Photo Courtesy of OneOf
Meet Andre Oshea, The Digital Artist Making A Name For Himself In The Web3 World
Andre Oshea made his first NFT in 2021 and skyrocketed to popularity for his soothing, sensual colors and fine art techniques. Today, his musical animations are part of the GRAMMYs x OneOf NFT partnership.
3D animator Andre Oshea has had a busy year of achievements within the Web3 world, the latest iteration of the internet based on blockchain technology. He created NFT drops for Netflix and the Academy Awards, appeared in documentaries, and wrote features about Web3 — an emerging space that's conducive to Oshea's rapid rise in the digital art space.
In all his previous art output, which included 2D album cover art, logos, illustrations, and social media assets, Oshea never experienced such a quick, and instantly lucrative, response to his work as he has since selling his first official NFT in March 2021. An NFT, or non-fungible token, is how appreciators of digital art can officially own those pieces, and how digital artists can profit from creating their work.
NFTs were a natural next step for Oshea, whose clean and smooth style has the skilled touch of a classic fine artist. His use of muted colors, whose particular shades only seem to only exist in his world, have a soothing, sensual quality. His animations possess a tangibility that is both realistic and surreal — the perfect fit for a futuristic digital sphere where artists "are feeling a lot more empowered to create musically."
OneOf, a green Web3 platform built for music and sports, first connected with Oshea during Art Basel 2021, where the artist was part of a nft now x Christie's showcase. Today, Oshea is one of three artists hand-picked for the OneOf x GRAMMY Awards NFT partnership, in which he will develop a commemorative NFT that audiences can collect as an official item from the GRAMMY Awards this year.
Oshea spoke to GRAMMY.com about being a longtime fan of the GRAMMYs, his roundabout experience as a visual and musical artist, and how having two car accidents on the same day put him on the path to becoming a digital artist.
Check out Andre Oshea's 64th GRAMMY Awards NFT design.
How did you get started in the NFT space?
I saw a lot of my peers getting into it, especially 3D artists. People were telling me I should be minting [creating an NFT, putting it on the blockchain and for sale in the marketplace], months before I started. But I was confused. At that time, there wasn't the vocabulary there is now to explain what NFTs are, but I was curious. I tried minting two pieces in October 2020. I thought they would sell right away because that was all I knew [based on artist friends' experiences]. But I was so out of the loop that I didn't promote it at all.
I made my full dive into NFTs in February 2021. I had been freelancing for six years and I had just come off of a horrible experience. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was just over it. I posted a piece on Twitter that went viral the same day and one of my friends reached out to me and said, "We need to get you minted." I knew it took a strong community of people to really sell pieces, and I didn't know where to find that. He linked me up with a lot of other significant Black artists, and it's been a wrap since then.
It sounds like you had a learning curve as an NFT artist, which the general public is still experiencing as potential consumers.
When I minted those pieces during [my] "false start" in October 2020, it was very daunting. By the time I started minting in February 2021, Clubhouse started to hit their big boom, eventually transitioning to Twitter Spaces. Once I better understood the space, the language of how things work, I started doing a lot of onboarding sessions, which helped a lot of people and [brought] a lot of artists in, in a way that didn't exist when I was starting.
In terms of consumers, we have the right amount of people in the space right now, Obviously, you want more, because you want more collectors and more people to have the possibility of getting their work collected. But in terms of not growing too fast and putting one foot in and not tripping yourself up, where we are right now is a necessary point. People know what it is, but there isn't the widespread adoption that I think there is going to be.
The NFT community is at its elementary school level of evolution. We're in first or second grade; that's when you're starting to learn about the people around you and starting to learn who you are in relation to them. You don't want to give a first grader a ninth grade test — they're going to fail. Let them go through their maturation process.
Is there a way to speed that along?
Onboarding new people helps. As an artist, I'm looking at companies like OneOf to be doing that onboarding work to bring in the mass adoption. I don't think any one artist can do it, but working with the GRAMMYs, or Whitney Houston, piques people's interest. People might say, "I wasn't into NFTs, but I do like the idea of having an unreleased Whitney Houston song. That sounds awesome." Or, "Whoa, the GRAMMYs are doing NFTs? That sounds crazy."
How did you build your community as an NFT artist?
A lot of artists weren't on the internet and weren't leaning on social media before NFTs. I was hardcore on social media, specifically Twitter, before NFTs. That's how I got my clients. I'm very audience-oriented.
Every morning for about three years, at 8 a.m., I would post a mood board. Then at 9 a.m., I would pose a question that would prompt creative thought, specific to artists. I would make and post educational content. I would write threads about work or artwork. I would post my own artwork. When it comes to communicating and selling and talking to people online, I had already built the foundation.
