Categories
Music NFT

Ill-Esha’s “CRYPTOWAVES” is a Crypto Sound Design NFT Experience

One of the most sought after Underground “Godmothers” of Bass music and exquisite sound design is pioneering a new form of creativity in which she interfaces multiple layers of collaboration with interwoven blockchain codings and crypto synthetic visual stimulation.

Elysha Zaide is a Canadian born electronic music artist, producer, singer and DJ known for her work in the bass music world, as well as her unique style of singing and DJing simultaneously. She produces music as “ill-esha” and teaches sound design at Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain. During my time in bass music culture, I was lucky enough to cross paths with her and come in as direct support on several occasions at various music festivals and clubs across the United States. I have known her inspirational sound for over a decade now. In 80% of my DJ sets between 2009-2018, it’s a guarantee that there were always at least a few of her well crafted bangers mixed in. 

She has always been on the front lines of ground-breaking soundscapes, telling stories with tantalizing melodies and harmonies layered on top of crisp bass lines and drums that knock just right. Her first NFT project is an experience that breaks all boundaries and gives the listener a brand new audio experience.  

Her upcoming NFT release, titled “CRYPTOWAVES PT. 1”, is a 4 track moment in time based on the story of a character known as “The Orphan”.

She states in her recent post on Medium.com: “Crypto is blowing up like crazy—what does that sound like? I wanted to take the excitement, the rush, the revolution, the complete overthrowing of the system, and in spirit of making something unique, I wanted to weave a rich story, a puzzle with clues scattered throughout.  So I set some guidelines for this journey:

  1. I would make a four track EP, telling a story both universal and completely encoded with crypto terminologies.
  2. Every sound on the EP ( aside from my voice, or few environmental sounds taken in the creation process) would be sourced entirely from wavetables generated using 2021 first-quarter charts for four cryptocurrencies.
  3. Every song title would both represent a chapter in this hero’s journey, and correspond to an actual finance term. Lyrics would also have these phrases and words deeply embedded into the storyline.”

This NFT will launch onto the auction block on April 19th via Staxe.Io with a LIVE Album release party in collaboration with the auction ending. This will be streaming as a LIVE VR event as well. 

Staxe is a DeFi/Blockchain-based platform focused on the tokenization, financing and investment of live and online productions. Staxe’s goal is to enhance economic opportunities in the live and creative industries via blockchain technology. To do this, it links and safeguards the interests of creatives and investors under an automated and secure platform.

The company recently developed its ‘Staxe NFT Launchpad’, which combines an NFT drop with a live performance, whether during a concert/show, streaming or VR performance. The Launchpad showcases artists and creatives in a live performance during the final moments of their NFT drop auction, boosting the NFT collection in a highly interactive and unique new way in order to enhance the resulting value captured by an NFT drop with the power of live events.

I spoke with ill-esha about her current creative endeavor on the newest episode (#14) of “The Music Ministry Podcast”. Check it out here.

I’m looking forward to the future of what unfolds within the evolution of this astonishing creative and tech renaissance for all of the amazing artists that will rise from the shift taking place.

Categories
Music NFT

Tycho Announces TYCHO : ISO50, a Combined Visual-Audio NFT Project with Perks

There’s no denying NFTs have become a catch-all solution to monetize any and all creative work.

Buried throughout the ocean of high-profile individuals flocking to crypto art as a get-rich-quick scheme are those who embody the spirit and ethos of permanent digital media.

This post spotlights one of those very actors—Scott Hansen—as he dives headlong into web3 through a foundation that was seemingly developed exactly for this future.

Setting the Stage

Having spent the past two decades creating visual art as ISO50 and music as Tycho, Hansen is taking his first step into crypto art with his forthcoming TYCHO : ISO50 collection on Nifty Gateway on April 15th.

Starting his career as a graphic designer, Hansen fell in love with creating cover arts under the moniker ISO50. The name references a type of slide film, personifying his passion of giving audio a more physical, real experience through visual art.

This portfolio—now housed at iso50.com—has started to resurface in recent weeks. Detailed throughout his collections are commissioned works, show posters and cover arts from projects past. Having won accolades such as the FWA awards, ISO50 was an industry leader—making its way to everything from corporate clothing apparels to niche communities like Pretty Lights.

https://iso50.com/
Courtesy of Tycho

It’s no surprise that Hansen soon tried his hand at audio to accompany his visual works. The birth of Tycho was a direct output of the ISO50 operating system, acting as the soundtrack for the imagery and visual world that is ISO50. 

“If it wasn’t for ISO50, Tycho probably wouldn’t exist,” notes Hansen.

Offering a nostalgic edge, Tycho’s sound is meant to capture a moment in time. As the vague approximations of time shift and evolve, Hansen’s creative output offers a bedrock to immortalize a timestamp in the listener’s life.

Enter Web3

Naturally, this is where NFTs come into play.

“Video has never found a meaningful home, until now” comments Hanen. His first foray into the space—Element—offers a glimpse into the past, present and future of TYCHO : ISO50. The collection showcases four unique locations, each earmarked with a specific natural element and a score of unreleased music.

“I’ve always been drawn to the intersection of audio and visual and have spent my career creating works that seamlessly melds the two,” commented Hansen. “This story showcases the natural evolution from visual to audio—offering a glimpse into the future of how these mediums live in harmony thanks to web3.”

Whether you’re a Tycho fan or not, there’s no denying that the mending of these two worlds is the exact audio visual experience that many collectors have come to know and love. With the winner of the 1/1 auction receiving lifetime VIP (+1) passes and a virtual studio tour, his first release teases a growing ISO50 virtual universe—one which this writer is stoked to be a part of.

