owe him this much money. Well, in the digital world, those will both be put in a contract, it will be authenticated by this contract, and then both things will switch places without human interaction, right? No disagreements. And I was like, oh, that makes sense, that’ll be cool for digital. So I bought a bunch of Ethereum and I think at the time it was $13 and Bitcoin at the time was $280 and we just bought a lot of it, and as much as we could before the bank, you know, gave us problems. And then we just held it and he never even thought of selling it. I kind of evangelized it to everybody as it got bigger and I learned more about it. People much smarter than me were able to make videos, and I was really able to understand what it was and how revolutionary it was. And then I lived through it all until, I guess, January of this year, and I started really paying attention to crypto punks. And I think you know, I mean, I guess we can go through all the ups and downs of Bitcoin. That is what it is. I never sold. I held onto it. People said I was an idiot. I had made so much money and then that crash happened and I never sold any, and everyone’s like, why aren’t you selling? My mom would call me. You shouldn’t sell. And I’m like, I’m never selling it. I just didn’t put enough in to worry about it. I just, you know, like it was just exponentially growing and I believe in it and I was like, nothing has changed, mom. You know? It’s all good. One ETH is one ETH mom. So anyways, and now they actually, I got my dad to buy a bunch too. So anyways…

Is he just buying Ethereum or is he buying a bunch of like other shit coins?

No, he’s got Bitcoin Ethereum. At one point we had it was Litecoin, XRP, you know, during that era that everyone had the same stuff, it was VeChain, Ethereum, Bitcoin, it was all the same stuff. And it was so it’s all good. And I’ve kind of moved off that path now. I have a new path that I believe in. But at the time we all had the same stuff. We were buying everything. And so in January I think I’d heard about crypto punks enough times to where, and then it just hit me. I was like, man, like the first thing, and obviously all the stuff’s debatable, right? But the first thing that became popular, I guess CryptoKitties became popular even though they were after crypto punks, but crypto punks are the first thing on not even, not chain at the time. So I’ve got all these caveats. Crypto punks were the first thing on the Ethereum blockchain that made sense of this collectible, I guess we could say. And crypto punks, I, one day went to my who’s now our coder for this new project. He, I said, I think we got to buy some of these things, man. They’re like early collectibles of web three of this future. And so I bought one, it was super scary. I think I bought, I know what I bought. I bought a four Addie pipe smoking, half shaved girl with blue eyeshadow for 29 ETH. At the time it was like, oh my God, I have this thing. But you know, after leaving his house, I noticed I was always pulling up my Metamask and I was staring at it. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I felt really good. And so I was like, man, if I feel this way about this, I think other people are going to feel this way about these really cool things. I lived through a little bit of a dip on that I think earlier and then the drop to like 13 ETH was the floor and they started buying more and more and more. So I started loading up on crypto punks. Anyways, I have a crazy story, but it’s-

What communities were you hanging around to get all this alpha? Because your life is about music, right? You have this insane band, this mainstream band, like hundreds of millions of viewers online, like it’s 24, 7 music. But then you have this small side to you. You’re just the degenerate. Like you’re literally like a degen.

Yeah. Well, I’m also a gaming DJ, right? So I grew up playing games when everyone said that internet users and nerds played games, right? And I always tell this story, but to me, my generation created the multi-million dollar Twitch player. They created the Fortnite champion. They’ve created that you could actually make a lot of money in this space because our culture demanded it. And it’s one thing that I’ve always, you know, as a culture rises, it’s like, that’s, what’s cool. The same way that my grandparents didn’t understand the Beatles and my dad understood the Beatles is the same way that I understand that the culture coming up is going to basically dictate, you know, the world that we live in, whether we like it or not. So I put gaming in the same category as crypto when I started learning about it. And, you know, I love to read about space and philosophy and consciousness and all these weird things. But I think if I didn’t, then the music would become really repetitive and boring. If I was only existing in this ecosystem of rock and riffs, you know, I think you would have songs about going out to the bar and that’s fine, but it’s not our M.O. We try to expand ourselves, which you know, is kind of reflected in our art. And so I think crypto easily plays into that because it’s where I see the human evolution going. Especially as we take this step into the digital frontier. I see that as a common theme amongst many crypto super-users, they have a gaming background. Like I played a shit ton of games growing up. My biggest game was Runescape.

And you see a lot of people that have crazy bags in crypto have these Runescape backdrops. Like I know you were there. I know you were there. I know you had that experience. Why do you think gaming has kind of gravitated towards crypto? Like why do you think that’s inherently very similar in terms of audiences?

It’s gotta be the people we hang out with there. And they’re very tech savvy. I mean, to play like a pub G or to play any of these games, you have to have some sort of knowledge of not only like steam or whatever in the marketplace, isn’t just, you have to be able to work your way around the internet. You’re going to know what Reddit is. You’re going to know what discord is. You’re going to know where these little nooks and crannies are of where you’re going to get information, right? And these things, they come from fringe groups. That’s what they are. These games start off as fringe games, you know, and they grow into these behemoths. But a lot of us are finding these games before there’s millions of players. And you’re finding these communities before there’s tens of thousands of people. And you’re finding these bands, you know, before, out of the garage. They’re not playing stadiums the next day. They’re taking years and years to develop. So it’s kind of that curiosity that you never lose, and you’re kind of always like sniffing around, like there’s bigger questions, right? Like, why are we here? What are we doing? And then there’s like these macro or these micro questions where it’s like, okay, well we’re here, so like, what’s next? Like what are we doing? And I think that’s just curiosity.

Yeah. I hear you. At what point did you kind of realize that this infrastructure actually could revolutionize, I guess, like a new movement between artists and fans? What was that aha moment for you? And walk me through that narrative, that story that you kind of encountered?

Yeah, well, you know, I was collecting. So I was hanging out in the discord of the punk chat and I was hanging out in, you know, art blocks and I was hanging out in all these places that were in telegrams, these new secret telegrams of people that are in mass group chats. Random, but very successful people that are very much talking about DeFi and API’s on this, and I’m going to invest in this and this coin’s doing that and this. So you’re kind of catching on to all these things that are happening in the underbelly of finance. And, you know, you kind of can say all day, like Ethereum is going to change this and this and this, but when you actually see really successful people doing it and believing it builds on it that was really eye opening to me. And I think, you know, to be honest, I had never put two and two together of utility and sort of that, that carrot hanging over the, what we would call it, the normies, right? Like how do you get them into this world? How do you get them to believe that digital ownership is a real thing? I think the best example is gaming because I believe that’s a no brainer. It’s like, okay, you own the stuff instead of renting it, like, but, but music’s a harder sell because now in December, I can explain to you how music’s going to work. But back in June it was kind of just like, I know what 3LAU is doing, and yeah. I guess music is putting an album cover on there and like, are we turning art or music listeners into art creators? Like, what does that album cover do? Why would anyone care? And those were the questions I was asking myself. Cause if I don’t care, then I know other people don’t care. It’s always like the bullshit test. But when Bored Apes came out. So Bored Apes came out and they gave up the IP to their apes and they had utility. Like at first it was, you could draw dicks on a wall, right? But it was like, oh, but everyone can’t get in here. I have to sign into my Metamask. This is cool.

It’s like a private Dick on the wall.

It’s a private thing on the wall. Like all my friends drew a Dick on the wall. But then it was almost like things just started flowing out of them and out of my mindset. And then I saw what Gary V was doing right with Vee Friends. And I was like wow. And of course, like at the beginning we were modeling ourselves exactly after board apes, and then you come to like this realization that no, like it’s just a construct. It’s just a, I guess, a platform or a format that you can use, but then you step into who you are, what are your feelings, right? And then you start thinking differently, like, oh, they don’t want a piece of artwork from somebody they don’t know who it is. They want concert tickets or, oh, they want to meet us or they want this or that. So I started putting this thing together, I guess in may, and so then we kind of took steps to kind of get people involved, which we can go into later, but that the board apes and Gary V friends were the ones that really sparked like, oh, there’s a lot more to this than than meets the eye. And then also I would say that I dug strictly into the community aspect, I wasn’t trying to tackle what 3LAU is trying to tackle, which I think is very different right now, but I think it all plays together. What I see happening in two, maybe 18 months, two years is the token holders are going to be the ones getting the fractionalized publishing from these streaming services where the artists have all the control. And so you do kind of need both, but I didn’t see that at first, I just saw build the community, build the community.

The Deathbats Club

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. You know, you referenced 3LAU a couple of times. He’s been on my last show, blockchain and booze, and we talked about things like, what is the future of music and NFTs. And I mean, you can kind of peep the drum set behind me. I’ve been a drummer myself since I was five years old, also grew up playing to avenged sevenfold, like seeing all these things kind of happen in real time. And now seeing a lot of musicians and artists get into the space. Forget about like the Instagram creative artists that left like corporate jobs and were posting shit on their stories and whatnot, like actual independent artists jumping into crypto and making a living kind of re-imagining what a modern day fan fan club looks and feels like. Tokenizing their songs is questionable that may be, or may not be. You’re seeing this revolution happening in real time. You’re seeing people understand the concept of what ownership means, let alone digital ownership and kind of reimagining, okay, if I’m going to bootstrap my career right now, I’m going to launch the song. How do I not only do it where I retain a lot of ownership, but do it in a way where I can get creative with this new technology, and use NFTs and all these digital assets. So I think it’s super cool. We’re obviously going through a really crazy revolution right now, I guess my next question to youis about the deathbats club. How did that come into place? Okay. Like how did that come about? I know you talked about like the birth of seeing Gary V’s clubs, seeing the birth of the Bored Ape yacht club, but how did you kind of build it in a way where it was super relatable to avenged sevenfold? Like how do you think about utility, all these concepts when it comes to building a modern day fan club? Walk me through that.

Yeah, so since we’re kind of first in building what we’re building, we wanted to test the waters and we actually released an NFT of 101 called “into the ether”. We put a little snippet of music that we weren’t gonna use on a record, and we basically wanted to kind of test the waters of our fans. And it was even this free NFT we were giving out, we got 5,000 addresses sent to us, and we actually wrote a piece of code that was allowing us to look into all their wallets, to see who had any prior NFT experience and only 17 people had prior NFTs. And so the other 4,900 and whatever had just signed up on open sea to get this free digital collectible. And so we knew that there was a lot of education that had to be done. We knew that, and we also knew, even though we were giving them out for free, we were getting a lot of flack for it. People thought it was a scam. You know, they thought all these things. So I’m glad we did that to kind of understand the audience, right? Because if we would’ve just gone straight into Deathbats club and said, Hey, this thing’s launching in a month, we would have been dead in the water. And I have numbers to prove that and I’ll tell you about those. So, once we launched that, we realized that we didn’t know what we were doing, and we’re glad we launched the 101. We started actually adding utility to them after, but this whole time in the process of seeing these people take them and talk about them and form these little clubs and this and that, then we said, okay, well we need to start a discord. We need to start building a community from the ground up, and then we’re going to start really digging deep into our soul and saying, what do people want from us? And a lot of times it was just our time. So we started creating, you know, tiered levels of very cool things you could have, but I said, I don’t want this thing to be like a slot machine where you get something great, then you’re totally bummed on your bad one. The base level has to be where all the value is, and then you might get a cherry on top. And so then we started thinking deeply about, well, we can put someone out and open our own line at shows and make it for token holders only. Okay, cool. No line for shows. And then we’re like, okay, well we can call live nation and tell him we need a hundred tickets extra for per show in our guarantee. Then, okay, boom. Now we have free tickets for life. And meet and greet. Cool. We can do that. And so we started building the back end and going, like, people will love this stuff. And then we started thinking, well, weekly giveaways. We own our own merch company, that’s easy. And then it was like, okay, well we’ve been building sandbox for a year, that’s easy. Let’s give them avatars. Let’s give them clothing, let’s have private parties. And it just kept rolling and rolling and rolling. And we’re like, we actually have something here. Like we have so much to offer. And if we do have like a mint of like 0.08 at the time, it was probably 150 bucks, 130 bucks is like, the value is going to. So super exceed what like that token is going to cost. And then our job will be to like, just keep adding value to it. Keep making it bigger and bigger and making these kids feel like they’re evangelizing something that’s kind of the first of its kind.

So why approach it from the 10 K point of view when you guys have so many fans? I get there’s a level of exclusivity, but why not like 12K? Why not 15k? How do you think about that?

