Screenshot via YouTube
The new-age Greek artist Yanni, most famous for shredding it on multiple keyboards with a backup band of didgeridoos, Armenian duduks, harps and giant sticks, is releasing his own NFT collection and “community.” Yanni has always existed in a metaverse of his own making, where lyricless global-fusion concerts played on PBS are the height of musical freedom. His NFT collection website brings the same vibe, promising Yanni’s own art and photography, plus membership to a new network called “Fantázomai” (Greek for “I Imagine”), where “collectors and fans alike can build memories that form bonds over time.” As for what that will actually look like, the website states that “dynamic social media features like personalized videos will create a long-lasting community around Yanni’s unique digital media, newly discovered art assets and one of a kind collectibles that will be available for acquisition.” The visual representation of the key to that community looks like a big rotating office keycard you’d put on a lanyard.
The collection and Fantázomai haven’t yet been released, and there’s no hint as to when they will be. The best part of Yanni’s NFT collection website, as spotted by Claire Evans, is that you can click the word “fantázomai” and a voice that sounds a lot like Yanni himself reads it aloud in that buttery voice of his:
There’s something that makes sense about Yanni, an icon of 1990s aesthetic—the flowing hair, the mustache, the blissed-out smile—jumping into NFTs, part of a typically hyper-posi techno utopian community built around concepts with questionable stability that most people don’t fully understand yet. When Yanni’s work took off in the early 1990s, people were still talking about the internet as something that might not stick around. Yet here we are, and here is Yanni, putting stuff on the blockchain. Everyone is getting into NFTs these days, including Nazis, scammers, and Ron Watkins of QAnon fame—but also artists, sex workers, indie musicians and marginalized communities. As they’ve gained popularity, NFTs have gotten really normie, really fast: Quentin Tarantino is trying to mint a collection (and getting sued in the process), Limp Bizkit plans to, and Ellen Degeneres and John Cena have their own, too. Every day we inch closer to getting a George W. Bush painting NFT collection, if the planet doesn’t burn first.Anyway. Fantázomai!