And what use might that lifetime pass have? Tycho just sold out his first 6 shows of 2021, bringing his talents to the scenic wine country of St. Helena in early June. To the winner of the 1/1—the first TYCHO : ISO50 shows in 10 years are just a bid away.

Until then, fans can rest assured that Tycho is starting a new chapter, one in which the community ownership takes center stage.

If there was ever a time to become a Tycho superfan, it’s now.

Be on the lookout for more information from Tycho in the coming days as he frequents Discord server, Clubhouses and chat groups near you.

To the artists out there, let this story show that audio visual work has found a home in web3, and creators like Scott Hansen are bound to show why this page in history is sure to leave a mark.

Categories
Music NFT

The NFT Music Culture is Changing Lives Around the World

There is no mistaking what is happening at this particular place in time and space. The infinite possibilities of NFT technology have changed lives all over the world, and I mean this quite literally.

Recently, I find myself involved with an ever-expanding group of musicians, singer/songwriters, audiophiles and music producers.  The exciting part has been the connections created with people from over 30 different countries.  Every single person in the community brings an immense amount of experience from all facets of the multiple layers of the music industry. Now imagine that same type of community existing for photographers, and then another for digital artists, and then another for 3D metaverse developers. This is happening right now over on the Telegram app. The main driver of this particular community of world artisans I’m referencing is the Ghost Market Music Group (ghostmarket.io), which is built on the Phantasma Blockchain (phantasma.io).  

Indigo Saint

Mzwakhiwe Nywenya aka: Indigo Saint comes from the city of Bulawayo located in The Republic of Zimbabwe. Indigo Saint and I immediately connected on Telegram. We are both fans of using the voice feature for conversations. This technology made it a very seamless process to be able to walk him through the steps of opening a new wallet and getting his first NFT minted.  

In conversation with him, we have become friends, learning much about how each of our cultures are dealing with the world and the way things have now become within our own environments. One thing that really stuck out to me was when Indigo mentioned the rolling electrical blackouts that occur multiple times in any given week. Staying up late on the nights when the internet is accessible has become a way of getting work done for the Independent Artists Association of Zimbabwe: Cottage #47.  The night when I had walked him through the process, he was up until 7:00 am to get his first NFT up onto the market. The next morning, we had discovered that it was sold within the first 4 hours of being placed.  He had set the price at 50 SOUL coin. On that day, SOUL was sitting right at .58 cents USD, meaning that Indigo Child had become the first musical artist from Zimbabwe to sell a music NFT for roughly $29 USD.  (SOUL is sitting at .70 cents USD as I type this, meaning that Indigo Saint’s first NFT is currently valued at $35 USD). 

He quickly began to understand the power of the NFT/Blockchain technology and found himself becoming a minister of music as well. We have recently added Mzwakhiwe Nywenya aka: Indigo Saint to our roster of Minting Agents over at www.themusicministry.org. There is a new page up as well featuring key points on his Cottage #47 Artists Association.  

Indigo has added several new artists to our community over the last week, including VI The Law from Harare. VI The Law has sold his first NFT at 100 SOUL. When speaking with VI (Six), he mentioned being completely unsatisfied with the way the music industry has been. “Especially with the pandemic and people not being able to perform, it’s been really rough worldwide.” His first NFT was titled “Hope”. He said he wanted to be able to ‘sell Hope’ which also happens to be an original track near to his heart. Now that his first track has sold, he fully believes that this is the way to revolutionize success within the art and music world in Zimbabwe and beyond.

What I love most about these successes taking place in multiple countries now for many independent artists is that it has given a sense of worth to the creative mind that hasn’t existed before. For instance, our friend Indigo Saint mentioned to me that if he can do this just 29 more times, he would be able to afford a car, and to be able to help pay for a plane ticket to fly his sister home for a family visit. He understands that he can now truly look at his artistic creativity and expression as a way to fund his life, and to be able to help his family in ways that were never conceivable before NFTs.

His second NFT is up for auction now for 200 SOUL and already has a bid placed.  He only needs 25 more sales left to manifest that car into reality. 

The thing that truly blows my mind is that every bit of the minting process was done on his phone through the d-app available at ghostmarket.io.  Indigo sent a screenshot of the entire minting process with a wallet all from his phone. Mobile NFT technology is happening right now. 

Music NFT from Belladonna is Making History Over in Italy!

Moving over to Italy, well known rockers Belladonna have made history by being the first Italian musicians to release a song as an NFT. They have received positive press from Reuters – Italy and Italian Billboard magazines for their groundbreaking concept titled “New Future Travelogue”. This limited edition 1 of 1 is up now for auction on the Ghost Market here and has matched its starting bid of 1000 SOUL. The auction goes on until 3/27/2021.  If you’re a collector this could be your chance to own a historic music NFT from the first Italian musicians to have ever done it.

Belladonna gave a rave review when discussing their opinion of the music NFT space:

“Auctioning our song ‘New Future Travelogue’ as an NFT has been so far a truly exhilarating experience! We found the fact that now a music recording can be—for the first time in history—as unique as a painting on canvas absolutely revolutionary, and we were thrilled that many of our fans and followers saw it the same way. 

It was also an honor for us to have become the first artists in the world to include in the NFT the Master Rights of the song, possibly a new path that I hope many other artists will follow us on, and by the awesome feedback we have received from musicians from all over the world, it has already started happening.” 

LUANA CARAFFA (Belladonna’s singer, Italy)

“The press from all over the world recognized the fact that the ‘New Future Travelogue’ NFT auction might herald the beginning of a new era, and while only time will tell if it will be the case, we have been truly humbled and honored by the incredible media impact our auction has received.

Of course, right now NFT might be seen by many as a fad—even though the media attention NFTs have received in the last few weeks has indeed placed probably impossibly high expectations on the NFT market—the technology in itself can undoubtedly be an amazing tool for artists to free themselves from many middlemen (labels, publishers, managers, etc) and deal directly with people that feel their work matters, just like Renaissance artists did at the time. 

