Grammy-winning DJ and dance music artist, RAC, will be releasing his album EGO on the Ethereum blockchain in partnership with Ujo Music company on Friday, July 14th. André Allen Anjos, better known as RAC, began learning about crypto and blockchains in late 2016, not long after he completed recording his new album.
RAC told Motherboard, “When the price of ether started to go up I looked more into it. That’s when the lightbulbs went off and I was like, ‘oh wow, this is legit.’” At this point, he decided to partner up with a Consensys platform, Ujo Music, to release his new album on the Ethereum blockchain.
Although the album will be released on the Ethereum blockchain, it will not be hosted there. Interplanetary File System (IPFS), a decentralized protocol for file storage, will host the album. To acquire the album, send Ether to a smart contract, which then releases the album to your device.
How blockchains are disrupting the music industry
Just for serving as the release platform, currently iTunes and other platforms can take a big chunk of an artist and their creative teams profit. Some say that the amounts in which they take from the profits are unfair and more than is necessary. Blockchain music platforms allow artists to directly and almost immediately give collaborators their cut of the profits using smart contracts. All of this can be securely tracked on a blockchain too, which prevents opportunities for lawsuits and revoking artists rights on platforms.
Blockchains offer artists a means to transparently distribute their music and maintain their creative rights throughout that process, as well as get paid appropriately. Companies like Ujo Music offer a platform for artists to attain this decentralized ideal. Using these, they can get a more direct cut for their music, and consistently pay collaborators their fair share. According to Music Ally, Ujo Music told people interested in the platform, “With an identity that is creator-controlled, we will enable artists to publish music, control licensing options, and set distributions without giving up their rights.”
The changes are starting, and more are coming
As blockchains become more widely adapted, it is likely that more platforms like this will come about to allow artists this freedom. Spotify has even acquired a blockchain-based company, Mediachain, hopefully to progress these decentralized ideals for artists. RAC told Motherboard that blockchains “essentially (cut) out middlemen” and that “being able to support the artist directly is pretty important.” I’m sure many other artists probably agree!
RAC is not the only artist interested in using blockchains as a platform for releasing music. Pitbull has also shown interest, in blockchain technology. Imogen Heap also released a single on Ujo’s platform in 2015, “Tiny Human.” RAC is the first artist to release a full album using Ethereum blockchain, though. RAC collaborated with various artists on this album, which also pulled them into the circle of music on the blockchain.
Don’t forget to check out RAC’s music and website!
And check out this great article by Imogen Heap “Blockchains Could Help Musicians Make Money Again.” Also check out her current project: Mi.mu.
Are you an artist looking to get your music blockchain-ized??? Here is Ujo Music’s page, where you can become a member and get involved.