In today’s post-streaming music landscape, merch is the name of the monetary game — but what if instead of branded sweatshirts and dad hats, you branded your own freakin’ money?
Gramatik takes his game to the next level with his own cryptocurrency, GRMTK. He’s the first DJ/producer to do it, but he’s not alone in the world. The craze, started by Bitcoin, has been jumped on by Burger King, with its Russian WhopperCoin. Litecoin is a popular alternative, as are Namecoin and Iceland’s Auroracoin. There’s even Dogecoin, named after the popular meme.
GRMTK will launch once Gramatik hits the road in support of his latest EP, Re:Coil Part 1. Its six tracks are inspired by science and technology, and opens with the wonky, soulful and aptly-titled “Future Crypto” featuring his old Bronx buddy Bran-X. It opens up into a beautiful, soulful, brassy, jazzy and futuristic groove on “Goldilocks Enigma” with Anomolie. He explores exotic mid-eastern instrumentation with Balkan Bump with words by hip-hop icon Talib Kweli on “Aymo.” The EP rounds out with singles “Voyager Twins” feat. Galactic Marvl and “Recovery” feat. Eric Krasno, plus beat-forward closer “Halcyon.”
He celebrates the Re:Coil Part 1 with a string of European dates, launching the GRMTK cryptocurrency in Zurich Thursday, Nov. 9. The currency will give fans a direct line to Gramatik, cutting out banks, labels and distributors. GRMTK payments will go straight to the artist almost instantaneously, while blockchain technology brings the EP to fans’ comupters. He’s working with Singular DTV on the process, bringing his GRMTK currency to life and taking his music and money exchange into his own hands. It’s a historic moment that makes Gramatik the first “tokenized” artist in history.
“I’ve been waiting for a platform like SingularDTV to come out that utilizes blockchain technology to cut out the gatekeepers and middlemen,” Gramatik says in an emailed statement. “I just want to release my own music whenever I want, on my own terms. I want to get rid of all that bureaucracy. I just want to make music. Living in a world that’s owned by banks and corporations, blockchain technology is pretty much the only thing that gives me hope for the future.”
if you can’t catch the first leg of the tour in Europe, fear not. He’s playing Terminal 5 in New York City for a special New Year’s Eve show, alongisde his homies Big Wild, Ramzoid and Cobrayama. Support the vision and listen to Re:Coil Part 1 below.