Universal Music Group set to launch virtual band made up of NFTs

Image: 10:22

Universal Music Group has announced it will launch a ‘supergroup’ band made up of NFT (non-fungible tokens) characters. The major label will be working with creator Jimmy McNelis to turn four of his NFT digital characters into a band called Kingship for their 10:22 label. 

McNelis’s characters feature unique illustrated apes, and Kingship will be made up of four such characters. McNelis’s NFT success story is one of the most well known in the past year. The owner of any character from his Bored Ape Yacht Club, as it is called, has full commercial rights to use their ape’s image. 

Kingship will be turned from two dimensional illustrations into three dimensional characters by a team of crypto artists, who will also create the music that the ‘band’ performs. The hope is for Kingship to participate in virtual reality experiences, such as video games and other applications that will soon become part of Mark Zuckerberg’s recently announced ‘metaverse.’ 

Not unlike popular animated band The Gorillaz, head of 10:22 Celine Joshua revealed that “the characters will come to life. The apes will come to life… You can call it an NFT band, or think of them as characters.” The stories for each character will be crafted from scratch by Joshua and her team at 10:22, and Kingship will be launched with a major marketing campaign to introduce them to potential fans. “It’s just like the way we introduce new artists to the world,” said Joshua of the campaign. 

10:22 hopes to sell material from the band as NFTs to fans, giving audiences exclusive access to performances and music, both live and virtually.