When I started dropping Music NFTs in March of 2021, I was confused.
Artists that I had worked with didn’t have a grasp on what I was working on in web3, and candidly, neither did I.
But after months and months of dropping on Catalog, more and more artists started to notice and the confusion slowly began to develop into curiosity.
At the beginning of that era I met Bloody White and to this day I still believe he’s one of the best artists out. This is when I started to see the use cases for Music NFTs outside of myself. Bloody was an artist living out of his mom’s house, making the most forward-thinking music I had ever heard, but he wasn’t quite sure how to make a living off his art.
Enter: Music NFTs.
Over the course of the next few months so many of my frequent collaborators started to reach out. And all of them had one thing in common - they wanted to make a living from music.
At the end of 2021 I began to onboard my friends and made a bunch of new ones along the way. I quickly began to recognize all of the untapped musical talent that was stuck on hard drives.
At the time David Greenstein was just starting Sound and after that things seemingly started to explode. There was a euphoria around Music NFTs - and deservingly so. For the first time in a long time, there was a budding innovation in music that allowed a musical middle class to exist and with it - a net new revenue stream.
As I began to work with new collaborators outside of my immediate friend group I started to realize that more and more of them had heard of me because of my work in web3. At the time, that made me insecure, because I thought it invalidated my art - that it put a caveat on it. But since then I’ve realized that it was more of an exclamation mark.
It’s time to lean in.
Introducing Family Affair
The idea for Family Affair came to me towards the beginning of my NFT journey when I began to realize that selling Music NFTs didn’t always lead to the mainstream adoption of music. People who were making money off of their NFTs didn’t quite know what to do with the money to effectively promote their music (I’m one of them), and many of the artists I was having conversations with at the time felt like they were in no man's land. On the one hand, they were making a living for the first time but didn’t quite feel like they were scaling their projects at all.
Initially, I wanted Family Affair to be a record label. I wanted it to be a place where artists could release music across both Spotify and platforms like Sound, Catalog, and Zora at the same time and see love in both worlds. But when I started to speak to distributors it became apparent to me that doing this venture would just be me playing ball in their court. I’d revert back to the 6 week rollouts, the presave campaigns, the TikToks.
To me, that felt like a step back.
It’s 2023 and most of the music world still feels so editorial and curated. I want to be messy. I want to take risks. I want to make art, and lots of it. I want to drop all of it.
Why can’t I drop a song a week? Why can’t I drop something the night I make it? Why do I have to drop songs four months after minting? I think it’s because people (like me) have been afraid of the worst outcome, which is art getting overlooked.
I firmly believe that the next era of music will blossom from this era’s risk takers. The artists embracing the newest technologies unforgivingly will be the ones that capture the most attention. Music is due for a reset.
Family Affair is a project dedicated to the people that want to break the mold.
To people that can start to see that Release Radar doesn’t always mean everything, and that Sound.xyz is actually the new Soundcloud.com.
We are far stronger together than we are individually. Let’s come together and be the change that we seek in music. Let’s drop everything we have on our hard drives and let’s do it together - let's make it a family affair.