The wonderful people at Ghost Market—the platform on which the ‘New Future Travelogue’ auction is taking place—have been tremendously supportive to us, as I know they are with every artist on their platform, making the whole journey a true joy!”

DANI MACCHI (Belladonna’s guitarist, Italy)

Romanian Music Producer ‘Matei’ Experiences Early Success from Music NFT’s

“I can tell you a little story. I was looking into this NFT stuff, because I was getting quite into crypto and thought it would be fun to mint some of my music, and I was looking for the best place to mint and sell. I saw GhostMarket on this reddit post, so I thought I’d check it out. I minted an EP that I just released and put it up for bidding, thinking there was no way anyone will buy it, but to my surprise there was already a bid on it within a day for 150 SOUL. The next day I decided to mint another album that I made a while ago and came up with 3 different rarities for the album, each containing different exclusive content. For example, the GOLD one had an extra music video and an extra track. To my surprise there was a bid for this one as well for 300 SOUL and then I realized I made more money in two days on GhostMarket than in a year on streaming platforms. I think that I was very lucky to find GhostMarket because the minting price is insanely cheap, the Phantasma chain is extremely innovative and the community is great. I’m Romanian but studying in the Netherlands.”

MATEI – Music Producer, Romania

Hype aside, it’s easy to see how music NFT technology is now on the forefront of changing everything about the way we consume music and art. It’s only a matter of time before many of the fast money platforms become unsustainable. The primary technology is planning to conform to a “Point of Stake” tech in order to become 100x faster than what is currently running. However, right now there is a “proof of stake” technology already doing this, at a rate of 300x faster than the older tech which is seeking layer 2 solutions.  I have spent time with my team searching for the “Top 5 Market Places for Independent Artists to Mint Their Art”, and in most cases all of the platforms are popping up onto the old tech. I believe these gas fees may be the demise of many NFT platforms. I also believe that anyone who can take the time to educate themselves on the minting process over on the Ghost Market will have an incredible (!) advantage over the people sleeping on this, who will undoubtedly find their way here within the next 18-24 months.  

There is no going back.  The time is now, and we are only just getting started.  Pay it forward everyday and teach someone new.  What a beautifully chaotic time to be a creative mind at this crossroads in human history.

The Music Ministry

The Music Ministry LLC is built of dedicated artists who carry over 60 years of combined experience in the live music and recording industry. Every agent on our team has performed in multiple touring circuits in North America and has suffered the hardships endemic to life in the music industry. We now have come together to stand as an alliance for creative minds searching for the path forward in this new world. The Music Ministry LLC has a full understanding of the NFT minting process and wishes to contribute to the evolution of the music industry.  

Our initiative with the elite programmers at the Phantasma Blockchain, Ghostmarket.io, and House of NFT can help everyone understand the minting process and become financially independent. We believe that this renaissance period is the place in time where the creative visionary minds can finally take power back into our own hands, changing the guise of the mental health crisis, the economic crisis, and the environmental crisis we are facing today.  

This isn’t about getting rich quickly. We all have a choice. Rise up and learn, or let it all burn. Teaming up with One Tree Planted, every minted work from The Music Ministry LLC will donate a percentage of the royalties to help do our part in their global reforestation efforts.  

Visit our website: The Music Ministry LLC

Categories
Music NFT

EulerBeats and The Future of NFTs

Wrapping one’s head around NFTs can be enough of a challenge. We’ve grown up seeing digital content in a certain way, and this new technology really has its way of flipping our whole way of seeing things around. 

But once we successfully take that mental jump, we quickly learn that the current forms and use-cases of NFTs are just scratching the surface. For the most part, we are seeing NFTs in their most simple and static states. 

EulerBeats is an NFT project pushing at the edges of this potential, and pointing us in the direction of where these powerful new technologies can go.


Put simply, EulerBeats is a collection of 27 unique audio-visual NFTs called “Genesis LPs”. Each piece is made up of a unique digital artwork printed onto a spinning vinyl record that plays a piece of music.

The artwork and music for each NFT is algorithmically generated. This means that when someone comes along and mints one of these NFTs, the art and music are created then and there. The algorithm used to generate these pieces is based on a math function by Leonhard Euler — a famous mathematician of the 18th Century.

Using metadata from the actual purchase transaction along with Euler’s function, each output is a piece of artwork with unique colors, shapes and sounds — all properties that give each piece a different level of rarity. 

(If you’re interested in getting into the weeds on how this is all done, the EulerBeats about page and Discord server are great places to start.)

This means that the original purchasers of the 27 Genesis LPs play a role in the actual creation of the NFT artwork. 

But the generative art details are just the tip of the iceberg. The EulerBeats project may go on to act as a historical case study, showing us just how powerful the potential for NFTs truly is

Breathing Life into NFTs

Interacting with the EulerBeats project automatically throws you into an experiment that nudges its way into many fields of study — music theory, math, tokenomics, blockchain technology and more. 

While most NFTs today are a static transfer of digital art ownership, this project brings NFTs much more to life. 

Each of the 27 Genesis LPs consists of 1 original LP and 120 prints. The original LP is generated through the process we just discussed, and each subsequent print is an exact replica of the original. 

Ownership of the original LP comes with its fair share of perks:

  • The original LP owner receives 8% off the sale of each print
  • They also maintain commercial rights to the underlying artwork, meaning they can get the song placed in a commercial for instance and get paid for it.

But wait, there’s more… 

Bonding Curves, Burn Funds, and Other Complicated Things

As we said, prints are direct copies of the original LP. The price of prints are based on something called a bonding curve — a fancy formula that makes it so each print is exponentially more expensive to purchase. Print #1 is a whoooole lot cheaper than print #120. 