How did that translate into you gaining clients?
Most of my client attraction came from being personable, active and consistent online. I started posting art online and then reaching out to people I knew saying, "This is what I'm doing." It had a trickle-down effect where somebody hits you up and says, "We really like this piece. Can we have it?" Or, "Can we use it?" Or, "Can you do this style, but with this subject matter?" That's how I started with $30 cover art and $50 logos. There are a few of my logos still floating around out there.
Now you rarely do client work and are making a living in the NFT space.
I've been an artist my entire life. When I was 11 years old, riding with my grandma through Minneapolis and we'd pass by the Walker Art Center, I used to tell her, "Grandma, I'm going to sell a painting for $3.2 million. It's going to be in the Walker." At that time, I was drawing. When I made the transition into digital art and 3D art in particular, I had no idea that this was even possible. I thought client work was how I was going to build my name and become a significant artist.
Last week, I had a 22 [Ethereum] sale; the equivalent dollar at the time was $65,000. There's a piece of my art in the world that is worth $65,000. It is blowing my mind that this is even reality for me right now. I wake up and I don't have to make art if I don't want to. There used to be a time where I couldn't go to sleep because I had to make art because there was so much client work. I would have eight active clients, and that was just to make ends meet. I feel like I've made it. I feel like I've arrived. It still hasn't hit me, but it's halfway hit me and it feels crazy.
Did you go to school for art?
When I graduated high school, my plan was to go into business because I thought I had to make money off of art through marketing and advertising. But I did the corny thing that people tell you to do: "Go to school for something you love." So I went for studio art.
I've been in art school my entire life, in elementary, middle and high school. By the time I got to college, a lot of the techniques that we were going over in our classes, I had not only been introduced to, I had almost mastered. My teacher said there was only one artist on the campus, who was a senior, who was comparable to me. I had a couple friends on campus that were musicians. We started hanging out a lot more. I stopped making visual art and solely focused on music for six years.
I moved from Delaware to Philadelphia. I produced music for artists. I had my own monthly events. I also worked at a wedding DJ company during the week and as a wedding DJ on weekends.
How did you find your way back to visual art?
During the wedding off-season, I got a job as a shuttle bus driver at the airport on the super-early shift. They were training a new shuttle bus driver and he hit my parked car with the shuttle bus, completely destroying the front. My girlfriend took the car to go to work that afternoon. There was a pile-up on the freeway and she was the front car. The front of my car had been smashed and now the back of my car was totaled. Two or three days after the car got hit, we both got fired from our jobs. Very rarely do you get messages this strong. We felt like we shouldn't be in Philly. We decided to take the message and move to Atlanta where my mom had moved a year and a half prior.
In the process, we thought why don't we learn how to make money on the internet? Why don't we grind and create jobs for ourselves? She has a creative background. I have a creative background. The goal for me always was to be able to earn from my creative outputs.
How did that lead into getting into digital art?
I picked up graphic design. I was designing album covers, Instagram Stories, promo graphics. That was how I got into digital art and then very quickly, within one or two months, I found motion design. I started playing with After Effects, and that was great because it added so much more dimension to the work.
I was also able to charge more, so I would seek out motion design clients. A month after that, I found a client who wanted 3D work. I was poking around and realized that I had a Lite version of Cinema 4D on my computer because you get it when you have After Effects. I tried making something in 3D and I have never looked back.
There were so many ideas and concepts in my mind that I hadn't been able to visualize or communicate with people without the added layer of dimension, without the interchangeability. I'm a very methodical thinker, and that lends itself to 3D. It's been a great exercise for me.
Having had the experience of being a musician, what are your thoughts about NFTs being a source of income for musicians?
I have a lot of friends who are musicians, and watching their struggles in the music industry is really challenging. Coming from the perspective of somebody who's finding a bit of career success in my medium, I feel like a lot of aspects of the music industry are broken and need to be fixed. A lot of that has to do with direct interaction with your fans, or your audience, and also, transparency about money. With NFTs and the blockchain, that really allows for musicians to be far more connected and transparent with their fans. But also, you can see the money, and it's verifiable and it's authenticated, and it doesn't change and it will never change.
I have a friend who is waiting on payment for a song she did in October. That's sort of the sneaky, backdoor dealings that happen a lot and not exclusively in the music industry, but it's highlighted there. If a company is supposed to pay you, it's their paperwork versus your paperwork. The blockchain shows, for example, "we made a million dollars off of this song; you're supposed to give me half of that, and nowhere in your records does it say that you sent me that." I think it helps the music industry be a whole lot more honest.
