I am incredibly excited to announce that on March 3rd I will be releasing my first web3 project “Phases” in partnership with Royal - selling 660 LDAs (limited digital assets) each representing ownership in my “Underrated” EP.
I want my success to be our success, and that means sharing directly with the people who support me the most. The “Phases Project” is going to be more than one isolated offering. Over the course of 2022 I plan to release additional drops, this is just the first offering.
Web3 has presented a promising future for artists and their communities, the phrase “more than music” has never been so fitting. I know there is still much to discover and plenty of problems to solve, but I hope to be a part of the solutions/change I wish to see. I welcome everyone to join me on this next chapter of my career, the building phase.
Who am I?
I am a recording artist from a small town just south of Toronto, Canada. I’ve been making music full time for the past 6 years going by the artist name “Ollie”, although some people still refer to me as “Ollie Raps”. Early on in my career I found success on Youtube, as the traditional music blog era began to be reinvented in the form of curated music channels posting their favourite copyright free songs daily (shoutout Swagytracks, Promotingsounds & BestModernMusic). I grew my following by releasing new music on a consistent basis and at the time of writing this post my music has been streamed more than 200 million times on Spotify alone, with close to half a billion streams across all platforms combined.
But it’s more than just numbers to me. In order to truly understand who I am, you have to understand where I came from. I grew up gaming, and always wanted to be a full time Youtuber far before that was an acceptable thing to say. I was streaming on Twitch when it was still called Justin.tv, and technically my first job at the age of 16 was working as a recruiter for a sub network of Broadband TV called MREGamersTV (I didn’t make much money).
But that’s just the point, I was failing to make a living doing something I truly loved. Though money wasn’t my aim, I had fallen in love with the internet and for the first time in my life I felt like I belonged.
Throughout my time in the music industry I can confidently say “I’ve seen it all”. I’ve had managers who took advantage of me, artists who stole my work & as the story goes I signed a couple deals with labels who had no intentions of following through on their promises (they never make direct promises, they just say EVERYTHING you want to hear that infers and suggests an outcome that they know isn’t obtainable).
Being an Independent Artist
Thankfully I’ve been able to thrive independently. I own all of my masters and publishing. My fans are my label, but more than that they are me. We’re a group of like-minded kids who’ve all been through similar struggles, felt the same pain and are together lonely. Music just happens to be the medium that connects us all.
I have no label or major distributor assisting me in the release of my music, I use Distrokid. I believe good music with a real message wins. It may take longer but it's well worth the wait, because when a song performs well you and your contributors get to reap the rewards without anyone taking money out of your pocket first.
I learned this the hard way when I signed a short singles deal for 3 separate releases in 2019. Aside from a few small advances I haven't seen a dollar from those songs despite them being streamed more than 25 million times. It’s crazy to say that out loud, but thankfully that didn't stop me from continuing to create music. It’s my fans who are responsible for my growth, they are without a doubt the reason I am able to make music for a living.
This is one of the reasons I was so drawn to Royal. I wanted to give my community a chance to take ownership in my art. Web3 music has so much more to offer, I can assure you this is just the beginning.
My Web3 Origins
When I started investing into Bitcoin in 2020, I knew very little about what it was or the underlying technology it was built on. As most in the web3 space know all too well, it's a rabbit hole.
In between making music and trading the shitcoin of the day I stumbled upon NFTs, something I had heard about in the odd Youtube video but never thought much about. The more time I spent with NFTs, the more it began to feel as if everything in my life was beginning to collide, past, present and future. My eyes were starting to open and I saw exactly where all of this was going, I couldn’t have dreamed up a better opportunity.
I resisted the constant urge to release my own project for nearly a year even though I spent thousands of dollars and hours working on prototypes. I wanted to enter Web3 first as a listener not a creator, and at the time no platform felt safe or accessible enough for my fans to participate despite how exciting the space was. I decided to spend my free time learning everything I possibly could and supporting the artists who had contributed an invaluable amount to the ecosystem that I enjoy today, proud to say I’m a member of Daniel Allan’s “Overstimulated” DAO in addition to several other web3 music projects.
Throughout that process, I started collaborating with friends - keeping up with the latest NFT trends and pooling capital to get our hands on assets we wouldn’t normally be able to on our own. I’ve kept a close eye on the full Music NFT landscape, watching colleagues tokenize their songs, merchandise, tickets and everything in between.
Now, it's time to take my first steps as a creator in web3, and I want to do that by giving my fans ownership in the very career we have built together. I was first on-boarded into this ecosystem using a credit card on Nifty Gateway, so it was very important to me that my fans would be able to have the same seamless experience with Royal. Beyond a fiat payment option, I’m excited to offer my NFTs at accessible price points, and give fans the ability to build deeper relationships with me and my career. I couldn't be happier that this will be the first EP to launch on Royal, a company I believe will play a major role in fan/artist relationships moving forward.
(shoutout Fxnction, Cooper Turley & the Royal team for hearing out my ideas along the way, and all the builders who are making Web3 a more inclusive place for everyone)
The Phases Project
Royal is the beginning to a much bigger plan. I'm going to continue giving ownership back to the people who support me in this next phase of my career.
I plan to build a first of its kind tool for creators to gamify content consumption and begin unveiling a wider universe around my music via animation, film, novels and games. I fully plan to fail attempting some of these more far fetched tasks but I can promise given my career thus far, I will not give up.
Here’s how it will work:
- On March 3rd I will be releasing 660 LDA’s on Royal.io
- Fans/collectors will be able to purchase these LDAs (tokens) via credit card, or in ETH & USDC on the Polygon Network
- There will be 3 tiers of tokens (Gold, Platinum & Diamond)
- Each token will represent a share in the streaming royalties of the “Underatted” EP
- Twice a year collectors will be able to claim their royalties using Royal’s smart contracts
- Each tier will offer a different streaming royalty percentage
- The cheapest LDA will be priced at $75 USD
- In aggregate, “Phases” will feature 35% of the master royalties from the “Underrated” EP which can be streamed here.
It consists of four different singles:
- “Like I Do”
- “Show Me Down”
By purchasing Phases, you are purchasing ownership in all of the four songs in aggregate. This means you’ll be getting a percentage of all the songs across the entire EP, rather than one of the individual singles.
This drop sets the foundation for many more Music NFTs to come - starting with a premier launch partner in Royal.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more about Phases on Twitter and in Discord.
I realize that web3 is not for everyone, but I hope this post can share why I’m so excited about the perspective of allowing my fans to have true ownership in my creative work.
We’ll be hosting a variety of workshops and town halls - providing a safe place for fans to ask questions and express their concerns with this new chapter of the Ollie project.
Remember - you don’t need to buy a Royal LDA to keep enjoying my music. But, if you want to take that relationship to the next level, this is your chance to do so.
Outside of Royal, I’m excited to explore other ways to offer free NFTs to fans for their ongoing support, and to show how tokenization can play a core role in building a highly aligned community.
Until then, keep a close eye on socials for a number of Twitter Spaces and open conversations on Phases.
I couldn’t be more excited for you to be involved, and I look forward to building this new chapter together.