Hi. I’m Henry. I’m collaborating with Daniel Allan on a new project. We are building in public and would like to invite you to join us.
We are looking to raise 5 ETH to support a two-week songwriting camp with a group of musicians. Our collective goal is to write and eventually release songs that will be part of a bigger project in 2022.
We are also using this as an experiment to explore the intersection of the music industry and web3.
^Collecting this NFT will remain open until January 6th (11:59pm pst) 2022.
We will use 5 ETH to fund the creation of new music that will be creatively led by Daniel Allan. However, I am not a musician. So why am I, Henry, writing this rather than Daniel?
This post is a collaborative piece of work between Daniel and myself. We created this together. And as much as this crowdfund is tied to a specific funding goal and consequent result, it’s also very intentionally designed to leave you with a lot of questions.
Part of our thesis is that the promise and potential of Web3 unlocks a lot of new opportunities for musicians: more autonomy, creative freedom, direct community connection, new funding models… the list is both inspiring, and a bit overwhelming. We want to catalyze this change by using an artist-first approach — which requires an iterative process to inform our decision-making.
However, these are questions that are not answered overnight. It is — as they like to say — “very early.” In this context there is a semantic duality of “being early” which means both broader community adoption — as well as having a primitive nature of the development and current capabilities of the technology. But it’s moving very quickly.
As we build in public together, we believe a core tenant of successful Web3 adoption and development is synergy.
The launch of this crowdfund is also an effort to begin publishing and sharing some of the larger industry design concepts for musicians and their teams that Daniel and I have been thinking about.
We’re still learning how this might work and what it looks like, but one thing is certain: we believe ideas should be free to access and express. Everyone’s learnings, good and bad, should be part of the building blocks for growth and development in this community.
I’ve been involved with the music industry in some capacity for the past twenty years or so. It was my full time gig for ten years until I got a debilitating spine injury which caused me to shut down my artist mgmt business in 2019. That hurt a lot and I needed a distraction that was far away from music. I spent the next two years lying on my back reading about money, the meaning of value, and a bit of finance and econ. I used it as a means to escape the painful acceptance that an injury had completely derailed my dream job.
In April of this year, as I began to find resolution for my injury, Web3 caught my eye. I started studying it full time. I have always been interested in the potential unlock technology can have for the music business and this intersection of finance/value, art, and community finally feels like the key we have needed but previously never had access to.
On September 27th Daniel Allan launched his $OVERSTIM Mirror crowdfund. It almost immediately hit its 50 ETH hard cap target.
I managed to be backer #72/87. It was one of my first transactions on Ethereum.
Mirror was unlike anything I had seen before. It reminded me of my early days at PledgeMusic (2014–2015) and direct-to-fan funding, but with all the extra pieces that were missing in the 2010’s. It’s what I had been looking for in my pursuit of Web3.
On October 1st Daniel announced he was looking for a community manager. I sent him a cold-call DM on Twitter. I had about 150 followers and had just started talking about my thoughts on Web3 about one month earlier.
On October 4th we met on FaceTime. It was the first time I had talked to someone on the phone about music in almost two years.
On October 11th, after talking a few times, he offered me the role as community manager.
Since then, we have exchanged hundreds of texts, hours of FaceTime every week, and thousands of discord messages. We’re building stuff and experimenting in a creative sandbox. Doing this work has reinspired my love for music.
A few weeks ago Daniel approached me with an idea for a new project. This time he had an idea to announce it together. As a collaborator, being given the trust to work on a project with an artist is one of the highest honors I feel I can receive. I am humbled, and it gives me an opportunity to explore what Web3 means for me as someone who is not a musician but deeply aligned with the same goals.
Daniel also offered to split everything evenly with me. How does that work? Compensation and value flow is perhaps the most complicated area of the music industry and its current infrastructure system is horrible. It has proven to be a very difficult area to get right. While many pundits direct their focus to how we split “everything,” Daniel and I are more interested in what ways we can grow the overall value that is generated in the music industry. A rising tide lifts all boats.
As music/Web3 develops and matures, we are also spending a lot of our time discussing what “splitting” something actually means in this context.
By supporting us with crowdfunds like this one, you are also supporting our collective goal to improve the value flow for musicians and all other constituents in this ecosystem in a fair and equitable way. Lots more to come from us on this in the future!
The best way we get there is by listening to musicians, understanding what’s important to them, and letting their stories inform our design process…
Hi. I’m Daniel. I make songs. This year I stumbled into Web3 by chance, and the encounter has fundamentally changed my understanding of what it means to make a living off of art.
