Imagine finishing up your last email for the day and going to your living room for Justin Bieber’s live concert. No, you’re not just streaming another Coachella set from your favorite spot on the couch. You are letting loose in the crowd – wondering where Biebs gets his peaches out in Georgia – front row in the metaverse.
Musicians take to Web3
Web3 is revolutionizing music, with artists utilizing the space to shift the balance of power away from labels and streaming services and into their own hands. Music on the chain has quickly gained traction with household names – even the Grammys now want a piece of the decentralized pie.
In the music industry’s conventional framework, musicians lose the majority of profits made through their artwork to rapacious labels and middle-men. Web3 technology enables artists to have direct access to fans, removing the fine print and fees of traditionally structured music royalties. For perspective, while a top-grossing artist might be able to make $0.0033 per stream on Spotify, artists like The White Stripes are now selling single works for 0.128 ETH (nearly $350 USD). The accessibility, security, and decentralization of Web3 is paving the way for an equally amicable space between musicians and fans.
The metaverse ushers in a new level of intimacy between artists and fans. Virtual environments now let users gain access to exclusive live shows, own and immerse themselves in past concert highlights and one-of-a-kind audio-visual mixes, head-bang at private events from the comfort of their home, and be a part of a community of like-minded supporters. Infinitely broadening the bandwidth of who can watch a show from where, the metaverse opens the door for artists to play more concerts for fans worldwide who otherwise may not have been able to connect.
Platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox enable artists to sell out virtual tour dates while performing more frequently. Musicians have swiftly taken to performing in the alternate realities of the metaverse, with names like Travis Scott and Paris Hilton, and virtual artists like Hatsune Miku and FN Meka stepping onto the simulated stage. Instead of the typical tour-bus-centric mission musicians usually undergo to perform live from city to city, the metaverse enables artists to play multiple shows daily from the same space to worldwide crowds.
What’s the Move?
All the buzz on NFT drops from headliners has left people curious: Who is hot right now? As more musicians make their way to Web3, keeping track of trends and who’s hot can cause any metaverse-music-neophyte’s head to spin. Blockster chose some of our favorite Web3 musicians and music projects:
Top 10 Music Headliners Hitting Web3
After revealing himself last September as NFT tycoon “Cozomo de’ Medici” on Twitter, holding around $17 million in NFTs, the D-Oh-Double-G has positioned himself at the forefront of the music industry’s move to Web3. The rapper and entrepreneur recently purchased Death Row Records and is transitioning to the Metaverse.
“Death Row will be an NFT label. We will be putting out artists through the Metaverse…Just like we broke the industry when we was the first independent to be major, we want to be the first major in the Metaverse,” Snoop announced via clubhouse
His work to revamp Death Row has led the music mogul to Web3’s virtual worlds. In partnership with The Sandbox, the rapper is building out the Snoopverse, along with Snoop Private Party passes and tokens permitting access to step into The Dogfathers lifestyle, and The Doggies, a 10,000 programmatically generated Snoop Dogg NFT collection.
Pushing the metaverse mainstream, Snoop recently released a music video for his song, “House I Built,” which showcases his mansion and NFT collection in The Sandbox. In a statement, the rapper revealed, “The track draws a parallel between how I’ve constructed my life and career and how I’m building out my Snoopverse virtual world in The Sandbox. Whether in the Metaverse or the universe, it’s about keeping it real, being yourself, and making the most of every opportunity.”
Hot Pick: Giving Flower
As a pioneer for women of color, it comes as no surprise that the late icon is making a bold move into Web3. Late last year, OneOf Marketplace released The Whitney Houston “OneOf One” NFT collection. The series showcased unreleased and rare tracks, matched with unseen photoshoots reconstituted into animated pieces. The collection is described as “a reflection of Whitney’s incredible legacy and life-long mission to support, empower, and inspire young people—especially Black Youth.” Visual artist for the project, 17-year-old Diana Sinclair, explained she, “took a lot of inspiration from Whitney’s ‘Every Woman’ music video, which featured many Black women of all ages, and the ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ song, which had lots of fun colors. Creating something fresh, young, and colorful was the goal for this project, as well as bringing Whitney’s legacy into the modern space through digital art and technology.”
Hot Pick: INVALIDITY// (Zedd x Fvckrender)
After headlining last year’s Roblox and Insomniac Events virtual music festival, which brought the “world’s largest dance music festival, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), to the metaverse,” the GRAMMY Award-winning artist, DJ, and producer set his aim towards the Web3. Combining his multi-platinum hits with the futuristic tech-digital work of meta-famous artists Fvckrender and SillyGabe, the prominent DJ dropped the limited edition NFT collection ANTIPODE on Nifty Gateway. The series, which represents “the direct opposite of something,” features “corresponding pieces living in the same universe, yet directly opposing each other.”
