John Legend is to launch an NFT platform for musicians and entertainers attempting to navigate the digital collectables frenzy.
As part owners of the new company, the 12-time Grammy Award winner will collaborate with Chris Lin, the founder of Taipei-based digital music service KKBOX, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and Matt Cheng of early-stage venture firm Cherubic Ventures.
OurSong is a platform that allows artists to monetize their work using non-fungible tokens, which are digital certificates of authenticity that can be purchased or sold. Legend will serve as chief impact officer to attract up-and-coming artists and their fans.
In an interview, Legend said,
“It can be intimidating for an emerging creative who wants to share their art, their work, and their creativity with the world, but they feel like they can’t possibly do something that’s going to be worth that much money. Some of them are working their way up to the point where they can support themselves through their art as students.”
According to Chris Lin, the new company’s chief executive officer, the service will not require a cryptocurrency wallet and will be simple to use. Instead, users can attach privileges to digital cards, such as accessing unreleased music or private chatrooms. There are also gifting options on the platform, where no money is exchanged.
Rather than creating their platforms, most celebrities have decided to make and sell their own NFTs. After co-founding Autograph, an NFT platform that specializes in sports collectables such as virtual Wayne Gretzky statues and Tony Hawk skateboard tricks, retiring NFL quarterback Tom Brady has become one of the most prominent celebrities in this space. In January, Silicon Valley investors Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins led a $170 million funding round led by Autograph.
Legend and his co-founders remained tight-lipped about the financials of their new venture. However, the musician has previously invested in Adventr, MycoWorks, Thrive Market, Rocean water pods, and Walker & Co. beauty products.
“I’ve always been so focused on music and I still think of music as, far and away, my first love and my first job and the thing I spent most of my mental energy thinking about,” said Legend. “When I think about what I want to do, I try to get involved with projects that I think will make the world more connected.”