In March I put together a show and invited everyone I knew in the music industry to show them the songs I had been working so diligently on. One of the people who took some time out of his busy schedule to listen was a guy named Cooper. He came up to me after the show and told me there was a different model for how musicians and fans could have a relationship.
In April I sold my first NFT on Catalog for 1 ETH.
In September I closed a crowdfund on Mirror, raising 50 ETH in 12 hours for my next EP, Overstimulated. This has been my best body of work to date and I’m excited that the release date is right around the corner on January 7th.
3 weeks ago I was featured in TIME for my accomplishments in the space.
Last week, I sold out a drop on sound.xyz, earning the equivalent payment of ~3 million streams in under five seconds, and funneled the proceeds back into my DAO.
I recently wrote a post highlighting some of the internal struggles I’ve faced in trying to find the balance between a life in Web3 and making meaningful creative progress. The constant attention devoted to Discord and Twitter combined with a lack of allocated music time started showing me early signs of burnout, which got me wondering how I could sustainably maintain my creative output while also being inclusive of the Web3 community that got me here.
After closing $OVERSTIM I got over 250 messages from independent artists and I was absolutely floored. So many of them were congratulating me and asking me for tips and I felt very touched and excited to share my story. Initially I took every call and spent all the time I could talking to each artist individually, but I quickly started to realize that hopping on the phone for a majority of my day simply wasn’t scalable — I was putting music on the back burner again.
I had spent six months of my life working on music and came up with Overstimulated — a project that really felt like a turning point in my musical journey. I realized that if I didn’t devote the same attention to my next body of work I’d become stagnant in my progress.
Doing a Web3 writing camp feels like the perfect solution to me. On the one hand, I will be able to help a lot of the artists that reached out by showing them in real time a creative way other artists can be onboarded — a boots on the ground approach that puts onboarding more in my control. On the other hand, I can spend two weeks primarily focusing on music and ensuring that the next project is even more sonically advanced than Overstimulated by working together with some of my favorite artists on it.
This is our first experiment around figuring out a better way to compensate direct collaborators facilitating new music projects. We make nothing from this fund if it raises 5 ETH or less, which we acknowledge as a very possible outcome.
It costs 0.1 ETH to buy an NFT to support this project. There is no limit on the amount you may buy. However, we would like to encourage you to buy no more than three (0.3 ETH).
On one hand, we want to emphasize the importance of accessibility and creating an opportunity for anyone to participate who would like to. It’s much more about assembling and scaling a community of aligned values and goals. We don’t want to define the success of this project by whether it sells out or not. There are already too many metrics embedded within the music industry that do not align with the *real *value of the release of a project (“Top 100” charts, first week unit sales and streaming counts, “sold out” exclusive merch, etc) — and we want to make an intentional effort to move away from those measurements. What would mean the most to us would be to see a large number of individual wallets, pledging a small amount of ETH to this community project.
On the other hand, we also want to recognize that some collectors may want to purchase more than one NFT or contribute to this project above the 0.1 minimum as we publicly build it together. To the whales, we appreciate you, and your support has literally been life changing.
We have set the hard cap at a number far beyond what we expect to raise so that it remains available to anyone who would like to participate during the seven days this crowdfund will remain open. While this hard cap is a relatively arbitrary number, it does have some historical significance to one of Daniel’s previous projects. The first person to discover that significance will be awarded a special gift (that has no redeemable ETH value 🙃).
If we hit our 5 ETH goal, the songwriting camp will happen. If we surpass 5 ETH, it will trigger a tipping point at which we will establish and begin contributing to a resource allocation pool to help onboard new musicians into Web3.
In theory, if the management and administrative requirements increase for the distribution of our new artist onboarding allocation pool, so will the personal compensation for us both — which will also support the growing time and energy commitment of this project so it remains personally sustainable for us.
Daniel has been working on organizing an amazing group of musicians for the songwriting camp and we truly can not wait to share the line-up with you soon. Stay tuned.
We would like to acknowledge anyone who has supported Daniel in the past. You are the reason this exists and are the driving motivation to continue creating, both for Daniel and Henry.
We mean that literally. Had no one contributed to the $OVERSTIM crowdfund Henry would not have met Daniel a few months ago — at least certainly not in this capacity. We never would have written this post together. Thank you for your interest and support in these projects!
^ = on 1/2/21 we updated the nft collecting period to end on 1/6/2022 at 11:59pm pst. It was previously set to close on 12/27/21, and nearly unanimously voted by current contributors to be extended due to the timing around the holiday.