DAOs focused on music continue to be a growing sector for an industry eager to enable persistent, meaningful connections between artist and fan. No longer do artists have to achieve moonshot status by locking major label deals to make waves and generate sustainable income streams.
Many projects seem to be aligned with the general guidance from futurist Kevin Kelly’s pre-web3 manifesto called 1,000 True Fans, where he encourages cultivating hyperconnectivity between artists and fans. Keep in mind that he wrote this in 2008.
Kelly explains, “A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce. These diehard fans will drive 200 miles to see you sing; they will buy the hardback and paperback and audible versions of your book; they will purchase your next figurine sight unseen; they will pay for the “best-of” DVD version of your free youtube channel; they will come to your chef’s table once a month. If you have roughly a thousand true fans like this (also known as super fans), you can make a living — if you are content to make a living but not a fortune.”
Kelly’s short piece on the future of fandom can certainly apply as a foundation principle for music and web3.
omgkirby DAO is a disruptive, anonymous decentralized music artist that fully harnesses the power of Web3 to offer an innovative, artist/fan-centric solution to issues plaguing today’s music industry. Partnered with full-service Web3 studio, Notables and run collectively by the project’s DAO, omgkirby revolutionizes how music creation and distribution are approached.
The DAO introduces a first-of-its-kind, community-driven model, allowing fans to collaborate directly with the artist on tracks, vote, and select which new artists they will support and uplift, in addition to the opportunity to create new music derivatives themselves using stems from original omgkirby tracks that they own. Born in the midst of 2020 and built to thrive in the expanding Web3 world, omgkirby DAO is already operating in the future of music.
omgkirby DAO’s proof of concept was its Genesis collection — the artist’s first official drop, including 3,000 one-of-a-kind NFT music tracks in the form of automatically-generated lo-fi beats in March 2020. The project’s creator, an anonymous music executive/musician with a background in the tech and entertainment industries, set out to test a hypothesis.
omgkirby’s first drop would determine whether or not they could create incredible, and valuable, generative music that people want to own the IP and rights to. Omgkirby’s Genesis collection sold out in minutes, and as a result, the DAO was built. Each NFT purchase granted fans membership to the DAO along with ownership of each song’s stems, master, and publishing rights.
Of the 3000 sold at mint, Jaden Smith organically bought one and made a song around it, Venture capitalist firm Castle Island Ventures utilized their omgkirby Genesis song as intro and outro music for their On The Brink podcast. The second and latest access point to the omgkirby DAO is a drop of 5,000 avatars, designed and created by Singaporean digital artist ValerieHazLife. The drop was free to mint for any omgkirby DAO Genesis NFT holder, offering PFP identification for new members to join the community in a unique and expressive fashion.
I explored the project more deeply with its creator, omgkirby. They shared the overall mission of the DAO and what’s in store for the future.
omgkirby started as an anonymous artist. The project was always about removing individual identity around an artist and focusing it on the music. As web3 was built, we saw the opportunity to expand this idea and become a decentralized artist where holders help govern what is possible for the music, create a platform for collaboration with fans, and build a community that can support one another by being an alternative to a record label or other traditional music organizations.
The ability to create a scalable solution of digital ownership is extremely disruptive to music. The music industry is built on very archaic systems that are slow and don’t support the creatives or their fans. By creating ways to expand digital IP ownership of music between artists and fans, it opens up an endless way for artists to blaze their own trail and sustainability as an artist.
It takes a dedicated team. In order to build a DAO that is impactful and sustainable, there are so many different components of running and starting one that you need to have a passionate team running and helping in all aspects.
They’re a very innovative team building exciting projects in web3. They understood the vision of what we were trying to create in music and only further encouraged the exciting ideas of how we can push the boundaries of music in web3. They’ve been an amazing team helping bring to life the exciting art and music.
What does the DAO hope to achieve by the end of the year? By end of next year?
By the end of this year, we hope to achieve the DAO having their first successful grant/funding of a community member artist. This will further highlight how DAOs can become alternatives for artists looking to develop, expand, and collaborate in the music industry.
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