So 10 K was actually was the standard that’s going on. In so many communities I’ve been in there was 10. And I also saw my friends in the hundreds do like 25,000. And I think it was a little, much, you know, I want to keep a really competitive I want to keep the tokens competitive in terms of like their value. I want to make sure that they’re scarce. And I think that we’ve told everybody, like, we’re going to be nimble with this. We’re never going to hurt the value of your deathbat. That’s going to be the number one thing. But I think the cats, the gutter cats and the board apes have done brilliantly by letting more people in with serums and mutant apes or this or that. I think there’s very cool savvy ways to let more people in. But you are not the Deathbat, right? The Deathbat is the Deathbat, and that’s always going to be the king. And I think there’s very cool ways to do it. And so I’m not really worried about it. And also you look at the band, like, I think we’ve sold 20 million records and we only had 700 people sign up for this thing in the beginning until we started making videos and like tutorials. And now we’re rolling into, you know, I’ve had a bunch of friends that have launched and they get about 1600 pre-sale white list and then they sell out instantly. We have over 8,000 on our white list. So we’ve done a good job of bringing people in and educating them and getting them here, but if we would have done this early on, it would have been the biggest failure of all time. These things just have to be thought out and you have to have people that are willing to like drive it, which I would say I’m driving it. But then I have a great team behind me. I’m hiring people that are in the space and hiring devs that understand what we’re trying to build and hiring mods that know how to deal with crypto, right? And know how to deal with the scams and the bots and the phishing attacks. And so you just have to have a great team, you have to be dedicated to it.

NFT Adoption

You know, look at the way you’re talking about it, the way your face glows. No legit, like you have to see the way your face glows when you talk about it. You’re obviously not the first musical artist trying to do this. You’re the first one trying to implement this type of club. And I actually noticed that you’re doing it the most efficient way too. Having FAQ’s the way you’ve structured the Discord. I’ve seen a lot of other musical artists that are more mainstream just issue like NFTs as a form to just like take and go. But there’s layers to this onion. And the way you’re explaining it, and the way I see your face, just like lighting up behind this entire model behind this entire structure, it gets me excited. I’m like an avenged sevenfold fan okay, full out. And I’m thinking to myself like shit, like this is my opportunity to be a part of something that I can verifiably choose and see on chain and get all these additional perks and be a member of this club, and just like, be a part of this family. Something that you don’t really get from necessarily just going to shows something that you don’t necessarily get from just going and buying merchandise. Something that you don’t necessarily get from, like either like doing, I don’t know, like a guitar, like there’s layers to this, right? And buying this badge, buying this emblem, whatever this ticket, whatever you want to call it. The way I feel about it, it’s like it’s my way in. And you know, and once I’m in, I’m in and I’m in with a lot of other like-minded people and we’re all in it together and that’s why I kind of see what you’re building. And I feel that way because I see your face kind of glowing and lighting up on the Discord, development and all that stuff, which a lot of people don’t really talk about. And that’s how you know there’s value behind it, from my point of view. You know, when you were building this thing out, how much of your audience was already crypto native? I know you mentioned there was only like 17 wallets that had NFTs and open sea activity, but even now for this new drop, there’s 34,000 members in the discord, have you kind of experimented with like, who’s more crypto native? How many people do we actually need to educate and kind of go over this hurdle? How many already knew what they were doing? Walk me through that.

So in the very beginning I found that the people that were truly following avenged sevenfold, like everything we do, is a very low number of crypto native people, I would say, in the low single digits. As I was like you know, for months and months, no one knew who I was in the punk chat or the apes chat or, you know, all these things. And then as people started to find out who I was, it turns out they’re fans, but they don’t follow us every day. They know all the songs and they’ll go to a show every once in a while, but they’re not on Instagram or in Reddit talking about avenged sevenfold, they’re talking about crypto. And so we actually found a lot of fans in the space that weren’t aware of what we were doing. Now that we’re doing, you know, we’re constantly in contact with like a DS or like a Jimmy McNeil list. And the people that are in this space that had been there for a long time, that we’ve been communicating with a lot of people have come into our community with a lot of knowledge, a lot of crypto knowledge that had been there for a long time. We traded a guy a crypto punk for our rarest first NFT and the guy minted 88 crypto punks. And he still has 38 of them, but he wasn’t following everything we were doing. He ended up getting in, you know, in the last couple of months, because until it hit their radar in the crypto world, it was like they weren’t following avenged sevenfold for what we’re doing, they’re just interested in other things. So I’ve found there’s a much bigger group of people, but it took a while to get them all to understand that, oh, a band, I really liked doing this, but it’s not a rug pull or a joke. Like this is cool, I can get behind it. And then a lot of it was just bringing our people in and now the discords become much more informative because some of these people are in there, they probably know more than I do, right? Like they’re into different things. Like you have players that are playing Axie and you have people that are really into this certain coin or that things that I can’t keep track of all of it. So it’s interesting to see these people in the discord, all discussing things with each other and when someone’s new and they go like, oh, what about, oh, look at Ubisoft doing this thing with, and then they’re like, oh, well these are the games that have been doing it forever. And this is why it works, and this is why those people don’t get in. I’m skeptical. And so it’s cool to see these conversations where the worlds are colliding now.

Thinking About Community Management

You know I’m in discord as we speak. So 34,368 members, and it’s popping, it’s so active. It’s so alive. How do you guys think about community management? You’re obviously running the band full-time, you’re working on the album that you’re releasing too. And you guys are, I’m assuming, going to go on tours. Like, how do you think about community management? Obviously, I think that’s something that you’re going to be outsourcing that you have been outsourcing. Walk me through that because I feel like it’s, it’s a big thing that musicians get scared of. They’re like, shit, I’m going to have to devote my entire time to managing this discord, but I guess you found a way to kind of grow hack that somehow.

Yeah. So a lot of the people that have been working with us for a long time, we threw them into the fire months ago and we said, learn what we’re doing here. Like we have this amazing girl named Courtney who’s going to be our product manager, right? Like she’s just on all the calls, whether it’s PR or whether it’s, you know, any sort of collaboration. I say hit up Courtney, cause she’s been dealing with that for us since the early days. She actually started a Fanzine, like a website. So she knows the culture and she’s been there since day one and the day she decided to shut it down is the day we hired her. And we were like, okay, we need you. And then we said, do what you did for that, but do it for us. And so she’s been with us for years and years, and then we have this guy, Alex, who works for us half time and half for Interscope. So he’s tapped into everything the major labels are doing, which, we’re like the anti that right now. And so he knows what they’re doing. He knows what we’re doing, but he’s got a lot of connections. And so we’ve got this great team of people. And then our dev actually was in web two for I’ve known him since we were in sixth grade, he was working cybersecurity for Barracuda, out of San Francisco. And then when we started getting heavy into crypto. We’ve been doing it forever now. And then, you know, three months ago he said, or six months ago now God time flies, he’s like, I’m going to quit my job and let’s build this out. I want to do it for you. I’ve learned all the coding I learned in my whole life. And so he’s building his own company based off of these launches. And so he quit his job in web two, and now he’s in web three and you know, he sold a Fidenza, which is helping payroll himself for a while. And so, yeah, he’s got some crypto punks now. And so he’s like, it’s such a better life for him because he’s, he’s in this space and he’s building, and he’s a punk rocker at heart. So he wants to help small bands. He wants to help everybody. So we’ve got a good group of people and then I’m going to, but I’m a psycho. So I’m going to tell them that everything from the giveaways to everything has to run through us. And then the bigger things like sandbox, I’m going to be in direct contact. It’s just how I roll, and I feel better doing it.

Yeah, you feel more aware. You know, my fear is like a lot of creators, a lot of artists are going to enter this space and just going to outsource that stuff completely. And that whole narrative and connection and energy is going to be missing, you know, and it’ll feel less authentic. One thing I’ve been telling them exactly, like you just said, look at all the Facebook groups, look at all the fan pages, look at all these things that fans are creating for free, right? Because they just love and adore the brand. They love music. They love how it makes them feel. These are your proponents to help build your community and make it like the next stage and the next level for that. It’s cool to see that in real time.

You’re totally right. And then this is like, instead of giving them all a pat on the back, now we can actually reward them because they’re token holders. I’m staying nimble with everything because I know that if you talked to me three weeks ago, I wouldn’t even know about some of the things that are coming out. And now the idea of a coin, and is it tethered to some sort of real world value, can you exchange it for Ethereum or do we keep it in our own shop or do we give a governance token out like ENS did? There’s so many things we’re looking at right now that I think will be a reward to the token holders, but I also know our fan base. And if I say something, then they’re gonna be like, when coin, when coin.

You guys should create a governance token pegged to the value of a pool of guitars and the value as the guitar fluctuates in value, that’s how the tokens fluctuate.

The other thing about like tokens and stuff is, I mean, well, there’s a lot of, look at what the Bored Apes are doing, a lot of regulatory issues. And we’re kind of one of those things where like people could be like, Hey, create a DAO, but it’s like, yeah, but we still have to be the driving force creatively. No, one’s signed up to the avenged sevenfold Deathbats club, because they want to create songs. They want us to create the songs and also choose a set list. And we also have to think about, which is a good point I wanted to bring up, is that we have a contingency of hundreds of thousands or millions of other people that are not in the club that we have to make sure that they don’t get affected by the club. Meaning the governance you give the club can’t start impending on like, Hey, like all the normies, they can’t even come to the show anymore. You know what I’m saying? So like, there’s like all these things that a DAO would simply take care of, but you can’t have the, you know, the inmates running the asylum completely. I actually talked to the guys at Poly chain about this and they’ve been so cool with bouncing ideas about what’s around the corner, right? Like what’s coming guys, like where are these things that you’re investing in that are going to be cool? And one thing that came up with it was like, why don’t you do like a message board type of thing, but it’s blocked and you have to have the token to get in. And then the amount of time you spent there, so it’s almost like a DAO. And then we can come in and see the ideas and then go, okay, we’re going to pay for that. Because a traditional DAO would be like, let’s buy sandbox. Well, we’re going to take care of that. And then there’ll be like, well, let’s do this, and it’s like, well, we’ve already taken care of a lot of those things that we’re happy to do it. So we have a little bit of a different path we have to take than most.

Thinking Post-Mortem

You know, the way I kind of envisioned DAOs for music is like, let’s look at queen for a minute. And Queen has a global fan base. They have the movie, they have the fans with, or without the band, they still listen to the music. They still congregate. They wear the merch, they get together, they sing the songs, they do all these things together as a group. Without queen, without, without the lead singer, without really the band per se, in the picture and down the line, these modern named fan clubs will essentially evolve into that, you think, but done in a way where you can capture the values? Like, let’s say like when you guys aren’t in the picture and the music lives on forever, how do you kind of coordinate? How do you do that? Right now it’s happening super organically, but how do you attach some type of asset that allows people to kind of reap the values? Because down the line, when you guys are gone, royalty still accumulates, value still gets captured. Who gets that? How do you, how are you thinking about that?

Oh God, you just made me think about it. I don’t know. Like I said, like, what I love about this space is there’s incredibly smart people asking incredibly cool questions and what we have to do now is make sure we set ourselves up for the future, whether it’s the contracts that we’re writing on the blockchain or whether it’s, you know, just some sort of vision of what’s going to happen in the future and set yourself up so that you don’t completely screw yourself. And so a lot of what we’ve been doing is kind of like damage control in a way, like making sure that we’re nimble enough to do some of these things, but it’s a great question. Like yeah, where do those royalties go? And like, how do we get into some sort of contract that our estate has to abide by, right? Because the estate might come and go, Nope, it’s all ours.

It should be a DAO. It should be the fans that kinda like govern that. If they, down the line, want to create a movie, but nobody’s here, you know, like,who will they talk to. How do they organize that?

It’s better for the fans to do that than, you know, some sort of label or whatever it is. I mean, yeah, it’s a good point, man. Can’t wait to be dead and see how it goes.

Royalties On Chain

I’ll keep you posted when you’re dead. You know, and another cool thing behind all these modern day fan clubs which we kind of touched upon right now is like this concept of royalties. And I listened to other things that you talked about, other interviews, other written blogs, and I know it’s something that you’re very vocal about. You’ve obviously gone the more traditional route as a band, adding labels, having big teams behind you, tons of money behind you, but there’s a lot of independent up-and-coming artists that are getting into the space that are tapping around in crypto, realizing the potential of selling NFT as a co-ownership of their song of their album. I guess like, how do you think about this concept of royalties evolving on chain? How do you think about this concept of automation and smart contracts and the blockchain as an infrastructure to create more transparency? More I guess, remove the middleman, all these keywords and these concepts that are like evolving. What do you think about that?

