Steve Aoki’s A0K1VERSE Reveals How Culture Activates the Metaverse

Steve Aoki has built an empire as one of the world’s top DJ producers, music label owners and entrepreneurs. Aoki, 44, who has more than 15 million Spotify listeners and plays approximately 300 shows a year worldwide, knows how to put on a show and push the boundaries of creativity.

Aoki was also an early pioneer of NFT space and the metaverse, a medium befitting his imaginative iconoclastic personality. He was one of the first artists to launch NFT collections and perform his DJ sets in metaverse worlds such as Decentraland.

Her interest in the medium underscores the enormous potential that artists see in her ability to reach people in more meaningful ways than before. Aoki is one of the most vocal leaders of the metaverse movement.

What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse, the new digital realm, has enabled artists to deliver new experiences and engage with their fans more powerfully. While the metaverse is still in its formative phase, the first iterations of these virtual worlds provide insights into how communities can interact and experience through shared interests.

Aoki, who has performed in 41 countries, approached space like a sociologist studying the culture of a new civilization. “The reason people have spread all over the world is that we want to discover new things with other people who aren’t necessarily close to us,” Aoki said. “We want to be there and connect with strangers who are passionate about the same things.”

In a recent article, JP Morgan predicted that the metaverse will generate $1 trillion per year in a few years. The report notes that consumers already spend $54 billion on virtual goods, about double the amount they spend buying music.

And these amounts can only hit the metavers’ potential. As we spend more time in virtual spaces, digital goods and experiences will become more valuable and more people will use them.

NFTs, valuable digital assets that can be used and transferred between digital worlds, are fundamental elements of the metaverse. Metaverse users own digital property rights to land, collectibles, game items, experiential access passes, and more. As long as they retain ownership of their private keys, their digital assets are not dependent on the creditworthiness of any particular metaverse developer. Users can easily transfer their NFTs to other metaverse environments.

NFTs serve as digital identity totems and signify membership in specific online crypto communities. They play an increasingly important role in the management of our culture by providing new and broad expression possibilities to visual artists, musicians, actors, designers and animators.

They offer consumers the opportunity to own something rare in a more immersive environment and for creators to connect more directly with people who are passionate about their work. The latter stimulated creativity in a way that was not possible before. The metaverse creates deeply new experiences.

Whether it’s access to private online chat rooms to chat with other hardcore fans, the ability to claim tickets to live music events hosted in secret locations, or the ability to browse virtual NFT spaces in metaverse worlds, artists tinkering with technology to provide new ways to interact with their fans.

Enter the A0K1VERSE

In February, Aoki launched the A0K1VERSE, offering his own take on the metaverse. The A0K1VERSE is an NFT-enabled membership club that provides access to both on-chain and physical experiences.

Membership benefits include pre-sale access to future Aoki NFT releases, metaverse performances, and free tickets to Aoki shows. He is working on partnerships with a number of brands for future NFT drops and merchandise and hopes to create what he calls “a multiverse” of different communities.

Fans can join the club and gain access to the A0K1VERSE by purchasing or earning A0K1 credits. A0K1 credits have a total supply limit of 50,000 and credit holders must then exchange or burn their credits for a personal passport. Passport is an NFT that is the ticket to all the features and experiences offered by A0K1VERSE.

Aoki is working on partnerships and collaborations with brands and IP for future NFT drops and merchandise. He identified the animation show Attack On Titan and the My Little Pony media franchise as two of the first partners.

“A0K1VERSE passports will be a revolution,” said Aoki with his signature pompous flair. “We are building more than a metaverse, it will be a multiverse. We connect many different communities and we hope that they will all grow and succeed alongside us.

Aoki draws a parallel with how NFT and metaverse communities are formed for the audiences attending his live broadcasts. “My fans may not know anyone else on a show and haven’t said a word to each other, but they all feel connected. We all need community, that’s how we exist as humans.

The relationship between a musician and his fans has always been one-sided. Working with record labels, publishers, distributors and producers, music artists have created and released albums to their audiences, with little immediate or direct insight into what listeners think of their work.

“NFTs create a two-way conversation between artist and fan,” Aoki said. “It used to be a one-way street. The artist produces something and the fan buys the product or not, but there is no conversation. With NFTs there is a constant conversation.

Reflecting on how content creators can use NFTs to add value to their communities, Aoki said, “If Kendrick Lamar had an NFT drop related to his album that is rare and touches people emotionally, that’s a work of art. Music is an art and an album or a song can give us a certain feeling. It touches our hearts and makes us feel something we have never felt before. A piece of canvas with paint on it can be worth $10 million because of the cultural impression it has on people’s lives, and NFTs can do the same.

Although Aoki’s focus has shifted to the possibilities offered by NFTs, Web 3 and the Metaverse, he is determined to still do what he loves most: having fun on stage and delivering experiences, captivating music for his fans. Whether in the digital or physical world, Aoki will always be a true showman.

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