There are new tools emerging on the Internet.
Some are called NFTs, social tokens, DAOs.
A more zoomed out perspective lends itself to umbrella terms like web3, crypto, blockchain.
I prefer to call it the new internet.
All of those terms certainly have their place. But to get a wider view of what is really happening, it’s helpful to strip away the stigmas and preconceived assumptions those words might carry. And instead see this moment in history from a vantage point that inspires our imagination, our expansiveness, and our freedom to build what we want to see in the world.
To see what is actually sprouting on the Internet today is to see a blank canvas before you. The brushes are new and the paint is fresh and we really aren’t all that sure what to make just yet.
But undoubtedly, the first step is to grab that brush and slap some paint on the canvas. Better yet, shove your hands in the jar and smear a mess of color all over the place. Because that is the only way we are going to learn just where this new internet can take us.
Songcamp is doing just that.
Songcamp is experimenting with a songwriting camp that doesn’t end when the songs are written, but continues on into the visual design and release of said music.
Often songwriting camps end with dozens of incredible songs that never see the light of day. They get stuck in the sticky web of industry we call the music business. Publishers and labels and splits and all these bloated intermediaries result in fantastic songs wasting away on dormant hard drives.
The other place these songs get stuck is in the worried mind of the artist. Today’s systems condition us to believe we must build a specific personal brand and stick with it. Straying too far away from it—especially with the weird and eclectic songs that often come out of a songwriting camp—conjures up anxiety rather than the excitement that it should.
Songcamp cuts through the core of all that. The project aims to use web3 tools to collectively fund, create and distribute art on the Internet. By completely circumventing the traditional ways of doing things, artists are free to create something altogether new and realize the value of that art in a much more direct way.
Songcamp’s Genesis Batch consists of 3 teams of musicians, 1 team of visual artists, and 1 team of project operatives.
Together, they’ve had 2 weeks to:
- create 3 brand new songs from scratch;
- design the cover artwork to go along with those songs;
- and build + fund the release of those songs
This past Monday was the deadline, and all three teams delivered. They held an in-camp listening party to take in the incredible music and visual art that was co-created by talented strangers over the Internet.
Throughout the two-week camp, a distribution plan was developed and agreed upon…
In order to fund the release of these records, a sponsorship NFT called “The Unlock” was minted and auctioned off during the camp.
Collecting this NFT effectively unlocked the camp for all involved. And that’s just what happened when Seed Club threw up a winning bid of 1.25 ETH with 20 minutes left on the clock. In doing so, they formed a strong bond with Songcamp in becoming the project’s first ever supporter.
This supplied the necessary funds to properly release the co-created art.
This coming Monday May 3rd, each song will be minted as 1-of-1 NFTs on Catalog.
Catalog is building the primary music NFT platform on the Internet, giving artists the tools to mint rare digital records and keep 100% of all future sales.
These NFTs will act as the 1/1 canonical record pressings for each song—much like an original vinyl pressing but in digital form. The idea here is to distribute this art in the form of its original internet master, and allow the creators to collectively realize its value through a live auction format.
With tools like Reserve Auctions, Splits, and Crowdfunds, Mirror is developing embeddable business models for creators. And Songcamp is putting them to use.
The Splits block that Mirror has created allows you to quickly and automatically split funds with a group of people on the Internet. All of these tools are composable, meaning they can plug into each other. For instance, Songcamp can send the proceeds from the Reserve Auctions to the Split block so that everyone involved in the song can instantly claim their share.
Beyond just that, both Mirror and Catalog are built on top of Zora, an open NFT protocol. So not only do Mirror’s tools plug into each other, but Mirror and Catalog plug into each other too!
Oh, and none of these platforms— not Catalog, Mirror, nor Zora —take any fee whatsoever. This means that 100% of the value flows directly and instantaneously to the creators.
Is your head spinning? Mine sure was.
This all points to entirely brand new ways of creating and sharing stuff online. We can begin to see the tremendous power of such malleable tools. And Songcamp is about to expose that potential to all of us, by putting these digital lego blocks to use in a truly effective way.
So here is Songcamp’s plan in summary:
↳ Mint music NFTs on Catalog
↳ Put those NFTs up for auction on Mirror
↳ Send the funds from those auctions to a Split Block
↳ Each artist involved on that song receives their share of the Split
The tools we now have at our disposal allow us to realize a truer value of digital things. Be it content, currency or communities, these tools allow us to organize and distribute stuff in ways that circumvent intermediaries, and allow value to flow directly to those who deserve it.
But these tools are very young. We aren’t all that sure how to use them yet. We’re also extremely conditioned by the first 20 years of life on the Internet.
So now, we must experiment.
Songcamp is one of those experiments. Better yet, Songcamp is akin to a web3 laboratory—running experiments at the edges of music and the new internet.