I mean, total no brainer, right? The same way that CDs wiped out tapes and then Napster wiped out CDs, then we had to piece it all together with, okay, well, we’ll give you a little bit and you give us the catalog and then you still have the same royalty structure. I firmly believe that the future of music will evolve out of the fringes of web three. And I don’t know if Spotify and those companies survive because they’re too big. So a bunch of different things I think about this. We talked about the video games and the culture coming . The culture of new artists is obviously going to go, why would I give that to them for the same amount of money I can get for a token sale from these fans and give them in reverse the royalties, and they’ll be completely happy with sharing 20% while I keep 80%. They’ll be completely happy with that because there’s no other option. It’s either that or listen to the music for free. Like, and so web two works really well in the sense that $9.99 to listen to everything is cool. You think it can’t get any better until the sweetening on top is, oh, well actually the more you listen, the more you evangelize us, the actually the more you get paid because you’re a token holder. So then it’s gonna be like, oh my God, like, of course. Now the problem is that it’s kind of like making a hundred million dollar movie and then saying, yeah, but I’m not going to put it on Netflix. I’m going to do it on my own streaming service on my website. Like music has to be communal. It has to be listened to by everybody. So what 3LAU is building and what people are building, it needs to be so global and so mainstream that that’s where people go to listen because no, one’s going to be driving in their car and listening to, you know I became everything of a song right now, listening to like easy by the Commodores. Then they’re going to put on stairway to heaven, and then they’re going to go, oh, I want to listen to avenged sevenfold song, but I’m going to get off this platform, go to this website, download it, click it, and then listen to it and then go back to my, so the platform has to exist. Maybe it’s Tidal, maybe it’s someone that comes back and does it all blockchain. But what you’re saying is going to happen, it’s just, who’s that company that’s going to come in and in the culture is going to demand that they listen on there because just like SoundCloud that revolutionized everything, everyone heard their mumble rappers and whatever they’re doing on SoundCloud, and it’s going to be on the blockchain. And then everything from there on forward will be on it. I don’t know if avenged sevenfold is too late for that. I know that right now, our fans are listening on apple music and it was even hard to get them on there. We did a surprise release on the last record and people were so mad about not having a physical. And to me, I was like, I haven’t even seen a CD player in six years. And so you have part of this thing is like the older cultures still decide what they’re willing to deal with, right? In terms of where they’re going to listen. I think if you make a platform that’s on the blockchain, but you make it super easy for people, the kids can own the tokens, they kind of understand that part, but it’s easy for my mom and dad to throw that on the street, but you can’t be abandoned and completely wall yourself off because then you’re really shooting yourself in the foot. And you’re going to start seeing the concerts go down. They’re going to start seeing like your, you know, everything goes down if you’re not being able to be listened to easily. So we’re in a weird position right now. We’re happy to take it on the chin and walk through it. We know most of our businesses live performance, and so to go into the blockchain and radio, they won’t play you anymore. Well, radio hasn’t been played as in years, like there was no radio for rock. MTV, like they’re gone, we don’t care. Spotify is not putting metal on the front of their curated playlist. What do we care? Like, we’re a perfect band to do this cause we just don’t give a shit at this point. It’s just like, let’s just go.

I never thought about that, you know? Cause you see a lot of the EDM crowd get into crypto and them having good success, but I never thought like the rock metal kind of sector would actually, you’re right, have such a good advantage over everything that’s happening. So true. I didn’t think about that.

And we’ve built great communities. If you think about it like iron maiden, right? It’s like grandpa, dad and son are at the show and they’re not going anywhere. So you already have those communities and the pop fan is a little more whatever’s happening in the moment. The Iron Maiden fan is there for life and the Metallica fan. So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have the strongest online communities, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to present this to them and then go, this is actually better for you. We’re not trying to scam you. This is actually better for you, not just us, for you. So that’s been one of our things that we’ve been trying to tell people.

Yeah. You know, you talked a little bit about this, but I want to recap for a minute, like the evolution of digital music. We saw Limewire coming into the picture years ago, kind of like torrenting music, stealing music, downloading it for free. Apple came out with this thesis that people actually want to buy the music that they want to consume, so they introduced this 99 cent model. And then we saw the rise of Spotify and Apple music with streaming services and people paying flat fees to get access to unlimited music. Now we’re seeing the transition of people actually re entering the world of wanting to own music. Because when you used to buy it on iTunes, you’d rent it, you wouldn’t really own anything. Now NFTs allow the medium of owning. So for example, there’s this independent artist, his name is Daniel Allen. He has about a million listeners per month on Spotify, a few thousand followers on Instagram, a couple of hundred on Twitter. He came out with something super unique and original. He was like, okay, I have this EP that I’m coming out with. I need capital. I’m gonna mess around with these token primitives called NFTs, and I’m actually going to crowdfund part of my EP and I’m going to give up ownership 50% of it at least. And doing the way where every single check that I get from apple music, iTunes, basically these DSPs and these publishers all then convert that to USDC and airdrop that to people who basically helped bring this to life proportionate to their investment. It was actually a super interesting pitch because you raised like $180k in less than 48 hours, you know, from this year in community and keep in mind, you really didn’t have too much backing on Twitter. You had a few strong supporters that helped them consolidate them to get into this space, but it just shows you that, wait a minute. Now I find myself buying music NFTs for the pure sake of being able to co own this track because I just love and adore it. It could still be streamed on Spotify and apple music and everywhere, but now just like ownership is remodeled underneath the surface, which I find super interesting kind of like pivot, like evolving. Now you’re seeing platforms like for example catalog.works sound.xyz mint songs and a bunch of these players coming into place and kind of selling the narrative, own and then sell portions of that to your audience, you know, and introduce levels of new fandom. And I dunno, I think it’s just interesting how everything is kind of evolving in how these token primitives are kind of introducing new creative ways to kind of build communities, issue, assets, think about monetization, all these things.

I think what you just said is exactly where we’re thinking on this subject, right? So if you go to somebody and you say, “own a song”, to my dad who keeps up on this stuff. But you know, when you say own a song to my dad, he’s going to think, oh, okay. Like the first thing you think of, if you’re not creating crypto native, you think, okay, there’s a blocked off wall and no one else can listen. Like the WuTang thing, which is not the case. And then you think, oh, well I have this thing that’s on there, but I just own it because I can say I’m one of 500 owners. No, what we’re saying is that it’s a fractionalization of the publishing, right? It’s you own it, but you partake in the royalty of the people that don’t necessarily care as much, but are paying the $9.99 to listen to everything and they’re taking a portion of your royalties and you’re trickling it down to them. That is what ownership means. It’s kind of hard to explain to somebody. It’s very easy to explain the gaming one, right? Because everyone knows kids, everyone funnels money into Fortnite or whatever it is, and they all understand they can see it in their credit card at the end of the month they go, oh yeah, they don’t own that. But the music one takes a little more of an imagination because they need to understand what publishing is, they need to understand what the masters are, they need to understand how those systems work. And so to me, what you’re talking about is exactly how it would work. And then the artist would dictate how much, you know, these token holders would get. But again, maybe the song is the token. What I see is that in this community we’re building a Deathbats club, that could be the token as well. It’s just as easily transferred right into that, right. Where it’s like, we’re not going to sell you the song. If you’re a part of this community, this is how these things are going to roll in. It could be live streaming revenue, it could be, you know, royalties from Spotify or whatever the new web three system is.

It could be merch that you sell online that gets accepted through crypto and all that stuff is automated and distributed.

The metaverse yeah. Like sandbox sales. So, and then if you think about it, like why I was so anti this in the beginning, not anti, but I just said, people don’t understand, like I heart and Cumulus and Spotify, they’re not on chain. Where are you going to get those royalties? So what he did is he went and took an analog thing and said, okay, I’m getting a check. I’m going to go and I’m going to convert it to some sort of cryptocurrency or what or USD I’m going to airdrop it to you. Where if it’s truly working the way it should work, it should just all be on chain. And we just would just never even have these questions right?

Creating Utility

Like stim would issue a check to your Coinbase account, and then from there or even to your Metamask or there’s a product within that that just issues a check and that check just like distributes it to everybody. Yep. 100%. Let’s backtrack for a minute. I want to talk about more of the utility. What are people getting through these NFTs? Talk to me about the layers of utility. I know there’s opportunities to go golfing with you. I know there’s opportunities to get exclusive merch, skip the line, all of these amazing perks. Walk me through that.

Yeah, so I believe that in the end, the digital aspect of the Deathbats club will be the most important part. But I think in the beginning we really needed to show people that these are just really club memberships, right? These club memberships have this sort of real world utility as well. And because right now, what do you do in a club? Like, I can’t go tell a million people that, Hey, we’re going to make the sandbox things to be really cool you buy a token, I swear we’re gonna hang out in there. It’ll be like, what? And then someday, you know, we’re going to share royalties with everyone and there’s gonna be this coin. People will be like, what doge? Like there there’s just no way. So we were trying to keep it really simple. And we said, okay, I’d already expressed that we really want to make the normal coin, which is most of them. Very important. So poker nights, movie nights, Discord colors, discord rooms, Access to the metaverse through sandbox, private rooms, these will be your private keys. Where we can air or not airdrop, we will be doing that, but where we will be maybe putting music on the web three part of the site where only token holders can listen to it. It’s like teasing the record or like little snippets of backstage stuff. So it’s like this all encompassing membership into this thing. And then, you know, then you do the weekly giveaways, which we’ll be giving away guitars every month, zoom calls with the band. And then we were like, okay, well, what else can we do? And they were like, well, let’s make, you know, we ripped it from the crypto punks. We’re like, let’s make nine aliens and 24 ghosts, and you know, like the aliens, apes and the zombies. And we said, well, what would be the ultimate thing? We’re like, well, tickets and meet and greets for life. Okay. Done. That’s nine of them, right and they’re not minted yet, so we don’t know if it’s gonna be nine or 13 or with a little caveat, but then we put in the algorithm 24 ghosts, which are free for life, And then we put in there that there would be undead, which are kind of zombies. There’s hopefully 88 of them and that’ll be three meet and greets for life. So any show you go to, you just there’ll be an RSVP system that we’re building out, but then you kind of show up. Hypothetically just come rolling up like, got my zombie, let me in. And then, so you’re going to create this really cool atmosphere of like, oh, I didn’t have to wait in line. I’ve got this cool merch. I can only get in the club, I’m meeting the band. And maybe I’m done with it in three years and I can sell it for more than I bought it for, hopefully. I can’t do that in the Metallica fan club. Like I’m kind of just done when I’m done. And then we said, we are like two months out, like could we do anything else? We have a thing called shook. So we’re going to drop air packages to your house. Some things that you can’t get anywhere else. I stole that. I stole that from pub G I’m like, oh, the airbag care package. No, but it will be like things that are like one of the ones that you can’t get, like, whether they’re leather jackets or gold coins. Things that you can’t get, and they will be like 120 and that’s it. Like, you’re part of the club, you get them. And then we said, well, what else can we do?

Which, by the way, that’s like the equivalent of Tesla issuing the blow torch or like the Tesla tequila, or like all these different perks, now I get it. Keep going, keep going.

Then we said, well, what else can we do personally? Like, and we all have things. People would love to get drum lessons from Brooks or guitar lessons. So like, what we did is we went through and we just said, everyone came up with six things. I mean, you can double them up or whatever-

How much do I need to pay to get that? Let’s be real for a minute.

0.08 ETH and get lucky.

I don’t believe you. Jesus.

So, I mean, it’s all luck of the draw, right. It’s like randomly. And then Brooks said, you know, I’m going to do drum lessons. I’ll have a day where we’ll have coffee together. I have one where I’ll go out to dinner with you, hang out all night. Have one where it’s like, go golfing with me, and one where you game with me on that game with your friends. And so these are redeemable for once a year and then it’ll last for three years and then we can either extend it or we can change them. So like, when I’m 90, I don’t necessarily want to get called up and be like, you got to play golf, you got to jump on call of duty.

Like I’m about to die.

And then the kids like rug. But so on those, one of the ones we put the Gary V like three-year thing in there. So, yeah, those we drew ourselves or we made our own arts. They don’t even fit in the collection. And we took that from Kremplin when he did trip totes. We’re just very, like, so much in the space. And like, you know, one of my tokens looks like loot for ventures. It’s just a flat piece of paper where it says like dry forest, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so we have all these little nods to the NFT space for the last six months.

Did you get the AGLD airdrop?

I didn’t, no.

Did you get loot? Did you mint loot?

No, I’ve minted loot, yeah. But they were giving out so many airdrops that I stopped getting them. Or not airdrops, but they’re doing like free mints for everybody. I was like, I just stopped paying attention because it’s just so much. And remember I said, I was going to kind of tell you what. When I was earlier in the conversation, I said, I have a different strategy. So my strategy now is like, I’m in NFTs and I deal with it. Obviously all my stuff is dealing with Deathbats right now, but in crypto, I just hold Bitcoin and Ethereum and I have polychain do everything else. I’m like, they have a coin fund and they have a crypto fund in terms of like new companies. So it’s just too much now. Like, I’m like, I can’t. I can’t be like, go do this coin or get that airdrop. I have over 1400 NFTs. There’s things I should be doing all day and getting free mints and airdrops, but I just don’t have the time. I don’t have the time. But I do have a couple bags of loot.

I was just going to say, like when Loot came out, I remember Dom like just issue this free thing on Twitter. I didn’t get the free mint. What was it? Will? I forgot his last name from syndicate DAO. He basically created AGLD, the governance token for loot that airdropped that. That shit pumped to like a 100K in like a matter of 24 hours. I remember it was like 2:00 in the morning, 2:30 in the morning, and my buddy, Joey, he got the airdrop and we’re just like online, just fucking around. And I was like, yo, I just got this airdrop, like send it to me right now. I copy the contract. I just put it on Uniswap, buy that shit. Put like 5k into it, dude, like 40 hours later, it was like 50 K cashed out, done. I try to get the point across so many people when it comes to creators or artists, whatever, meet everyday users, it pays to be an early user. It pays to be fucking around tinkering with this stuff, putting money, throwing shit in the trip. Like it just pays not only for like the knowledge and the network that comes with it, but the amount of rewards, and like loot, essentially that you get from it. The pleasure of being, and knowing that you are an early adopter, you’re contributing to this revolution, I don’t know. I could be losing my mind.