Euler Beats / Matthew Chaim

So we know that when you buy a print, 8% of that money goes to the original LP owner. 

Another 2% goes to the EulerBeats core team. That leaves us 90%…

Enter the “burn fund”. The burn fund is essentially a digital vault where 90% of the revenue off print sales sits. Print owners have the option to burn their print at any time. Burning a print — in the case of EulerBeats — is a lot like selling the print back to the project itself. If you burn your print, you receive 90% of the current print price of that LP.

Is your head spinning yet? Don’t worry, mine was too. 

Here we get to the crux of why EulerBeats has built in all these complex contraptions…

By incorporating a bonding curve and burn fund, EulerBeats baked in the conditions to incentivize early supporters of the project

This is best explained with an example:

Say it’s the first day this project launched. Not a lot of people know about it yet, and I come along and think it’s pretty cool. I notice that all 27 original LPs have been minted, but no prints have been purchased yet. So I scoot on over to LP 01, play it back and really dig the song. 

I purchase print #1 for 1 ETH. 

Because of the 90% burn fund, I know that if no one else ever buys a print, the worst case scenario is I burn my print and get back 0.9ETH. There is no way my investment is going to zero.

But! If the project does start to take off, and people start buying prints of LP 01, the print price is going to grow exponentially. Suddenly a few weeks go by, and let’s say the price to print LP 01 has gone up to 10ETH. I can burn my print and receive 9ETH for it, a profit of 8ETH! 

Herein lies some pretty sweet ideas for creators of all kinds. By incorporating bonding curve pricing and a burn reserve fund, you can entice people to get in on the ground level of your newly launched projects

For fans, this offers some amazing avenues to gain off of your taste. If you have a love and ability for finding talent early on, these pricing models create the perfect ecosystem for you to make those sorts of bets on people and projects. You get to support the artists you love, and take on a very limited risk while exposing yourself to potentially exponential gain. 

The Future of Royalties

Another place the EulerBeats project pushes at the edges of NFT tech is at a much needed one — on-chain royalties. As we went over, the proceeds from print sales are split between the burn fund (90%), the original LP owner (8%), and the core team behind the project (2%). 

The flow of these royalty splits are baked directly into the NFT smart contracts. Meaning that when a print is sold, no one party needs to do anything to make those splits go to the proper rightsholders. They just flow automatically into the proper digital wallets. 

We can extrapolate out and see how this technology can affect pretty much every business. Think about how many industries rely on intermediaries to figure out the flow of rights and royalties.

Let’s look at the music industry for instance. We’ve got labels, publishers, PROs, all sorts of other rights organizations — all of them busy scouring every nook and cranny for royalties earned off music and getting them to the proper rightsholders. This process usually takes months, often a whole year!  

With the proliferation of this technology, all of that goes away. 

Suddenly we can envision a scenario where a little restaurant halfway across the world plays my song, and that song playback is recorded on the blockchain. The royalties associated with that song playback flow instantly and automatically into the digital wallets of all parties involved — and my share of the revenue streams directly into my wallet moments after (or perhaps even while) the song is played.

That, my friends, is a whole new world. 

Enigma — the next layer to EulerBeats

EulerBeats is just a few weeks old, and the team behind it has plans to evolve it in many directions. They have now begun dripping out information on the next phase of the project called Enigma

As Tyler Mulvihill of Treum (the team behind EulerBeats) explained to me, there are two sides to each EulerBeats record. The Genesis LP is one side, and Enigma LP will be the other. That’s about all we know so far, but Tyler alluded to the fact that this release will make it possible for many more people to get involved and interact with the project. 

EulerBeats / Enigma

It sounds like there is a lot more yet to come within the EulerBeats project. Perhaps even more importantly, there is a lot more it can teach us about NFTs — a technology that is surely going to eat its way into every corner of our digital world. 

Categories
Music NFT

The Legend of the Funky Drummer is Creating the New Music Industry

There are several stories from the NFT space that aren’t being told by the mainstream media. We are fully aware of Beeple’s success. We have all heard about 3LAU making his millions in minutes. Just this week, Steve Aoki joined the pack. Let me tell you another story. 

As a drummer, beatmaker, and music teacher, I am familiar with the life of the legendary “Funky Drummer” himself, Clyde Stubblefield.  Stubblefield was the one-time drummer of the King of Funk, James Brown. Stubblefield is also the most sampled drummer in hip-hop history, and his legacy is forever enmeshed in this genre. Tragically, he was never mentioned in the credits as a writer in any of James Brown’s recordings, meaning that he never saw a single cent in royalties from the hundreds, if not thousands, of works created from using his notorious drum beat.

Robin Little / Getty Images

At the end of his life, there were an insurmountable amount of medical bills that had piled up.  

Another legendary artist named Prince stepped in to help the Stubblefield family cover the balance of the medical debt, so that there would be no hardships faced after his passing. Ironically, Prince ended up passing on the year before Stubblefield, but his generosity helped save the family from ruin. Learning this story has helped me understand my new found friend Jesse Goplen.

Jesse Goplen (www.houseofNFT.com) is the son of Dave Goplen, who was the bass player in Clyde Stubblefield’s band. A musician himself, Jesse has been an investor in the cryptocurrency space since 2010, and has learned numerous invaluable lessons along the way. He is also a former college professor, having taught high-level German courses at UC Davis in Sacramento, CA.  His passion has always been in music, but like most of us creatives, he had to find his way into a career that he enjoyed while sacrificing his main joy. In 2020 Jesse had started down the path of creating his own start up company, and when Covid-19 hit those plans changed in a drastic manner.  

