I am an author on the web3, and I am so happy to introduce you today…
I would say that I have an artistic approach to life. I look at life as canvas to define and color in any way that we want. If we look at life as an intentional story that we shape, rather than just something to “get through,” it suddenly becomes beautiful, strategic, and expressive. Here’s an excerpt from my book on the topic:
“It was quite alarming, the power the humans have in shaping their own lives. Without more than a thought, the frail of humanity can bend the reality it exists in. For a high school, hallway could be merely that, a space trampled through. Or, a backdrop for life to take place. The sunset, a collection of overlooked colors, or a spectacle of lines and hues spread across the sky at night. And activities, like washing dishes, can be a nuisance of a task or a delicate piece of humanity to take part in.” [Quotation form Kailani’s book “She saw in color” ]
Additionally, to me, art is intentionality, beauty, strategy, and expression. I believe that we are born to create in the image of our creator.
Over the past few years, my outlook toward technology has changed quite a bit. In high school and college, I was rather pessimistic about technology. I was focusing on its negative applications. I saw technology as a factor in people feeling isolated. I also thought the abundance that came with technology actually reduced value and distracted us from what’s important.
Things changed after college when I started traveling and working for tech startups. At the beginning, I thought it was rather ironic that I, someone who had such a negative view of technology, was working for companies that produced it. However, working for a tech company and learning to build applications myself, my mind changed. Now, I see technology as an assistant to help us save time so that we can do “higher-order things.”
I’ve been a digital nomad over the past 4 years and for at least half of that time while traveling I lived in pretty impoverished countries. I remember watching women in Malawi spending hours at the river washing clothes for their families. The washing machine isn’t the first thing that comes to mind in terms of technology right now, but it was a technological innovation that liberated women from hours and hours of work each week (in more developed countries). With that being said, I think the role of technology in my life is to automate tasks that are repetitive, time-consuming, and not interesting to me so that I can do what I care about. Additionally, it also creates significant opportunities such as the ability to connect with people all over the world and the ability to distribute my music to the public in a simple way.
Since college, I’ve taken a rather “entrepreneurial route.” I ran my own successful business, started a number of projects, and worked for various start-ups. All at the same time, actually. Because of that, I’ve been a huge fan of Gary Vee. He started talking about these things called “NFTs.” Not that Gary Vee knows everything, but I thought to myself “if he sees so much potential in this, I need to know what’s going on.” Over the next few months, I read everything Gary Vee wrote on NFTs and the blockchain. While it was definitely a learning curve, the idea of NFTs makes sense right away to me, more so than crypto tokens. Unfortunately, I didn’t mint a Vee Friend because I couldn’t figure out how Metamask worked and I had no one else "in real life" to ask for help. So, I sat back and watched for a while.
A few months later I came across a friend who had started buying NFTs in Stacks. Finally, I had someone to help me! All it took was a tutorial on how to set up a Hiro wallet and mint on the marketplace and then I had enough to run with. However, I bought my first few NFTs (mandelbrots, bitcoin monkeys, and deruptars) because I thought they would be a good investment. However, I distinctly remember something weird happening after buying my bitcoin monkey. I was supposed to list it on the marketplace to resell… but I didn’t want to! I became proud of my monkey and it was so fun to be connected to other people who also had monkeys that I couldn’t sell them. I knew if I, of all people, could get into NFTs, then anyone could. It was a lightbulb moment for me.
While I dabbled in PFPs, I was mostly curious about how the blockchain could help me as a writer (both a songwriter and a novelist) grow a “fan base” and monetize my work. I knew that the blockchain would give us new tools to start businesses, build communities, and create art in completely innovative ways.
There were five factors that really stood out to me:
Positive cashflow models
Token-gated content and the "club-like" mentality
Evolution of collectibles
Wildly efficient tracking
These 5 elements are powerful and provide new, innovative tools to creators and entrepreneurs. This caused me to jump right in. Long story short, I became so involved in Stacks that I ended up being hired full-time by TradePort/Byzantion during the summer while pursuing my writing endeavors.
I'd recommend becoming involved in web 3 if you enjoy community and innovative ways of thinking. There are many people who are open and willing to collaborate/help you if you jump right in.
- Of course, I use TradePort.xyz for discord bots for my NFT collection and marketplace metrics.