No, you’re not. You’re not. Think of how many bags the board apes have dropped for people. My good friend, like I got these guys into it now they’re total degens, right? Like, and everyone that you kind of get in, like once they get in there, they’re done. Like work stops, they’ve got their computers lined up. So like one of my buddies got the number one rarity gold dog, the gold hot dog its mouth when they dropped kennel club. Day one, he gets a 50 ETH offer on it. I’m like, bro, they just dropped you $150,000 or $200,000, and he’s like thinking about it. I’m like, you gotta take that dude. And I look at the guy and he’s got multiple offers in a week, you know, that are, that are out. And I’m like, dude, someone else is going to take it. As soon as I say it, another gold dog 2 rarity takes it and his offer goes away. It’s like, oh no. And I’m like, come on, bro. He ended up selling it, like I think for like 35 ETH a couple months later, which was huge. But it was the lesson of like, dude, if you’re there, you don’t need that dog. Would you write a $200,000 check for that dog right now?

I love it. Alright, I have a few more questions before I let you go. Do you have an anon account on Twitter?

No. I just started one though cause I started doing spaces. So it’s shadows_eth. And so I just started it.

Deathbat DAO?

Wait, I got to write it down. I’ll find it later. I’ll follow you. I guess another thing we talked about this earlier, like the future of DAOs, it’s a big thing right now happening in crypto. You’re obviously putting it on the back burner, you guys are just in the process of issuing the mints. Do you imagine a DAO coming to the picture sometime down the line to kind of govern this thing as the future success kind of grows?

I do. Yeah. I mean, at least a portion. Like I said, when I was talking to Bennett at poly chain, it was like a semi DAO at first and see where it goes. Again, because we have the problem that it can’t affect people’s lives that aren’t in the club. And we’re the first example that I’ve seen where that could happen. You know, with the Bored apes, we’re able to create the board apes out of thin air and everyone that has a Bored Ape has a Bored Ape, it doesn’t matter. It’s not like, you know, it was an Adidas side project. I mean, now they’re collabing. But it’s not like it’s an Adidas side project and you got a Bored Ape, and then the DAO of the board apes would be like affecting Adidas somehow. And so we have to really think about, you know, We have so many things we’re doing like we’re giving up the IP of the Deathbats, things that are just unheard of for a band. So we’re trying to break the rules in a smart way that doesn’t completely screw us for the future where the DAO kicks us out of the DAO.

Legit. Like, fuck these guys, we’re gonna start our own band.

These are our songs now, you ARE going to play on holy confessions for the 4,000th time. I think there’s a lot of room for all sorts of models in this space, you know? I don’t believe in giving the keys up and then handing them back right? I said that term yesterday and I liked how it sounded. Web three gives us the keys back, don’t hand them back to the middleman. I don’t think we’re a middleman, we’re a creator and we need to create art, and we’re a creator that existed in web one and web two. So, you know, we can’t throw everybody out because we have a club now. And so if there is a DAO, it will be structured in a way that it affects only the Deathbats club.

Yeah. It makes a lot of sense.

 I don’t know how useful that is. We’ll see.

Yeah, I think all this stuff is experimentation. You’re trying things day by day. This space moves at a thousand miles a second. If you leave for a day, you feel like you’ve missed three months. It’s legit over. So look, I sincerely applaud you guys. I think you guys are the epitome of what every other band and group creators are going to be doing down the line. It’s just that willingness to take a risk and be very forefront about it. I’m rooting for you guys. I’m gonna be buying NFTs. I’m going to try to find a way to get on the white list. I don’t know what that process is like.

It’s done now, but send me your address. I’ll put you on

And yeah, last words before I kind of let you go, anything you want to tell the world?

I guess I would just say like, I am completely cognizant as I’m sure you are, that we are talking, you know, in December of 2021 and things are gonna change and this interview is probably going to get so outdated so quickly, and this is just us trying to find our way and we’re basically, you know, making the best decisions with the information that we’re given. And in weeks from now, we might look back and go, like, I can’t believe we were thinking about that. I can’t believe this wasn’t on our radar. And so I’m really interested to see where this thing goes, but people that get in the club, you know, it’s going to be a long journey and it’s going to be fun, but we’re going to be making some big right turns and curves off that path and it’s going to be fun, but we’re just going to continue to experiment and see what happens.

Dude, you’re telling me the Bored Ape yacht club toads and punks was like a lot of your inspiration, Gary V was a lot of inspiration for doing what you’re doing. I’m so excited for all the crazy airdrops that are about to happen. I’m stoked. Dude, M.Shadows, thank you so much, man. Best of luck. I hope to have you on again soon.

Thanks a lot, man. And, and email me your wallet, I’ll get you.

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Podcast Transcript

The Next NFT Hype Will Empower Video Creators

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 2 welcomes Dayo Adeosun, founder and CEO Glass Protocol. In this episode, we talk about all things video NFTs, the fundamental macro problems facing short form mid form and long-form videos in web 2, why people want to own videos, how we can better educate creators around the world on the concept of ownership, and so much more. 

  • 00:54  Intro
  • 07:45 Problem Solving
  • 19:29 What are you Optimizing for?
  • 32:25 How do you price a video?
  • 37:57 What’s under the hood?
  • 44:48 Monetization: Youtube vs Glass
  • 49:18 Importance of Ownership
  • 1:02:18 You become your own coach!
  • 1:03:21 Outro

…and so much more.


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


Intro

Let’s dive right in. Okay. Who are you? What does the world need to know about you, but more specifically, like what were you doing before crypto and where are you now?

Wow. My name is Dayo Adeosun. You can pronounce my first name, like Cinco de Mayo with a D. I am the co-founder of glass protocol and I focus mainly on community creators, collectors, curators everything pretty much around like the social networking of improving the product in the overall,,network of just the community as well as the actual product. Before crypto, I actually graduated from the University of Chicago in 2020. I was playing soccer. I actually was known as a soccer player for a majority of my life,,where I’d play for a bunch of academies in New York, where I went to high school, in college at the University of Chicago. At the University of Chicago, I actually started my first startup, which led me to Glass actually, it was like a crowdsource map, hat helped people find, heir people and find their places around campus. COVID kinda wrecked that and that was my first foray into startups. It was a web two social map and I’ve always been someone who was not a bystander and someone who wanted to make a change. And I read like a little bit of Marx in college, and it talked a little about, about this technological revolution and a little bit about where the world was going. I just kept reading a bunch of books and all these books in college that kind of just changed my worldview and that kind of prepared me for this information age and really being just an adaptable, I guess, information, internet, I guess, historian slash entrepreneur.

So talk to me more about that first startup. Like what did that consist of? How big did that grow to and what were some of like the biggest lessons you took away that you’re now applying to glass?

Yeah, so the first startup was called Spot and that really started because I saw this trend of loneliness that was coming from like the cultures around me. The idea was that like in 1987, [inaudible] used to hang out with like 38% of their community at least five days a week. And then by 2017, that went all the way down to 5% and you’re on campus and you were saying just a lack of engagement amongst students and spot was really just the goal was to just maximize connection and maximize the time that you had that was free on campus to see who was available, where they were at and to link up. And so we actually raised like a little bit of money from like University of Chicago. They gave us like $10,000 to work on this. We applied like we, we did this caution venture challenge, which I think GrubHub came out of Braintree came out of, I think they, like, I think PayPal bought Braintree and some other like pretty bigger Chicago native,,startups came out of and like Chicago, I guess, YC, at the University of Chicago, which is called the CNBC. And that’s when I met Varoon and Varoon, as my co-founder till today with Glass but we kind of just like iterated for a year, just on the idea of what would like a map that help people find the things they want. And then we kind of went into like a stall point and we didn’t necessarily have like the backing capability to make out the full iOS app. And that’s when we found Sam who was working on like this machine learning, itHub for machine learning, essentially startup, this pitch contest at Polski or at, he computer science lab at U Chicago. And Sam was like working on like the lightning protocol. This is like 2018, 2019. Sam was like, hey, like I had this idea, in high school, would love to work on it with someone who can do community and someone who can kind of code the front end. I always do the community, Varoon do the front end, Sam would do the back end. So then Sam kind of joined the forces and, w kept building out Spot and then we built it out for a full other year and kind of went through iteration after iteration. Like we had a map with messaging, we had a Twitter maps. We had, , ie find my friends. We had Four Square, all types of ideas, centered around the map and the final one was like this map with like, kinda like Tik Tok on the map. And that’s what led us to this kind of videos a little bit. I mean, I’d say there was a lot of other things, just like a lot, a lot of ideas that were like culminating around. But we, Sam actually was like, oh, like he, he tested out like just videos on IPFS. Like I don’t, I think it was like December and, we were still working on spot then. And then we, we figured that, Hey, there might be something here with this just cuz the backend technology is still crazy.

Problem Solving

So, but what were like the bigger macro problems you were trying to solve with Glass protocol? Like what were you guys after? So I actually really loved the journey of like kind of like throwing at the fan and kind of coming to some point where you’re like, okay, wait, if we would’ve started this originally, would’ve never seen that. We kind of landed over here. And now that led you to a whole other journey that you’re working on right now. But like you get to this moment, you realize, okay, this technology is actually revolutionary that we could do something really cool with this. How did that involve into actually solving a problem?

Yeah. So I’d say like with our other startup, we never really had like a problem we were solving outside of just like we saw an opportunity to connect people with Glass. The problem was really obvious to us. My brother’s girlfriend one time was like, Hey, I want to go to this Beyonce, Grammy performance. Like I had this Beyonce, Grammy dance performance. They wanted me to dance, but I don’t have like enough money to get there to LA the span of like a couple days. And it’s like, she has over, like she had like around 200 K followers on the gram. She’s an amazing dancer. Like literally people sponsor, people love her and like they sponsor her to just stay with her at her house, but she could didn’t have enough to just go to the Grammys, to dance for this Beyonce performance. And so we had experienced that like there are like star creators out there who don’t have enough money to like get their actual career or even going to that greater level. So we were like, wow, even a top 97% creator still doesn’t have enough income to really expand their business. And so we just did some research and 97% of YouTubers,  make less than minim wage. And so if 97% of YouTubers make less than minim wage and over 30% of like gen Z wants to be video creators and YouTubers.

It’s like a misconnect kind of thing.

Everyone can’t be poor. , Like we need someone, , we need to provide a sustainable income for video creators. And so just living around video creators every single day and seeing all the infrastructure that went into video creation, there’s lighting there’s camera.

It’s a whole Production, just for like a ten second clip.

Exactly. Right. And so we’re like, this is a lot of effort, but every single video is a loss leading experience. You’re not even breaking even. And so it’s like, we were like, let’s make something that not only breaks you even, but 10Xs to a 100Xs, every single and thing you do on YouTube or TikTok. And so that was like the idea that like, if we’re going to like this creator world where it’s like, TikTok is like, you get famous. It’s like, maybe we can help, you get rich and ownership of a platform that you’re using so that you can own what you’re consing. And like that was like, it like 10 to a hundred X monetization. Then the opportunity to own. Like these were opportunities that just weren’t there before.

So these were the problems. These were the opportunities. How did that manifest into a product now? What does that look like? So for those who aren’t for familiar with Glass, what does that product look like to solve that problem?

Yeah. So what glass looks like today is as a video creator, you’re asking, how can I make money for my videos? I just spent X amount of money to produce this video, right? Let’s say like $10,000. Now I want to release this video and make money from that video. And you go to glass, which is a video NFT marketplace, where you upload your video similar to how you would upload a YouTube video and where you go to like create glass.xyz, and then you’re brought to like an upload page similar to like YouTube. The only difference is as you go to that upload page at the end, you can actually mint that video to the blockchain and that minting is actually stored on our weave. And if you wanna do a live stream. We might use live peer to do the decentralized trans coding. But if it’s just a video, you then can upload your video, mint it to the blockchain, sign a couple transactions to get minted. We’re using Ethere right now. So it’s going to Ethere. Might have to pay a little bit of gas costs, right? We might subsidize and then that video thing goes up and then people can go to glass.xyz, you can click on the video. It’s kind of just like a basic, , video, video, video, video, video, you click on the video, watch it. It’s just like a YouTube video, really high quality. We’re using very, very like quality video player backing technology with HLS. And then you can bid on the video. So you could do an auction where you could bid to buy the video as an NFT. And that auction starts after the first bid. And then in the last 15 minutes that someone else bids the clock resets the 15 minutes and it’s just a 24 hour auction, or you could do additions, which is like collectible additions, where you as a creator, I could upload this video and then kind of have 25 editions of this video. That 25 of my friends can all collect as their individual video.

By the way, I can back that because I’ve used glass I’ve, I’ve watched videos on glass. I’ve like, I’ve seen biddings happen on glass. So it is actually really high quality and people think like, oh, the blockchain is janky. It doesn’t work. Like it’s actually really good. It’s a really good experience.

