The creative world asks to be remade. Tells us it must be remade. It’s waiting for one of us — all of us — to push against the economic wall that blocks artists from enjoying the full fruits of their labor. A system where even the best artists only get royalties between 10-20% of the revenue (where does the rest go???) and contracts are designed to confuse and obfuscate into corporate servitude.

The power of the old world came from us being isolated individuals (we were told) who had to look out for number one (we were also told). But behind this was a secret: the corporate owners actually did act together through the power of contracts, copyright, and market forces they negotiated and set. Big picture, the owners were united. It was only the artist who was isolated.

The system banked on us competing against each other so fiercely we’d never look up. It worked for a long time because the channels were so tightly controlled. But once the internet broke them open, it was only a matter of time.

The magic of the internet is that it lets us build whole new societies on top of the existing one. These new, internet-led societies have repeatedly shown the power to evolve, push, and even overtake the physical world that created them. This has happened for good and for ill.

As creative people we especially know this. We all know creative lives negatively interrupted by the internet. It’s happened to musicians, filmmakers, journalists, and many more professions whose context was negatively reset by the web.

As creative people we always adapt. We like new things, we like creative tests, we’re open to learning tools in service of our work. The internet has overall been a massive net positive in terms of raw tonnage of self-expression, for which we especially benefit, even as the economics remain unsteady.

To date, the internet’s powers have been used mainly to recreate a mirror of the old model — the star system where everyone aims for their own channel, following, and competes for attention. That system has been enormously powerful, but it’s based on a limited vision of what’s possible with the internet. It’s trapped in the broadcasting model that defined the last century but not this one.

The internet’s miracle is that it gives us the power to see what the previous systems did not allow us to see: how connected we all are. Yes, we are all unique individuals, but between us are islands of connection whose depths carry infinite potential and the path to a new world.

This is the fire burning all over the internet the past decade. The spark that lights Dark Forests, drives memes, and makes internet magic. The fire of connection that the internet uniquely creates. The internet is where people from all over the world who look different and are different discover the meaningful connections between them. This happens billions of times a day, every day. It's so incredible and so common we rarely even notice it.

It’s pure magic. 

It’s this magic that unlocks what holds us back.

It’s this magic that creates our new beginning.

Our new beginning begins with us learning the power of banding into small, flexible groups of creative people aligned around the ideals, beliefs, and dreams we have in common. It begins with us coming together as individuals to become creatively, economically, and spiritually aligned around visions and goals we share.

Some of these are groups we’re already knowingly part of. Others are groups we might be members of but don’t yet recognize because our awareness of interconnection is limited. Still others are new groups that will begin to form once we notice the patterns and powers of connection that surround us.

Metalabel is one space where these new kinds of groups can be made. We call them labels — inspired by grassroots indie labels. Each a collection of unique people brought together by a feeling, a vision, a taste or aesthetic held in common.

In this model, artists and creative people take back their agency to organize and align with each other. Rather than play games to win the blessing of fickle external institutions, we create our own groups to legitimize each other. We advance each other. We sign each other. We split with each other. We design systems of economics, abundance, scarcity, sharing, and care based on whatever we wish.

In this new creative beginning we use the master’s tools but not their morals. We make decisions using our own creative values, not “industry standards.” We design our work and worlds from our best intentions, not our worst fears. We do it thinking not just of ourselves, but our creative brothers and sisters past, present, and future.

The old shit doesn’t work anymore and there’s so much to be excited about. The ground has shifted yet again. A new beginning is here.

Metalabel will begin openings its doors to projects next month. Tell us about something you’re working on and would like to explore releasing with us here.