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In an age where we’re more connected than ever, making genuine connections with fans as a musician can be difficult. But most of all, monetising content can be a tremendous up hill battle, with streaming platforms consolidating the world’s music into a single app and paying pennies (if you’re lucky) to small independent artists. To make any serious money from streaming, you have to be up there with Ed Sheeran and Adele! It’s a hard thing to criticise, because as a consumer, streaming platforms are amazing. Being able to make your own playlists easily and discover new music has definitely enhanced our lives. But as an artist, trying to monetise digital content has become a pipe dream and small artists are stuck making most of their revenues from live gigs and selling physical merchandise.
There is however, hope.
New technology enabling micropayments is here and I want to be one of the first artists to embrace this tech and show its potential, I hope to encourage other artists to do the same.

Our life’s work is not free! Our creativity and efforts don’t exist to help huge corporations harvest listener’s data and sell it to advertisers. We don’t want to be another gear in the big machine!
We want to be free to monetise our own creativity, on our own terms, and I think listeners and fans would agree that that’s a good thing. I’m increasingly approached by people at live shows telling me they’d like to buy a CD but don’t own a CD player and only stream music. Most are generous enough to pay me what a CD is worth and then go on to stream the music. But what if there was an easy way to sell my songs digitally, through my own website for 10p, 5p, 1p, fractions of a penny and be purchased from anywhere in the world…? That would open up new revenue streams and create a lot of opportunities in the digital music space for independent artists. Well, there is now such a thing.

It’s called Strike!

Not to get too technical but Strike is an app, you can download off your app store, enter your bank details, and then pay any amount (no lower limit) to anyone in the world instantly and it will settle in the other persons native currency. For instance, if I had gained an American fan from one of the shows I did in Nashville, they could buy my latest single High Gravity from my website and pay what they want. Or I could set the price, at say, 10 cents. It would leave their Strike app as cents, and land instantly in my Strike wallet at the equivalent exchange rate in pence.

Most fans would happily pay 10 cents, or their local equivalent for a song they liked I imagine. But until Strike, there was no way to perform a cross-boarder micropayment with instant final settlement. Strike does this by leveraging bitcoin’s lightning network as a payment rail.

I want the release of my new single High Gravity, to be a beta test… And if all goes well, upon the release of my debut album, I will transition the entire merchandise section of my website to accepting Strike and lightning payments and will be offering discounts if payments are made with Strike. It’s time for artists to take back control of our work. Our work is our life and livelihoods.
It is not for free!

Thank you for reading this, thank you to Jack Mallers and the team at Strike for building this incredible tool which can empower independent musicians like myself

Please share to spread awareness!

Joe x

Pay to download High Gravity with Strike here

About the song...

I wrote this song back in 2018 while I was out in Nashville. The night prior to my first songwriting session with Ben (Jonsey) Jones, I was in a bar downtown and ordered a beer. It came in a scnooner (2/3) sized glass, and I asked why it didn't come in a pint. The reply in a deep southern accent came back; 'that's a high gravity beer...' I had to enquire further having never heard of this Americanism to find out that it just meant high alcohol content ABV 6%. The regretable hangover the morning after a night on this beer left me stuggling to get out of bed thinking... 'this high gravity is holding me down...' And there you have it. The idea for the song was born, and a few of hours (and coffies) later in Jonsey's writing room brought this song into the world. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed writing and recording it. Cheers!

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