How the music industry works right now, people say something like, "I hope you can be on the song, but then we're going to wait to see if the song does well before we even get paid or how much we get paid." My friends who have transitioned into Web3 are feeling a lot more empowered to create musically. A music entity, even if it sells for 1 ETH, is probably more than you're going to make over the course of a couple of months. It also allows you to pay the people that you're working with a lot more, a whole lot easier, and with a whole lot more fluidity. It's transformative.
What was the inspiration for the NFT you created for OneOf x GRAMMYs?
The prompt was "the future voices of music." My experience of music has always been more electronic than acoustic. A lot of musical artists who are becoming the new leaders … did it in their bedrooms with their friends, or with the help of technology. I feel the future is very digital, very electronic, and very DIY. That's the concept and the route I took for my piece, which is an eight-second animation of floating digital instruments you would find in someone's bedroom, like a close-up shot of the keyboard, a laptop opening up, and a desk speaker with multicolored people sitting on it, representing the future voices of music: multifaceted and multidimensional.
These NFTS are the first time the general public will be able to own a piece of the GRAMMYs. What are your thoughts on that?
That's really cool. I watched the GRAMMYs a ton growing up. I was obsessed with them. I used to watch them like they were a sporting event, like it was a Super Bowl. I love things like Super Bowl T-shirts, or dated T-shirts. If I'm at a thrift store and see a 1997 White Sox shirt in my size, I'm going to get it. I can see the novelty of being involved in the GRAMMYs. If you were to collect one of these pieces, you would feel like a legitimate fan of the GRAMMYs, and of music.
Vicente Fernandez performs at the 2002 Latin GRAMMY Awards
Photo: M. Caulfield/WireImage
Vicente Fernández Posthumously Wins GRAMMY For Best Regional Mexican Music Album | 2022 GRAMMYs
The late Mexican legend, who died in December at 81, won the GRAMMY for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) for his 2020 album, 'A Mis 80's'
Nearly four months after his death, Vicente Fernández 's legacy lives on.
The Mexican icon’s album, A Mis 80's, won Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano). The posthumous win marks Fernández 's fourth career GRAMMY.
Aida Cuevas' Antología De La Musica Ranchera, Vol. 2, Mon Laferte's Seis, Natalia Lafourcade's Un Canto Por México, Vol. II and Christian Nodal's *Ayayay! (Súper Deluxe)* were the other albums nominated in the category.
Check out the complete list of winners and nominees at the 2022 GRAMMYs.
GRAMMY trophies at the 59th GRAMMY Awards in 2017
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
The Recording Academy Announces Major Changes For The 2022 GRAMMY Awards Show
Process amendments include the elimination of nominations review committees and the addition of two new GRAMMY Award categories, including Best Global Music Performance and Best Música Urbana Album
Editor's Note: The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The below article was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 18, to reflect the new show date and location.
The Recording Academy announced today that it has made significant changes to its Awards process that reflect its ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape and to ensure that the GRAMMY Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable. Among the changes are the elimination of Nominations Review Committees, a reduction in the number of categories in which voters may vote, two GRAMMY Award category additions, and more. These updates are a result of extensive discussions and collaboration over the course of the last year among a special subcommittee of Recording Academy members and elected leaders, and were voted on by the Academy's Board of Trustees. These changes go into effect immediately for the 2022 GRAMMY Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, taking place Sunday, April 3. The eligibility period for the 64th GRAMMY Awards is Sept. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021.
Additional rule amendment proposals will be discussed and voted on at an upcoming Recording Academy meeting and the full rulebook for the 64th GRAMMY Awards will be released in May.
"It's been a year of unprecedented, transformational change for the Recording Academy, and I'm immensely proud to be able to continue our journey of growth with these latest updates to our Awards process," Harvey Mason jr., Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "This is a new Academy, one that is driven to action and that has doubled down on the commitment to meeting the needs of the music community. While change and progress are key drivers of our actions, one thing will always remain — the GRAMMY Award is the only peer-driven and peer-voted recognition in music. We are honored to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the Awards process."
APPROVED RULE AMENDMENTS INCLUDE:
Voting Process Changes
Elimination Of Nominations Review Committees In General And Genre Fields
- Nominations in all of the GRAMMY Award general and genre fields will now be determined by a majority, peer-to-peer vote of voting members of the Recording Academy. Previously, many of the categories within these fields utilized 15-30 highly skilled music peers who represented and voted within their genre communities for the final selection of nominees. With this change, the results of GRAMMY nominations and winners are placed back in the hands of the entire voting membership body, giving further validation to the peer-recognized process. To further support this amendment, the Academy has confirmed that more than 90 percent of its members will have gone through the requalification process by the end of this year, ensuring that the voting body is actively engaged in music creation. Craft committees remain in place (see below for craft category realignment.)
