An artist can become their own dapp
DappRadar kickstarts a new series of interviews with industry influencers where we dive deeper into Web3 topics like NFTs, gaming, and the metaverse through the eyes of branding, marketing, and art professionals.
Musicians have long suffered from the inequalities of the entertainment industry but now it is possible for them to make money with NFTs using blockchain technology to release their work. They then maintain ownership of what they create and independence from record labels, who have often kept a tight grip on control of the industry.
The traditional structure of payment rails and long-winded payouts suits those in power. To break through to the other side, it will take a strong grassroots movement of indie artists and labels to push a new paradigm. One that forces the hand of the current organizations and leaves them no choice but to embrace a new way of business.
How do we build the Web3 creator economy?
VNCCII is one of the talented artists spearheading this strong movement pushing for change. She embodies the creator economy to its chore as a multidisciplinary music artist/singer-songwriter/producer/live performer and much more.
But don´t take it from me. Here is VNCCII from her HOLOSHIP virtual music studio!
Tell us about yourself and VNCCII
VNCCII is my multi-media/Metaverse/Web3 project. I’m a multidisciplinary autodidactic creative futurist, technologist, Metaverse storyteller, global keynote speaker, philosopher, and music artist/singer-songwriter/producer/live performer.
Since 2018, I’ve been representing my project as a 3D avatar called VNCCII. She is positioned as a fictional Super Sentient A.I SuperHeroine character to communicate my multi-media storytelling as I was particularly passionate about the convergence of music and gaming.
Moreover, I was also fascinated by the concept of Super Sentient artificial intelligence from a science fiction perspective and its implications for humanity. A.I is becoming more and more advanced every day and it’s part of my mission to empower humanity to coexist symbiotically and peacefully with A.I.
I’m now gearing up to release my upcoming Space A.I Opera Sci-Fi novel which accompanies my Metaverse music album and live phygital stage show. VNCCII is the protagonist character amongst a cast of diverse characters that is ripe for adaptations for phygital live entertainment shows, movies, musicals, animations, fashion shows, virtual real estate, universe world building, and blockchain gaming.
Recently I’ve been advocating for the Web3 creator economy and championing the power of Metaverse storytelling at conferences such as SuperVerse Dubai, Creativity Conference as well as Immerse in Portugal which is coming up in September. Overall, the ‘why’ and intention behind this project is to challenge societal expectations and to empower and elevate the consciousness of humanity.
How did you discover Web3?
Being a forward-thinking independent creative, I always look for solutions and cutting-edge technologies that will ultimately empower and liberate artists. When I discovered NFTs after the Beeple Christie’s sale, I was inspired to learn more about the Web 3 ecosystem and the power of NFTs to attribute value back to the artist, rather than the siloed centralised Web 2 platforms.
This concept has inspired a new cultural digital renaissance. In my opinion, I view NFTs as portals to the open and interoperable Metaverse as well as the MetaFi economy, which is the complex financial interplay between fungible and non-fungible assets.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on the launch of an IP franchise (TBA) which will follow the storyline of a Sci-Fi space opera A.I novel that I have written. There will also be a live phygital stage show which will sync with this storyline.
I have always been inspired by Walt Disney and his innovation with the Imagineering spirit. It’s my passion to explore the opportunity to create joy for the guests in these physical experiences with future technological innovations including gamification, motion capture, virtual production, VR, AR and XR to create new multi-sensory 4D experiences.
This is a long-term vision that will continuously evolve and build equity over time for both the VNCCII brand, IP franchise, and community. When the community becomes active stakeholders in this story from a Web 3 and Metaverse perspective, they will have access and agency to phygital experiences, playing an active co-creator role. Yes, it’s like leading a cultural revolution. Let’s go!
How do you gamify music and make it “phygital” ?
Firstly, I gamified music by adopting the virtual avatar identity of VNCCII back in 2018. Since then, I have been releasing music videos to songs that I had produced and creatively directed that were made in Unreal Game Engine.
Each of those music videos have real-time UE environments that could be fleshed out into gaming experiences or real-time social spaces to celebrate these micro branching VNCCII storylines.
