Beatboxer Abhishek Bhaskar on his NFT Project Metavoice
“One day spent in the NFT space is like a year in real life,” says the creator
Bengaluru-based beatboxer Abhishek Bhaskar has given himself a new moniker – ABVERSE. It now is his middle name on social media, bearing a reference to the expansive space known as the metaverse.
As it turns out, Bhaskar has been learning about the world of blockchain, cryptocurrency, Web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) since 2016. He says, “I gifted myself some crypto for my birthday back in 2016. I’ve been investing small amounts until 2018-2019 when I realized the immense potential of blockchain technology and started investing more of my leisure time into learning and understanding various concepts better, to see how best I could leverage this tech from an artist’s point of view.”
It led to him setting up the Metavoice Project, which was introduced in 2017 as “a research project to prove the potential collaboration between the human voice and visual design and architecture.” Bhaskar–who is also an architect–has now turned his focus to NFTs with Metavoice. He says that each genre of music and each pattern of beatboxing is “non-fungible at its core.” The artist uses a blend of physics, visual arts and sound because he believes that vocal percussion and beatboxing are part of exploring the “third evolution of the human voice”, after speaking and singing. He adds about his current range of NFTs under the Metavoice Project, “It allows people to see the human voice and appreciate the beauty from a visual sense.”
His NFT titled “Metavoice V – Red Pill” ties together generative art and beatboxing and is currently owned by a collector named Techniko Art for 399 Tezos (around $3,000) on the platform Kalamint. Elsewhere, Bhaskar was tapped by crypto trading platform and NFT marketplace WazirX as one of their spotlight artists earlier this year. It led him to mint his NFT “Metavoice IIIx75T,” where the ‘T’ stands for ‘tapanguthu,’ referring to the Tamil folk/street percussive style which Bhaskar weaves into his beatboxing. It was collected by Ramesh Gopal aka Mike Blue on WazirX for 1947 WRX (around $2,484). Bhaskar also has a Lavni-style version “Metavoice IIIx75L,” which is yet to be collected.
In addition to having the advantage of understanding the crypto and blockchain world a few years before it grew massively popular, Bhaskar says investing his time in community interactions led to a stronger bond. “As an artist, it is extremely important to share your work with people and the community so that they know about you, your work and the message or mission you are trying to achieve,” he explains.
Bhaskar feels NFTs bring in a lot more money (at least on a “per project basis”) than any of his prior work in terms of college gigs, corporate shows or festivals and workshops. Live performances are irreplaceable for the artist but he sees NFTs as a way of providing sustainable income. “But still, there are so many unknown variables as the NFT space is still evolving every day,” he adds. The end-user license agreements (EULA) are important for artists here, in terms of whether they want to put out NFTs for “personal use and resale on the blockchain” or include royalties and the like.
Bhaskar is pushing forward and hoping that artists follow suit. There are augmented reality-enabled “interactive 3D NFTs” in the works. It serves as one of several missions with the Metavoice Project. “People can control, touch and interact with their artwork. I want to allow those who are differently-abled, hard of hearing or deaf to still be able to ‘see music’ by listening with their eyes, seeing the movement and interpreting sound visually,” he says.