Rik Oostenbroek/Armin's All Access

Armin van Buuren Opens Up About His New Web3 Community

BY Jex Exmundo

December 12, 2022

The Alpha:

  • On December 14, dance music icon Armin van Buuren is launching Armin’s All Access (AAA). This budding community aims to provide his fans with a deeper way to engage with him and his music on Web3, according to a press release shared with nft now.
  • The drop will feature artwork created by Dutch crypto artist Rik Oostenbroek, best known within the space and the wider art world for his stunning 3D art.
  • Owners of AAA NFTs will enjoy a vast host of exclusive benefits, such as previews of unreleased tracks from van Buuren, audio versions of exclusive DJ sets, select merchandise, and a private Discord channel that promises “direct contact with Armin van Buuren.”

Why it matters

EDM royalty Armin van Buuren already has extensive experience in building communities. In 2001, he launched the A State of Trance radio show, which currently boasts a listener base of roughly 44 million, according to a press release shared with nft now. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing lockdowns, the Dutch producer gained a newfound appreciation for the power of community, and set to work hoping to create digital analogs to the communities he’s built in the real world through his various concerts and tours over the years. “I started my journey an odd twenty years ago looking to build strong connections with people from all over the world through music,” van Buuren said in the press release.

“The pandemic caused a rift and made me realize just how important it is for me. Chatting in my Discord channel, which I launched a few months ago, took me back to the days of chatting with everyone in the IRC chat as I recorded the A State of Trance episodes, and that’s the personal touch I crave.” With the upcoming launch of Armin’s All Access (AAA), he may finally get a taste of that personal touch once again. Following the project’s launch on December 14, holders of AAA NFTs will gain unbridled access to exclusive van Buuren content. This will include unreleased cuts, exclusive DJ sets, and, most crucially, access to a channel that will put holders in “direct contact” with the Dutch musician.

Tellingly, the craving for community and that “personal” touch also influenced van Buuren’s decision to enlist the help of his fellow countryman Rik Oostenbroek to bring Armin’s All Access to life. “We got in touch online, talked a lot and realized we’d both been going through similar phases in life before, during, and after the pandemic,” van Buuren said in an interview with nft now. “As we connected, I felt he would be able to create something that would reflect all that, as well as, the soul of the community I decided to launch, so I asked him, and he was happy to take up the project. It’s been an absolutely incredible collaboration since.”

What’s next

The upcoming launch of Armin’s All Access will serve as van Buuren’s formal debut in the world of NFTs. Despite Oostenbroek’s prior experience in the NFT art world, the development of AAA didn’t come without its fair share of obstacles. “While Rik had to think carefully about the artwork itself and all it would embody, my team and I had to consider what perks or content would resonate with the community and my fanbase the most,” he said. Thankfully, he had an entire career’s worth of experience to help guide him through the process. “Years ago, I became the first artist in the world to push an entire radio show onto Spotify, and that came with a set of challenges similar to what we encountered throughout this process. But we learned a lot of stuff about Web3 along the way, and that has made me really excited about the possibilities.”

Of course, following the release of Armin’s All Access, van Buuren will be joining a long list of his contemporaries who’ve successfully leveraged blockchain technology to create deeper modes of engagement for their fans. Notably, this includes longtime collaborator Steve Aoki, who has been extremely bullish on all things NFTs for years up to this point.

In van Buuren’s eyes, NFTs come with a host of unique benefits over Web2 platforms like Patreon when it comes to keeping fanbases happy and engaged. Much of this boils down to the rapid growth of blockchain technology, which has enabled NFTs to surge quickly into public consciousness. “Its rapid growth is bringing about new developments on [a] daily basis, a lot of which can be just right for building a community or promoting music,” he said. “I honestly believe that it’s the future, mainly because of the seemingly endless possibilities. And it’s just so cool to be working with an incredible digital artist whose art pieces never cease to blow my mind.”

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