Dillon Francis is an electronic musician with a long list of accolades. In 2018, the platinum-selling DJ and producer received Latin American Music Award and Latin Grammy nominations for “Sexo,” a single he created alongside Residente and iLe — both world-renowned artists in their own right. Francis has also collaborated with T-Pain, performed at Coachella, and secured number one rankings on Billboard‘s top charts.
Now, he’s is adding a historic deal to his list of accomplishments.
This week, Francis agreed to an exclusive residency with Big Night in exchange for an NFT from the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection. Specifically, Francis received BAYC #378. Notably, the deal also includes a record collaboration with the Web3 electronic duo ESCAPΞPLAN, which consists of two Bored Apes from the BAYC collection, ETHan (#4321) and zeETH (#309).
Ultimately, this agreement signals a dramatic shift in how music deals are formed and cemented in the age of NFTs and Web3. Although the NFT is only part of the compensation Francis will receive in exchange for his collaboration with Big Night this does mark the first time that an NFT has been placed at the center of a contract like this.
In a press release, the team commented on the significance of the deal and the ways in which it edged past the known boundaries of traditional music and business models. “This agreement between New England’s biggest entertainment and artist management powerhouse and a titan of popular electronic music signifies the impact of next-gen digital media, NFTs, music, and artistry on how deals are made today,” they said.
Big Night Talent, which manages the ESCAPΞPLAN act, noted that the deal was important in that it helped establish new, innovative talent brands in Web3. Tim Bonito, Managing Partner at Big Night Talent, said, “Having Dillon on-board to work with ESCAPΞPLAN is a monumental step in pushing the project forward, shattering the paradigms of music and the NFT landscape.“
Notably, however, this is far from Francis’ first foray into NFTs.
In 2021, Decentral Games and Atari announced a partnership to develop a branded casino. Francis played at the launch party and also dropped an exclusive set of NFTs. One sold for more than 6.4 ether (ETH), the equivalent of roughly $17,700.
Francis also collaborated on a psychedelic video NFT with 3D artist Nicole Ruggiero. The project, which was called “I think there’s something wrong with my phone,” ultimately centered on an environmentally friendly cause, as the artists pledged to plant 100 trees in the winner’s name.
In relation to this latest residency deal, Francis noted that he was looking forward to becoming even more involved in the NFT ecosystem. “I’m excited to collaborate with ESCAPΞPLAN and partner with Big Night on our shared love of music, NFT, and creative communities,” he said, “I’m proud to now be a member of the Bored Ape family and expand my Big Night relationship.”