Imogen Heap on inventing new [blockchain] contracts for publishing/selling music digitally

This interview/article in Forbes with Imogen Heap offers an interesting insight into what some artists are beginning to think about in relation to how on earth one creates a ‘fair’ mechanism of reward/recognition of work as an artist in a world where one’s work is subject to near infinite digital reproducibility.

This, to me (in my naivety), seems to represent one of the more compelling and believable implementations of what the blockchain can enable. It’s worth checking out Heap’s articulation of Mycelia (the blockchain powered music publishing system she hopes to help create).

For years I’ve been so frustrated with the deep opacity of the music industry stopping me from really making the most out of my career and connecting the dots. The ‘black boxes,’ the NDAs, the endless contracts and statements. In the last few years, auditing labels and publishers seems to have become the norm, as it’s apparent how consistently the books don’t match up. You can pretty much guarantee you’ll find something, but it’s not always intentional; it’s just the deals, trigger points, and percentages are so complex – even more when mergers and acquisitions occur – that it’s hard to get it right every time, if you’re human!


Its success will come from the adoption of millions of music lovers. A grand scale ongoing, collective project like no-other. To document, protect and share that which we love and build a place for it to grow, enabling future generations of artists to blossom as well as honouring those of the past.

Open source, a living, breathing, smart, decentralised, transparent, adaptable, useful, shining home for our love of music. A home which allows creativity to flow, connect and facilitate collaboration on so many levels, many of which just haven’t been possible. With this grand library of all music forming the basis upon which all music businesses from digital radio to tour bookings can then grow and thrive from. Empowering the artists, turning and landing the industry finally on its feet.

Inspired by the largest living organisms on earth, ancient, unseen, core to life itself, Mycelium (plural Mycelia) can stretch for miles, beneath the surface.

Each artist acting like its own Mycelium, in full animated dialogue with others on the global network.

Mycelia is huge, as it holds all music related information ever recorded anywhere ever ever ever but this organism stretches across our planet between hundreds of thousands of personal computers. It is the world’s greatest and most treasured library and it belongs to the two collective parties who solely make music complete. The music makers and their audience.

Read the whole piece here.

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