In August of 2020, after much studying and research, Jesse came up with the brainchild to create the Music NFT. The blockchain is Phantasma.io which houses Ghost Market (ghostmarket.io). In exquisite synchronicity that ties everything back to Clyde Stubblefield, the governance token for Goplen’s Music NFT’s is called the SOUL coin. Following his prophetic vision, in one of his first videos on the House of NFT Youtube Channel, Jesse started the “Soul Challenge.” The entire concept was to have any and all musicians mint their first music NFT on Ghostmarket, and have 10 of their music friends do the same. When speaking with Jesse, he mentioned that the first few months felt like pulling teeth. He didn’t know if anyone would understand his vision.

Fast forward to February of 2021. Jesse was invited to be interviewed alongside one of the Phantasma programmers, Vincent Geneste on the Music Entrepreneurs Club podcast hosted by Damien Ritter (Funk Volume, Beatstars). At this point, Jesse’s vision was fully underway as he had minted his own track titled “Devil’s Bed” for 15,000 SOUL coin, or roughly $1000 USD at that moment in time. Today, as I write this, 15,000 SOUL coin is valued at over $7000 USD.  

https://ghostmarket.io/
GhostMarket.io

We are now in the middle of March 2021, and the entire world of NFT has exploded overnight, with every artist wanting to jump into this new music revolution. The part that frustrates me the most is that there seems to be a lack of research, patience, and humility in the NFT space. People ran directly to the main platforms being mentioned in the news and spent the astronomical gas fees to mint one piece of art, often to realize that the meta data was entered incorrectly, forcing them to take it down to fix it. Many young artists have lost all their money already, and now have no viable way to re-enter the space at the moment.  What did they think was going to happen?

Jesse Goplen

What made people believe that their art, that never sold for $5000, was all of the sudden going to sell at such unruly prices? This is the psychology of the FOMO bubble that exists within the culturescape today. I will offer a sage piece of wisdom:  if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In the last few weeks as I have taken on this new technology, it has been crucial for me to consistently research, pay diligent attention, and learn what is happening in the NFT world, which evolves on a day-to-day basis.  There is no doubt in my mind that the scams that have been set up within these markets will be crumbling with time as the truth comes out about how these platforms are operated. But in the meantime, too many artists are losing what little investment revenue they have at their disposal.

https://m.kucoin.com/
KuCoin

I take pride in my continued collaborations and growing friendship with Jesse Goplen and the team at Phantasma/Ghost Market. Today, I find myself as one of Jesse’s right hands in the movement that is the true Music NFT mission. His wife Kyana Taillon serves as a swiss army knife as well, handling much of the onboarding and admin duties. One of the best parts about Jesse Goplen’s movement is that the entire Phantasma community got behind his vision and donated an endless amount of SOUL and KCAL (gas token) to help bring on every musician that comes onboard for no cost. On Monday March 8th, the Ghost Market Telegram group was formed and within the first 72 hours we found ourselves with over 120 members from 14 different countries globally: Italy, Australia, England, The Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Russia, Spain, Canada, Morocco, Egypt, Germany, Mexico, and The United States. We also had our first community Zoom meeting full of many new members of all races. Men and women asking questions, gaining knowledge, and discussing the future of royalty splits within the smart contracts being programmed for this renaissance of music and art on a global scale.

https://phantasma.io/home
Phantasma.io

Know that there is no other music community being created in the holistic ways that this one is being built.  Jesse and the team are fully accessible in the Telegram community, Twitter, Instagram as well as hosting rooms in Clubhouse twice a week. Be on the lookout for Ghost Market feature Friday’s where we showcase a multitude of newly minted musical talent from around the world each week. 

https://ghostmarket.io/asset/pha/ghost/53433193654197843721803044075515941345880720640459020413407895573699929797484/
Kind Mantras

With Jesse’s help, I was able to infuse the first ever NFT album that has 9 individual NFTs, each containing a master track, music video, album art, and the track stems for remixing, all within one outer layer NFT that houses the full project.  Jesse Goplen is a true visionary, and the proof of stake Phantasma Blockchain is the future of NFT’s from the world of creatives. If you are a musician, do not wait any longer. Head to www.houseofNFT.com and get involved today. 

Categories
Music NFT

Protecting the Legacy of Rap and Hip-Hop Culture Through NFTs

I was raised on 90’s rap and hip-hop, my heroes being U.G.K. (R.I.P. Pimp C), N.W.A., Cypress Hill and the Soul Assassins crew, Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, Tupac, Biggie, Outkast, Goodie Mob, etc. You get the point. I’m that white kid that grew up in a farm town just outside of Kansas City who loved sick drum beats and could never understand racism. It just never made sense to me. Ever.  

Later in life, I ended up becoming a DJ/Music Producer/Independent Record Label Owner. But every step of the way, I always found myself doing things that I didn’t want to do so that I could actually survive and get as much time practicing and learning my craft. I was heavily planted in the Dubstep/Future Bass music scene in the U.S. from 2008-2018. In a matter of moments, my life collapsed when all of the risks I was taking blew up in my face. So, I got a “real” job.

I lost that job as GM of a School of Rock in Denver in August of 2020 due to the pandemic. This brought me back home to Missouri. I decided to heavily invest myself into a very strict regime of daily personal growth. I immersed myself in the content of Tim Ferris, GaryVee, Tom Bilyeu, Tony Robbins, Vishen Lahkiani, Paramahansa Yogananda, and Sadhguru. After 11 months of really committing to my personal and spiritual growth, a few weeks ago where I found myself in the right place, at the right time. 

Mid-February I met Jesse Goplen (House of NFT) via his Music NFT initiative with the GhostMarket.io on the Phantasma Blockchain. Within the first 48 hours of minting my first NFT’s, I made more money than I have in seven years of releasing my music on ALL major streaming platforms. I quickly knew that I wanted to teach the process to as many creative people as possible, and I needed to try to contact the OGs in the game to do my part to protect their legacy from the shark-infested waters.

