Having spent his life in the music world, Deadly Buda finds the combination of blockchain, smart contracts and music an exciting new prospect which will change the industry. In this interview, he shares his story and thoughts.
On the 13th of August, the music producer and rave promoter released the first mixed track onto the Musicoin blockchain. “Rock the Blockchain” incorporates tracks from 15 different artists, and smart contracts ensure they all automatically earn a set amount immediately every time the song is played. To find out more about Musicoin, check out last week’s article.
DJ Deadly Buda shares his story as a musician and blockchain fan. As a music-oriented blockchain, Musicoin has provided him along with thousands of others a promising new platform on which to flourish.
Since when have you been making music? What’s your style?
I began making music when I was a teenager in the mid-1980’s. I sang in a punk-rock band called “Citizen Pain” and my neighbor was a disco DJ. From across the street he heard me ruining records when I would try to scratch them and endeavored to teach me DJing. We worked out a deal where I would mow his lawn in exchange for lessons and records. This is how I learned to make DJ mixes. Though I started as a hip hop DJ, I am primarily known as a rave DJ specializing in harder styles like hardcore techno, hard electronic, and hardstyle to name but a few of the many genres.
How did you get involved in blockchains and cryptocurrencies?
Back in 2009 I was working on an animation project. A lady from the office next door told me about Bitcoin and I got interested then, however I wouldn’t invest more than curiosity for a few more years. When I heard about the theory of smart contracts is when I truly got interested, as I saw it was a way to streamline commerce and make life easier. It was when I realized this that I became obsessed I guess you could say.
How did you find out about Musicoin? What were the main things that attracted you to it?
I just randomly online searched “music cryptocurrency” as I thought it was a good idea, and Musicoin was the first to come up. I saw an interview with one of the developers and he seemed like a decent person so I investigated further. Soon I realized they were the only blockchain actually functioning and so I joined their #Slack channel.
I became interested in mining, as I had never done it before, and upon entering the mining channel, one of the miners called me out as a “celebrity” miner! This was funny to me because though I am well-known in certain areas of sub-culture, like rave culture, I am not going to be mobbed on the street!
Admittedly this made me look into Musicoin a little further and as I examined the overall music cryptocurrency landscape, it consistently struck me how Musicoin was actively attempting to solve problems in the space, in real time. Whereas other blockchain projects simply had a website up and promising an Initial Coin Offering, Musicoin was being used by real people. Consequently it has had to encounter problems and solve them, make adjustments, and formulate adaptations.
It’s these adaptations that have impressed me. Their foundation is really a philosophy of how creativity will manifest in the future, rather than only trying to accommodate the inefficient structures of the past. Ultimately I think it was recognizing this that made me champion it.
How has Musicoin influenced your career? What was it like earning a living before (as a musician)?
The money I’ve made from just a few plays on Musicoin is more than I would make from the streaming providers, so it has influenced me to spend more time paying attention to my Musicoin plays and encouraging listeners to use it.
Earning a living as a musician is difficult because the expenses are high. I generally release music thinking I will get no money from it, but the music will get me attention, and so I will get booked for performances. In general, the rule is, “don’t quit your day job.” But as life becomes more automated there will be less day jobs for everyone, so hopefully Musicoin can other crytpos can keep creative people fed and occupied! 😀 What we could see is a true transformation in life as people can concentrate on higher purposes and be rewarded sufficiently, not just music, but many different areas of life.
The flyer featured in this article, hand-drawn by Deadly Buda has an interesting story of its own:
Rock the Blockchain’s flyer graphic is from the 1993 Turbo-Zen party in Pittsburgh, PA, High Voltage! The graphics would later be mentioned by Dan Mross in the movie “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” for its slogan, “Technology Must Be Used to Liberate the Individual.”
Turbo Zen was a record store I owned, and was one of the first rave Record stores in America. Dan Mross, the famous bitcoin miner, used to come to the shop with his friends. Because I see Musicoin is helping to liberate creativity in much the same way Bitcoin liberates personal finance, I thought it would be fitting that this image would represent “Rock the Blockchain”.
How do you see this platform benefiting and influencing the dynamics of artists, their music, and listeners?
The most profound example right now I must un-humbly say is my new DJ Mix on Musicoin, “Rock the Blockchain”. Every time this DJ mix is played, 15 separate musical compositions are paid, near instantly. All those artists who made those creative works are getting paid instantly as well. We have made a system where sharing and cooperation are streamlined and monetized, and made public. Everyone in the chain is benefiting.
The ultimate winner will be the listener and society in general. As art and creativity is fostered it gets better and better. The way we communicate our thoughts, feelings, ideas, and the way we shape them simply for our own enjoyment and as a tribute to creation itself will be bolstered and honored.
Where do you see Musicoin in a few years from now? And compared to the prospective futures of more centralized corporations such as Spotify or Youtube?
Well, I think it would be incorrect to call Spotify and Youtube centralized corporations, as the corporate structure is already an example of de-centralization in the business sense.
That said, Musicoin’s economic structure is decentralized in a way theirs is not. The global public is the entity that is maintaining the blockchains, and this is truly different. Spotify is already attempting to build their own blockchain, and I would think Youtube has their own plans.
Perhaps one day corporations such as Youtube and Spotify will pay a fee to the various blockchains to use their services and infrastructure, as it may be deemed more trustworthy or it might look better to the public that they use a public decentralized ledger for their transactions. If this happens, then the world we know will probably be better for everyone.
Musicoin I hope will become an important underlying structure for a lot of the music economy old and new, as it can easily accommodate both.
With smart contracts in place, copyright becomes obligatory. Does that mean that if you use a track in your mix, the original artist automatically gets paid? Do you need to ask for permission?
For “Rock the Blockchain” I asked permission from everyone on it, and they all get paid in seconds from the moment the listener hits the play button.
What I am advocating for Musicoin right now, is that soon there will be a checkbox an artist can use that signifies people are allowed to remix their musical work so long as they get paid via a smart contract. Furthermore, the artist could even offer their work available for download for a certain fee, making the process even easier and more streamlined. This would also set Musicoin up as a default destination for music downloads. If the downloader knew they could maybe make the money back they spent on the song by putting it in popular DJ mixes, it could really be exciting!
It could be said that enforcing copyrights and royalties limits freedom and experimentation. Do you think Musicoin is guilty of that, or rather can it enhance creativity?
The existing copyright system worldwide, though formulated from honest and good intentions, is too convoluted for any artist to truly benefit from. The amount of paperwork and legal fees most definitely puts limits on creativity, just because it’s a time-consuming process that diverts peoples’ attention.
Facebook for example, basically has people give up their copyrights while on their platform, which allows people to share and modify whatever they want. The problem with this though, is that no one is actually benefiting from the flood of creativity, except for Facebook.
In the future, we will see blockchains like Musicoin, Steemit, etc. able to compensate and reward basic human creativity in a way that honors the old ideas of copyright law, but also realizing that modern technology has changed the general assumptions underlying creative works.
To explain better: The old system was based on recognized inefficiency and loss. Now, it is easy to track everything, so systems that reward with some sort of token, rather than numerous licenses, will become a preferred method of operation for creatives and business.
Musicoin is one of the pioneers that will help fulfil the original ideals of copyright, to help reward creators for the ultimate benefit of society.
Featured image from “Rock the Blockchain” flyer