Imogen Heap and the Blockchain Revolution
The Internet has given us access to endless musicians, but between news articles, blogs and social media, accuracy is often in short supply — as is sufficient payment for artists’ work. Imogen Heap aims to help solve these issues with a new innovation she’s calling Creative Passport, a digital identity service for music makers that she’s showing off on a North American tour that merges music and technology.
“I conceptualized Creative Passport after a long, 23-year career of frustration due to the inefficiencies in the music industry,” Heap tells TIDAL. “I want all the data around songs out in the world for everyone to see any time they want it. Whether that’s payment information, data around where the song was written, what gear a musician was using, or which musicians were on the record, who wrote it — all that.”
Creative Passport, which will be Beta soon, touts itself as a database that combines all artist information in one place using blockchain technology: bio, press photos, payment mechanisms, etc. For example, if TIDAL wanted to update an artist’s profile, Creative Passport would be the de facto location for all approved assets. It would also help artists get paid for their work via blockchain technology and smart contracts, which directly transfer digital currency between parties.
“Essentially, the Creative Passport is a simple thin layer where you decide: I’m going to create the digital me, a home for me,” Heap says. “The physical me is here, you know, but the digital me is Twitter, Facebook; it’s in the biography on TIDAL, it’s in some interview I did on Reddit.”
Creative Passport falls under the umbrella of Heap’s research and development hub, Mycelia, under the auspices of which she launched her Mycelia World Tour at the end of April. The tour will take her all over North America, where she will both she will both be playing music and discussing Creative Passport. Heap also recently released her first new song with Frou Frou in 15 years, “Guitar Song (Live).”
“I really believe that the future of not just musical work but just work in general is around your unique selling points of you as a person,” she says of her new project. “What you want to do in life. What are your passions? What are your skills? What are your past projects that you’ve done — right back to school? What drives you as a human? That is what’s going to bring people toward you.”
“It sounds a bit far fetched maybe right now, but I really believe it’s attainable,” Heap adds. “We just need musicians to put their foot forward and sign up for something that isn’t really there yet. There’s no ecosystem there, there’s no marketplace there. Will you put the flag in the ground showing that you’re here?”
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