Why did I become a Sound.xyz artist?

Why am I a Sound.xyz artist?

Author: Tina Dai, Partner at Variant Fund; Translation: LianGuai0xJS

I just released my second single on Sound.

Music has always been an integral part of my life, a constant companion in the backdrop of my daily experiences. From singing along to radio tunes in the car, to practicing piano and flute, to writing poetry and prose, these childhood activities were not just hobbies, but a profound testament to my deep connection with sound and rhythm.

For a long time, these passions went untapped; I was afraid to venture into creating actual music. The music industry gave me a sense of complexity and intimidation, with the notion that behind every great artist is a massive team of support. For me, the high threshold for commercial success seemed to overshadow my personal connection with music, making me question if I could even call myself an “artist”.

However, the rise of music NFTs and web3 has lowered the barriers for artistic expression in the broader music field. Many artists have already leveraged platforms like Instagram and TikTok to expand their fan base; now, crypto-driven platforms like Sound.xyz enable artists to release music within days. Any independent artist can turn their music into NFTs without the need for agents or record labels. As a result, becoming an independent artist is more possible than ever before.

The Sound platform allows any artist to release music in the form of NFTs, while allowing artists to retain 100% ownership and ensuring swift and fair compensation. The platform further connects artists with fans through curation rewards, giving top fans the opportunity to benefit as tastemakers and curators. Additionally, Sound strengthens the connection between artists and audiences through messaging systems, customized perks, and in-depth audience analytics, setting it apart from traditional web2 platforms that require artists to rely on intermediaries for such activities.

Platforms like Sound provide a new mechanism for independent artists to earn income from their music, valuing genuine interaction and connection with their audience rather than relying solely on streaming numbers. In this new era, artists can earn the same rewards as thousands of traditional streams with the support of just a few dozen loyal collectors.

According to data analysis from my colleague Jack Gorman on Dune, since Sound launched on Optimism on June 9, 2023, there have been 155 versions (songs) that have earned at least $200, with a median of 38 per version minted. This number may sound small, but many artists may not be able to earn this amount on major web2 streaming giants. Earning $200 on Spotify would require an estimated 50,000 streams, or 1,315 plays per fan for 38 fans (which is highly unlikely). 48 Sound versions have earned over $1,000, and the top-ranking Sound song on Optimism has earned $65,000.

As we enter this new era, music NFTs are not only redefining the market, but they are revolutionizing our culture. Long-standing barriers that seemed insurmountable for artists like myself are being reexamined, providing new avenues for authentic self-expression and creation. What once appeared as fixed boundaries and market structures are now becoming fluid, inviting us to reimagine the limits set for creativity.

Creation is a universal journey, not limited to full-time artists, but applicable to anyone seeking to express themselves. Whether through art, songs, stories, or other forms, creation is an inner transmission for the author, a manifestation of true self-expression. A completed work is not just a physical (or digital) artifact; it becomes a mirror reflecting the intentions, experiments, and personal truths that shaped it. In this context, success is redefined, no longer tied to applause or external recognition, but rooted in the deep connections established with fans.

When I embarked on my journey of creating and releasing my own music, my desire was to delve deep into the important things within myself and to communicate and connect with others. My music is an invitation extended to the listeners, allowing them to glimpse reality through my unique perspective. I am immensely grateful for this path of exploration and showcasing creativity.