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Universal Music Group forms ‘NFT supergroup’

Universal Music Group (UMG) is capitalising on two of the biggest trends of the last year – NFTs and the metaverse – with the formation of a new ‘NFT Supergroup’.

The multinational music cooperation is collaborating with collector Jimmy McNelis to convert four of his ape NFTs into a band called Kingship.

McNelis, an early buyer of Ethereum, acquired hundreds of ape NFTs from the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which gave anyone who bought one of the apes full commercial rights to use the image.

McNelis was later approached by Universal’s 10:22PM record label, a “next-gen Web3 label” which was set up by former Sony exec Celine Joshua.

Joshua pitched him on the idea of creating a new group and picked four characters that she thought would work as a band before signing the ‘metaverse group’ to the label.

10:22PM is now working with a team of crypto artists and animators to turn the two-dimensional apes into three-dimensional beings.

One of the band’s members, the golden ape, is currently valued at over $300,000 USD

One of the band’s members, the golden ape, is currently valued at over $300,000 USD. McNelis has a collection that he estimates is worth more than $100 million.

The company will record music for Kingship that it releases on streaming services and the band will perform and participate in video games, virtual-reality applications and across the constellation of digital experiences known as the metaverse.

Joshua and her team are going to create these characters stories’ from scratch. They will put together a marketing campaign to introduce the apes to potential fans, explain how they met and describe who they are. “It’s just like just like the way we introduce new artists to the world,” she told Bloomberg.

Kingship is just one of the ape-themed virtual bands to follow in the footsteps of Gorillaz, an English virtual band created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett.

US music producer Timbaland is also cashing in on the trend, starting new company Ape-In Productions that will also use Bored Ape Yacht Club characters to form a music group.

Timbaland’s group, named TheZoo, features six Bored Ape characters – such as Lincoln Aperaham and Safari Ferrari – and will release their first song ‘ApeSh!t’ on Wednesday, according to Variety.

 


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ADE reaches millions with virtual 2020 event

The 25th edition of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), which took place from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 October, reached millions of people across the world with the festival’s first-ever digital event, organisers have revealed.

The yearly ADE Pro conference, which traditionally takes place alongside the festival, also took place in an online environment and attracted thousands of electronic music industry professionals.

Highlights of the event included a live conversation between Timbaland, Martin Garrix and David Guetta, The Evolution of Sounds, with more than 250,000 people tuning in globally. Meanwhile, the ADE Pro conference delved into future prospects for artists, clubs and festivals, health issues with James Blake, activism and music with Neneh Cherry and more. All ADE Pro content is available on demand via the platform.

Other sessions of note included the European premiere of the documentary Larry’s Garage, a collaboration with Nyege Nyege festival from Uganda and a livestream from Elrow with Desperados, which attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers.

“It’s great we were able to fulfil our role as a world-leading platform for electronic music even in these strange times”

In addition, studio tours and master classes by a wide range of artists, including Bloody Mary, Carista, Carl Cox, Âme’s Frank Wiedeman and Pan-Pot, formed an in-depth program for the new generation of DJs, while viewers were given a glimpse into the future of digital performances with innovative audiovisual experiences.

Elsewhere, favourite moments from previous editions of ADE were shared on TikTok with the hashtag #ADEmoments throughout the week, with the likes of Tiësto, Martin Garrix, Stella Bossi, Don Diablo, Armin van Buuren and Carly Wilford getting involved, as well as the Rijksmuseum and other organisations. This reached more than 35 million people.

ADE co-directors Jan-Willem van de Ven and Meindert Kennis, who took over from Mariana Sanchotene for this year’s event, jointly comment: “We obviously had something different in mind when we started in December, but given the circumstances we’re happy to hear people say we’ve raised the bar for the future of digital events.

“It’s great that we were able to fulfil our role as a world-leading platform for electronic music even in these strange times and we look forward to further developing the digital platform over the coming months to benefit our subscribers.”

 


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