Thank you. We spent so much time in college just working on a user experience and that’s kind of like our background, just working on user experience, like community, making sure that the community was engaged and this was all with like kind of minimal functionally ready products. I’d say like, we never really had like that perfect product, moreso we had that just community enthusiasm and a really, really nice UI and UX. And now we have like this backend that is just like amazing. And these actual incentives that make you want to contribute even more to the community. And like, that is the big difference. Just like you can get, the incentives have just changed. And like, I studied economics at U Chicago, so like when the incentives change, everything changes and that’s what this gives here.

So is the goal here because it is a protocol, is the goal, is that like something like TikTok gets built on top of it? Is that what you guys are like striving for? Or like how, how do you kind of see this coming to fruition and reaching a million users, for example?

So the goal, I would say in the next 9 to 10 months is that glass becomes the home of decentralized NFT videos. And if you want to put a video that lasts forever, if you wanna put a video up that can, be a revenue generating video, if you want to put a video up that you might want to stay, stored forever, you would choose glass as the place to upload and mint that video. Over time, we would want to, of course have that, full protocol layer where it’s like, you could have TikTok hosted on glass and build out that functionality to actually have platforms minting their own, like best videos on glass and hosting those as NFTs there right now we’re more so just like a platform, more so than a protocol. And we are just kind of facilitating out to other marketplaces or essentially using videos that a creator might have posted on YouTube right now or on their Instagram or on their TikTok right now. And they can then say, Hey, I think this of all the videos I have is the video I want to NFT. And then they come and they NFT that video on glass. So a lot of the creators are just saying, Hey, I have this YouTube video that has like a thousand views on YouTube. Like the Delly flashy video per se. It’s like that video has 3000 views on YouTube. Right. And then we sold that video for 1.41 E. And so he’s made 10 to 100 X on that video. So he’s made at least X on that video from putting it on glass, than he did from putting it on YouTube. So it’s like, that’s what we want from everything. Like the two feet video that was sold for 11.11 E . He put that video out on glass on November 19th 2021, he also put that video out on YouTube that same night. That video got to about 800 K views on YouTube after about like five to seven days. And in five to seven days, he made 11.11 E on Glass. And so he was like, yeah, you guys literally 10 X the amount of money he made. And that he actually said he can never make this much money on YouTube from a video.

What are you Optimizing for?

So you gotta ask yourself, what are you optimizing for? Are you optimizing for like distribution eyeballs? Are you optimizing for money? And I think actually the two can be combined down the line without a doubt, right? Once more of these protocols and more of these platforms get more mainstream recognition. But as of now, the model that you’re talking about is like, it reminds me a lot of what’s happening in music right now in the crypto scene, which feels like very underground. A lot of artists are experimenting with NFTs and social tokens doing mirror campaigns, catalog sound, all these platforms. They’re either experimenting around fandom or like co-ownership, but also putting their stuff on more of the web two platforms like Spotify and Apple music. So they’re getting the reach and the algorithmic distribution of these centralized platforms, but then using these micro platforms as a way to monetize their, like 1000 true fans kind of thing. So the way I kind of see it also like transitioning into video and content creating like long form short form, from what I’m understanding is like, you can come to glass, you’ll find the collectors, you’ll find audiences. Different audiences maybe they might overlap, but it’s likely different audiences. You can monetize that audience, but then you can also publish on YouTube to kind of take advantage of your still like widespread algorithmic reach kind of thing. That’s how those are the types of models that I’m kind of seeing emerge right now. Is that what you’re seeing as well? Are you seeing something different?

That’s exactly what I’m saying. So I think, like you said, right, web one is, that was consing content and learning how to buy content with like Amazon and Wikipedia. Then you had web two, which was like, okay, we can create like, how do we become creators? All artists are also collectors. And so all these creators are also, collectors in a way. And web three is like, okay, how do we turn these creators into actual owners of content and owners of things and all of like, Wikipedia is still here, Amazon still here, YouTube, Google’s still here. I do think, there’s room for web one, web two web three, as long as that product is fundamental and what it’s bringing and what we’re bringing is, videos that could be sold. And in like 5/10 years, everyone will own 100% video, or at least a GIF. I think we are, like you said, our main thing is monetizing that video more so than it is distribution down the line. We are seeing, Marky Basey say, why would I post a video on YouTube when I could just post it on here and, get money for it. We do have ideas that can potentially an artist on Billboard and millions of views and , the money. And it’s like, of course that’s what we want most, and that’s what we’re gonna get to. But right now it’s like they’re coming here for the money. And it’s like, that’s what 97% of creators actually need

What it feels like, like money and fame are like detached a little bit, because like the fame comes from like distribution and eyeballs and recognition. And the money is like starting to appear to more of these like underground types of platforms and protocols that have it, like it’s niche collectors that see the value and understand what it is to fundamentally own something. And I think like while money and fame is like very, like very adjacent, actually works hand in hand in many other industries. I’m kind of understanding that they’re slightly being detached here and artists need to consistently think about like. Do I want to be vulnerable like that and allow the selling of something that usually has never been sold rather rented. And actually, what does that mean for me down the line? And now that I have a tokenized asset, like how do I build community around that? And these, these are like the things that I think we’re like starting to like open up are the types of conversations that are slowly starting to happen.

The creators that we’re looking for have three core pillars to them, and this is creators and collectors, because they’re really interchangeable. First is the creator pursuing excellence. I feel like all the creators that are coming into this space are artists that actually want to be excellent at their craft. These are artists where it’s like Drake samples, their lyrics, these are like kind of the, the artists behind the main artists that the main artists are stealing from. That is where all of like, like the Marque Basey, like he has a billion streams, but it’s like, no one would know that because it’s like he’s behind the scenes a little bit or,  ASAP 12E , he’s in ASAP mob, but he’s not ASAP FERG he’s not ASAP Rocky, , but it’s like walk on water. I was developing that at college. Delly, he’s literally so well known amongst the Harlem community, and amongst the New York City community, but it’s like, he’s not like on the main stage. He’s on insecure. But he’s not on the main stage. And so it’s like, we’re looking for artists that are excellent. And oftentimes in the web two, it doesn’t reward the excellent artists. Right. It rewards the loudest artists and the artists that have the best like industry connections. And so it’s like web two isn’t about artist excellence. Web three is about like actual artist excellence. And then I also think it’s about artists that are commercially adept and artists that have that commercial acumen to figure out, okay, my art is not just my art, the business of how I do my art is also a part of my art. And so these are artists that are thinking even different from a business perspective. And then the last is like this community minded. So it’s like, these artists are like, okay, how can I be proactive with my community? And kind of almost like, NBA Young boy or Lil Baby, or Billy Eish, how can I serve a community that is totally different. Olivia Rodrigo, these are, these are communities that are totally different than targeted. And so really community minded those three things, excellence, artists excellence, commercial acumen, community minded. Those are the artists that are gonna succeed. And we are making business models for a video economy so that your videos are almost turning into startups where it’s like, you want to get on your videos earliest and the next round to get in on your videos it’s like, your videos are more expensive now but less people are gonna get access to them.

This is like introducing a whole new thought right now. It’s almost as if like I was born, my generation was born until like an era of rent okay. Of renting. Right. And nobody really woke up and was like, wait, how can I own and only the smartest people, the richest people, the most successful people understand the concept of ownership, but there still lacks this element of education to these creators because they see an algorithm, they see the ability to get thousand to hundreds of thousands, to millions of viewers on a video. And they’re like, this is the definition of success. Right? Forget the money. Somehow I’ll find a way to monetize. But I feel like it, sometimes comes at a compromise, right? Do I strive for the virality? Do I strive for the money? And my question to you is like, how do we actually introduce a world of education where people are better understanding what ownership is and what is glass doing to kind of combat that because that’s the missing link. The second people have the aha moment that like there’s value in owning my art, and actually what I am doing is art. Despite it being 10 seconds, despite it being three minutes, how do we actually educate people? What does that look like?

I’m so happy. You said that because I’ve been talking to, I’ve had a bunch of conversations this week. People like Valerie Sam, like all these entrepreneurs and creators in this space. I think it takes people like you, Adam, it takes videos that are educational content videos that are making thousands of dollars in everyone versus like, wait, this is like the web three Salcon and they made a hundred thousand dollars by doing video online education. It’s like, I tweeted when I graduated from YouTube, YouTube university, 2020. And it’s like, what if you had a glass teacher that was making millions of dollars a year and everyone was just watching their educational content. And the idea was like, oh wow. I saw this teacher make a million dollars. Now I’m interested. That is the aha moment where you’re like, whoa, how did this teacher make a million dollars doing video educational content? And then after that happens, it’s like a, okay, let’s look into this. So it’s like, it might take, ASAP 12E saying, yo ASAP Rocky, let’s go make a video on glass cuz in the end we’re gonna own this platform. Right. So he puts video up on glass and , more people watch it and then Rihanna sees it and Rihanna’s like, Hey, let’s go put this video up on glass, cuz we’re also gonna own this platform and this is a, we shape the culture. And so then it’s like, oh, this person, Rocky did a fashion video on glass and he made more on the fashion video than he made at the actual fashion concert, on the live stream. And so it’s like, boom, that is gonna catch some eyes. And so I think because it’s, you do have to have the theory, like you do have to have the slight crypto knowledge to have the money in your wallet and to actually be able to make transactions. What we’ll do there is first we’ll get these bigger splashes with these bigger artists while building up native web three crypto artists where it’s like, you might have come for Rocky, but you’re staying for like Luca Maxim,[inaudible] Latasha. And it’s like, oh, you saw big artists, but you really realize, wow, like it has all these low key artists that are actually like web three native artists that are super, super fire. And it’s like, you might have heard about blah, but now you’re, looking at Daniel Allen or something like that. I think that’s a big thing, big artists to little artists like splashes. And then we’re working on this thing called onboard DAW actually, which is like just educational video content that isn’t just on glass, it’s on YouTube, it’s everywhere. And it’s just like quick TikTok like videos, just educating every person about like, okay, say you’re a musician and you wanna, , figure out what’s the best way to, get the most on this one track. It’s like, where do you go catalog sound, blah, blah, music video, glass, right then live stream. You could do that with glass, make some money on there. Then you could do, a other video clipped from that live stream, on glass. So it’s like literally you can make a whole bunch of revenue from one track in like a bunch of different ways from the music audio file to the music video file to the live stream of performing that to the video of that live stream performance all the way back to, he audio of that live stream. And so it’s like, there’s a whole bunch of opportunities for artists in onboard dial and glass learn project is devoted to just teaching people about like web three onboarding experiences. How do you learn about web three? Who do you call almost like customer service? Where we have certain people who are like, ask Val, ask Sam where it’s like, you are like a little confused on token bonding curve. You can just go in and ask Sam or ask to me to help explain to you how token bonding curves work. Or you’re a little confused about what marketplace supports Solana or ethere. To help you figure out, which marketplaces are for that. So it’s like literally the most fundamental questions to the most like complex questions and then just directing you where to go when you get lost. And when you need that friend.

That makes sense.

How do you price a video?

Do you guys have a model for educating creators on how to price a video and what that looks like?

So we’re still really early. We only have about 15 videos live on the site. We have in our network lecture learn class that is educating a bunch of people right now about how to search ether scan. When it comes to pricing videos, we work with the creator based off what they’ve previously priced their videos at. So we’re trying to have videos constantly be increasing in terms of value for the creator. And it’s actually more of an evolutionary process where most of the creators when they work with us and then when they’re first putting that video on, it really depends on the creator because it’s like sometimes creators like, Hey, I want to put this for 3 E sometimes the creator’s like, I wanna start short at like point, 0.15E and be a little conservative. So I’d say we advise I mean last week we used to advise, let’s put it at 0.15. So it can go up in the auction now we’re like, Hey, maybe, wanting it tweaked depending if we have like just collectors who are like, Hey, I really wanna put this towards glass creators. So it really depends, honestly, like we have to adapt it constantly to like what the market is looking like and,,what the creator, like how much the creator wants to push or whether the creator knows they have collectors, which are like a thousand true fans that want to support it. Or if we have to have a thousand true fans from our side that just wanna support anything that we’re putting out. So it’s like, it really depends. But for auctions we typically say like, start low to go high. Then for additions, it’s like, start low so that more people can collect it. But the goal is for us is to make sure the video uploading to minting it onto the blockchain process, is really clean, really easier than YouTube. And then we also want the monetization model to be whatever you need to succeed. So it’s like auctions, collectable editions, crowd funding, tips, bounties, whatever it is we want to iterate on the monetization model so that it works for the creator. And so it’s like we’re adapting on the monetization model and the experience of uploading the video and viewing the video. And of course some social features. We do have comments on the videos. We’ve thought about, , potential NFTs because everyone’s seen like TikTok and TikTok comments or Instagram comments. And it’s like, these are million dollar comments here. Like some of these comments are great. Why not bring comments into the game. Start low to go high. But it really, really depends on the creator and the market, like at that point.

