Peace everyone, my name is brandon king. i’m excited to announce that i’ve recently been elected by the board to hold the official role of Executive here at Resonate Coop. i’m a cultural worker (dj, visual/sound artists, coop-developer, former farmer) currently based in Hampton Roads Virginia, USA. Before coming to Resonate, i spent six years in Jackson Mississippi as a cultural organizer, cooperative developer, and program coordinator for Cooperation Jackson, an organization of which i’m also a founding member. i became interested in cooperatives because they are useful tools for many people excluded from the decision making processes in their workplace. The process of being able to co-own, operate and democratically manage one’s workplace is a viable step towards transitioning out of capitalist work relations and this extractive economy. We can create a way of life and work that is less alienating, more life-affirming, based in cooperation and geared towards ecological sustainability. This Fall, i am beginning a Masters in Fine Arts degree with a Social Practice Art and - Installation focus at Queens College in Queens, New York. This program will enhance and develop my abilities to think creatively in my role as executive.
H(is)torically, Black and other marginalized artists’ have not benefited economically from the culture we create. i saw these realities very acutely while living in Jackson, MS USA, a place whose primary social relations are rooted in the genocide of Indigenous Peoples and the settler colonial plantation economy that relied primarily on the enslavement of African Peoples. A place where the slaver/ownership class still controls the social and economic relations, and descendants of formerly enslaved Africans remain dispossessed. This isn’t isolated to Mississippi, the U.S., or the global north for that matter. This instance reflects broader societal relations where the bearers of culture are typically alienated from the economic value they generate, similar to most working people living under these extractive systems we’ve inherited.
This does not have to be a static condition. The music industry diminishes the universal social power of music, culture and art. Resonate chooses to build a platform that builds artists power and self-determination, in opposition to the way most artists are currently treated. The cultural technologies Resonate possesses have the capacity of shifting consciousness and transforming people. As John Coltrane says “ I think music is an instrument. It can create the initial thought patterns that can change the thinking of people” When i came across the Resonate Manifesto, i saw clear transformative language which works as an ethical compass for our cooperative.
Part of this vision can be seen in the recent creation of Resonate Turtle Island** , an entity held on Open Collective** that was created to increase the capacity and access of artists from frontline and marginalized peoples. We seek to have these culture bearers shape our cooperative in ways that meet their needs and also connect them to a broader cooperative ecosystem and transnational community. my hope is that by creating these connections to our international open source platform cooperative, we can assist in increasing the capacity for these communities to control their own destiny.
These aspects of Resonate will become more realized once we have a clearer sense of what our value proposition is. We are currently building a roadmap towards an MVP or minimal viable product**, aiming towards the development of our streaming platform as a viable Digital Service Provider DSP**. This means being able to properly handle artists metadata as well as properly handle artists intellectual property (licensing and publishing).
As an executive, i will continue to incorporate human-centric cultural technologies in our platform development. The primary way i see this happening is by de-siloing or getting people with different knowledge sets and skills in the same room to work with each other and make decisions together. In the past couple of weeks, i’ve seen these ideas coming into fruition with instances like the Dev crew creating Wednesday Developer Stand Up Sessions, along with other aspects like the DSP Stand Up sessions every Monday and Wednesday. These new developments are open to our members, and act to strengthen collective communication and cohesion.
i will also continue to be of service in this regard and increase our cooperatives’ capacity to be self-sustaining. i see our Summer Membership drive as a key component to us moving in this direction. Our immediate goal is to have 3000 new members by the end of this summer, and 20,000 members by the end of this year. Achieving this will put us in a position where we’re operating from the resources we’re able to generate. We are uniquely poised to achieve these goals because we prioritize the needs of artists, listeners, and members.
I’m really honored and excited to be working with Resonate in this new capacity.
If you have any questions or would like to plug in on some of the different aspects i’ve mentioned, please do not hesitate to reach out!
i can be reached at @brndnkng or firstname.lastname@example.org
Minimal Viable Product * MVP is a version of a product with just enough features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for future product development
Digital Service Provider * DSP is an entity that provides digital music services (whether streaming, downloads, or both), via computer or phone networks . DSPs tend to focus on driving almost all interactions online and across devices.
Open Collective * is a legal and financial toolbox for grassroots groups. It’s a fundraising + legal status + money management platform for communities.
Turtle Island * Pan-Indigenous name given to the collective occupied territories of the so-called United States, Mexico, and Canada)