After raising $11.7m, Web3 and virtual artist company HUME hires Adrian Karvinen in VP role

Hume, a Web3 entertainment company creating virtual artists, has appointed music industry veteran Adrian Karvinen as Vice President of Music Business & Partnerships.

The announcement of Karvinen’s new role comes on the heels of the company raising $11.7 million from the likes of TCG Crypto, Winklevoss Capital, and Gmoney.

In his role at Hume, Karvinen will be responsible for building partnerships between so-called “metastars” and the “world’s biggest brands and artists”.

“A metastar is the future of what it means to be an artist.”

David Beiner, Hume

Speaking to MBW, Hume CEO and co-founder David Beiner claims that a metastar is the future of what it means to be an artist”.

He added: “We’re on the verge of seeing fully virtual artists reach the same level of exposure as some of the most famous artists on the planet”

Karvinen has over 20 years’ experience in artist management, A&R, and creative consulting.

He has held positions at labels within Sony and Universal Music Group and has worked with brands like Gucci, Chanel, and ACNE.

Karvinen has played a role in the success of artists such as Starley (1 billion streams), Jarami (Frank Ocean), Say Lou Lou, and Skott.

Most recently, Karvinen served as the Director of North America and Head of Crypto-Integration and Catalog Acquisitions for Snafu Records, The Swedish/American AI music company.

In this role, he developed the North American operations and team during the pandemic and signed records from Hitboy, Big Sean, IAMNOTSHANE & Confetti.

In 2022, Karvinen moved on to leading Snafu’s catalog acquisition arm, Fine.Art, where according to a press release, “he funded $2 million in catalog acquisitions within just eight months”.

Hume recently launched a new platform called “The Spot,” which it says, “empowers fans to participate in creative decision-making”, and hosting a songwriting camp at Art Basel in partnership with the generative audio project Blocktones.

In addition, Hume also just debuted its next metastar, Clio, who the company says will work closely with Web3 artist angelbaby.

“I have always believed that new technology can open up new opportunities for artists and businesses that can provide new ways of expression and monetization.”

Adrian Karvinen

Speaking with MBW, Karvinen, said: “I’ve always been drawn to teams that innovate in storytelling and focus on building strong connections with audiences. I’ve also been a close follower of all things crypto for the past six years and have been excited at the potential of how it can be applied to music and entertainment.

I have always believed that new technology can open up new opportunities for artists and businesses that can provide new ways of expression and monetization.

“When I met David and Jay, I was immediately impressed by their imagination and ability to bring their vision to life. Joining their team was a natural decision for me, and I am thrilled about this opportunity and look forward to what we can achieve together.”

MBW caught up with Karvinen and Hume’s CEO and co-founder, David Beiner about the company, and its positioning in the virtual artist space…

What differentiates Hume from other Web3 entertainment companies? 

Adrian Karvinen: The Hume team deeply understands the dedication, motivation, and focus required to operate in a realm that very few companies have yet to establish. Our primary focus on virtual artists is an aspect that no conventional record label is currently undertaking. The team is made up of exceptionally skilled creative people who recognize the significance of executing compelling storytelling.

What are your predictions for the virtual artist sector in 2023? 

AK: This year, we’ll see the initial phase of a select group of virtual artists making inroads into the mainstream music industry.

What role do you think record labels will play in Web3? 

AK: I hold the belief that the major players in the industry will continue in their efforts to adapt. However, I anticipate that new, innovative individuals will establish new types of labels that will continue to explore what it means to be a record label now and into the future.

What are metastars, and can you tell us more about Clio?

David Beiner: A metastar is the future of what it means to be an artist. We’re on the verge of seeing fully virtual artists reach the same level of exposure as some of the most famous artists on the planet. These artists will play shows in both virtual settings and in physical settings. They’ll be ubiquitous across TikTok, Spotify, and YouTube just like your favorite artists. They will use Web3 to harness fan communities and bring fans closer than ever into the artistic process.

These groundbreaking virtual artists are what we call Metastars. We can’t say too much about Clio right now beyond the fact that she will continue on the path angelbaby has begun to pave. At Hume, we believe a mix of great storytelling, A+ music, and incredible visuals mixed with Web3 will allow us to become the premiere metastar brand. Clio will continue to cement Hume as the home of the most iconic metastars in the world . 

Can we expect more funding announcements this year?

DB: I will never say never, but for now, we have no direct plans to fundraise. 

How does Hume want to be positioned in the wider Web3 space in years to come? 

DB: When you think of Hume you’ll think about how we were the first company to elegantly harness Web3 for fan engagement and use it to reinvent how music is released. For example, one huge element of owning a Hume Genesis NFT is that it allows you to listen to unreleased tracks and vote on what music our metastars should release.

Historically, these types of decisions are made behind closed doors, but at Hume our fans are central to the process and Web3/NFTs is the great unlock for that process. When you look at the great entertainment companies that pushed boundaries and emerged out of Web3 you’ll see Hume in the upper echelons of that list. 

Last year, Hume said it plans to build a fan to “metastar” engagement platform. Can you tell us more about this project?

DB: Our metastar engagement platform is up and running, and it’s called The Spot. This is where Hume Genesis holders come together to make decisions that guide the careers of our Metastars. We’ve held 3 decisions this year where holders chose two of angelbaby’s single releases as well as what angelbaby’s upcoming merch drop should look like.

The engagement rate has been as high as 41% of holders telling us that fans want to have a say in how these metastars evolve and it helps them feel a new sense of connection when music is released. Imagine if early in Drake, Billy Eilish, or The Beatles career fans had input on what was being released, the entire relationship between artist and fan would be different. We’re excited to keep expanding on The Spot in 2023 and begin opening it up beyond Hume Genesis holders and eventually beyond Hume Metastars. Music Business Worldwide

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