I wanna share my screen for a minute and actually go to the glass protocol website. Honestly, very, very cool layout for the most part, right? Like I think this is super visually pleasing. It’s not like intimidating, it feels very normal, which I think is like one of the biggest steps into making this more approachable and just to add like more context to our conversation. So it’s not just words, this is like, this is the kind of like the video portal kind of thing. So I’m gonna be talking out loud here. Okay. So a couple things for a lot of these video content creators that want to get on chain for the most part. Right. Let’s just call it that. We’ll see a couple things like what is Arweave. People know what discord is share video game. What is Arweave? Like talk to me more about how do you actually host these videos? What does that look like? What makes you guys different on that front?

So we store our videos with Arweave and Arweave is a decentralized storage blockchain. And essentially what makes Arweave different is that Arweave allows for the storing of multi-form content. It allows for storing that content and like these bundles that essentially just allow you to upload packets and packets of data. Pretty much like not at one time, pretty much simultaneously. And so it’s just the best option we’ve found in the market today to store data in a decentralized way. And so we believe fully in Arweave and Arweave has really just provided that storage mechanism that can allow us to be the home of decentralized videos.

What’s under the hood?

Got it. Got it. So do you think that’s important to the creator, like what’s happening underneath the hood? Do you think, do you think like creators care about that? Like the food on their plate and where it comes from?

I think creators are caring about it more and more. I think the way that we’re going to where privacy and where your data is stored is becoming more and more of a top of the mind idea, but when it’s like a day to day thing, no, I don’t think creators care, that my storage is being stored, it’s decentralized or it’s centralized. It’s like what the creator cares about is making money and getting ownership of the platform over time for the contributions and building out a platform that, displays content that is easy to view that makes it easy to create as a creator that has the right categories, whether it be music, movies, gaming, memes, whatever. And so I think creators care about, the representation of the platform, the community that it is actually bringing to them. And I think right now from a vibe check, all the platforms don’t have any like the community’s not there, all these products that people use on a day to day, the soul is really lost. And these products like the last time, I’d say a product I used that had soul in a community that I was attached to, to use. I think, clubhouse had it a bit. But they didn’t have the incentives. The incentives were wrong until they lost everything. And like, that’s really what happens. It’s like if your incentives are just wrong, which is what we learned from our first startup, you can have that engagement and that love for temporary, but the loyalty will not be there. The soul, the pull to want that product to succeed really badly will not be there. And so I think creators since like, wow, like this new idea of ownership is actually gonna get me to stay on the days where I’m having trouble creating on the days where like I hate the internet or on the days where, , I don’t wanna see my phone, a laptop or whatever. And so I think they’re coming for money ownership and of course they’re looking for a web three platform that does videos long, short form, and that us and we’re the only ones that do that right now. And then also they’re looking for like the community and I think those are like the main things they’re looking for. And then they would hope that that community would build the right things on the back end. Yeah. Right. And it’s up to the core development team to have that care and to have that care of let’s make this decentralized, let’s make this, with the ethos of the community, it really comes down to the core development team. You want them to have that ethos and that idea to make it what the community would like most.

How do creators intertwine incentives into their content? What does that look like? Like let’s talk about like short form and like long form, like longform actually mid form. Introducing bracket, mid form being like music videos. Okay. Short form being TikTok, Instagram reels. Youtube shorts. Are you guys building something around that too? Or what does that look like? Yeah.

Yeah. So we, we have a lot of fun stuff that we’re building on the way that is just gonna totally like that experience. You just showed with the Marky Basey, if you could go back. But like that is literally like the 0.5. Like we don’t have profiles yet. We don’t have a homepage with like the top with countdown for the next videos coming. We don’t have a video wait list, almost like a film festival for what’s coming. I would say with that Marky Basey video, if you look at the comments, it says NFT rewards and the rewards say lifetime gold pass, which means you can literally to any Mark Basey concert forever. So go up a little bit.

Okay. One second.

Right. And then show more in the description,

Show more in the description. Where is that?

Right above share video

To the left. Oh, okay. Got it. Cool.

NFT rewards at the bottom, it says VIP plus one, all access to any show on his upcoming tour. Lifetime goal to take a 30 minute FaceTime with Basey. The collector of this literally said, I got a bargain for this NFT.

This was 8.2 K

And mind you, Marky Basey is going up for the Grammys this year and this was the top 10 Spotify alb. So it’s like, he literally is gonna be backstage with Mark Basey. Literally gonna be at any Marky Basey concert forever is of course worth more than $8,000 if you add it up over time. Yeah. So the reality is we wanna make a UI, a user experience for these rewards, more prevalent and just open in general. And then we also wanna.

Wait, this is such a steal. I’m just realizing this not to cut you off. A lifetime golden ticket accepted at any Basey concert for life for 8.2 K like the resale value on that is actually……

It’s such a steal. So it’s like, we literally are actually every video we’re thinking it through where it’s like, we actually, not only do we want the creator to break even, but we also want the collector to get a steal, like a steal. So that’s for a medi form. For short form. It’s like, you can add those steals in too. Or maybe you can say, Hey, on my next video, I’ll make it with you? Or you could say you can choose, the next idea that I make a video to. So we have a bunch of ideas that we’ve always wanted to test. Now you could just tie to the NFT where you can have that on chain off chain of experience tied together.

Monetization: Youtube vs Glass

I have a question for you. 8.2 K. How many views does that need to be generated on YouTube to make 8.2 K?

So 1 million views is about a thousand dollars. So you need about 8 million views.

Wow.

Geez. Like around seven to eight,

Seven, I feel like that’s like the marketing tactic right there, like Marky Basey made 8.2 K, which would otherwise be needed to kind of stream, how many views you said?

7 to 9 million views.

7 to 9 million. Wow. What the hell?

Million views.

Adam Levy (01:36):

Wait, this is such like an aha moment. Like, I feel like everybody who’s listening right now should just like take a moment, like take a deep breath. Like that’s a freaking aha moment right there. To show you that there’s value behind that type of art. Like let’s think about the life cycle for a second. Okay. This video that I’m watching is super high production, probably costs thousands of dollars to make within itself. The YouTube video will not cover the cost of that music video. They’re banking on the fact that the entire album does exceptionally well and the tours go exceptionally well and that all the revenue generated makes up for all those micro costs down the line. I’m just like having this moment right now. That’s really big. That’s really big.

This is what we do it for because it’s like we did a live stream Sanverin and I did a live stream to test out the software in like August. And we generated $10,000 by selling 15 editions for that live in 22 minutes. And that wasn’t even in a video, but that was the moment where we said, whoa, what the freak is this? Like, we’ve never made this much money in our lives. And $10,000, 20 minutes on a live stream from editions. Like how does that work dude? It’s something you just have to see. And we need to put it in as many people faces as possible.

Fricking game changer, game changer.

Crazy, crazy. Like this podcast right here, like 10 Xing to a hundred Xing the min podcast revenues is our goal. So it’s just like, that’s gonna happen. That’s gonna happen. And so it’s like, that’s, what’s crazy. It’s just that every single company, every single person uses video. And so it’s like a video is a 57% of all internet traffic is video traffic, and that’s just so much more than all other traffic on the internet. So in terms of bandwidth, the internet and those wires it’s videos. And so now we’re giving video’s a chance to at least break even, but definitely 10 X, a hundred X, what they’re doing on every other video web two platform.

Importance of Ownership

All right, let’s talk about this. If I start posting mint videos, I ditch YouTube because my reach on, on YouTube is like, it’s growing. I’m not gonna say it sucks, but it’s getting better by the day. Okay. If I ditch YouTube because like, I think it’s important to post on there to have a presence. Okay. Despite everything, but to tap into more of this like web three model, because a lot of what Mint does is like the business model is very web three. So I sell, everybody knows this, or I keep saying this, at least it’s on the website, whatever I sell three to five FTS per month to sponsors who then promote on the podcast, all revenues on chain, you can see all that. The content is very web three native. The only thing that’s missing that I’ve been wanting to do is like the infrastructure, the publishing is not web three native on the podcasting, the audio side, it can’t on the video side, now it can. Okay. So, and this is without the expectation of me kind of like making money or not making money rather for the shits and giggles of just like doing it. When I post my video on Glass, what does that mean now for copyright? Like, let’s say somebody buys it. Okay. First of all, can I sell part ownership? Number one, and number two, if I can’t and it’s all complete ownership, what can that owner do with that video down the line? Like what does that entail? And is it wrong for me to impose, added legal rules and structures into that video? I can add a bunch of add-ons to this, but I’ll shut up and I’ll let you kind of take the lead. Cause I think, where this is going.

Yeah. So yeah, this is like one of the biggest questions. This is why we’re taking our time and working with independent artists and making sure that every creator is getting full approval and authentication to upload any video from the actual core creator who made it. So I’d say we’re experimenting honestly right now with different copyright models, but we see videos as a public good where anyone could actually potentially, enjoy it, get ownership over it. We kind of wanna think of it as a public good. That is, you could take that piece of content, reproduce it into something else, sell that content as something that’s a new content and potentially refer and link back to that creator. So where we’re creating this thing called hyperlink, which is essentially just it’s called hyperlink data, but it’s essentially linking NFTs back to other NFTs. And so that can kind of create that tagging or that linking back to, sampled works for the future. It also provides like almost like a list of, okay, where did that video derive from that video derive from that? Or, I use that sound and that sound connected to that video and, you’re linking and deriving things in that way. You’re linking NFTs like that. And so I think we wanna make the technology allow for sampling and mixing because everything is a sample. There’s no new things under the sun, that’s in the Bible or, I think there, there’s always gonna be new combinations of things and that’s what we wanna monetize. And we wanna help, the OJ creators, monetize with royalties off of iteration or a sample of that creation. And so figuring out the exact model cabaret model, that’s gonna get that done. They’re out there. And I think CCO mono where you, you just are essentially like able to, take that work, refactor it, and link back to that other work is a good model. When creatives are uploading that work, we’re gonna add in like verification and authentication when it comes to creatives uploading that work. And then last is just like, you’re gonna have this social, web three is very social contract focus where it’s like, if it’s not, that person’s work, if that person isn’t, behind the community and that person isn’t like someone who’s in the future doing this, not just to grow themselves, but also to grow the community. Like I said, community mind, commercial and artist excellence. It’s like that person probably will not be able to sell that video. Of course you’ll have similar problems with web two where it’s like someone, takes, someone’s content augments it and it’s not their content, but it’s just like, will that sell as if the original content from the actual creator it’s like social contracts are in the real world are gonna come in and play, let alone that won’t be able to link to other NFTs, that that creator might make. And so, you combine that with the hyperlink, combine that with the social contract, combine that with just basic like public goods, like copyright laws, then it’s just a lot harder for that creator. And we know all the pathways at which, , a scam, which is like, fake title.

That like, that was, that was my next question. Like, there’s a lot of like Steve Waszniak Vitalic videos of like doing a thousand airdrops on YouTube. You remember that period where it was just like nonstop back to back, these scammers were taking clips and like of other actual religion videos of interviews and putting like a skin around them, even Elon Musks did this, like, how do you prevent stuff like that? Like, well, by the way, Elon Musk didn’t do it. Someone did it on behalf of him, right. Illegally, like tried to scam people just to make that clip. How do you prevent that? How do you prevent that malicious activity? Because if everything’s decentralized and everything’s being done on arweave, their team can’t come on and like delete. So that stays there. How do you kind of fight that? Cuz that’s a big problem.

It’s a big, big potential problem. And so arweave does actually have like some content moderation that they are building. So they actually help [inaudible] in that case. We’ve seen with like, I’d say like open sea being the biggest volume marketplace right now they use this verification check and we’re seeing that like, , open Sea is working, it’s working pretty well there, but like, of course, like, like we said, that is a centralized platfrom, whereas we are more decentralized. Like I said, it really comes down to how does the creator behind the video want it to be shared? And then if they are gonna share that video, they’re most likely planning to work around that video to add value to that video or whatever that thing is. So over time that original NFT, accrues value around the artists. And it’s like, I like to say that it’s not about the art. It is about the artist. Right. And it’s like the art is just coming from the creator, but it’s like, it’s really like, I’m buying an Adam NFT on a mint because cause of Adam, , like even though this was a great podcast, it’s like, I’m still buying it because it’s like, yeah, he’s gonna do more podcasts and they’re all gonna be great and it’s like, I’m gonna be able to say yeah, of all the great ones I own this one or , of all the great ones like this is the one. So it’s like you are still investing as much in the artist, more so than you’re investing in the art. And so it’s like, that is like, if you’re not monetizing or if, , you’re sending people, these fake things, it’s like, they still have to know who is the person who’s sending that. And how is that person official? And link to your Twitter or like we link to Twitter and then we show the title. And so it’s like that Twitter link is almost showing you like where you’re really linking up to.

