An Essay On Salvaging The Music Industry With Decentralization

in music •  3 months ago


Talent Deserves Independence

I forewarn you as a reader, when it comes to the passions I have for music, creation of music and how far the industry has taken many artists down the road of tragedy, I get a bit wordy on this subject. With that warning out of the way, lets dive into the state of things when it comes to the current uphill battle for independent thinking musicians and listeners.

Many that follow me here on Steemit and Twitter may only know me as just a guy that got into crypto many years back as a trader and marketer within this community. That's me in the now and I embrace that as a new found passion of mine that I hold a lot of pride for. This though, does not fully encompass who I am, actually I have also been a guitarist/songwriter for most of my natural life. I had dreams in music that I have chased numerous times as an adult, with some success and some downfalls as well, but that is who I am, a musician at the core.

This year I have turned 40 and looking back I got to admit its rather quite shocking how far the world has gone with technology, especially for musicians. I remember owning an 8 track recorder in my teens and honestly that was about the max potential I had for keeping track of my guitar playing/writing process. Now, we all pretty much have full fledged studios nestled within our home pc setups and its so amazing to have so much power to record at the disposal.

Whether you are a musician or a casual music listener, there is a very wild shift forming for both sides of equal and alarming value. We are at a crossroads in music development that needs careful tending to. Piracy in many ways may have very well shifted the state of things to the current levels it has found itself, but as a musician I actually may be the odd man out feeling this could be a good thing in the long run. See piracy in some ways may have very well brought the nature of sound back to its humble roots of being more a human need vs a boxed up commodity that many corporate labels have been holding a strong hold against the true workers in the music industry....the artist.

Is it right that anyone can just take an artists music freely on the internet without any compensation for it? No, that honestly is hurtful to the hard work that one puts into these pieces we all enjoy. The music industry has issues in this area but I don't think that its the pirates anymore that is the root of the core evil going on here. I honestly think its the dynamics of economy that has long been setup up by corporate America who rules over artists and their work.


The Tone In Corporated Music

Have you noticed a change in the way modern music sounds? Does it sometimes come at you as if its all similar and very boxed up and packaged to you in a way its catchy but missing something? This is something I have been analyzing very hard the last couple years personally due to the fact when I listen to music I always have this passion for something unique when it comes to bands and artists I will take to and slip into my very own music collection. Needless to say, I have not had that feeling in a long time when I listen to modern music. Sometimes I question myself if its maybe that I am a little older so I have a different taste but honestly I still carry a youthful openness to music so I don't think that is the answer to my qualm with new music out there.

Then a pattern hit me that I have noticed about corporated and radio friendly music coming to audiences. Its a fusion of a lot of things that sold very well in the past. You literally can hear a remix style coming out a lot in modern tracks that utilize riffs and tones that hit the charts deep in the past. Only difference I am noticing is vocals are just twisted to a pop level to sound new and fresh. This feels to me like a salesperson repackaging me a product I already bought before but maybe its just me, maybe I am just over analyzing things here.....

Then I found this article here:

I don't want to go too technical on the study I stumbled across but it appears after studying 500,000 modern albums and 15 genres plus 374 sub genres, a group of scientists realized there was a very standard formulaic approach to these songs in process and style. Meaning now a days no matter if your into Metal/Pop/Country, whatever, you are most likely going to get similar chord progressions and ballads out of them all. That is a tragedy, that my friends is soulless packaging at its worst to rake in money on what "they" think will sell, how did we get to this point in music?

I have a little theory I would like to pass onto you as a music listener/musician that sits on my mind a lot lately. Could it possibly be that there is no one producing anything unique anymore? No I live in underground music and independent music and I definitely hear very unique and talented music out there. What I think, and this of course is my opinion, the record labels have become such big business that they don't take risks anymore. They also do not pay artists like they used to, this is a major factor against strong voices being heard by the mainstream, not too unlike us here in cryptocurrency. Piracy probably kicked them in the pocket a bit hard too as well, so their backlash of survival maybe to just uniform what has sold by the numbers before and keep kicking out that in mass production. No matter what the factor is, I think its time we as a world who loves music need to weigh our options before this gets to be a stagnant industry.

Why is the Music Industry Really That Important to Salvage?

I do get that not everyone hates on the modern turns in the mainstream music scene, every piece of music does have its place for everyone. That is the beauty of music, it strikes a chord within each individual in many different ways. I mean look at ABBA, they made a killing and sorry I still personally don't get that one to this day myself, but I am with different tastes.

Music and sound has a power not fully realized by many. When you watch a movie and a sad moment strikes you so hard you have the feelz hit you, I promise you though the acting maybe good there is a piece of music behind that moment also pushing you lightly over the edge. How many have that one song that brings you back to special moments in your life? What a tragedy if we didn't have that in life. Music is important, it bridges so much gaps in this world and crosses borders where most politicians can travel, it brings cultures together and for that alone it needs to be treated with more respect than the industries in control have been holding.

