Musicians Step into Web 3.0
Meet Indie-Folk Band Goldberry From the DeSo Block(chain)
Goldberry’s music wraps around you like a soft, feathery blanket.
It’s really more than comforting to listen to their song “Starlight”.
Here’s how the band describes itself on Spotify:
Goldberry is a St. Louis based indie-folk band, influenced by artists such as Rachel Sermanni, The Staves, and Jon Foreman. Sarah Freihaut and Erin Prinster met and became best friends in highschool. They both grew up in musical households and had experience playing music in church and school, but had a passion to do music in a different context — one where they could connect with people by writing and performing songs that were honest and comforting, the kind of music that was pivotal to them during hard times of their own lives.
Their friendship led to the band and they started making music together in 2011 and played their first live show as Goldberry in 2015.
Amy Huff officially joined the band in 2020 after recording lead guitar for the band’s first EP, Liminal Space. Amy’s been playing music since she was a child and says her favorite thing about being a guitarist is to take what others have written and add something special to it.
Saying Goodbye to Negativity and Hi to DeSo!
Sarah is the one who shared their story for this article with me. She also made the account for their band on the Decentralized Social blockchain (DeSo) and with that made the step into Web 3.0.
Her close friend, and husband of Erin, told her about Bitclout — the first native app on the DeSo blockchain — back in June 2021. He’s on DeSo as BitDads. Next to deciding to make an account for their band to claim their band name, she was looking forward to leaving Facebook and its divided nature behind.
Before DeSo, Sarah had a personal account on Facebook which she closed before she went to DeSo. Their band still has a page there.
For Sarah it was the mean and hateful comments on Facebook that led to her closing her personal account:
Every day scrolling through mean/hateful posts from people I know in real life gave me anxiety. It just made me angry to read these posts & comments all day. I wouldn’t engage with them yet I would still get so angry and judgmental and at the same time I felt so helpless to improve the culture of Facebook.
The negativity on the social network was taking a toll on her. She felt paralyzed by the extremes and needed to distance herself. Today, she primarily uses DeSo — next to Instagram and Twitter.
DeSo Sparks New Flows of Creativity
On the DeSo blockchain she likes the collaborative, generous and kind nature of people and projects. For the band it is also a direct way to connect to their fans and widen their reach to be discovered by more people.
DeSo is a creative outlet that led Sarah to drive her focus more on their band’s brand and what they can bring to DeSo’s community. Her engagement, making posts and joining discussions with others, gave her a new splash of motivation. And with that sparked new creativity.
This new system has given me fresh inspiration and a chance to really enjoy sharing what we do. It has encouraged that flow of creativity.
Other advantages of DeSo Sarah mentions:
Owning our content
Engagement = some income which we can use to someday fuel our recording costs
*Bonus, I am addicted to getting diamonds, comments, etc.*
Money-Making on DeSo for Musicians
The built-in features to make money without any intermediary help the band to directly benefit from their activity and engagement on the blockchain. Everything they earn here goes back into making music together. And this includes a whole ecosystem that needs to be fed to make it possible.
Long term, we would love to use any earned DESO to fund our band’s recording costs. We use a studio with very affordable rates but this process is our only real “expense” as we all still work in some form of normal job. Besides paying the studio, we do still have to pay session musicians and friends who play instruments that we do not. (Drums, cello, piano, & bass are all instruments that we had real people play and add their expertise to our last project, and we LOVED it!) Additionally, we pay artists to make our album art.
Let’s look at their stats on OpenProsper:
- 229 days on DeSo
- 1544 Followers
- 9.95 DESO earned (current value USD 466)
- 9025 Diamonds received (current value USD 247.41)
- 57.4 meaningful social engagements on average per day
- 58 coin holders of Goldberry coin (current value at USD 75.81)
OpenProsper says we have earned about 9 DESO in our time here since June 2021. Most of that has been from FR but a lot has come from diamonds as well. We have only input around $25 in Bitcoin so this is all profit! I have bought a couple NFTs/creator coins along the way and I’ve tried to liberally dispense diamonds to encourage engagement. I cannot thank [everyone] enough for what [they] have contributed to support us so far. And I see my engagement here as an investment in DESO to hopefully as I said, fund new recordings someday.
If you compare what the band made with their original investment of USD 25 it’s clear that there is potential in the platform for musicians who enjoy engaging directly with their fans.
Plus, you can let go of the ad model that Facebook is based on and that frustrates a lot of its users.
