The music streaming economy notably sees 90% of streams going to just 1% of artists. It’s why Bajan rapper-producer Haleek Maul has been exclusively releasing music on the blockchain via NFTs this past year. In fact, in 2020 he founded HOLDERLAND, an organisation which builds community wealth with others by helping artists and young people from his native Barbados. Through HOLDERLAND, he seeks to be completely self-sufficient while also supporting other creatives. Most notably, he’s supported Bajan artist and designer Zoe Osborne and queer Bajan creator Délyt by helping them mint NFTs and then investing in their collections.
With new Web 3 platforms such as Catalog, which is an NFT marketplace built specifically for the music industry, and PartyBid, which allows multiple people to pool capital and split ownership, going from strength to strength, who knows what underground sounds will thrive now that artists are reclaiming financial control. “One of the big things that happens is [when] people get pushback all their lives, they eventually get stuck, and don't explore what's possible,” said Maul in a 2022 interview. “I think HOLDERSLAND could really show people what's possible.”