I started making posts on Instagram.  In one particular post, I was wearing a collab t-shirt made by the Legendary Estevan Oriol, his brother Mr. Cartoons (L.A. Originals Netflix doc, Soul Assassins, West Coast OG’s), and Bun B of U.G.K. To my amazement, later that night, I found myself on the phone with Estevan and Bun B, explaining everything I knew about NFT’s and how the process could work for recording artists. It was a life-changing moment that gave me the affirmation that I was on the right path and I truly could help artists in this space. Understanding this is a new technology, and everyone needs to be shown this process to handle things with their NFT successfully. I offered to teach anyone from their crew how to understand the process. Coming from the “Show Me State” of Missouri, it is an honor to give back to the legends that have paved the way. This is also how my amazing parents raised me. 

Enter 3rd Wrld’s frontman, 1000 Words. We sat up cranking out the process and put up the first track titled “Me and Mine”, released on Joker Brand Records, with Executive Producer Estevan Oriol. It dropped last Friday at 12:00 pm PST, and sold less than 15 minutes, for roughly $500 USD. On March 3, the second track titled “OYE” was minted onto the Phantasma Blockchain as the FIRST auction from a new breed of talent, from the legendary Soul Assassins squad. This experience feels like a movie, especially with the governance coin on Phantasma being coined the “SOUL” coin. The timing and synchronicity couldn’t be more authentic.   

When looking deeper into the 3rd Wrld story, I watched a documented clip from last summer’s riots, filmed in the streets of L.A. when 1000 Words was blasted in the face with a flash grenade by the out-of-line riot police. Estevan Oriol caught the entire moment with his legendary camera lens.  It was mind-blowing seeing this violent history documented and then flipped into an amazing piece of artistry.  1000 Words brilliantly compiled his personal experience into a well-crafted track alongside partners in 3rd Wrld, Chapter 3 (on the beats), and Dr. Chronicle (artistic design). They are a force to be reckoned with on the West Coast and beyond.

1000 Words

I humbly find myself in a position of gaining trust within the rap game and the new breed of legends while also teaching the OG’s the ropes of this NFT revolution. My company, The Music Ministry LLC, has been able to pivot into becoming the world’s first NFT Minting Agency.

The Music Ministry LLC is built of dedicated artists who carry over 60 years of combined experience in the live music and recording industry.  Every agent on our team has performed in multiple touring circuits in North America and has suffered the hardships endemic to life in the music industry.  We now have come together to stand as an alliance for creative minds searching for the path forward in this new world.  The Music Ministry LLC has a full understanding of the NFT minting process and wishes to contribute to the evolution of the music industry.  

Our initiative with the elite programmers at the Phantasma Blockchain, Ghostmarket.io, and House of NFT can help everyone understand the minting process and become financially independent.  We believe that this renaissance period is the place in time where the creative visionary minds can finally take power back into our own hands, changing the guise of the mental health crisis, the economic crisis, and the environmental crisis we are facing today.   

3rd World / Kind Mantras

This isn’t about getting rich quickly. 

We all have a choice. Rise up and learn, or let it all burn. Teaming up with One Tree Planted, every minted work from The Music Ministry LLC will donate a percentage of the royalties to help do our part in their global reforestation efforts.  

Visit our website: The Music Ministry LLC 

Categories
Music NFT

NFTs Are Changing the Music Industry Right Before Our Eyes

Special thanks to Cooper Turley of Audius and Jeremy Stern of Catalog for feedback. 

An NFT by electronic musician Jacques Greene recently sold on Foundation for 13ETH — over $23,000 US. 

The audio-visual clip teases out a few seconds of an unreleased song of his called ‘Promise’.

https://foundation.app/jacquesgreene/promise-640
Foundation

But this purchase is for more than just the artwork itself. As Jacques writes, “this NFT represents not only a 1of1 AV but the publishing rights to the song upon its release, in perpetuity.”

Now this, to me, is an incredibly exciting thing to see. And not only because Jacques and I are both musicians and both from Montreal.

But because this is one more early example that nudges us ever closer to the following hypothesis: That we are at the beginning of a massive overhaul of this thing we’ve collectively decided to call the “music industry”. And that every facet of said industry will feel the aftershocks of this tectonic shift.

Welcome to the Stone Age

I recently wrote a beginner’s guide to NFTs and spoke of how they are about to change pretty much everything. This article both zooms out of NFTs and into the wider edges of what we can call the web3 revolution, and it zooms in on where these changes meet music. 

To create a succinct story around what this future of music will look like would be a fool’s errand. We are just beginning to touch these new tools for the first time. It’s like we’re in the Early Stone Age, and we just accidentally made the first hammers ever. We’ve just picked them up, and we’re feeling their weight; we’re hitting them against things and seeing if something goes boom. 

So instead of speculating on exactly where this all goes, this article walks through five examples of people, projects, and platforms that are giving these brand new hammers a good smacking. 

This is in no way an exhaustive list. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of experiments underway. 

My hope is that these examples begin to outline for you the possibilities of what’s to come. I encourage you to use the infinite landscape of your imagination to color in the rest. 

Alright, back to Jacques Greene

In his tweet thread announcing the ‘Promise’ NFT drop, Jacques Greene said that he recently “got out of a long, pretty bad publishing deal.” Now that he’s an independent songwriter, he’s elected to sell the publishing rights to this song to whoever wins the auction. 

That could theoretically be anyone. It could be a fan, a friend, another publisher who feels they could do better with his music. Maybe a music supervisor who already has some placement ideas for ‘Promise’ and wants more skin in the game. 