- Sigle for Blog content.
- NiftyKits and Gamma for airdropping/minting.
- Emanate and Audius are web 3 streaming platforms where you can find my music.
- I haven’t found the right app to manage “fans” but there are a few cool ones out there. I’d love to work with these in time.
- ALEX - the only defi platform that I use. I prefer stacks/bitcoin-backed defi, and they have a great team.
“She Saw in Color” is an interwoven novel + album that follows Kailani’s struggle of growing up with mentally-ill parents.
26% of the population over 18 suffers from some sort of mental illness. While there is a lot of talk about mental illness itself, there's a lack of focus for those who grew up with mentally ill family members where people experience confusion, tension, or even abuse. Many people who grew up in this way do not have the tools to understand their situation or they are afraid to discuss it with others. Over time, this can perpetuate confusion about the situation, cycles of mental illness, the inability to receive help, and feelings of isolation.
I've always loved writing, and while traveling a few years ago, I felt very compelled to write a novel partially based on my story. At the time I started writing, I was living and traveling with the people I worked with and no one knew I was writing a book. I wrote the whole thing in secret in the middle of the night. Not even any of my friends even knew until I signed a publishing contract and I had a huge celebration. To this day it was one of the craziest experiences of my life.
Because the main character (Kailani) sees the world through music, I also wrote 13 songs for her. Each lyric for each song is interwoven into the book. The novel tells the story behind the songs, and the songs add a deeper level of emotion to the novel. To my knowledge, no one has ever done that before.
I recently released song #1 to "She Saw in Color" titled “Untold” thanks to the support of GoodKitty and Ross Dabone. It's currently available on all major streaming platforms, and will soon be released on the blockchain as well. I have an NFT collection for my early supporters and I'm looking forward to rewarding those people over time. You can find the collection on Stacks ( https://www.tradeport.xyz/collection/untold-tape-on-my-lips?tab=marketview) and Polygon: (https://opensea.io/collection/untold-tape-on-my-lips). I've also been able to reward those holders with limited edition items.
My other work is with TradePort / Byzantion. Almost anyone developing a Dapp needs on-chain (and off-chain) data. We provide the most complete data set out there for NFT data in a flexible and simple-to-use way. In the end, we're able to save projects and companies months of development time (and maybe even a whole back-end team!) by simply plugging into our API. We also host a tri-chain marketplace aggregator that hosts pretty much any NFT stat you could want.
There are a number of ways to think about digital collectibles. Humans have been collecting "in real life" for years, things such as pokemon cards, rocks, concert tickets, etc. We're living in an increasingly digital world. What would make a digital collectible any different?
On top of that, the blockchain layer is a perfect ledger. This provides a number of functions including the ability to prove that you actually do own that specific work (something important when it comes to collectibles), historical data (like who has owned which NFT and for how long), and automatic royalties on primary and secondary sales (provided by smart contracts).
"Token-gated" communities are also things we have seen before. Think of it like a sorority. In college, I wasn't in a sorority, but I had a lot of friends in them. So, I would often attend their parties and events. While I enjoyed that experience, I wasn't fully "in the club." I would need to pay my dues and apply to officially be part of the club. The same is true for NFTs. I can be in the Gary Vee discord server. There are some benefits to that, however, I still want the Gary Vee NFT to I can truly be part of the club and access the rest of what there is to offer. As humans, we love to find things/causes/clubs to rally around in order to be a part of something and connect to other people. As we see with NFTs, this can translate to the digital world easily.
Yes, I do have an online audience. One of the most difficult parts is the fact there are so many online platforms (and new ones emerging). However, I focus mostly on interacting with my community on Twitter, Tik Tok, and discord. It takes a lot of work, but I love engaging with others and have met so many incredible people. The cool thing about web 3 is that there are many great people. Yes, you have to watch out for the "bad eggs," but I spent a whole year looking for the right people to help me on my music journey in web 2, but after getting involved in web 3 I easily found mentors and a producer. It was crazy.
I think the big question here is AI. It's the latest and hottest topic amongst most of the people I work with on a day-to-day basis. However, many of my friends from college and other places are completely unaware of the advancements in AI. Once again, there are a lot of pros and cons here too.
I have learned to much in this interview! Thank you very much, Kailani…