Modern music does have its place but so does the independent artist who is at this very moment probably closing down your local McDonalds and planning to stay up tonight with his band to work on their hopeful break through track to play for a few dozen people in a local bar over the weekend.

Music has turned into a big business, and in many ways I get that. I firmly believe if a musician has pure raw talent and they want to focus solely on that passion in life then they have to make the means to survive and have the backing to focus on that goal. Sadly we as a world have made that only for an elite few when honestly music is in the souls of so many talents out there. This is where I think decentralization can save these types to go forward independently and let the world as well find their work.


Blockchain Based Independence for All Musicians

I know I have written a lot and if you gone this far with me, THANK YOU, this is a serious issue I think we all should talk openly about as a community of music lovers and it means a lot to me that you have traveled down this road with me this far.

I am not unlike many musicians out there that sat too long in the independent you got to live levels of life. I don't just speak as an outsider when I talk about record labels making things stale in music, I also have personally also dealt with a few of them first hand on music projects of mine in the past. I had a little bit of the touch of indie underground fame back in the old myspace days on a very experimental project I called PROFIT MASSACRES BEAUTY that I since renamed KILL MOMENT IN FRAME. Let me tell you from experience these labels will come right out of the gates trying to take anything they can and rebox it up fast into a very salable product. Unlucky/Lucky for me I am not a typical musician who feels a need to converge my sound to their vision of it. So I have been solo on my own most my adult life which in many ways is freeing but very tough to keep at full time.

I am not sure of myself if my music really is of worth, all musicians feel this way as they develop but I have sadly for the last decade put any song writing on the back burner due to the fact its just tough to do anything with it full time and financially focus on it. This seems to be the tragedy of anyone trying to home record or do it without the backing of any major record label up to this stage, but things are starting to change.

Due to the progress in cryptocurrency there is a lot of pop up blockchain based systems where musicians can reach new audiences more on their own terms. This not only sets everyone up with a purposeful mission to take charge of their own music but also it allows for audiences to really get to the grind of finding new and unique music that has a bit more blood sweat and tears involved. The failings of the music industry to protect its artists maybe a thing of the past if we as a community support these platforms and artists securely residing their work within the blockchain.

Two that I currently use as well are as follows, and I hope more of you out there will support these past just as an investment financially but also as a future fix for piracy and support of the independent artist, because that is truly what its about.



There are of course many new blockchain based music streaming services popping up, which I plan to test out others as I get back into this game but these above are the two so far I have quite enjoyed as a listener and artist. The concept is pretty simple when it comes to these services, think of Spotify/Soundcloud where an artist can upload their music but they actually still hold the rights to their music. These services pay the artists via streams and tips from listeners which I think is an amazing concept. This allows for growth in ones music, the ability to upgrade equipment and might allow talents to financially make sense of their time to work hard for their followers. WIN WIN!!

Can The Industry Survive Decentralization

I am going to be dead honest with you, I honestly could care less about what the corporate labels do at this stage with the available technology around them. I firmly believe its a given that music will be decentralized because at the beginning before the last century it was decentralized in the first place, its just returning home now. I do hope though that some labels embrace these concepts and maybe they can support their musicians by simply distributing the artists they back on the Musicoins and Choons of the world.

If the corporate minds behind labels right now can grasp that returning music to the people and let the people back what they love can happen, then I think firmly we can return innovation within music and broader scope of new genres and sounds for the world. Especially this world, this time in history needs music back in its life to bridge some gaps, we need artists with voices that can make us think in deep lyrical ways. I believe we will get there thanks to blockchain technology.

I think I am returning back to song writing, got my setup at the house geared up and ready to go, so hopefully you join me on that journey this second time around.


Follow me here on Steemit @sflaherty

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For my experimental cuts on Musicoin, you can follow my project Kill Moment In Frame here:

Witness the growth in my project on Choon here:

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Well said! I think the record labels are the main problem how they control what gets heard. But hopefully we can change things with sites like Steemit and others


I am with you there @drewley and thanks seriously for reading this through, I spat this out so fast that I am sure it has issues but the meaning you caught fully. Steemit is yet another place for music, I firmly believe it and in the past I have pushed some of my own music here very well. I think for artists to survive we have to hit all avenues at our disposal now. Record labels really remind me of the same issue we have in crypto again banks, just old ways being held onto even though those very ways are no longer relevant nor working very well with the greater mass of people in this world.

Beauty of it though, we finally are at that place where we got to figure it out and adopt what makes sense, think decentralization of these areas is that key. Doesn't even matter about the markets, its sucks right now but to me its more about making sure decentralized blockchain projects doing some good survive and we should all support them.

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Hello @sflaherty, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!