By creating an NFT around these rights, they become not only verifiably ownable but also tradeable. Once the song is released, the demand for these rights may go up as the song grows in popularity. Maybe the NFT changes owners. Maybe it changes owners a hundred times. 

The NFT could also theoretically be fractionalized, meaning it could be cut up into smaller pieces and sold to multiple owners. Maybe a fungible token is created that represents fractional ownership of the NFT, enabling hundreds, thousands, millions of people to participate in the publishing rights of this one song.

Of course, these different scenarios might be discussed and decided upon in a separate agreement between Jacques Greene and the primary buyer. While the proof of ownership of this NFT will be stored on the Ethereum blockchain, the actual flow of rights and royalties is not baked into the smart contract.

But you can begin to see a future where they are baked in. What happens when agreements that were once paper contracts turn to code? Suddenly the flow of rights and royalties becomes way more agile, flexible, malleable. Suddenly the options a creator has with the ownership and therefore incentives tied to the success of their work approach near infinity.

A custom built NFT Shop by 3LAU

We just saw how your superfan could, in theory, become your publisher. Clearly, the roles and relationships between artist, core team, and fan are beginning to blur. 

Another artist is committed to the continual blurring of these lines in 3LAU. 

The electronic artist has been immersed in the crypto scene for many years and has been essentially carving the path for musicians into the realm of NFTs. 

After a number of successful NFT drops, 3LAU — along with the team at Original Protocol — has now built his own custom NFT auction and marketplace. On Thursday, February 25th, the bidding will open for 33 rare Vinyl NFTs that represent his best-selling album Ultraviolet

The winner of these NFTs will also receive access to unreleased music, limited edition physical vinyl, and the top bidder will win the opportunity to create a custom song with 3LAU himself. Talk about an intimate connection with the artist.

https://nft.3lau.com/
3LUA

In a recent Clubhouse room announcing the project, 3LAU shared his vision of creating a long-term, close-knit relationship with his collectors. He plans for these NFTs to have ongoing utility, providing access to future exclusive content and closer access to him and his work. 

Because he’s built a custom marketplace, 3LAU truly gets to create whatever he wants. The art of the project extends past the actual music and into open questions like “how can I provide more value and access for fans, and how do I want to monetize that value?”

In a lot of ways, this release format gives the best of both worlds to creators and collectors. 

3LAU gets to own his platform and marketplace. But the actual NFTs live on the Ethereum blockchain, and therefore transcend the digital “walls” of his website. They can be moved about the wider Ethereum network — showed off in a VR gallery-like GeniusCorp’s Cryptovoxels vinyl shop, or bought and sold on Opensea or other marketplaces. 

It’s like owning a game skin, but the game’s environment is the entire (new) Internet. The use cases are truly endless.

Catalog: The Bandcamp for NFTs

Not everyone is going to build their own NFT shop. Catalog gets this. So they are building out the Bandcamp for audio NFTs. 

https://catalog.works/
Catalog

Set to launch within the next few weeks, Catalog allows artists to press 1-of-1 digital records as NFTs. These NFTs do not represent the rights or royalties associated with the song (like we saw with Jaques Greene’s) but act more like a canonical representation of an artist’s work on the blockchain. As the team puts it, 

“Catalog records represent the true original version of your work online. These are unique, one-of-one records that exist on the internet forever, beyond the limits of our platform, and can be traded in open markets.”

This means that fans can now own the original pressing.

McKenzie Wark

The future of collecting may be less in owning the thing that nobody else has, and more in owning the thing that everybody else has.

https://www.e-flux.com/journal/85/156418/my-collectible-ass/

As we spoke about in the guide to NFTs, this is a bit of a mental jump for us. We’ve learned to think of digital content in a certain way, but the perception of stuff on the Internet as tactile, distinct goods will increase as we venture deeper into the web3 renaissance. And with that, the verifiably original pressing of “Hotline Bling” for instance will hold tons of value. 

The same way we learned last week that the Nyan Cat meme is worth 300ETH to someone.

Another inherent aspect of Catalog NFTs (as with all the NFTs we’ve discussed) is the artist or creator fee. This is a percentage that the artist sets at the time of minting, which is paid to the artist every time that NFT sells on the secondary market, in perpetuity. 

This is another huge shift for artists, allowing them to capture the increasing value of their work overtime. An artist on Catalog will be able to capture the cultural value of their art as it grows, over and above the traditional royalties earned. 

Catalog intends to become a community-owned project, which means its artists and collectors will eventually control the majority of the network and its decisions. They are also building on top of the Zora Protocol, which has created a type of NFT structure (called a zNFT) that bakes the actual market into the NFT itself. This means that Catalog doesn’t take any transaction fee, and as a zNFT moves about the Ethereum ecosystem, so too does its market. 

This is truly “platformless media”.

Audius: The web3 Steaming Model

Alright, so we’ve covered a bunch of NFT projects and technologies that are just bursting with potential. 

But what’s about streaming music? Does that fit into all of this? Or are we stuck with the same old “Spotify model” forever?

Streaming platform Audius intends to give that last question a resounding “no!”

https://audius.co/
Audius

Audius is building a decentralized streaming platform. What this means is that the actual content uploaded to the site doesn’t exist on servers that are owned and operated by Audius itself. Instead, distributed “operators” are incentivized to run nodes that store the content and metadata on the platform. This allows for a whole lot of fun stuff, which we’ll get into shortly. 

The beauty of Audius is that, while all this is running under the hood, the average user has no idea. Using Audius feels like using any other streaming platform you’re accustomed to. You just…play music. Make playlists. Do the things. 

Because of its ability to abstract away all of the friction that usually comes along with a lot of early crypto tech, Audius has seen a huge wave of early adoption — with over 2.6 million monthly active users. Every user on Audius has a crypto wallet, and most don’t know it yet.

