Zone of Genius

Evolve or Die: The Future of the Creative Process, Artist Authenticity, and the Value of the Music

a16z CLF

Posted August 22, 2023

In the first episode of the Cultural Leadership Fund’s Zone of Genius series, we sit down with leaders in music, Doug E. Fresh, Dre Lyon, Nicole Wyskoarko, and Piff Marti. We explore balancing artistry with “the machine,” the future of music as an asset class, AI as a creative copilot, technology’s role in producing the sounds we love, and maintaining authenticity as artists grow their brands.

Plus, learn how Marvin Gaye’s record, What’s Going On? almost never happened. And did you know Dre was in an R&B group?!

Topics covered:
1:08: when each leader knew music was their calling
9:55: introducing brand new sounds and concepts to music and the parallels to building new businesses in tech
13:20: Doug E. Fresh’s views on being one of the most sampled artists of all time and the evolution of sampling and artist rights in the industry
16:30: the moment when Dre knew they had a hit in the studio
19:32: how technology advancements have impacted music production and the sounds we love
20:30: Dre’s first foray into music in an R&B group
22:25: the importance of being able to evolve with technology as trends in music and culture shift, including the original production story of “La Di Da Di”
27:43: Piff’s story of forging his own path as an independent artist in today’s content era
32:31: Dre’s views on catalog sales and valuing music as an asset class
39:43: Models for all players in the music industry to align incentives and win
44:52: How web3 is enabling an “industrial revolution” with new revenue, ownership, and marketing models for artists
48:50: Balancing your artistry and creative instincts with “the machine” of output, including how Marvin Gaye’s record, “What’s Going On?” almost never happened
1:00:58: The best ways for artists to build their brands for longevity
1:03:25: AI as a tool and creative copilot

More About This Podcast

Zone of Genius is a special, 3-part summer series bringing you exclusive conversations with cultural leaders across sports, music and food.

Learn More