The digital collector’s item where Asian stars enter the NFT space


Led by Japanese and Koreans, the Asian stars are entering the high-profile space of the NFT. We talk to the people behind the just launched Hong Kong-based platform KLKTN, and artists such as Kevin Woo and Miyavi.

There is no such thing as the K-Pop or J-Pop fandom. Just Googling BTS Army and you get the idea. With social media, streaming, and fame in this era, the relationship between stars and their legions of fans is an ever-changing beast. Now these musicians are dipping their toes into the world of blockchain and NFTs, in the wake of digital visual artists. Beyond the hype and headlines, there is a fundamental shift in ownership and artist-fan dynamics that could change the way music is funded.

“What attracted me the most to NFT was the fact that I had absolute ownership of my music and my art,” said Korean-American K-pop star Kevin Woo. “I was able to create something special for my fans that had emotional and economic value. It was a whole new way for me to express myself creatively.

The KLKTN platform

Woo has released limited edition collectible artwork inspired by his latest single “Got It”, all produced in conjunction with Hong Kong-based NFT platform KLKTN (Kollektion). But that’s not all – his NFTs come with behind-the-scenes moments in Woo’s life, private virtual parties with the singer, and even exclusive one-on-one mini ‘dates’, where you can. video chat with Woo while he drives. around the.

“Fans can have fun directly and even take valuable goods for themselves as keepsakes,” Woo explains. “Thanks to NFTs, fans can now collect, own and share a piece of my music and artwork, allowing them to be a part of my artistic journey and eventually help me produce more content for them. “

On the KLKTN platform, these artist NFTs are billed as a dynamic, sexier digital version of the old-fashioned sports trading cards, each granting the owner special access and specialty content by said artist. Another star working with KLKTN is Japanese rock legend, singer and guitarist Miyavi, who has many local and global followers.

The possibilities are endless… We create native data for the entire digital future

Jeff miyahara

“NFTs are something I had never experienced before. Not only for me, but it’s also a new possibility for us. It’s a part of the future, ”says Miyavi. “The world, especially the digital world, is changing rapidly. The way people consume content is changing.

“We think we’re really on the verge, at the forefront of this new universe, to be able to not only engage with traditional forms of entertainment, but to do so in a more robust way via the internet and blockchain to an entire global audience. , ”Said Jeff Miyahara, co-founder and creative director of KLKTN. As one of Japan’s most sought-after music producers and songwriters, Miyahara’s idea for KLKTN was born when his friends in the NBA Pro League told him about NBA’s Top Shot, an NFT platform. pioneering sportswoman.

Jeff miyahara

“I was like, ‘Wow, what if we crack this model, we could do something really similar, but for the music industry,'” he explains. “It’s not just about looking at the players, but there’s a whole level of fandom around, there’s a whole layer of community. And that’s really where this conversation started.

Through mutual friends, he spoke to finance and technology expert Daisuke Iwase (who at the time was undergoing the brutal three-week hotel quarantine in Hong Kong). And through many conversations and combined expertise, a partnership for KLKTN was born. Working on the logistics, technology, legal aspects, and the creative side of this new blockchain industry has been a big effort for the core team. Currently, the concept has few competition in the music industry and has just captured the explosive first wave of the NFT mania.

Remember that March when the art world was rocked when an NFT by digital visual artist Beeple hit $ 69 million at a Christie’s auction? It raised him from relative public obscurity to the three most valuable artists alive today – and also marked a milestone in the NFT boom. With a lot of hype and hopping in motion; there is the obvious subsequent speech of a bubble. Iwase and Miyahara, however, make sure to perpetuate their platform for longevity and quality content. “We want to create something sustainable and sustainable,” says Iwase, who is now the CEO of KLKTN.

Daisuke iwase

“This is my second start-up, you know. A year from now, I don’t want that NFT bubble to burst and look stupid. We want to create something that has real value. What does this mean in the world of NFTs? Aren’t there hundreds of thousands of people digitizing their artwork as NFT and trying to flog it in cyberspace? The last time a friend showed me a nascent NFT market for art, it wasn’t an impressive array, but basic digital works from unknown visual artists were there for tens of thousands of dollars. But as with platforms like the NBA’s Top Shot show, there is a way to connect popular culture with this still rather niche technology. “With this new NFT technology, it also adds another layer of engagement, ownership and security,” adds Miyahara.

Many of the leaders in the NFT music and entertainment world hail from Asia, where a fervent engagement with social media, online shows, and virtual events have already spurred this culture of fandom. For fans of K-Pop, J-Pop and music, the team at KLKTN is betting on real value from quality content that could give fans privacy and exclusivity with their favorite artist.

Prices can start low, from US $ 5 to US $ 10 per NFT here because, says Iwase, they want to capture real fans of this music, rather than just crypto sharks or NFT speculators. By gaining real fans who “wouldn’t hesitate to try new things to engage with their favorite artists,” KLKTN can get a clear idea of ​​how the fandom will engage in the long run.

“I think we want to create products that our fans will genuinely enjoy, and also enrich their experiences… we put a lot of time and effort into collectibles. can do, ”adds Iwase. “And for the artists themselves, it has to be about creating lasting value. “

By launching their first project with Woo, which Iwase describes as a sort of “big brother to today’s K-Pop stars”, there are already the hallmarks of global expansion. The K-pop figure has fans in Korea but also in Japan and the United States, where he grew up and now lives (his latest drop, “Got It”, is in English). Woo and Miyahara have worked closely together for a while, so it made sense to start with an artist “who is willing to trust us and have faith in this experience,” Iwase explains.

Japanese rocker Miyavi has always been an innovator at the forefront of integrating new technologies into his music. A pioneer in the field even in Japan, he even tested performance in virtual reality. His NFTs with KLKTN aim to deliver a “collectable” experience rather than just owning digital assets, with digital ArtKards, candid moments, and a virtual CD cover with notes.

“Before, we had photo albums, vinyl tracks, CD covers or whatever we could collect as precious treasures,” says Miyavi. “This collector’s experience is at the heart of this project. It just happens in the digital world. Musical artists understand that the framework of the fan club has changed dramatically in the digital age. KLKTN is committed to long-term structural change as people spend more time in the digital world. Accessing the private moments of your favorite artists – things you wouldn’t see on Twitter or Instagram – is invaluable to superfans.

KLKTN miyavi

Woo fans are already curious and united. “They are excited to start something new with me, especially because we are writing history together,” he says. “They feel appreciated and deeply connected to my project, feeling a sense of community… we have perks included in my NFTs, such as freebies, live broadcasts and virtual meetings, which they loved.”
This new kind of engagement has implications for future metavers and how the celebrity-fan dynamic might change in these all-digital worlds.

“The possibilities are endless,” Miyahara admits, “because now we don’t work on one platform anymore, but we create native data for the entire digital future. For Miyavi, the allure of being a part of “this huge transition, or ascension” means that there is an element where “less physicality actually feels spiritual as well as digital.” We’re all curious about what the future holds for the way we live, interact and communicate. “I’m also thrilled to witness what comes of me doing chemistry with this new experience,” he says.

What can we expect from artists like him in the future, as well as your personal favorites? Exclusive NFT music drops or virtual concerts with special access? Mini artist metavers? “Absolutely yes,” says Miyavi. “I see this as an extension of my Virtual Live project. Since last year, I have organized several live virtual concerts and have just done one in partnership with Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto. NFTs will be a means of expression and, yes, I would love to do that in the future. Music is an integral part of the art world. It is something that you cannot see but most certainly can feel.


About Dawn Valle

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