From the British Invasion of the 1960s spearheaded by bands like the Beatles to the modern K-pop domination, the world sure loves its music groups. And there are many reasons for this; one of them is the fact that music groups are comprised of different characters that fans can relate to.
But what happens when the members of a band are made of digital non-humans? This is what Def Jam, a major record label, is looking to find out with the launch of The Whales, an NFT group that was created with input from Catalina Whale Mixer, a Solana-based music group.
Bringing NFTs to your Ears
Now, you might be wondering where Def Jam got the NFTs that make up the Whales. The members are all part of Solana’s profile picture NFT collection and now that they have been assembled, they will begin making music.
As per Def Jam, the group will be working with major producers and artists to create their sound. And considering the fact that Def Jam has such creatives as Rick Rubin and Jay Z in its roster, we could get some very interesting work from the Whales soon.
On top of this, the team behind the Whales is based within the creative world. WAGMI Beach, the studio behind Catalina Whale Mixer, has several musicians as founders and is looking to bridge the universal appeal of music with the access that NFTs offer. For starters, those who hold NFTs from the profile picture collection can audition their assets to become band members.
And beyond this, they will be able to make decisions about the future of the band and its projects. This sort of thing is quite unheard of in the music business as these decisions are almost exclusively made by record executives. But because NFTs democratize access and control, this new model can essentially be tested out with the Whales.
“Instead of it just being like four guys in their garage that are deciding what it is, it’s like this community of all these people determining the direction that it goes,” Carlos Fox, WAGAMI Beach’s CEO.
And this is not the first time that a music group has been created, whether as avatars or NFTs. There are singers like Miquela who are not ‘real’ but animated characters who release songs, perform virtually and have a dedicated fanbase. In terms of NFT artists, the most prominent is probably Kingship, a band made up of only Bored Ape NFTs.
Clearly, there is some market demand for this sort of artist and Def Jam plans to be at the forefront of this development.
“Def Jam is one of the most important labels of all time, culturally—and from early hip-hop onward, they’ve always taken a leap on supporting what’s new before it’s popular. We were very humbled and appreciative that they were able to see the vision and why this is something special,” Fox says.
The Whale’s debut song will be released this summer.