Beyond the music videos, I then explored the VTuber concept by experimenting with indie motion capture (I use a Rokoko mocap suit) to speak in real-time as my VNCCII avatar character from her HOLOSHIP virtual music studio. There are limitless possibilities for gamifying music. My next challenge is taking this to the live stage with storytelling to truly create a ‘phygital’ experience that is memorable for YOU!
As an artist who needs to market their work, how do you look at the metaverse and which metaverse is your favorite, if any?
As my friend Tony Parisi would say, there is only one Metaverse! There’s a cornucopia of opportunities for how an artist can market themselves in the Metaverse. I believe strategic partnerships are fruitful, but I also would like to emphasize the power in an artist becoming their own platform or DAPP as part of the grander overarching strategy.
Pick one NFT collection and one game you identify with, and tell us why
I love RTFKT CloneX and the utility they provide to their holders. Their collaboration with Takashi Murakami was also legendary. At the end of the day, it’s about the community of people that congregate together to share a mutual passion and vision for building a brighter future together.
In terms of a blockchain game, I resonate with what Michael Wagner is doing with Star Atlas. It is great to see the team building a high-quality game utilizing Unreal Engine 5 and in-game marketplaces and factions which form part of the storytelling. Following my IP launch, I will be looking to build out gaming experiences in UE5 based on the IP that will involve the community as co-creators, players, and cultural connoisseurs.
Any memorable lessons from speaking with metaverse thought-leaders in your “Future Humans” live broadcast show?
I have obtained so many valuable insights and friendships since the commencement of the ‘Future Humans’ vodcast show. The best feedback received to date was that the vodcast show reminded them of what Walt Disney did with his vision of ‘Tomorrowland’ – practical optimism.
I believe it’s imperative to progress our society forward through conversations and breakthroughs without fear mongering and cynicism which stems from a limited mindset. I have chosen to step up to a leadership role that will inspire others to unleash their unbridled creativity and embrace their authentic selves unapologetically.
This positive thought leadership of inspiration and embracing that sense of ‘play’ has informed who I interview on the show. I really value what Cathy Hackl (Episode 2) had to say, which is that we are all world builders and that the Metaverse is for everyone.
I also really value what Mike Pell (Episode 13) stated with regards to ‘surfacing the invisible’ by envisioning breakthroughs, as well as the quote ‘at the heart of all of this is communication…is people…anything you ever do is never about technology, it’s always about people.”
What is your advice for music artists looking to break into the creator economy and connect with fans?
My advice would be to ‘know thyself.’ Every entrepreneur should have a mission and vision statement and that should be no different for artists. I have approached the VNCCII project like an entrepreneurial start up from the very beginning which has sharpened my business acumen and mission for ‘why’ I create.
My advice would be to embrace breakthrough innovation and invention. Utilize the technology to serve your creative needs, not vice versa. We are at a pivotal juncture in human history where we can shape the future. Make it count.
Your fans and community will thank you for it when they feel engaged across all multi-mediums and are viewed as ‘guests’ or active co-creators. In retrospect, Walt’s theme parks were a success because he didn’t view them as consumers, but as welcomed guests. Furthermore, I don’t see them as fans. I see them as community tribe members on a collective mission to shape a better future timeline.
What will the future look like for NFTs and the music industry in 5 years?
I don’t have a crystal ball so I couldn’t say. What I would like to see is an open interoperable metaverse with progressive decentralization. I would like to see an evolution in the gatekeeping concept such that creative artists are empowered to leverage and monetize from their own creations via direct to avatar alongside their own communities and decentralized platforms.
More importantly, I would like to see the music industry create real-world collective social impact where we hear and see new superstars shine through and more diverse voices. Because I am an auto didactic metaverse strategist/philosopher and entrepreneur, I fundamentally understand the essence of grit and the need to reclaim power and sovereignty for creatives.
I believe NFTs are a great gateway to empowerment when implemented thoughtfully, strategically, and effectively. Finally, I would like to see live entertainment on a stratospheric new level in terms of musical high-tech stage shows that interweave with theme park level immersive 4D experiences. It’s time to bring back the fun and inspire the next generation to experience joy, optimism, and push humanity forward!
Where can people find your work?
They can go to https://www.vnccii.com/.