You can listen to the latest MBW podcast above or on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart, etc. through this link.
Gunnar Greve wholeheartedly believes that Web3 and decentralized networks are disrupting the music industry. In the right direction.
Greve has been the long-time manager of Alan Walker, the Norwegian-British electronic music sensation, whose tracks have been streamed audio and video no less than 50 billion (!) Times (including user-generated content) – including more than 5 billion times in China.
In addition, Greve is a co-composer of Alan Walker’s music (including 2015’s global mega-smash, Faded).
But that’s all just part of the reason Greve joins MBW founder Tim Ingham on this MBW podcast (supported by Voly Musique).
Alan Walker’s career is closely linked to the video game world.
Walker is a video game design nerd and proud of it. His musical career began when, as a teenager, he began sharing his epic compositions with other video game fans online.
Today, Walker (with the help of Greve) has created his own fictional world – The World Of Walker – where his fans, Walkers, (not surprisingly!) Are the good guys.
That world extends to Walker’s music videos, which have garnered more than 11 billion views on his YouTube channel – which is also the 11th largest music artist channel in the world on the platform.
It is therefore no big shock that Gunnar and Alan are quite enthusiastic about the possibilities of combining Web3 with music – and the influence it can have on the relationship between artist and fan.
If you’re a little tired of all the talk about metaverset, NFTs and blockchain, this is just the pep talk you need.
Listen above or read the edited and abridged highlights in the discussion below.
Can you explain to us how Alan’s career has been different from that of an average artist?
I found Alan on YouTube and first met them in person in 2015.
For me, Alan opened up this game world and [related] online communities. Coming from a hip hop background from the 90s, [I saw] many similarities and similarities with subcultural movements [in the online video games communities].
It was a breathtaking doorway, an invitation to the world of an online community of players and creators. It shaped my own vision of how we should build [Alan’s] brand and what approach we should take when trying to appeal to an audience that has a fairly high degree of skepticism when it comes to new content and innovation.
“The mask was a sign of solidarity and unity: anyone could be Walker and Alan Walker [himself] could be any of his walkers. That is a strong message. »
Many people ask, what is this mask about? Is he hiding? [Walker’s ‘uniform’ as an artist is a baseball cap and mask, making him hard to identify in a crowd.]
You can see we saw a little Mister Robot back then! But it was a lot [about] catering to a young population of online players and an online community where equality is very important. The mask was a sign of solidarity and unity: anyone could be Walker and Alan Walker [himself] could be any of his walkers. It is an uplifting message.
When I met Alan, he had developed his first mobile game when he was 14 years old. And on my first night at Walkers’ home – the real Walkers, also known as his family! – Alan and his younger brother were lying on the floor collecting a computer – circuit board and all.
We really wanted to create something that was far beyond a DJ or a song – we wanted to create something where people could just live in our world.
What about Walker’s world?
We wanted to create this universe where Walkers is a movement, a community of solidarity, a vision and a goal that is to unite to create a better world for all.
We began to build history, which largely spans 3,000 years in time and a few hundred years into the future. You follow old hikers and modern hikers, with Alan [at the] heart. [It] has really become a diverse world of immersive entertainment: Go to the fandom wiki and you can read pages and pages and pages about characters, events, different places and environments. We have everything from avatars to drones to complex scenarios. [The drones Greve discusses are based on designs created by the artist Beeple, who famously sold an NFT for $69 million last year.]
We wanted to create this closed [World Of Walker] community, a closed platform. We now have about 103,000 registered hikers. It’s a secret platform, you have an identity that is only a number. Alan is Walker number zero. I’m walker number one!
“We wanted to create this clos [World Of Walker] community, a closed platform. We now have about 103,000 registered hikers.
Whether it’s sharing fanfiction or just a community forum where you chat and chat with your fans [about] where your next concert [should be]. Giving fans the opportunity to engage and start their own activities has made this community more vibrant.
What’s down the line is the Walker verse. That’s what my head, my time and my passion have been completely absorbed in the last six months and probably will be in the coming year.
We did not know when we started [World of Walker] in 2015 that the metaverse should be the future. But when you sit here now with the community, Alan with his music, his fan base and everything around him, it feels like Metaverse could not have come at a better time.
Alan recently entered into an agreement with CORITE, a fan funding platform that now integrates blockchain and Web3 elements into its business. Can this model change the future of the music industry? this idea that fans take a share and get a financial return for investing in an artist they love? Could it even change the historical dynamics in which artists received advances from a label as their primary source of funding?
For what it’s worth, I think it’s not just a threat, I think, Web3, decentralized economy and fan-driven or fan-driven activities, participation and direct involvement. It is [a relationship of] the creator to co-creator; it’s going to change completely – a complete 180 degree change – not just the music industry, but the entertainment industry as a whole.
If you look closely and go a little deeper, you will see that the gaming industry is already undergoing complete change as a result, [with] these new opportunities and technologies are coming.
“They really see how the decentralized but also decentralized economy Spending – tailor-made and personal experiences, content and music – will completely change the industry we all love to live in.
You know, [the Corite deal might] sounds weird. Why should we work with a fan-funded platform? Alan does not need funding; it’s almost a little rude for a guy with so many followers, views and streams to ask people to fund this news. But that’s not what it’s about.
Corite represents a very interesting and exciting team, but also a state of mind and a vision for the future. I think many new and emerging artists will find their breakthrough through a fan-funded and crowd-found platform.
But what I find most interesting about these guys – and the world of Web3 and blockchain technology in general – is the fact that they really see how the decentralized but also decentralized economy Spending – tailor-made and personal experiences, content and music – will completely change the industry we all love to live in.
What about NFTs? A scam or the future?
There is no [many] marketplaces or [NFT] players who have not approached in the last three years. We were offered so much money [to do Alan Walker NFTs]it’s almost, in my opinion, a little shameful.
I think NFT is as we have seen [them] the last two years it has been a wave and a bit of a bubble. Primarily because people really do not understand [Web3] for now, how to use it and what to use it for.
For us, they are big auctions and head-to-head [NFT sales] is really not that interesting; at the end of the day, it is powered by 3,000 to 4,000 heavy crypto whales [enthusiasts/investors]and the value of what was paid [versus what is being] created are not consistent – they do not reflect as they should.
We have explored and done a lot of work – observing the failures and successes of others – to really see how NFTs become an important and indispensable part of everything we do. And for that, I think one has to look at the gaming world again.
” There is no [many] marketplaces or [NFT] players who have not approached in the last three years. We were offered so much money [to do Alan Walker NFTs]it’s almost, in my opinion, a little shameful.
I do not know if you know Axie Infini or any of the NFT games that have now created an entire tokenized economy around their games.
Axie Infinity is a very simple avatar game where you buy your avatar as an NFT, instantly create a wallet, perform all your in-game transactions and blockchain interactions.
[It has] 1.5 million monthly active users and $ 4 billion in transactions. They understand what [NFTs] is; it’s not about creating a fancy video and selling it for $ 2 million online. It is about creating public services and assets that can live and that can create value for the future of the one who owns them.
Everyone approaching [NFTs] like a cash grip falling and hitting itself in the head – or a less comfortable place – because that’s really not what it’s about.
NFT is going to be a huge part for artists who understand it, and now I see some artists who are really starting to understand.
I can not wait to share with the world what we have in store.
MBW podcasts are supported by Voly Music. Voly’s platform enables music industry professionals in all industries to manage tour budgets and forecasts, track expenses, approve invoices and make payments 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information and to sign up for a free trial of the platform, visit VolyMusic.com.