So I like to think about it like this. Okay. I actually love that. I think that could be even a great title for the podcast. Like invest in the artist, not the art. And it really that’s like super, super fundamental too. Like I come from like the VC world. So prior to like doing mint, I was working at a blockchain fund and it’s like, you bet on founders, you bet on early stage founders for any early stage bet you bet on the people and like the market opportunity and ideas and like other components, but like you bet on the founder and if they can execute the vision, right. And a lot of these creators, they have the vision they’ve been executing and now they’re coming into web three and all that traction kind of validates their worth per se. This is just like a new step in the right direction, in my opinion. So it’s like this concept of like betting on the artist and not the art, like let’s look at Ali Straza from Ali coin on Rally. She has a top performing like social token. She has half a million followers over half a million across Twitch and YouTube. She does gaming. That’s her niche. She’s produced hours upon on hours upon hours of content, of live streams, et cetera, and then came into crypto and it’s like, this is not a fresh face. This is not a new person. This is like an existing person who has reputation. Who’s consistently executed on her vision, on her mission with her content. The only thing that’s changing is the concept of ownership and value. Right. And me betting on these people is basically me betting on the fact that they’ll actually continue doing this, but now the value will accrue differently. Right. And I think that’s like, I think that’s like the missing link. Like a lot of people they see this. Okay. I’m just gonna flip JPX I’m just gonna flip all this stuff. Like yeah. That’s one way, it’s a very like investment type of approach, but like the long term way, my opinion is like betting on people. Right. And investing on people and not necessarily like sure. There’s like the financial upside, but there’s also something beautiful about being able to support a creator and seeing that amount of money, like being able to change their life kind of thing. And like realizing that like 8.2 K is over 8 million views on YouTube. How many people actually get that that are actually like talented creators. Right. But just, aren’t like breaking the ceiling, the Glass ceiling of the algorithm.

I think that’s exactly it. I mean, you explained it perfectly right there. I mean, ownership, change, mental reshaping of value. Just seeing that aha moment. I mean, Salem Harley was our first video that sold for 5.82 E by a random person named the Sugar Glider from the Caribbeans. And he’s planning to put that video up in like a Caribbean Dow museum. And it’s like, who knows that video could go into the central land? Like that video could go anywhere. I say music decorates sound and art decorates space. And it’s like video art is gonna decorate all of these metaverse spaces. And it’s like, we want this video art to go everywhere. We want it to literally be super visible in as many places as possible. As well as being the home, we also wanna link out. Like it’s like the mirror article, our network lecture is on mirror, but the videos are on Glass, that’s un-monetized, but the conversation with the comments in the discord is even cleaner though, than like a YouTube conversation so the two way interactivity that we’re bringing when it comes to like, yeah. Like you’re literally bidding and you’re interacting as a viewer, but now you’re a collector and you’re buying this video that is fun. People have no idea how fun it is. You can bet on the video, I played sports my whole life. We were always like, we wanted, we always felt like, oh, we could get out there on the field. And it’s like, I have players on the premier league that I used to play with. I have friends who are winning national trophies. I have friends who are on the US national team. And it’s like, I sometimes am like, dang, I wanna get out there. I want to interact with this game? And it’s like, I feel like, honestly, it would be sick to eventually be going to a world where it’s like, if I felt I could play against one of these players, I could potentially did enough or whatever, or do enough to get onto the field. And so I think this is just moving the world towards where everyone who was previously on the bench is just gonna get more and more like, I wanna play. Even the coach.

You become your own coach!

You’re your own coach. And like, you’re putting yourself in.

That’s exactly it. Like your Jerry Crouse, Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan in one person? You gotta limit your Jerry Crouse. You gotta come with, that win-win mentality, it’s like in web three there’s this tension though, because it’s like, I put a video up. Oh, like now they own my video, what if I don’t want that to be my owner? Am I gonna go buy that video off of that person? And it’s like, there is this tension where it’s like, who do you want to be your owner, blah, blah, owner, master your situation. But it’s just like in the end, we’re going towards, just ownership and wealth in the end.

Makes sense. Makes a lot of sense.

Outro

I think that’s like the perfect place to end off. Where can we find you before I let you go? Like, where can we find Glass? Where can you find you like show yourself

At Glassprotocol on Twitter, Glass.xyz for the website. And if you’re a creator, just click the create and fill out the creator application. The goal is to get everybody uploading videos on Glass uploading videos depending on the gas cost. So we are, , looking to, , be multi chain with Solana. And, , if you have other chains, you would like us to be on hop into the last discord, which can all be found at the Glass Twitter at @Glassprotocol. My Twitter is @dayoadeosun10. I think my Instagram is the same thing, but reach out to me, Twitter, IG, DM’S inboxes are open, always looking to talk about creators, look at videos. Do whatever chat, chill. I’m in Lagos Nigeria right now, but I’m also in New York city. So if you’re in Legos or New York hit me up also down to link in person. We have a video coming out with Deosun our first dance music video NFT. It was like I’m not sure if the Rema song, audible] it like just came out, that’s about a drop. And then, u, got some other cool drops. Luca Maxim, John waltz, Riley, Wada, Sirisu visionary, Fortune, a lot of cool jobs on the way we’re looking to really just break the doors down in 2022. Glass is coming and we’re coming crazy.

Thank you so much, bro. I hope to have you soon again.

Thank you, Adam.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

Why NFTs are the Perfect Medium for Songs

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

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

In this episode, we discuss: 

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

…and so much more.


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

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

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


Intro

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

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

And here we are,

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

What is Arpeggi Genesis?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why mint a song?

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

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

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

Evan, are you the more entrepreneurial one then?

Maybe in some senses.

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

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

Does being family help?

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

Overwhelmingly positive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

DOWS or DAWS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gotta learn what a DAW is.

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

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

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

How does Arpeggi standout?

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

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

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

Ownership on Arpeggi

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

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

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

The artiste gets to decide what they wanna

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

Community Building

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

Million Dollar Question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah. Evan, anything to add to that?

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

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

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

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

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

Future of Music vs Crypto

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

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

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

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

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

Outro

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

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

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

Thank you, Adam. It was a pleasure.

Categories
Podcast Transcript

How Social Tokens Capture the Value of African Culture

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 3 episode 20 welcomes Dada Boipelo, a multidisciplinary artist, creative director, and NFT artist based in Nairobi who’s fully immersed in growing her artistic expression and community-building skills within the Web3 space. She also leads the community at AfrofutureDAO ($AFTR), a Socialstack community that aims to grow a vault containing hundreds of hours of raw video footage and thousands of photographs of African history. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 2:53 – Physical vs Digital Creative Energy
  • 6:08 – AfrofutureDAO
  • 13:41 – Future of AfrofutureDAO
  • 19:19 – Digital Divide in African Art
  • 28:26 – Why Capture these Moments Digitally?
  • 32:05 – Outro

…and so much more.


Thank you to Season 3’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co/

2. POAP – https://poap.xyz/

3. Socialstack – https://socialstack.co/

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


Intro

Dada welcome to mint. How are you doing thank you for being on.

Thank you so much, Adam. Like, I feel amazing and I’m very thrilled. It’s been a long time coming, the mint X Afro future dial collaboration. So I’m happy to be here. I’m doing great. And I hope everyone is. Happy New week,

Happy, happy, new week GM to all and everyone that is listening. You’re right. It is the long awaited Afro future do X mint collab. I scope a lot of communities across crypto-Twitter across all these platforms and Afro future Dao stood out to me specifically because I thought I had a unique mission. I don’t want to sell it for myself. I want you to talk about it, but before we even get into that, can you quickly give me a quick brief about you? Who are you dada? What should we know about you? But more specifically, what were you like before crypto.

Who is Dada?

Dada Biopelo is just one of my very many alias is as an artist. I like creating alias’, which is something that also drew me into the NFT space randomly because, you know, PFPs and stuff like that. I was really drawn to them. So I just recently started investing in crypto like last year and, joined NFTs early this year, around, February, end of February, March. And, it’s been an interesting journey. It’s been life changing for me cuz  before crypto and before NFTs in particular, I didn’t sell my art. It’s not that I didn’t sell it. It’s more like, I didn’t have an audience I could sell to, so I never sold my art. I was basically, a starving artist and boom NFTs are here. And I don’t know, it’s like interesting to be the face of NFTs in like my country and to be able to make a living as an artist. So I’ve juggled so many creative careers because you know, I’m trying to make ends meet solely as an artist and not do art and other things. So I’ve been like a photographer, creative directory. I’ve done a little bit of modeling and also like I’ve been practicing traditional art for like probably 10 years eight and drawing, painting, water colors, oil pastels and even wooden sculptures. So I’ve been really tapped into my creative energy for quite a long time and I’m just happy to be able to express it through NFTs and be able to actually make a living out of it. Cuz currently I’m working online, with Afro Future Dao as you know, and also full-time as an NFT artist. So it’s literally a whole new world. It’s like a dream come true for me.

How is the creative energy different between creating things that are physical versus digital?

Physical vs Digital Creative Energy

For me specifically, I have, I’m quite sentimental with my art and I’m not saying that just because it’s physical and digital, but I’m like a lot of people a lot of collectors in the physical art realm have not gotten like a liking to my art or I haven’t really tapped into people who can appreciate my art to the capacity, that I wanted to be like I would be selling an a one canvas at probably $50 or even $45. And I have to do like an extra detail painting and I’m like, the difference is so massive because when we come to NFTs I’m mostly working on digital computer, which is like my work on pad. And it takes averagely maybe an hour to three hours for me to create this piece. And like a collector’s gonna come and just drop $4,000 on it. And I don’t even know if they know how life changing that is for me, but that’s wild. It’s been a crazy relationship between me moving from physical art to like digital art and also finding like an in between for physical art and digital art in NFTs. Like I’m just settling in.

Yeah. I wanted to ask you like, because you’re just settling in like what have been some of the biggest misconceptions you’ve experienced as initially a physical artist now migrating into the digital world? Like what are some of like those big things that you thought or one thing that actually ended up being another thing?

Okay. the first thing that I really thought NFTs would be is like a get rich quick scheme. So a lot of the videos on YouTube that I was watching, a lot of the content I was reading is like, oh my God, look at this 18 year old, who’s making $300,000 from NFTs. This, I dunno, 24 year old, just made $1 million from NFTs. NFTs will make you rich. This is how to get into NFTs. And I’m like, I think it takes a lot more work than physical art and a lot of the problems that I see within the physical art world or within like physical art environments is like, they all kind of like transcend into the digital world. So like I end up getting burnouts as an artist. Like it’s very easy because you have to share, you have to join clubhouses, you have to really sell yourself and make value for yourself and your community in order to like really succeed within this industry. So that’s one thing I wasn’t particularly ready for putting myself out there and pushing myself out of my comfort zones. But now it’s something that I’m comfortable with. It’s something that I do on the regular and it’s something it’s like a culture I’m trying to cultivate within my life where I can push myself myself beyond boundaries of money and yeah, even the beyond boundaries of what I think I can create.

Yeah. It makes a lot of sense. And how did that kinda like transition to you being a part of Afro Future Dao?

AfrofutureDAO

It’s so interesting because Afro Future Dao came at a time of my life that I really, really wanted to completely immerse myself into crypto. So I got into Afro Future Dao they collected before I got into Afro Future Do actually they collected one of my pieces and I was like, that’s how I found out about Afro Future Dao. And I was like, this is like a really cool Dao. I was reading their statement and their website and just looking at some of the historical pieces that they have on foundation. And I was blown away because for me it’s intimate because that’s my history, you know, like it’s my history and it’s a point of like time that I didn’t know about. So I was like Afro Future Dao is really cool. Fast forward into like around August, I think it’s OctoberAfro Future Dao works in this way that each quarter, there’s like five images that drop from the Mohammed Amin collections. And that’s just one of the stuff that’s in the archive. And we also have like five artists who drop amazing pieces, which are not themed. It’s actually quite open. And you get to to explain what you think Afro Future means to you as an artist and visually translate it into like a composition in an NFT. So I happened to get chosen to be one of those artists and I feel very lucky. I feel pretty lucky to have gotten the opportunity to express what a future means to me. And it’s been an intimate journey since then. And after I was chosen to like become one of the commissioning artists I ended up attending one of the governance calls and they were expanding their team. And, you know, I signed up because I wanted to take part in building the black community in specific the black NFT communities. And it’s so important because the percentage of Western artists, the African artists in the NFT space is actually crazy. And I’m trying to make that easier. So that’s how I got into after future doubt. And that’s how this magical moment happened for me.

Let me ask you this. Why do you think web three may be the perfect medium to unlock the value of Africa’s history?

I feel like a lot of the issues that come up within African history is either the stories being hidden or the stories not having access to like expression or just a lack of access and ways to express ourselves. And I feel like web three will help in a way that not only will it validate and authenticate like where the stories came from and make it easier for us to understand, like who in particular came up with this story or who in particular, does this story involve in a certain particular time? I think it builds value in the community whereby anyone can access these stories. And it’s transparent to the point that everyone can also share these stories. And I feel like that can really build the community because a lot of black voices and black stories are like lost and I’d like to say diluted or yeah, diluted in particular. So I feel like web three really gives the artist and the storyteller and the creator, the opportunity to tell the story as they want to, or as it is, or as they want to express it. And that is really powerful to me. That’s an opportunity, a lot of artists don’t get to do. I feel like artists are really, we are really dictated on how we should create how we should live, how we should earn like a living and what we should say, what we should express. So yeah, those, are my thoughts on web three and the artist African community and historical assets.

