When respected NY digital musician Gramatik became fascinated with Bitcoin’s mysterious creator, he decided to spread the word about the cryptocurrency through his music. Gramatik recently released an album called ”Epigram” that contains a track named Satoshi Nakamoto.
Gramatik (real name – Denis Jašarević) is a New York-based musician who works and experiments with various music genres such as hip-hop, chill out, dubstep, downtempo and chill-hop. When he’s not touring across the globe to places like France, Netherlands, Spain, and Italy, Gramatik dedicates his free time to writing new music and Internet culture.
Bitcoin.com reached out to Gramatik to find out why he named his new track after Satoshi, what inspires his music, and how cryptocurrency could help boost online music artists.
“When I started looking into it and found out nobody actually knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is to this day, the fascination increased 10-fold.”
Bitcoin.com (BC): Tell us a little bit about your new album Epigram. How long did it take to create it and what music styles are you currently experimenting with?
Gramatik: I don’t know precisely how long, but I’d say working on it on and off between tours, probably about a year. I’ve been experimenting with pretty much anything that gets my attention and makes me feel something. Like every album making process, it’s been a really fun learning experience.
BC: What is your message to the crowd in the Epigram?
Gramatik: The message is always the same: don’t be a fucking asshole. 🙂
BC: Our readers can listen to your music for free and download it on your official site. If we look at this from a business side – is the system of Bitcoin donations for music worth trying? And how Bitcoin donations may help music artists here?
Gramatik: I can’t speak for everyone on this because I don’t believe this model works for everyone, it mainly works for in-the-box producers like myself who also make most of their money from touring. But I will say that once I made my music available primarily for free and started putting that idea out there, my sales and donations went up substantially. You’d be surprised how many people buy my albums or donate, even though they know it’s free, not only to support my music but to show appreciation for the philosophy itself.
“once I made my music available primarily for free … my sales and donations went up substantially.”
It’s definitely much harder for an 8-piece band with a big recording budget to take this approach, but I guess there is no real reward without risk. People still donate way more in regular currency to me than Bitcoin, but it’s slowly rising. How will Bitcoin affect or help this model in the future remains to be seen, but I believe it can only be positive.
BC: One can create his own cover for the album using an interesting feature for creating epigrams on your site. Then, a visitor can download this cover together with the album, print it and make a real CD with unique cover. Tell us a bit about this epigram feature, who created it, who did all the letters?
Gramatik: My design team is called Multipraktik, it’s a multi-disciplinary production studio from back home in Slovenia. Their design mastermind is Nina Vrhovec, she is amazing. Every album I make, they come up with a better art concept idea for it than the last one and execute it flawlessly. They truly complete my music visually.
BC: How do you like the words that visitors type into the Epigram cover creation window?
Gramatik: They are awesome. Some of them are very deep, others hilarious, and it’s just nice to see all the endless character combinations that can be generated. It’s fun.
BC: What direction will your music have in future? More dubstep, or maybe trip-hop?
Gramatik: That’s actually impossible to say, it can go anywhere. I don’t like to think about it in those terms, I like to keep my music making process natural and just go with whatever I feel like producing in that moment. There are no rules or limitations, anything goes as long as it feel right to me.
BC: What’s your most favorite lyric quote?
Gramatik: Huh, there is no such thing for me as one favorite quote. There are literally thousands that I equally admire. But if I have to single one out, I’ve been really liking this one lately, as it’s becoming more and more relevant every day:
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”
– Isaac Asimov
BC: How did you first learn about cryptocurrency? Was it scary or fun to learn about Bitcoin?
Gramatik: I stumbled upon it on the web one day, I can’t remember exactly when I first found out about it, but I remember being fascinated and really excited. When I started looking into it and found out nobody actually knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is to this day, the fascination increased 10-fold. It’s remarkable. I just had to name a song after him/her/them. And the Bitcoin mining process still blows my mind. I hope they make a good movie about it one day that does the whole Bitcoin phenomenon justice. Someone like Fincher or Scorsese would be perfect for the job.
BC: When did you start to accept Bitcoin payments and donations for your music?
Gramatik: I guess as soon as I discovered it, I started googling if you can accept donations in Bitcoin, and sure enough there were plenty of options to do so. Needless to say, I had Multipraktik implement a donate button on my website immediately.
BC: How do you like geek culture?
Gramatik: I’m part of it, so I’d say I like it very much. 🙂
“Naturally I wish to see it become the leading world currency. It’d be really great to go everywhere around the world and pay for everything in Bitcoin.”
BC: What suggestions do you have about the future, regarding Bitcoin? What do you wish to see there?
Gramatik: Naturally I wish to see it become the leading world currency. It’d be really great to go everywhere around the world and pay for everything in Bitcoin. A global decentralized digital currency that can’t be hijacked and controlled by the international banking cartel. It’s sounds utopian doesn’t it?
BC: Does the track name “Satoshi Nakamoto” mean you’re joining our mad virtual revolution?
Gramatik: Absolutely. 🙂
BC: What do you think about the video created by cryptocommunity members (”Friends of Satoshi”) and dedicated to the second track from your new album?
Gramatik: I think it’s awesome, especially since it was released less than 24 hours after the track came out. Pretty impressive. 🙂
Gramatik: They are yes, they are accepting Bitcoin donations as well.
BC: Thank you for the interview, Gramatik. We wish you all the best and hope our readers like your music.
You can check out Gramatik’s music at his official site: gramatik.net
What do you think about artists who accept bitcoin donations and support our movement? Let us know in the comments.
Image courtesy of gramatik.net, exitfest.org