After a lot of preparation, the moment is here – Releap has officially launched its platform for musicians and music NFTs, built on Solana and Arweave. This could be the year of Web3 music, and their launch could not have come at a better time.
We got the chance to talk to Aaron, the founder of Releap, and had a chat about the launch, the current platform, and also their future.
Let’s dive in!
What is Releap
Releap is a Web3 music NFT platform built on Solana and Arweave that aims to be the go-to place for musicians of all statuses.
They focus on the small artists first by offering a platform they can utilize to connect with their fans. At the same time, they also monetize their music in a way that has been unmanageable in the music industry ever since the digital era.
“Our approach is to build from the ground up, especially targeting the more independent artists, rather than going for the big names right from the start.”
Read more about Releap here.
Aaron and the Releap team are excited to finally launch their platform. It has been a hectic past couple of months for them, and as Aaron said, they have barely slept, tackling any issue that got in their way. But in the end, it’s all been worth it.
They believe they have made all the right decisions for the platform and taken the right approach by choosing to build on Solana and Arweave.
“We feel like using Arweave is not a choice, you have to do it. IPFS is simply not acceptable, it’s not permanent. You are going to have a lot of NFTs with empty metadata because they aren’t using a Permaweb for their storage.”
During our call, the first featured auction on their platform, Austral Esplanade by Glasstempo, sold out.
The auction was set on the platform’s front page and was the first thing visitors to the site would see, other than the exceptionally designed UI. Aaron told me he didn’t expect the collection to sell out as fast as it did (less than 24 hours), which was due to the timing of the drop. The team is currently trying to figure out the best time to drop new collections that will cater to the schedule of users all across the globe rather than in just one specific region.
Austral Esplanade, and any subsequent collection featured on the main page, will be curated and handpicked for the time being. He also mentioned that they might create an algorithm to pick artists and collections in the future automatically. Still, for now, they want to filter out random, low-quality content (or worse, content that violates other people’s IP rights) that may be uploaded to the platform.
“We want to have that human touch and pick the tracks that work” (at first) or have a system that detects bad quality.”
Next, they will refine their systems and streamline the artist onboarding process.
More specifically, the next two significant steps of the road map are:
- Releap market place
Circles are the exclusive members-only area of the club. When you buy a particular artist’s NFT, you get exclusive access to holder-only content within that artist’s Circle.
And the marketplace will provide a secondary sales platform for users to buy, sell and trade their NFTs.
The platform currently supports artists to upload different song variations, like custom mixes – where for example, a track has the guitars much louder than on the original version – and mint them as limited edition, unique and rare NFTs. But this is something that artists are not currently using much, as Aaron suspects artists may not have enough time to do so, so the team is working on making better tools that would streamline the process for the artists.
“Down the line we want to be the DeFacto music NFT platform”
How it all works
Even though all NFTs are hosted on Arweave, the platform itself is built on Solana. Users can connect to Releap using the Solana-based Phantom wallet and trade NFTs with Solana’s native token SOL. The SOL tokens are deposited to Releap’s backend wallet, and then, in turn, another wallet uses Arweave’s native token AR to interact with Arweave and pay for the gas on it to mint the NFT.
When it comes to the Arweave integration and listening to music on the platform, Releap does not use a caching layer to load the tracks but instead just reads the music data directly from an Arweave gateway.
But now, for the best part. Releap Studio.
When it comes to creating an NFT, users will be using Releap Studio. Releap Studio is the first Solana-based NFT creation tool that makes it easy to set on chain royalties, create royalty splits, and create different editions of an NFT before minting the token to Solana uploading all the NFT data to Arweave using SOL tokens.
It utilizes custom code to bundle up all the data and metadata provided by the user and mint the NFT. Aaron mentioned that they had some difficulty finding a reliable way of creating and bundling the data together. So they wrote their code after deciding it was the best approach.
“Studio allows you to create NFTs very easily. We decided to build our solution for uploading files.”
Aaron talked about how they didn’t want to use a tool they felt was unreliable enough because it was the go-to solution for other developers. Speaking of different tools they tried out along the way, Aaron stated:
“When there isn’t better tooling, even if it’s buggy, people just use it.”
I asked Aaron about Releap’s choice of using Arweave over IPFS and this is what he had to say.
“It’s really important that we educate people that when your NFTs are not on the Permaweb, it’s not permanent. But it seems like no-one is concerned about it, because there hasn’t been a case where there have been high profile NFTs with blank images. I think either OpenSea hides them, or people are just remembering to pay for the Piñata subscription. But it’s just matter of time before people start noticing it and Arweave becomes the standard for NFTs. But we want to set that standard early on, so that’s why we made [Releap].”
Releap has only just started and we can’t wait for all their roadmap to unfold. Stay tuned!