Authors: @StemsDAO, @haithamengad, @radniq, @sea_viva, @riikaichinose, @xlab_gg
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Stems collaborative platform for musicians all over the world to collaborate on music with their favorite artists without middlemen.
StemsDAO is the community that powers it all. We started as a passion project by a few close friends that produced and freestyled together for fun.
Since inception, StemsDAO has evolved into a global community of artists and fans. In just a few months, dozens of Stemheads (community members who make music with stems) created over a hundred new records using stems shared via StemsDAO, before the platform was even live! Throughout 2022, we hosted 6 remix games during which musicians released their stems for the community to remix and potentially win an official, approved collaboration, and other exclusive prizes. The humans behind these new remixes/songs are called Stemheads and they are the beating heart + future leaders of StemsDAO.
If music is the language, stems are the words
On our platform, collaboration is centered around stems, the building blocks of music. Music is a universal language, a cornerstone for diverse communities to bond over shared information, a song. Stems are the individual audio tracks that make up songs – vocals, drums, synths, basslines, and infinitely more. These building blocks can be reused in different tracks, making attribution of royalties at the stem level extremely powerful.
Scro added a recorded guitar stem to the vocals from electro-pop star Elohim's track “metamorphine”, which she released to our community:
Over the past two decades, music instruments are increasingly digitized; music production software like Ableton and FL Studio proliferated and CC0 libraries and tools such as Splice have made all kinds of sounds abundantly available to the masses. However, the stems of high-profile artists are usually inaccessible due to the complexity of copyright law. These sounds are priceless, due to the talent and image of the people who’ve created them, as well as the shared emotions and memories they evoke. Some of the best songs come from sampling stems that have substantial emotional and cultural value - Eminem sampled the iconic stomp-stomp-clap beat from Queen’s “We Will Rock You” for his timeless track “‘Til I Collapse”. In today’s age, however, middle-class musicians do not have the opportunity to sample Queen. Our dream is to make currently exclusive sounds accessible to anyone and open the floodgates for new music creation.
make music with your favorite artist
We’re creating a global community where artists and fans all over the world can create and enjoy music together - regardless of genre, label, or geography. Artists can release the stems of their music for creatives to use and fans to own, all without the shackles of traditional industry practices.
We see ourselves as a two-way bridge between web2 and web3. Our community and platform enable artists to generate more activity around their web2 presence while building intimate relationships with other musicians, collectors, and fans, in typical web3 fashion. Creators and contributors throughout the music production process get rewarded: original artists and remixers get royalties for their work from both NFT transactions and streaming, and NFT stem collectors get paid when the stems they own are used in songs that generate revenue. This is a powerful paradigm that aligns incentives among artists, remixers, fans, and collectors.
This mission leads to artists having full creative control, enables a new open and efficient standard for their compensation, and mends the broken relationship between artists and fans.
Our remix games are a proof of concept for our true vision: a platform that unlocks the magic of a decentralized and properly monetized direct collaboration between talented people, transcending boundaries of genre, label, or geography. Established artists can drop stems of their music for anyone to use and generate new derivative creativity on the platform. This process enables artists to be involved in more music releases, while also building intimate relationships with other musicians and collectors.
StemsDAO games blur the line between the two sides of collaboration. For example, London-based artist Sounds of Fractures shared his stems with StemsDAO in one remix game, then made a song with LA-based Harris Cole’s stems in another. The song, called “Perfect Night” was broadcasted on BBC radio, the first “decentralized song” to make it to mainstream media:
Anyone can interact with the stems of the artist that they love, and even get their feedback. There is no gate-keeping on any music producer community, since it can be made with the participating producer’s preferred software and sample libraries. Top songs and remixes get released on traditional DSPs (Domain Service Providers, i.e. Spotify, Apple Music, etc.). Conversations between veteran producers, such as Boys Noize and RAC, and up-and-coming musicians – are at all members’ fingertips. Below, White Cliffs, a long-time fan of Poolside and an established artist in his own right, made a song using the latter’s stems that will become an official release via StemsDAO:
Our web app allows bedroom producers globally to realize a dream of collaborating and connecting with their favorite artists with the simplicity of a few clicks. All that’s needed to get started is a passion for music, an internet connection, and a crypto wallet.
Music NFTs: Enabling New Creative Paradigms
We unlock the full potential of music through non-fungible tokens and on-chain attribution; Stems and remixes are mintable and tradeable as NFTs on the Stems platform.
An established artist like Elohim can release stems as NFTs and invite the StemsDAO community to submit new songs using those same stems. The platform enables transparent and programmatic royalty attribution, partially rewarding the stem NFT owner for the success of a song that their stem is used in. Artists have full control over royalties and NFT proceeds linked to their stems.
These royalty distribution systems enable entirely new, and substantially more productive, incentive structures. Because fans can gain access to royalty distributions by buying stem NFTs, they are now truly incentivized to see their favorite artists grow. In traditional music industries, a relationship that compels fans to help artists grow is nonexistent.
Not only do blockchain powered royalty systems enhance the artist/fan dynamic, they also create new financial models for artists to thrive off of. Since a stem’s use in derivative content is forever tracked on the Stems platform, the original artist is permanently rewarded as remixes grow in popularity. This is an exponentially rewarding system where potential remixes of remixes (and so on) all flow revenue back to the original artist!
We believe this can and will create a far more robust creator economy where many more musicians are able to thrive doing what they love.
We have partnered and integrated with Lens Protocol. Lens Protocol is a "composable and decentralized social graph".
What exactly is a "composable and decentralized social graph?" Essentially, Lens is a web3 evolution of a social media network like Facebook or twitter. The major difference, however, is that Lens requires zero personal information, has no ads, does not track your activity, and - most importantly - allows users to own their posts and relationships, and monetize their online social behavior however they please. This is far more elegant and human than the predominant model in current social media platforms, where “you are the product”.
Lens supercharges the Stems platform by enabling artists to own and leverage their profiles and content across the blockchain platforms. Fans can “collect” their favorite artist posts, which allows artists to gain deeper insights into their fanbase. The true power of Lens is just starting to be unlocked, and Stems will continue to pioneer its use cases.
We are excited to announce a $4m round led by IDEO CoLab Ventures with participation from Collab+Currency, Village Global, Polygon Studios, Yield Guild Games, MeritCircle, FireEyesDAO, NoiseDAO, Emoote, Daedalus, Jump, GSR and others. Some of the angels in this round include Stani Kulechov (Lens/Aave), RAC, Boys Noize, Anil Lulla (Delphi Digital), Christina Beltramini (Lens/Aave, ex-TikTok music) and Benny Giang (Dapper Labs, Crypto Kitties). We are also thrilled to be a founding member of Colors Studios DAO and Nvak Collective.
Check out our platform here
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- the Stems Core Team