The White Stripes
Hot Pick: Seven Nation Army Remix
Known for turning alternative music mainstream, the White Stripes continue paving the way for music groups entering Web3. Teaming up with chart-topping DJ Glitchmob and audio-visual authority Strangeloop Studios, the band recently debuted an NFT collection on OpenSea. The collection, highlighting six exclusive remixes of the ‘Seven Nation Army,’ explores the grunge side of Blockchain technology. With explosive visuals to match the deep bass of the classic hype-up song, The White Stripes are giving Web3 a punk edge.
Hot Pick: ALESSO x ROUGH DRAFT I-IV REVEALED
A firm believer in the music industry’s Web3 revolution, Alesso recently cautioned that artists who delay taking the dive into the metaverse will fall behind the curve and “regret it in the future.” The artist performed late last year at Dreamverse (presented by Metapurse), the world’s first NFT Art Gallery/music festival combination. During the festival, the world-renowned DJ debuted his first NFT drop, Cosmic Genesis. The collection on OneOf turns fans into “intrepid explorers” trekking through space with Alesso on a mission to seek out “the ultra-rare mysterious OneOf token.” Divided into four NFT chapter episodes, the sci-fi saga explores Alessos’ alternate reality through mesmerizing digital displays while promising collectors free limited edition drops.
Hot Pick: Crystal
Since soaring to the top of the charts with her feel-good tunes and bubbly persona, Doja Cat has become a leading advocate for female pop stars in the Web3 space. From the drop of her NFT collection to her partnership with Eek! Games, the renowned vocalist has taken the metaverse by storm. Planet Doja, her eight-piece NFT collection on OneOf transports devotees to Planet Doja. NFT owners can win exclusive seats at one of the artist’s live concerts.
Continuing with her ventures in the Web3 space, the pop star recently entered House Party’s virtual world with her own character. Accompanied by a storyline focused on players tracking down a disguised dancer, her character drop will allow fans playing the game to interact with her more personally.
Hot Pick: Level 1 – It Came From Above!
Steve Aoki was one of the first musicians to drop an NFT or play a set in the metaverse. With continued success in NFTs and virtual performances, the top DJ producer, music label owner, and entrepreneur set his sight on creating his own music-based metaverse A0K1VERSE. The new world connects fans to virtual and live experiences through an NFT passport.
“A0K1VERSE passports will be a revolution. We are building more than a metaverse; it will be a multiverse. We are connecting many different communities, and we hope they will all grow alongside us and be successful,” Aoki explained in a statement. Aoki plans to use the space to create deeper connections between fans and artists.
Hot Pick: Unconditional Love
No strangers to redefining boundaries in the music industry with alternative and unique electronic beats, the Knocks made a swift entry into Web3. For their four-piece debut NFT collection “Techism,” the edgy DJ duo teamed up with visual artist Moistbreezy. Juxtaposing vintage apocalyptic imagery with futuristic electronic beats, their one-of-one AV experiences on Nifty Gateway illustrate “the concept that all problems, all needs, and all reality will eventually be controlled using technological means, methods, and devices.”
Hot Pick: The Geralds
While the famous rapper might be new to the NFT game, he has been a proponent of music in Web3 since his 2017 backing of ‘Project Coral Reef’- an early initiative enabling fans to purchase music and merch with crypto. In his more recent NFT drops, G-Eazy released a debut collection on OneOf in May. In collaboration with digital artist Dzanat, the drop – appropriately named The Geralds – represents the many sides of the prolific rapper through designer-dripped digital versions. Fans can collect virtual G-Eazy’s in packs, accessing exclusive perks like VIP concert tickets, partying with G-Eazy in Vegas, and dining with the rapper & friends in LA.
Hot Pick: Don’t Wait
Chart-topping DJ and early crypto adopter, 3LAU, made history as the first mainstream artist to commemorate a platinum album through an NFT drop. The Ultraviolet collection on Nifty Gateway features 33 uniquely minted pieces. The artist offers exclusive content and unreleased music to his collectors. In a statement, 3LAU suggested that NFTs will be the future of music:
“We are heading into a future where tradable instruments will have different shapes from what we’re used to in traditional finance. Assets that are now restricted only to the wealthy few, or which were highly illiquid, like art and real estate, will be available in liquid secondary markets accessible to a broader, global investor base.”
Headliners choosing Web3 over the conventional music industry continue to set the tone for a music revolution. Widespread adoption of Web3 in the music industry is imminent. While a virtual show may not be the same as a sweat-filled, crowd-consumed live concert, artists’ finally get a shot to earn what they deserve.
Blockster will be at the hottest concerts in the metaverse. See you there.