Yeah. People reference web three as this like new cultural Renaissance driven through technology. And the last year we’ve seen like the rise of NFTs. We’ve seen a lot of new creators enter the space. What typically was like a lot of like non-sexy talk like cryptography and infrastructure type of discussions have now evolved into colors, art, music, culture, all these really, really sexy things that kind of attract an audience and build a lot of excitement around a new, I guess, a new medium. And one thing that I think is super interesting about Afro Future Dao is it’s really capitalizing on this, the sexy side of crypto by taking really cultural pieces and eloquent pieces that are like timestamps in history, right. Photography, essentially putting them on chain and making them even more permanent. Right. And I guess, like as I guess as what’s the word I’m like blanking out over here, as legit as that sounds as aha and like, obvious as that sounds, it’s one of those things where are capturing African culture and doesn’t have to be African culture specifically, any type of culture in the form of photography, I think is very, very valuable. And then let alone putting it on chain, then let alone starting an entire community around it with a social token to kind of create and sustain awareness is super brilliant.

It is, it is. Exactly why my mind was blown during that governance call. So I was like, if I hadn’t attended that governance call that day, I would probably not know a lot of the things that I know now. And one thing about the NFT industry or the community, or the space is that even if you don’t know, you end up learning a lot as you progress. And as you grow into the community, which is one thing I really, really love about this space, it’s a very supportive and it’s a very open transparent space. So that’s just, it’s amazing to me that this can exist and it’s a good time for it to exist as well.

Yeah. What does the future look like for Afro Future Dao, like what do you see it becoming in say 2, 3, 4 years.

Future of Afro Future Dao

I feel like Afro Future Dao is already a digital museum. I’d like to call it a digital museum. I would want to see a physical Afro Future Dao not just like a metaverse Afro Future Dao, somewhere you can walk in and actually find the NFTs that people have bought and that have been stored and that have been curated. And that’s what, I don’t know. I just like the idea of NFTs extending also into the physical realm, and being able to access it beyond digital ways and beyond digital devices. And I feel like Afro Future Dao is headed into kind of like a very cool historical museum that’s packed with information and historical assets and culture. I can’t wait to also see the number of artists that we’ll be able to support and amplify through our commissionings. Like, I can’t wait to see how many we’ll have, because the pieces are dropping about five each quarter and in a few years, that will be quite a lot of art pieces. So I can’t wait to see where that goes.

Yeah. I’d like to take a step back and kind of like put Afro Future Dao to the side, I’d love to talk about more about the creator landscape in Africa, you being a creator yourself. What are some trends or insights that may not seem so obvious to outsiders about what’s happening, what’s cooking with creators in Africa.

When I think about that question in like an NFT aspect what are kind of the tips that I would give an artist who is not sure about joining the NFT space or who has questions about the NFT space? It’s sad, but it’s beautiful at the same time, the amount of culture, the amount of talent and the amount of like craftsmanship and hardworking artists we have in Africa. But I still feel like it’s an untapped industry. Like the creative industry is tapped, but underfunded. Yeah. I like to say underfunded, especially like in my country, Kenya it’s undermined as well. People don’t think artists could make a living or artists actually deserve to make a living for making art, yet it’s one of the things that fuel grows within the country. It’s one of the things that you’ll see everyone post on billboards. So I just like to see a community where artists can actually be artists and make a living out of it. And I would like to actually tell many of the African artists who are out there and are trying to get into the NFT community is, to try something new and to kind of like see NFTs as a catalyst for something that could grow and that could transform their lives. And that could transform the creative economy in general, around every single country in Africa. And that’s kind of like my main tip is also like, just step out of your comfort zone. And it’s also sometimes not just stepping, not out of comfort zone, but also doing something that you like to do that you’d like to express. And I would also just like to tell the artists that be yourself, especially when you’re trying to sell your art make sure that your values are being represented in your art. It’s not all that time that you have to create a story for your art, it’s not all the time that you have to save face or make face for, you know, selling your work, just be yourself. And at the end of the day, I feel like if you just build value around your art as an artist, which means take time to understand your niche, take time, to understand your collectors, take time, to understand what you want to represent. I feel like at the end of the day, you’ll succeed as an artist. And that’s basically like how I live my life.

Yeah. I think you need to live your life very fundamental, whether without NFTs, right. For that to kind of show off and kind of shine through your, like your cryptographic work per se, you know, that needs to be who you are and the values you stand with, I guess from your point of view is what you’re saying kind of thing. Right. That’s how I’m kind of understanding

Exactly, exactly, exactly what I’m saying. Cuz like, I feel like I’ve experienced put or outs as an NFT artist and as a traditional artist and it’s just from all the things you have to do to sell your art, you know, it’s not easy selling your art, you don’t, you don’t just like mint your NFT, enlist it and someone comes and collect it. Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes it takes years. Some people actually don’t sell their art at all. So I guess it’s just a game also of patience. Like how patient can you be and not being too greedy for money. Yeah, yeah. In that line of thinking.

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. What do you, what do you think I guess is stifling more adoption for African creators to kind of jump on board into this web three movement, tokenizing their work, their art, their craft, what do you think is missing to kind of like drive further adoption?

The Digital Divide in African Art

I’d like to say that a lot of companies based within Africa are not particularly keen on joining the crypto industry. There’s also very strict government regulations within Africa in crypto, very many countries don’t allow these kinds of things or they think like it’s a scam or they just align it with very negative thinking. So I think that that stops a whole lot of mass adoption because when I relate African countries to like the US and I’m seeing there’s Vogue, there’s Times, there’s Forbes. So many people, so many brands, there’s Pepsi. So many people trying to get into like NFTs big, big brands. But when we come to like Africa, I’m really not seeing like the same kind of movement within these core brands that could end up creating formal or like creating mass adoption in a way that they attract more people to like, look at this. This is like NFG and this is going to be big in like the next few years. So I don’t know how long that will take to like get to us because I feel like that would really change the environment to the point where even like the smaller African artists, like us who would practically not be known by many people out there would be able to collaborate with these big, big, big, big African brands. And I feel like just by that it would create a whole lot of amplification and mass adoption. So I’m really looking forward to the point where African artists like huge African artists, I’m talking about Burna boy, I’m talking about Whiz kid and these guys are trying to collaborate with the smaller, I don’t like saying small artists because it sounds so demeaning, but I mean, artists who are not amplified or who are not yet in the scene or who are not yet known in the scene, I feel like that would really be the catalyst to mass adoption within Africa when they really see what’s possible and they have like a valid, organization backing it because Africans are tough, man. I’ll tell you that for sure. Us as Kenyans, we’re so tough to like, come to the conclusion that something is real. They need to see tangible effort, which includes money, which includes, I don’t know, like the person living a lavish life. So I don’t know how far or how long till we get to that point as Africans, but I’m looking forward to it.

Yeah. Can you talk more about like the process of joining Afro Future Dao like, I guess the next step is, how did this kind of come into fold and what kind of like content and footage and artifacts kind of get collected? Like every community has like its sheet of fundamentals, you know, that they look for kind of thing. Like this kind of reminds me of like the whale community, that whale shark kind of co-brought to life and bunch of NFTs that he’s collected over the years. I think it’s like over 200,000 or something probably more at this point. Yeah. It feels like a similar vibe. Like how did that come about? And what kind of content do you guys collect?

Afro Future basically collects Afro-futuristic art and that all narrows down to what Afro-futurism means to you. Particularly for me, Afro-futurism means black people getting to express themselves the way they want to when they want to and how they want to. So when you think of that, it really opens up the, you know, the boundaries as to far, we can go and how different our collection looks like. Like the process of joining Afro Future Dao, we have a collectible collection on the near blockchain and it’s called the Afro future mafia. And it costs just about 25 [inaudible], which should be around a $120. I’m not sure yet. I’m not sure. Like very sure, but yeah, that’s how I ended up joining Afro Future Dao. There’s also very many ways to like earn Afro Future token. So the process of on-boarding onto AF future Dao is pretty easy and there’s so many ways that you can earn the Afro future tokens. And there will be many more ways that we are about to bring up into the, the community that will enable people to have kind of like a rewarding token system. So if you tweet like one of our posts, if you retweet them, you’ll be able to earn tokens. If you comment, you’ll be able to on tokens, if you join and participate in our discord chats and calls and our Twitter spaces  such kinds of things will be taking place actually quite soon, quite soon. So people will be able to earn Afro Future tokens just by doing simple, simple tasks. And this is just how easy like Afro future has made it for the common artist, the common person who does not have like a hundred thousand dollars to get. So there’s in many ways you can onboard into the Afro future community and it doesn’t just end at, collecting one of the Afro future mafia, which is our generative collectible on the near blockchain. That’s just one of the ways that you can join, but we’re about to introduce a rewarding token system, that will allow our users and our participants to earn Afro future tokens just by doing very simple tasks, like liking our tweets, retweeting our tweets, like engaging and live tweeting during our Twitter spaces and Afro Future radio calls, which are so dope. And I think that it’s something easy even for the common artist and the common collector and the common person who is about to join like NFTs to do so there’s nothing really hard and there’s nothing really high valued, or like pricey that you need to like give, to join the community. It’s also about, you know, support the people within the Afro future community. You don’t have to be like part of Afro Future Dao to support Afro Future Dao. So, buy an AF future mafia, retweet our tweets, join our discord community because that’s where a lot of updates go through and you’ll be able to be on-boarded and guided if that’s what you need by one of our team members like our core members and it’s quite easy. And it’s, I feel like you have like a lot to reap as an artist and as a collector in terms of information.

That makes sense. I guess I wanna ask you a couple more questions. So what would be, I guess the end goal of capturing all these moments, like, okay, you have a vault, a digital vault of all these high quality epic moments in African history. Okay. What, what’s next? Like what do you do with that? Do you, I know you talked about in like earlier about being a digital museum, you know, being able to scout that, but how can it extend beyond a museum you think?

Why Capture these Moments Digitally?

I think also a lot of these historical assets to me, they look like art or they are art, and a lot of them are not tokenized. They’re not capitalized, they’re just hidden or they’re not sold. And I feel like it’s quite an undervalue to not sell these pieces. So I feel like even just by putting some of these photographs up as NFTs and being able to sell them and generate money for the community it’s a way to, you know, crowdfund and it’s a way to build the community just by selling art and putting value on art that would’ve not have any value at all. And would’ve been hidden and would’ve not been seen at all. And I feel like even just by showcasing these images and these cultural and historical asset it’s really inspiring to the community. And it’s a huge step to very many things that we would be able to do in the future. It’s not just about, you know, putting up the art and seeing the photo it’s about being able to actually sell the art it’s about being able to support the community by selling that piece of art by by sharing that cultural asset. I feel like it inspires a lot of African artists to move into the space as well. When they see something that’s theirs and they see that it has value and they see that been valued in the industry. I feel like it really inspires us to work into expressing ourselves and to work also into valuing our culture and our art

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. Makes a lot of sense. So if I was a creator who wanted to make it into the vault, okay, how would I go by doing that? What does the process look like?

So if you do want to access the vault, you need to have a set amount of Afro future tokens or you need to have an Afro future mafia. And the Afro future mafia is probably the easiest way that you can access the vault by having the Afro future mafia NFT, you will be able to get whitelisted and it’s simple. It’s as simple as that, you get a link to the photos and it’s thousands and thousands of historical assets and historical and cultural photos dating from, I think the 1950s all the way till the 1990s. And it’s insane. It’s insane because a whole, a whole lot of these moments are we would like to think that they were undocumented, but they’re documented and they’re just not out there. People just don’t know it. And it’s actually a very, what can I say? It gives me go bumps when I open the vault, like when I can see the pictures in the vault and to know that I can do that from anywhere in the world and any one of us can do that from anywhere in the world. It’s just crazy to me. But yeah, it’s as easy as buying one of our Afro future mafia on the near blockchain. And you can access that through our Twitter. Our Twitter has all the links that you need to know. And also our website is very up to date and has every single information that you need to know.

I love to hear it super exciting stuff, Dada, before I let you go, where can we find Afro Future Dao? Where can we find your work? Give us the entire spiel.

Outro

Currently Afro Future Dao is mostly based on Twitter and Discord. And we are called @Afrofuture AI on Twitter and on discord, we are called Afrofuture Dao, but you can find all our links on our Twitter and even our website is Afrofuture.ai and has every single information that you would need as an artist to join AF future Dao or to even join, you know, the NFT industry. There’s a whole lot of information on the vault and how to access the vault and club Afro future is which is our spot where we showcase art and yeah, all that juice and goodness is on our Twitter, which is Afrofutureai. And for me, I am at [inaudible] or HVR memoirs, memoirs like memories. And you can find my arts on foundation on Zora open C. I’m a pretty experimental girl. So I have very many different pieces touching on very many different themes. And I hope I can expand that collection soon and also like my collection, because I want to be able to collect other people’s arts soon, but yeah, be sure to check in with us and be sure to to give us some retweets and likes and comments. It goes a whole long way in amplifying us and the community in general.

Amazing. Thank you so much. I hope to have you guys again soon. Thank you.

Thank you too. It’s been a wonderful and very easy session. I’m happy to be here