Scott Hansen, aka Grammy-nominated US electronic act Tycho, has spent nearly two decades building a name for himself as a leading force in ambient and downtempo music. He scored a breakthrough release with his 2011 album 'Dive' and received a Grammy nod for his fourth album, 'Epoch' (2016), which was nominated in the Best Dance/Electronic Album category.
He released his fifth album 'Weather' on Mom+Pop and Ninja Tune in 2019, and earlier this year became the latest artist to helm the mix series 'Back to Mine'. By day, he also works as a graphic designer and photographer who runs his own company, ISO50.
From steering his ISO50 blog to the Tycho Friendship Server on Discord, Hansen has always worked closely at the intersection of music and technology. His new Tycho Open Source project feels like the next logical step in his evolution. Billed as one of the world's first-ever Web3-based music fan communities, he describes Tycho Open Source as "a home for creative insights and exclusive content".
Powered by Medallion on the Polygon blockchain, it aims to connect Tycho's fans directly to the source.“In this community, I will be sharing insight into my creative process, unreleased music, previews of new music, behind-the-scenes footage and many opportunities for us to better connect. You will also get first access to special merch drops, ticket presales and exclusive digital collectibles", he explains.
We caught up with Tycho to hear more about Tycho Open Source and pick his brains about community and collaboration in online spaces…
Why did you want to launch Tycho Open Source and what do you hope to achieve from the project?
“I created the ISO50 blog in 2006 and have always missed the sense of community that grew up around that site, like-minded artists and enthusiasts sharing ideas and inspiration. I feel like a lot of the conversation and discovery has been lost in the social media era where an algorithm determines what voices are heard. Tycho Open Source is an opportunity to have deeper interactions with fans.”
Why did you want to work with Medallion and Polygon in particular?
“I think what Medallion is doing is great for artists and fans — they’re providing access to tools and modes of interaction that are typically out of reach to most. As for Polygon, I’m no expert but I understand that they use Proof of Stake which eliminates the energy impact associated with Proof of Work based blockchains, and that is what is making this possible.”
What has the reception been like so far?
“So far it’s felt really positive. I think the Tycho audience skews more tech-savvy so we have a lot of early adopters. I think as time goes by more people will learn and embrace the technology.”
What are some of the main aspects of Web3 that appeal to you as a musician?
"I like the idea of being able to reward fans for their loyalty and offer more opportunities to connect.”
What are some of the main benefits of the direct-to-fan model and where would you like to see it venture next?
“It does away with the gatekeepers of traditional social media and allows for a more direct connection between fans and artists which I think is really important, particularly with music becoming more and more fragmented. I think this could allow artists with smaller fanbases to make careers out of music where they may not have been able to previously.”