Sometimes it’s the artists who must save the world. In this case, Maroon 5 has reinvented the traditional fan club and twisted its mission to one of building a global community which can act collectively to alleviate climate change.
Leading this effort on behalf of Maroon 5 is Jesse Carmichael, their keyboardist. Now, here I must interject the following: guitar players get a lot of attention in bands, but never underestimate the keyboardist. These are the players who have to master both the music and the nuance of having an extraordinary range of choices when adding or filling sound. Having spoken at length with Jesse, I understand why he’s Maroon 5’s point man for their DAO.
There are only 88 keys on a piano, but an infinite variety of music can come out of those keys, depending how they are utilized. The same can be said for the power of a public platform. Maroon 5’s innovation is to employ the power of the internet and the capacity of the blockchain to create a self-directed group of fans who work with the group toward a common goal. That is a task exponentially harder than harnessing sound from keys.
Using their fame and social media credentials, Maroon 5 has created a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) in which each member joins by acquiring a token, and those tokens are utilized to vote. In Maroon 5’s case, those DAO votes are initially being used to determine collectively how to allocate funds which are raised by the sale of the tokens in the service of fighting climate change.
Like all projects which begin in the public space of the internet, the community of DAO token holders ultimately will hold the power to choose for themselves how the future actions of this group will be determined. What Maroon 5 has done is seed the beginning of this community and will slowly watch as the community itself becomes self-determinative.
I think this is fascinating, because when a group with the stature of Maroon 5 decides to take on a significant issue by organizing and delegating power to those who support the band, it loosens the reigns of what is otherwise tightly controlled use of their public image. It’s courageous and its timely. Social media has changed the ways in which performers interact with fans by reducing distance from 100 yards in an amphitheater to 5 seconds from “send” to “reply” or “like.”
This DAO project is being done in conjunction with YellowHeart, which continues to be a leading player in moving traditional musicians and others into the blockchain space. During the onset of the pandemic, and even now as Covid continues to churn through the world disrupting the ability of artists to be with fans and breaking the traditional ways in which they both interact, YellowHeart is helping provide new tools and mechanisms to bridge the divide. Two years ago, almost no one had heard of an NFT. By the end of this decade, they will be as pervasive as electric cars. That’s technology for you. Phones once hung on the wall or took a dime to activate. Now, they’re in the pockets of everyone on the globe. That’s the path of blockchain based technology. We have a new crop of leaders coming up who understand this: the Dogecoin traders, the NFT creators and the teams who are building tools with leaders like Josh Katz who are still two years in front of the rest of us. This year we see Maroon 5 bringing the power of a DAO to build a social movement, next year it will be your local Rotary club or elementary school first grade class.
I found Jesse Carmichael to be both articulate and interesting as he walked me through the ways in which Maroon 5 entered this new phase of interacting with their fans and how they saw that relationship evolving. Here is my conversation with Jesse in both video and audio podcast format:
I’m a big fan of Maroon 5, and have seen them on good dates and bad, in small rooms and on festival fields. There’s never a frown in view when This Love plays. Here’s a vintage look at Maroon 5. Feel the smile spread across your face. Then, recognize as they’ve kept This Love in their repertoire, the band has grown both older and more socially aware.
Like the song? Get the DAO. Join the community and be a part of saving the world you live in. It takes a village to contribute as well as spread this love. The future is too important to delegate or expect government to handle. Building solutions is complicated and cool. Doing it with like minded people builds relationships along with fixing complex problems. Curious? Ready to get DAO too? Destiny is in your hands.