Reduction In Number Of Categories Voter May Vote
- To ensure music creators are voting in the categories in which they are most knowledgeable and qualified, the number of specific genre field categories in which GRAMMY Award Voters may vote has been reduced from 15 to 10. Additionally, those 10 categories must be within no more than three fields. All voters are permitted to vote in the four General Field categories (Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist). Proposed by a special voting Task Force who brought forth the recommendation, this change serves as an additional safeguard against bloc voting and helps to uphold the GRAMMY Award as a celebration of excellence in music, with specific genre field categories being voted on by the most qualified peers.
Craft Category Realignment
Package Field, Notes Field and Historical Field renamed and consolidated to Presentation Field
New Categories Added
Two new categories have been added, bringing the total number of GRAMMY Award categories to 86:
Best Global Music Performance (Global Music Field)
Best Música Urbana Album (Latin Music Field)
"The latest changes to the GRAMMY Awards process are prime examples of the Recording Academy's commitment to authentically represent all music creators and ensure our practices are in lock-step with the ever-changing musical environment," said Ruby Marchand, Chief Industry Officer at the Recording Academy. "As we continue to build a more active and vibrant membership community, we are confident in the expertise of our voting members to recognize excellence in music each year."
"As an Academy, we have reaffirmed our commitment to continue to meet the needs of music creators everywhere, and this year's changes are a timely and positive step forward in the evolution of our voting process," said Bill Freimuth, Chief Awards Officer at the Recording Academy. "We rely on the music community to help us to continue to evolve, and we’re grateful for their collaboration and leadership."
The Recording Academy accepts proposals from members of the music community throughout the year. The Awards & Nominations Committee, comprised of Academy Voting Members of diverse genres and backgrounds, meets annually to review proposals to update Award categories, procedures and eligibility guidelines. The above rule amendments were voted on and passed at a Recording Academy Board of Trustees meeting held on April 30, 2021. For information on the Awards process, visit our GRAMMY Voting Process FAQ page.
The Recording Academy will present the 2022 GRAMMY Awards show on Sunday, April 3, live from the *MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on demand on Paramount+ from 8–11:30 p.m. ET / 5–8:30 p.m. PT. Prior to the telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be streamed live on GRAMMY.com and the Recording Academy's YouTube channel. Additional details about the dates and locations of other official GRAMMY Week events, including the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony, MusiCares' Person of the Year, and the Pre-GRAMMY Gala, are available here.*
Graphic by the Recording Academy
Announcement: 2022 GRAMMYs Postponed
After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show
The following is a Joint Statement from the Recording Academy and CBS:
“After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show. The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31st simply contains too many risks. We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon.”
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Lady Gaga Pays Homage To Tony Bennett With Heartfelt "Love for Sale” & “Do I Love You" Performance | 2022 GRAMMYs
Dressed to the nines in a seafoam green ball gown, Lady Gaga performed "Love for Sale” and “Do I Love You" — two tracks from her GRAMMY-winning collaboration album with Tony Bennett, 'Love for Sale'
Lady Gaga transformed the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas into her own personal jazz lounge, as she performed Love for Sale highlights "Love for Sale” & “Do I Love You" at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards. It came easy to the pop icon, as she’s no stranger to the Sin City stage (her Lady Gaga Enigma + Jazz & Piano residency at MGM Park Theater began in 2018).
The performance served as a tribute to Gaga’s Love for Sale (and longtime) collaborator Tony Bennett, who announced his retirement last year as the 95-year-old is currently battling Alzheimer’s disease. Though he couldn’t be in attendance, the jazz legend opted to virtually introduce his latest partner-in-music.
First channeling her inner Judy Garland, Gaga performed a glitzy rendition of the album’s title track. The performance then got more somber as the singer paid tribute to Bennett with “Do I Love You," as clips of the pair recording and performing together played onscreen. It was a naturally touching performance, with Gaga getting choked up when looking at the 95-year-old’s hand before hitting her final note.
Gaga was already a winner before she stepped on stage: Love For Sale won awards for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical at the Premiere Ceremony earlier in the evening. The album’s single “I Get A Kick Out Of You” also earned nominations for Record Of The Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video. The album itself also scored nods for Album Of The Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
Check out the complete list of winners and nominees at the 2022 GRAMMYs.