Mastercard is diligently positioning itself as a frontrunner in digital music innovation. By using its Mastercard Web3 Music Accelerator, the banking behemoth is undertaking a musical blockchain initiative. To unveil five pioneering AI-generated music NFTs on July 27th.
What Is the Mastercard Artist Accelerator?
The Mastercard Artist Accelerator is a Web3-based program launched by Mastercard to develop and launch emerging musical artists in today’s digital economy. The program selects artists and connects them with mentors, fans, and resources to help them establish their own brands.
Mastercard Artist Accelerator also invites fans to join the platform and use the Mastercard Music Pass to access exclusive content, events, and experiences. It will host a live-streamed artist showcase later this year.
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Mastercard Launches Emerging Musical Artists
Mastercard released an official statement that declared that The Mastercard Artist Accelerator will feature five artists from different parts of the world. The live-streamed showcase it is about to host will debut the AI-driven singles produced through Mastercard’s Artist Accelerator initiative.
This marks an extension of Mastercard’s successful Mastercard Music Pass, which has already seen 100,000 mints. With the project’s stage set, these five artists have an incredible opportunity to access groundbreaking AI tools and educational guidance.
How Does the Mastercard Artist Accelerator Work?
Mastercard’s Artist Accelerator is tailored to music artists and was unveiled in January of this year. However, this latest announcement also revealed the Mastercard Music Pass NFT, which serves as a gateway for participating in the accelerator program. The NFTs are accessible to music enthusiasts and Web3 advocates until the end of this month.
The program grants free access to educational material as well as unique AI tools through collaborative efforts. Holders of the Mastercard Music Pass NFT can create a digital collectable drawing inspired by Mastercard’s sonic melodies and distinctive design principles.
This new program will use the Layer 2 scaling protocol, Polygon, which has been a preferred choice among many mainstream brands that are expanding within the Web3 ecosystem.
The Convergence of NFTs, AI and Music
All of this would not be possible without the efforts of AI Music Studio and industry-leading generative AI music technology firm WarpSound. The 5 artists who were chosen include the following:
1. Young Athena
Young Athena is a London-based R&B and soul singer. After graduating from the prestigious BRIT School, she started singing classic soul R&B with a mix of rapid-fire rap lyrics. She often pays tribute to other artists and their great music through original music, mashups, and covers. She has performed at many prestigious events, including London Fashion Week and the Notting Hill Carnival.
2. Cocoa Sarai
Sarai is an American-Jamaican singer hailing from Brooklyn. Her unique sound fuses West Indian heritage with hip-hop. She has written songs for artists like Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and Kelly Rowland. She heads a non-profit organisation known as the Project Girl Mentoring Program.
eriQ is a Nigerian R&B and afrobeat record producer and songwriter who has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Nigeria, such as Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal, and Burna Boy. With more than 21,000 followers on Spotify, he has already worked on several projects, such as The Lost Sounds, Luv.wav, and No Wahalah.
4. Manu Manzo
Manu Manzo is a Venezuelan pop singer and producer who produces Latin pop sprinkled with some soul and R&B influences. After starting to sing at 4, she moved to Miami at 14 to start her musical career. She has already released two EPs and collaborated with artists such as Mau y Ricky, Paloma Mami, and Feid. She has been nominated for Best New Artist at 2016’s Latin Grammy Awards.
5. Emily Vu
Emily Vu is a pop artist from Vietnam who champions LGBTQ+ rights through her music. As a trained pianist and guitarist, she started posting on TikTok and gained more than 1.4 million followers. She soon started releasing original compositions such as LILA, What Happened Happened, and Just Wait.
Mastercard’s Long-Term Support for Music
Mastercard has long been known as a long-standing proponent of the music industry. Presenting several priceless experiences and surprises, it has contributed to bringing artists and fans together. Mastercard has also sponsored events such as the BRIT Awards, the Grammy Awards®, and the Latin Grammy Awards®.
Mastercard is now harnessing Web3 technologies to create a scalable, inclusive, and exclusive experience for both artists and fans. It launched its debut album, “Priceless”, last June through an innovative collaboration that focused on mentoring up-and-coming artists.
Through this collaboration, Mastercard’s support has contributed to funding free education at the BRIT School in London, thereby nurturing the growth of the next generation of musicians and providing mentorship opportunities. The launch of the Artist Accelerator further extends this collaborative approach, as it offers musicians the opportunity to engage with their fans through innovative digital platforms.
Fervent Web3 enthusiasts and music aficionados can eagerly anticipate the project’s live-streamed Billboard event, where these cutting-edge songs will be unveiled for the first time. Enthusiasts will have the opportunity to acquire the artists’ NFTs via OneOf during the showcase.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can One Access or Claim the NFT Tracks?
he NFT tracks are available to claim on the OneOf Marketplace, which is a green NFT platform for music and culture. To claim the tracks, a user needs a Mastercard Music Pass, which was minted for free in April 2023 and is already sold out.
Where Can Users Watch the Showcase of the NFT Tracks?
Users can watch the showcase of the NFT tracks on July 27th at 15:00 ET on Billboard’s YouTube channel or official website. The showcase will feature live performances by the artists of their AI-generated singles.
What Is Mastercard’s First Foray Into NFTs?
Mastercard’s first foray into NFTs was in June 2022, when it began allowing its cardholders to purchase NFTs with fiat. This was possible due to a partnership with MoonPay, a payments infrastructure company.
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