Musician Dillon Francis: “I had to have” a bored monkey Ethereum NFT

Musician Dillon Francis: "I had to have" a bored monkey Ethereum NFT

You’ve heard of getting paid in crypto, but what about getting paid in NFT?

Electronic music artist Dillon Francis accepted a Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT as part of a Boston nightclub residency and collaboration deal with upcoming DJ duo ESCAPΞPLAN, whose musical identities are represented by their Bored Apes.

NFT are unique tokens that exist on a blockchain and signify ownership of an asset, such as a piece of digital art. The BAYC is no stranger to celebrity owners, with Paris Hilton and Eminem among the incumbents.

Francis’ monkey with “DMT” fur was sold for 109 ETH (about $283,000 at current prices) to Randy Greenstein of Big Night Entertainment, then transferred to Francis a month ago.

Big Night operates a number of notable nightclubs in the Boston area and manages artists including ESCAPΞPLAN.

“I had to have an Ape so I could be in the clips with ESCAPΞPLAN,” Francis said. Decrypt in an interview.

He plans to release two songs in collaboration with the duo later this year.

Big Night Managing Partner Tim Bonito sees BAYC NFTs as a way to bring Web3 in music.

“We didn’t want to come in and do an entirely cheesy debut record about anything Web3,” Bonito said. Decrypt. “I think what’s going to happen is a lot of people are going to find out [ESCAPΞPLAN’s] song, not even realizing they’re two Bored Apes, and then go back and there’s a discovery around that. For us, there is going to be a certain subtlety […] there’s still a whole world of Web2 that we’re still trying to embrace.

It’s also possible that Francis and ESCAPΞPLAN will work with more BAYC tenured musicians on future tracks.

But Francis’ interest in Web3 extends far beyond his newly acquired Ape. He has been collecting NFTs for about a year, with over 100 such assets in his walletand says he first discovered crypto in 2017.

“In 2017 when my friend told me to buy Ethereum and Bitcoin […] I already thought I was too late,” he said. “You’re never too late.”

Francis isn’t a one-piece or one-chain maximalist either, saying that while he’s looking forward to Ethereum 2.0he’s not a big fan of Ethereum’s high gas fees (aka transaction costs) or Polygon’s transition mechanisms.

“Tim and I are the same,” he said, referring to Big Night’s managing partner. “We like Solana. I love Solana…going from paying insane gas fees and transaction times being so long sometimes [on Ethereum], Solana is amazing. I think the downfall is that the network sometimes goes down. (The network suffered some traffic jams and breakdowns since September.)

“But instant finality, and I pay pennies for a transaction, is so much better,” he added.

In the Metaverse, Francis works with Decentralized, a 3D virtual environment built on Ethereum, to build a space for its fans. He said it will include a virtual bar, a cannabis store and a strip club.

He wants fans to be able to own some of his club Decentraland’s wall space as NFTs, and plans to offer digital wearables that match what’s in his physical product store.

When it comes to the music industry, Francis thinks there’s a reason why so many electronic artists, like Steve Aokideadmau5 and 3lau have become strong supporters of crypto and NFTs.

“Most electronic music artists always try to be on the edge of everything that’s happening in technology because we make music on our computers,” Francis said. “Electronic music doesn’t depend on, you know, Billboard Top 10 hits. We rely on getting our songs out on the festival or club circuits, and word of mouth on blogs…it’s so another reason why this Web3 culture and community interests us so much.

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