We all came here for different reasons. The promise of financial independence and creative freedom are an enticing lure, but once we’ve caught the bait, we realize how much bigger this movement really is. For the first time in my career as a musician, I have seen innovation, self funding and an alternative route to record deals emerge all through the implementation of this new technology.
But isn’t cryptocurrency dead? Aren’t NFT’s a scam? These are the responses most of us receive when trying to explain ourselves to others. The mainstream media has always spread FUD, just like they did with the creation of the internet in the mid 90’s (look how that turned out) but there are clear reasons for skepticism here. Confusing jargon, the steep entry curve and no long term guarantee is enough for some people to give up before they’ve even started; however those that climb this hill now could be speeding down the other side before the rest of the world has even put their shoes on.
My journey started in January 2021 when I was onboarded to the crypto space by a friend who helped set me up with the basics. This was enough to send me down my own rabbit hole, which led me to find my own motivation. Eventually, I lost interest (in both definitions) until I rediscovered the music NFT space in late November 2022. This sent me down an even greater rabbit hole and I spent the next month researching everything about the growing scene, compiling my research into a resource to help onboard artists which can be found here. 3 months later, I debuted on Sound.xyz and my genesis drop sold out almost instantly, generating 1 Ethereum (~$1,600).
Having made it through the onboarding phase, I’ve felt compelled to onboard more artists myself. The idea of paying it forward came from my own entry into the space, where I was overwhelmed with the immediate support and selfless help I received from people in the online communities I joined. From the outside, Web3 can seem techy, disconnected and money oriented, but in my experience, I have found deeper connections, friendship and support here than in any other community. This is not confined to online either, with IRL events happening every day across the world.
To head towards mainstream adoption I believe that we need to take the tech out of the limelight. No one cares how Instagram works, they just like using it. To make Web3 more accessible to musicians, we need to shift the conversation towards how it directly applies to the artist's career and how it can help solve problems that traditional methods cannot. By making the music the primary focus, it’s familiar and applicable. As a curator for Catalog, I selected artists that were already somewhat familiar with Web3, as I found that no matter how passionate I am, some artists just aren’t interested. I learned that it’s not my job to convince anyone, but whoever reciprocates my energy will be met with open arms.
Fundamentally, we need to help musicians find their "why" for joining Web3. By understanding their motivations and goals, we can help them navigate the learning curve and make informed decisions about their participation in this emerging scene. This idea of Web3 being segregated is an illusion, it’s just an additional layer of tech on top of existing Web2 platforms, and we are all still part of the same digital universe.
Anyway, no one said “Web2” until “Web3” came along, it was just “the internet”. This is where we need to get to again before blockchain becomes the norm. So, aim for normality, approach with familiarity and execute with sagacity.
About The Author
Named as one of adidas’ ‘Rising Stars’, Elcee the Alchemist has built a strong foundation in Web3. Since his sold out debut NFT “Netflix”, he has been exploring new avenues in the space, dropping songs across multiple chains and contributing his thoughts through his writing.