Talent/Music manager, turned tech entrepreneur, Adrian ‘Swish’ Smith is forging ahead with plans to re-distribute content sharing platforms utilizing his experience as an artist manager and A&R, while an active participant of the Hip-Hop culture. His latest endeavor “Digital Currensy Inc.,” a new technology startup based in Los Angeles that will eventually allow music distribution and monetization obtainable for every artist by decentralizing the process through blockchain technology. Essentially combining music and blockchain in a way that will help streamline the process of distribution and ensure that artists receive more earnings for their work and faster than ever thought possible.
Different from other digital music distribution services, this platform will introduce the first “Smart Music Marketplace”, which will allow for artists and creators to connect with their peers/vendors for payments, services and crowdfunding opportunities using Cryptocurrency. Swish knows the importance of content creation for artists maneuvering through the music industry first hand.
Starting out professionally, Adrian Swish was an executive assistant to the late, Bret Bearup who was at the time, GM of the Denver Nuggets, eventually going on to doing sports marketing/PR campaigns for professional athletes such as JR Smith, Al Harrington, Dexter Fowler, Renaldo Hill, and more. Once Bret left his position in 2010, Adrian relocated to Los Angeles to pursue music management. Finding early success in Los Angeles under Tha Alumni Music Group imprint, working under the CEO DJ Ill Will, Adrian was able to build a vast network of artists and producers seeking guidance for their respective careers.
As an A&R, mixtape DJ, and marketing expert, Adrian Swish helped secure placements with artists, writers and producers around the globe. This includes the phenom Kid Ink who went on to sell over 12 million records worldwide. Swish, executive produced Dave East’s 2013, “GEMINI” mixtape which was the tape that Nas would eventually hear leading to his signing. Other music placements include Wiz Khalifa, DJ Mustard, OT Genasis, YG, Tory Lanez, Mark Morrison, Soulja Boy and more. On the corporate side, landing placements and syncs with brands like Fox Sports, Netflix, VICE, PUMA, and PETA added another layer of representation through the Swish brand and network.
2013 proved a watershed year for Adrian as he discovered a new, fast rising talent from the city of Compton. AD released several mixtape projects, including his standout release in 2015 “Blue 89,” that spawned AD’s breakthrough record and west coast club anthem, “JUICE,” produced by the League of Starz.
The team came together, landing a sponsorship with Monster Energy on a national tour as direct support for legendary hip-hop group, Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony, eventually landing AD a headlining performance at Club Nokia next to the Staples Center. Swish’s resources and results driven technique along with then co-manager and now full time manager Tavon “Pun” Alexander, quickly helped AD gain footing as one of the hottest MC’s coming out of the West.
In 2016 he discovered Grammy Winning songwriter Vory, who recently won a Grammy for Best Album, penning “Mob Ties” by Drake and also co-writing and performing vocals on Bryson Tiller’s, “Don’t.” Adrian Swish and partner, Bobby Fisher secured Vory a six figure publishing deal with BMG. 2019 saw Adrian becoming apart of the management team with Chanel Domonique, which signed his cousin Detroit street rap legend “Icewear Vezzo” to Motown Records. Most recently, collaborating with Big Sean on his single release of, “Balance.”
The success mounted, collaborations with the perfect formula of artist development sparked the idea to do the same for artists around the globe via a new blog platform. Creating a network with its French counterpart, Swish France, along with BET France host, Baloo, Adrian and site developer/contributor, JaValle Morris were able to take Adrian’s strategy global. Shining the spotlight on new and emerging acts daily, through the site, its social media platforms and podcasts, new standards were introduced in the industry. In the process they also developed a French Rapper/Singer/Producer Louis Aoda who is one of France’s emerging multi-talented artists.
You don’t survive the music industry without innovation and especially in markets that fluctuate and evolve ever so quickly, so in 2018 Adrian Swish and his team made a strong pivot to technology with an emphasis on Blockchain. The plan is to take a community that will eventually move towards decentralization as we move toward a more crypto based system in the future.
This kind of risk-taking was at first, met with skepticism. Adrian faced the hesitancy from potential investors to take meetings with minority founders, no interest in investing in someone within the music space and more. Larger services ignored independent music distribution companies and emerging talent was not on their radar.
Most investors offer lower funding amounts and higher interest rates for new minority tech companies because the majority of founders in minority owned business have lower net-worth than the average white start-up business owner. These challenges, while not new still posed a major obstacle during investment pitch sessions or tech conferences with venture capitalist and investors.
Frankly, many didn’t answer the phone or give the pitch a second look because of the stigma of the “rap music” attachment.
Adrian Swish went to the MIDEM Music Technology conference summer of 2018 in Cannes, France to speak with music technology professionals and pitched his ideas for the Distribution of Digital Music with Blockchain, ending by landing a very strategic partnership with Amsterdam based technology company FUGA.
Digital Currensy is the house that independent artists built and blockchain is the bridge to programmatic freedom. Starting with a centralized logic to build their community, currently DC has over 4 Million streams of their catalog and over 200 artists signed up since May of 2018 and growing everyday.
“The Future of music technology is in Blockchain so I feel Digital Currensy Inc. will be right on course with that transition as it continues to evolve, bringing both worlds together. Digital Currensy Inc. is the culmination of my experience in the music industry and my vision with Blockchain technology and how it will impact independent artists globally. Most artists do not understand or have the “know how” to manage their own royalties, and know on which platforms their content should be distributed, while tracking the progress of their content online.
In the end, I just want to transfer knowledge, help educate musicians while we are still in the most disruptive era, to music industry norms that we have ever seen. When the artist wins, we win essentially.”
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/nacbPk9kyiY