But the power of this decentralized library of content and code is immense. First, the content transcends the platforms. Much like the “platformless media” of NFTs, this means that the music and its streaming data are not beholden to the continued existence of Audius itself. If the website disappears tomorrow, the content is still there so long as the nodes stay online. This content is also completely open and permissionless, meaning anyone can build anything that “hooks in” to it.

You and I can build another frontend website that takes all the same content as Audius, but ours is better because we really like the color pink, and our whole website is pink. (If you wanna do this, please DM me.)

Or, in a more impactful example, we can build out ways of monetizing this content in up-until-now completely unexplored ways. 

And this is exactly what Audius itself is attempting to build. With the rollout of their native token $AUDIO, artists, curators and fans alike will be able to play in the experimental sandbox of earning and trading coins on the platform. Audius’ vision is to have its platform and the eventual uses of $AUDIO be community-led. 

But make no mistake, if we, the artists, don’t like how things are going down on Audius, we can build our own new frontend. That’s the beauty of it! No siloed control means more freedom for artists and audiences alike. 

Right now, Audius is completely free, and artists are encouraged to upload content, build playlists, and establish their following. The longer-term vision is to roll out monetizing products that allow artists to get really creative with their rollouts. And because the idea is to be a community-led initiative, it is the artists themselves who get to ideate and vote on what gets built. 

How about an album that charges listeners a set amount once they’ve listened through the album twice? Or a song that changes endings when you tip the artist? How about a song where the first 100 listeners get a percentage of future earnings? Or, a favorite example of mine from a podcast with the Audius founders, what about a gated album that can only be streamed at a certain altitude? Mile high club just got a whole new meaning. 

Up until now, we’ve been given very few options in how to distribute and monetize music. Highly centralized and opaque systems like Spotify and Apple Music get to essentially dictate what a song is worth. But this is a rather flat and boring way of doing things. The world of music is diverse. An artist’s catalog itself is filled with all sorts of different flavors and sounds. Why can’t the distribution and monetization of that music be just as eclectic?

Tokenized Communities and $RAC

We’ve looked at a lot of the ways that content online is changing, and we’ve begun to outline how the distribution of this content can create stronger ties between artist and fan. 

Now let’s dig a bit deeper into how online communities are about to take on a whole new level of meaning in our lives. 

The grammy-award winning artist and remixer RAC has been dipping into the world of crypto for quite a while, leading highly successful initiatives with his audiovisual NFTs and redeemable token drop $TAPE.

In October of last year, he announced the creation of his own artist token $RAC. He included an initial distribution plan of $RAC to his most loyal audience — Patreon supporters, Twitch supporters, etc. 

https://blog.ourzora.com/home/introducing-rac
Zora

A social token like $RAC allows the artist to create strong ties with his community that transcend any one platform. Up until now, we’ve been building our Instagram followers and our YouTube subscribers and the like. But these relationships are truly owned by the platform itself and not the creators. 

A community token allows you to attribute value to your online family and allow that value to flow through that family in any number of ways. These are the building blocks for creators and communities to build their own online worlds. 

One growingly common use-case for a social token is to act as admission to a gated Discord community. To access certain locked Discord channels, you’d need a certain amount of $RAC. Another popular community doing this is Friends With Benefits, which currently requires you to hold 55 $FWB in your crypto wallet to gain access. 

But Discord entry is just the beginning. This provides a community with the power of its own economy. As the community grows, so too does the value of its economy and, therefore its token. This value can then be used to incentivize those within the community and those who want in — in any manner of direction. The ways a social token can be used are thus limited only by the creativity of that artist and community. 

The $RAC token is built on Zora’s protocol. Platforms like Mintgate and Seed Club are a few others playing in this social token space. 

We just covered a whoooole lot.

And yet, we’ve barely begun. We didn’t even touch on how this stuff leaks into live events and ticketing, PROs, data flow, and tons more. 

One could go through all of this and say, jeez, we are really on our way to turning the arts into this hyper-financialized space that’s all about money. 

That’s one perspective. But this is how I see where we are currently at… 

The arts are now entering the blockchain ecosystem, a space that has in a lot of ways been shaped by those who got here first. The DeFi (decentralized finance) space exploded in 2020 and laid the cultural groundwork within this new world. 

But now artists are coming. And the culture is shifting — the words we use are changing, the ways we design and build things are changing.

In a recent YouTube Live, Jon-Kyle of Mirror said, “it’s not ‘let’s make the world feel like we live in a bank’… it’s ‘let’s make the rest of the world feel broken’”.

As you dive deeper into these new technologies, the current online world does start to feel entirely broken. And boy, oh boy, does the music industry feel broken… 

In December 2020, I — like all artists on Spotify — received my 2020 Artist Wrapped analytics. The number that struck me most was that 170 listeners streamed my catalog more than any other artist on Spotify. I was blown away. Like, there are a lot of artists on Spotify. And you listened that much to Lil’ ol’ me? 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/70JkpECHBzs79FOYemfHwk?si=gswjhntvRVKqemEB8lk0Bw
Spotify

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the discovery tools that Spotify has built for artists like me to find fans. But don’t you find it strange that I have no idea who those 170 people are? That I have no way of finding them, reaching them, telling them “thank you, I love you, let’s be best friends”? 

Doesn’t that feel broken?

We are still in the Early Stone Ages of the Internet. 

And we just made the first hammers ever. What will we build?

Bonus Round: EulerBeats

Getting into all this? Good. Here’s a little homework for ya if you want to go deeper…

Step 1 — Read this tweet:

Step 2 — Now read this tweet:

“DAO” stands for a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. We’ll get more into what those are in a future article. 

Step 3 — Visit eulerbeats.com, and good luck getting any other work done today.

https://eulerbeats.com/
EulerBeats