Kids of the Apocalypse

The apocalypse has arrived

Cover Image for Kids of the Apocalypse

Derek Davies is the founder of Neon Gold Records and co-founder of Kids of the Apocalypse, along with his creative co-founder Stefan Storm, a Swedish musician and creative director who dreamed up the KOTA universe in his London bedsit a decade ago.

Derek was kind enough to join us for an interview on the eve of the KOTA mint!

1. What exactly is Neon Gold?

Neon Gold is a record label I started in my NYU dorm room 15 years ago, which I've managed through two successful major label joint ventures, first with Columbia Records from 2010-2013 and then with Atlantic Records for the better part of the last decade. We've been responsible for launching the careers of everyone from Grammy award-winners and nominees like HAIM, Gotye, Charli XCX, Tove Lo, and Ellie Goulding to platinum-selling artists like Icona Pop, The Knocks, Matt Maeson, and Marina & The Diamonds.

2. How did you first get involved with NFTs?

I first became aware of NFTs in the fall of 2020, and went down the web3 rabbit hole with my artists The Knocks, Pussy Riot, and Young & Sick collaborating with them on their genesis NFT launches in February and March of 2021. While it was amazing to see them all have a ton of success in that initial NFT gold rush of early 2021 – especially after 2 years of lost pandemic touring income – I was struck by the potential to harness the power of the technology and community in the space to actually launch a community-powered web3 artist project natively from the space into the mainstream. By that point, Stefan and I had been kicking ideas back and forth around on KOTA for years trying to figure out the most effective way to bring such an ambitious and immersive project into the world, and it finally seemed like web3 provided the rails that the traditional music industry lacked to bring this project to life.

3. How did Kids of the Apocalypse come to be?

Stefan and I have been collaborating together for nearly 15 years, I signed his previous project The Sound of Arrows when I was in college, and we released one of my favorite music videos of all time for their song "M.A.G.I.C." back in 2010, which won a ton of awards back in the day. While the music was always incredible, what always struck me about Stefan was the incredible world-building to the visuals and story-telling that accompanied the music. Stefan went on to have a successful career as a writer, producer, and creative director collaborating with everyone from Tiesto and Lady Gaga to London Grammar and a number of my own artists and remains one of the most singularly talented artists I've ever had the pleasure of working with in my career. He first brought KOTA to me in 2015 as what he imagined to be his very own post-apocalyptic Gorillaz crossed with X-Men and Garbage Pail Kids, and we've been building out the concept together ever since.

4. Tell us about the previous KOTA collections and how they tie into season 1

We launched the project with the debut KOTA single THE NOISE in September of last year, which also serves as our founder's pass and the genesis key to the KOTA universe (which quickly went on to become the first Solana project ever to crack Billboard's NFT Top 10 music NFT chart in October). NOISE holders will always have first access and top priority for all future drops in the KOTA universe, including KOTA SEASON ONE for which they received 5 mint spots in our holders' presale. Our second drop was for the second KOTA single and debut music video "Pray For Us" featuring Reo Cragun, which went from a free mint to the #1 all-time project on in a matter of weeks and remains there to this day. "Pray For Us" holders received 3 mint spots during our KOTA SEASON ONE holder presale.

KOTA SEASON ONE is the first realization of the full KOTA universe, featuring the 8 core Kids of the Apocalypse characters. While all 6,666 NFTs will be visually unique, each character will have its own CC0 instrumental theme song which holders will be able to unlock stems for to download and use royalty free to use in their own commercial use, sample in their own music, or co-create with the KOTA team on the debut KOTA mixtape.

5. The trailer for season one was probably the best NFT trailer I've ever seen, by far. How do you plan to maintain that level of quality throughout everything KOTA does from here on out?

That's the beauty of this project – all the incredible creative you see is created by the core creative team, from Stefan and his collaborators NAIVE in Sweden to his main creative partners Sauvage in Barcelona, with whom he co-created the entire KOTA concept and characters from the start. With all these incredible creatives in-house as principal partners on the project, we're able to deliver this caliber of creativity across all aspects of the project, starting with the mixtape and graphic novel planned on the KOTAS1 roadmap, all the way up through KOTA's grand aspiration to bring Kids of the Apocalypse to the silver screen.

6. What can holders of season 1 expect after mint?

We want to build one of the most immersive and interactive online storytelling experiences in web3, which is something we established from day one with the interactive KOTA Control Room on our website. The tentpole moments on the KOTAS1 roadmap are the debut KOTA mixtape, which will feature collaborations with some of the biggest names in web3 music (Reo Cragun, VERITE, et. al) as well as some of my more established artists from my Neon Gold family tree and beyond including Icona Pop (featured on the next KOTA single "EMPIRE") and The Knocks. Our KOTAS1 mint includes CC0 music for all holders, and the plan is for the mixtape to be a combination of songs Stefan and I have been working on for years and community-sourced ideas born from the CC0 stems on the KOTAS1 drop. Following the mixtape will be the first edition KOTA graphic novel later in 2023.

Stay up to date with KOTA in preparation for their mint tomorrow, February 9th!

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