London Mars: "Music NFTs create a new format for artists to grow and succeed"
The rapidly rising singer releases fiery, genre-bending new EP you need to hear.
One of my favorite things to do is to scour the internet to find new music. There are so many great songs to discover in so many different places. There’s nothing better than going down music’s rabbit hole and finding a diamond in the rough—a song that serves up something new and different, conveys a unique point of view, and has the potential to be loved by many.
London Mars’ “Basement Superstar” is one of those songs I recently discovered that had me sit up straight and pay attention. I found the song while browsing some of the Web3 platforms that have been minting some great collectibles. “Basement Superstar” was featured on Decent.xyz as a music collectible, and after doing a little more research I found Mars’ new EP, titled “Soundtrack To My Destruction,” on Apple Music that features the full set of her new songs.
I must admit that I love pop of the purest kind. Pop’s that smart, bittersweet, fun, and dare I say—yes, a little cheesy. “Basement Superstar” may not be what you’d expect me to like. It’s loud and brash; it’s gritty and raw; it features flaming guitars, glitzy drums, and Mars’ fiery performance. In other words: It doesn’t seem very pop at all. But it does feature something else that marks great pop music: a melody that sticks. Plus, with the center of pop always changing, it may be time to rock out and bang our heads a little.
“Basement Superstar” in many ways perfectly sums up London Mars’ unique brand of pop. “I love contrasts in music,” she told me in a phone interview earlier this week. And the song serves up exactly that—musically and lyrically. Even the song’s title seems to embrace the contradictions that inspire her.
If you love pop and want to discover more of Mars, I suggest to also check out the tracks “Bleach” and “Chapped Lips” from her new EP that have hit written all over it.
The Berklee College of Music graduate has been releasing music on streaming services for a while, but recently she decided to put up “Basement Superstar” as a limited-edition collectible for fans to have and join in its success via royalty sharing. Now is a good time to learn more about London Mars, her music, and Web3 journey
Arjan: First things first. Who is London Mars?
London: I’m from Norman, Oklahoma. I grew up in a very Christian household. I went to church every Sunday and I was not allowed to listen to secular music until I was 13. It really made me crave this idea of ‘what else is out there?’ and so when I got my hands on any other kind of music I knew I wanted to pursue that. I ended up moving to Boston to go to Berklee College of Music. I graduated early and moved to Los Angeles to fully pursue music. I’ve been here now for about two years and it’s been really great. I’m learning a lot, working with amazing people, and incorporating different sounds into my music.
Moving to Boston from Oklahoma must have been eye-opening.
It was. I had to play a lot of catch up just because I grew up in a small town. I didn’t go through all the different musical phases my friends went through. I kind of just crammed all of it in whenever I got to college. So all the Paramore, all the Blink182, and all the rock and indie stuff. Once I was able to move, I was like ‘oh my gosh, like there's so much.’ Everything was hitting me in the face.
I can sense the different influences in your music. You lean very rocky and alternative, but your sensibilities are very pop.
Thank you! I completely agree with that. The first thing I released was kind of mid-pandemic and musically it just captures a lot of repressed energy after spending months at home just writing and thinking about things. I really love to create contrast in my music. For example, something can sound very hardcore but then the lyrics are the opposite of that. I mean the first thing that I was able to even get my hands on in Oklahoma was top 40 radio when my mom would go into the grocery store and I could listen to the radio and heard artists like Lady Gaga. But then I’m also very inspired Paramore so my music ends up being a mixing pot of all these different inspirations and experiences.
“Basement Superstar” is the lead track from your new project that you also made available as a digital collectible for fans. Tell me a little more about the song.
The concept of the song is really based on how I was feeling when I wrote it. I felt that I was stuck, asking myself ‘why haven't I gotten to a certain point yet.’ I feel like everybody feels like that sometimes. I think my favorite line in the first verse is, ‘I was depressed last year/Got my shit together/I'm glad I'm still here.” I was sad for a bit but I know I’m still cool. That’s the vibe of the song. It’s a hype song for everyone that’s feeling down.
Why did you decide to step into Web3 and make “Basement Superstar” available as an NFT?
I’ve been really interested in the space and curious to try new things. My label [Sad Boy Records] brought it up at some point and asked if I was open to drop one of the tracks from the project as an NFT. I was excited to do it and it’s been a great experience. Decent.xyz has been really great in helping with the process. I consider Music NFTs a new format for artists to grow and succeed—especially for new artists. The “Basement Superstar” NFT dropped ahead of the release of the NFT and was a new way to promote it.
The NFT on Decent also includes royalty sharing with fans. That’s a really interesting new concept. How does it feel to share the success of the song with fans?
I think that’s really cool and creates a very intimate experience with fans. We did 25 editions of the song priced at 0.1 Ethereum each and people that collect it will receive royalties for three years. I consider people buying the NFT my superfans and for them it’s really cool to have an actual piece of the record. It’s a really special connection I have with those fans.
Do you think the new format of Music NFTs and collectibles will impact your creative process?
Yes. It lets you think about your music, art, and the fans move broadly. I can release the music but also share visuals, exclusive content, tickets, and meet and greets.
Are there people in the Web3 Music space you look up to?
There’s a non-binary female group chat on Twitter with women I really look up to. It’s such an inspiring place. We share music, we share tips. It’s been really cool. It’s great to see women uplifting women in Web3
Follow London Mars on Twitter and Instagram.
Performed by London Mars
Written by London Mars, Joel Ferber & Emily Katherine McDonald
Produced by Joel Ferber