If Web3 Music is Culture, Then We Have To Do Better.

February 5, 2024
5 min

I've been contemplating the nature of musicians and art lately. Obviously, art takes numerous forms like images, paintings, sculptures, and of course, music.

Music is undeniably an art form. The unique quality, in my opinion, is what makes music captivating.

Throughout my career, I've observed artists, including those I've worked with, who emphasize creating what they perceive as good, irrespective of market reception. Striking a balance, I believe, is crucial.

Often, these artists craft pieces that might not resonate with the masses. Yet, they offer a vivid, engaging, and immersive narrative that portrays their work as unique. Initially, I thought this approach was purely for effect.

However, a realization dawned upon me. If startups use storytelling in their pitches, this concept might also apply to music.

An artist's ability to illustrate a vivid picture, explain the meaning behind their work, and convey the uniqueness of it, might be valuable in appealing to the audience. Music, like most things, can benefit from effective storytelling.

Storytelling can indeed pique people's interest and provide a fresh perspective on the art. Yet, it's just one aspect of branding an artist or their creation. While it does hold sway for a while, its impact is temporary.

My intuition, and I may be entirely off, suggests that this approach has short-term effects. It's just one element of branding and marketing an artist.

To truly capture attention, the work must be unique and associated with the right elements. This is visible in the world of NFTs and Web3, where long descriptive paragraphs are written about the art.

Still, there has to be more than just a compelling narrative.

Storytelling, and the thoughts behind the creation, though important, are merely facets of a larger narrative.

Just like in startups, a compelling story can get you started and help differentiate you in early stages. However, you also need other metrics, a quality product, strategic associations, and the ability to sell. I've come to understand that regardless of the business, basic business metrics still apply.

As a closing thought, I often hear the phrase "music is culture," which, though overused and somewhat cheesy, does hold some truth. The culture in this context is very subjective and dependent on the target audience. Culture is essentially branding, and effective branding, like any culture, has many layers.

If we consider the deep layers of culture, like that of Christianity, Judaism, or even regional cultures like that of South America, we understand that they're not defined by a single characteristic. For example, in Judaism, it's not just about wearing a Kippah or observing Sabbath. There are countless subtleties, elements of what, when, where, how, and why that build up the culture.

If culture is branding and branding aims to sell a product, it has to involve more than just storytelling or crafting impressive descriptions. If music indeed is culture, it should encompass all these aspects, not just the superficial ones.

In conclusion, music involves more than just producing a piece of art and expecting it to sell. It's about continuously presenting these multifaceted layers to the audience.

In order for music to do better in AND out of Web3, but especially Web 3, where we are building the next internet, we must do better than just buzz and smoke, and give true long term value.

Ash Fishman

Building in the Web3 music creator economy, while entrepreneur-ing like an athlete. Hunger on the Hillside. ⛹🏼‍♂️🏄🏼‍♂️🏋🏼‍♂️

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