I was discouraged by the ads driven model of Facebook/Instagram and how we would pay them money and only get a little of engagement in return.
Goldberry Makes the Music They Love
At the same time, Goldberry’s members make music next to their normal jobs. There is no pressure to live from the money the band makes. What they rather want to achieve is to build a system that can self-sustain. They like to take their time, and keep the balance.
The vision for our band has always been to do our music as a side business and it was never planned to be our sole source of income.
We can be creative without the pressure to make money AND it is a long term project that we can take our time on and get it right. We plan to move ahead at a sustainable pace and we don’t have any plans to ever stop.
When we play live music we also usually sell our t-shirts & CDs and accept any tips. This goes directly to fund our future projects and pay back ourselves from some initial costs that we contributed personally for our first project.
The plan is to make this project self sustaining so we can continue producing the music we love to share with others.
As their biggest goal remains to prioritize and optimize creativity and enjoyment, Goldberry might be different to other musicians. However, I believe — as with other creatives — there is a huge opportunity to begin to build a presence on DeSo now while it is still early.
Music and Musicians in Web 3.0
Music NFTs gained some traction last year. Artists began to embrace the new technology. Particularly as COVID-19 was robbing big parts of their main income streams: live shows and merchandising sales at these shows.
You might have heard from 3LAU’s Ultraviolet’s NFT sale that reportedly made USD 11.6 million.
Last month it was reported that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) had generated over $100m in sales in just 30 days. Now, the…www.musicbusinessworldwide.com
And there are now sites like Royal.io who begin to collaborate with big artists who in turn offer shares of royalties with their fans through tokens that can be bought through the site.
Considering 2021 was a massive year for music NFTs, it feels as though the time of community music ownership may…nftnow.com
However, what is missing here is the possibility to build community in Web 3.0 native applications. A place to connect to fans directly through a social media type of platform that isn’t centralized. Creators are getting tired and fed up that companies take the main share of profits from the content THEY produce and share each day.
It’s also important to keep in mind that many of the popular blockchains are gas fee heavy, which doesn’t make participation necessarily affordable for everyone.
Here Comes DeSo: A Big Vision and Everyday Problems
This is where DeSo has positioned themselves: “the first and only blockchain custom-built from the ground up to power and scale decentralized social applications to one billion users.”
Gas fees are close to zero.
Sarah was also surprised by the core teams grand vision of building the most robust and versatile ecosystem for the creation of social apps.
But she also sees room for improvement when it comes to the relationship between the core team and the average person using DeSo.
People have different expectations with regard to the engagement and interaction with the core team. This has led to conflict and disappointment for some. Sarah believes it will be important to clarify what role Nader and team play in her daily experience on one of the apps.
Matching expectations will be hard because this really is the first blockchain core team (that I know of) that has had direct communication possibilities with end users from the inception of the blockchain.
We could immediately post our opinions/insights/criticisms and Diamondhands would sometimes see and respond to them. That’s not the same kind of experience Bitcoin users had, so what do we do with this power/responsibility?
In the end, they’re just people and they can’t make everyone happy. But we know of/can see when they give some users more attention than others, and it’s up to us to decide what to do with that information.
The future of DeSo is written in the stars and Sarah says she is not very good at predicting it. Still, she believes DeSo has potential to succeed.
I don’t know what the internet will look like in 5 years, I just know that from my perspective: I’m happy on DeSo and it’s the only place I’m actively posting my content.
Of course, she knows what’s planned for the band though and is happy to share how they plan to continue their journey.
We have generated over 2+ hours of original songs and we have only had the opportunity to release 6 songs from this catalogue. This catalogue has had time to grow over the 11 years we’ve been together and with Amy we plan to write new songs that all three of us will have contributed to.
Also, don’t miss the new song that will come out on February, 11th. It’s a collaboration with My Brother Jude. Just click here to pre-save it.
Sarah’s Advice For Other Bands and Creators:
Knowing your needs/goals/desires is very helpful in developing your own strategy, so do what is best for yourself and be honest with yourself and any members of your team about what you need.
I hope whatever creative outlet you have, that it can be fed through healthy habits, good collaborative connections and intentional investment of time doing what you love.
Getting on Board
So, if you got curious come and join us! Looking forward to having you on the Decentralized Social platform!
Feel free to use my referral code which starts you off with $5 in DESO cryptocurrency to play around with.
When you arrive, follow my profile freedomxx and say hi!