Steve Aoki, 3LAU to release first track as Web3 duo ‘Punx’

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Punx, a CryptoPunks-inspired duo comprising musicians Steve Aoki and Justin “3LAU” Blau, will release its first track titled “Concentrate” this Friday.

“We really wanted the first song to sort of embody the spirit of what CryptoPunks represent—underground, kind of the first of their kind, and more particularly techie, tech-driven, [and] futuristic,” Blau said.

The new track is a three-minute fast-paced electronic song with an “industrial edge” that fits nightclubs and festivals, showcasing the type of music both musicians are famous for. Punx’s first release, however, does not follow the typical format of a single release in the music industry.

Punx will release the actual music and its concept art and sell 50 percent of the streaming rights to the single. There are 99 tokens available for purchase, each representing 0.5 percent of the track.

Holders of Aoki’s A0k1verse Passport NFTs, Blau’s NFTs and CryptoPunks NFTs will be on the priority list of the token offering after its issuance. This innovative release aims to democratize ownership of the song and give back to the musicians’ “earliest supporters & believers.”

The tokens will be available at the Web3 music rights platform Royal, which is co-founded and led by Blau. To date, 11,000 users have utilized the platform and generated over $2 million in revenue.

Blau described the new release system as a “new era for music.” Aoki said he was also excited about the joint venture with Blau. He explained that the project allowed the two musicians to “feed the ecosystem” and develop a collaboration between artists and their fans in a revolutionary manner.

‘Incredible passion’ in Web3

Aoki and Blau have been actively participating in the Web3 sector, with the latter saying their shared affinity to the industry motivated them to establish Punx.

Blau added that despite his busy schedule, Aoki still had an “incredible passion” for Web3 technology. He also said Aoki understood the sector because he was a collector himself.

Two-time Grammy nominee Aoki has invested “heavily” in numerous NFT projects over the past years, launching some personal projects as well. His first NFT collection, the “Dream Catcher” series, generated more than $4 million in revenue. He also partnered with comedian Seth McFarlane to create a comic book art marketplace on the Solana network.

Aoki’s most recent NFT project is the AoK1VERSE, a membership-based community that aims to share the artist’s real life and virtual experiences with fans.

Meanwhile, Blau has been a proponent of crypto and blockchain technology since his early entrance to the sector in 2017.

Web3 to change music industry

Some other industry players also hold similar convictions as Aoki and Blau that Web3 will change the music industry. Warner Music, for example, routinely holds virtual concerts of its artists on metaverse platforms.

Corite co-founder and COO Emelie Olsson said Web3 allowed artists and their fans to achieve “success” simultaneously, especially when the music was well-received by the wider public. She said Web3 enabled artists to interact directly with their fans and let fans actively participate in the inner working of the music industry.


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