Steve Aoki & 3LAU Team For New Single as PUNX, Will Sell 50% Ownership Via NFTs


DJs 3LAU and Steve Aoki have teamed up for a collaborative project called PUNX and set the release of their debut single, “Concentrate,” for April 28. The duo will share 50% of the song’s ownership with fans through a limited-edition NFT release on 3LAU’s music rights platform Royal.

PUNX is described as an “audio-visual IRL-meets-metaverse supergroup” inspired by the pair’s Crypto Punks — NFT avatars that currently trade for a minimum of 49 ETH ($91,000). In a departure from their typical stadium-friendly EDM crowd-pleasers, 3LAU previously said the project will explore a different type of music, with early teasers revealing a glitchy, techno sound.

PUNX will invite fans to own a percentage of the song’s streaming royalties by using Web3 platform Royal to sell 99 NFT tokens, each granting holders 0.5% ownership. In anticipation of high demand, members of the duo’s Web3 communities will get first access. 3LAU’s collectors, members of Steve Aoki’s Web3 fan club AOKIVERSE and Crypto Punk holders can enter a drawing to receive one of the tokens.

“Releasing ‘Concentrate’ as part of PUNX is a major moment for us,” said 3LAU in a statement. “It offers our earliest supporters & believers a unique opportunity to co-own the song with me and Aoki. By launching the PUNX project on Royal, we’re not only pushing creative boundaries, we’re also empowering our community to be a part of our journey and share in our success from day one. It’s a new era for music, and I’m proud to be at the forefront of this exciting movement.”

Both 3LAU and Aoki have been at the forefront of Web3 over the last few years. 3LAU holds the record for the biggest music NFT sale, fetching $11.6 million at auction in 2021. Meanwhile, Aoki earned $4 million from his first NFT collection and claims to have made more money from Web3 than all his record label advances. “It’s incredible to be at the center of this evolution,” said Aoki. “Not only building community, but giving back to it directly. We’re able to feed the ecosystem and merge the fans with the artists in a way that was thought impossible until recently.”

PUNX is the latest music project to leverage the permissive license of NFT avatar projects, allowing 3LAU and Aoki to use their Crypto Punks to promote and monetize their music. Similarly, Universal Music Group’s Web3 supergroup KINGSHIP utilized the IP of four Bored Ape Yacht Club characters to create a virtual band, while Snoop Dogg and Eminem have used their Bored Apes in music videos and live performances.

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