Jadyn Violet has entered the music industry during a time of foundational change, part of a new generation eager to forge a new path beyond the traditional record label. He speaks to Clovis McEvoy about organising IRL events, finding a healthier social discourse, and why community trumps a bear market.
Jadyn Violet will be the first to admit that he has not been making music all that long — “three to four years” is the figure that he volunteers. However, over that short timespan, the self-taught singer, songwriter, and producer has created an exciting and dynamic body of work, building an active community of supporters along the way.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Jadyn originally began to explore music production after becoming dissatisfied with school. “I was very good in school, I was applying myself, but I realised that it wasn’t bringing me any actual joy. That’s when I started putting together these weird, one-minute beats.”
Music might have remained just a hobby for Jadyn, was it not for an encounter with that most universal of human experiences. “I got my heart broken,” he says frankly, “That’s when I fell in love with music. The experience of having those heavy feelings in my chest, and the realisation that making music could lift that energy out and direct it into something new, something I could share with the world — that just blew my mind. I’ve been making music every day since then.”
Drawing influence initially from Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, and Travis Scott, Jadyn’s music has steadily evolved from the trap-heavy beats of his 2019 debut single, Choppa Beams, to the detailed pop production and introspective lyrics of his more recent work. Of course, writing songs is one thing, but getting them heard by a receptive audience is another. Jadyn says that finding a community was one of the key sticking points he grappled with early on in his career. “It was very hard for me to find that communal aspect of music,” Jadyn recalls. “I’ve lived in central New Jersey my entire life and every time I wanted to meet other musicians I had to drive two hours up to New York.”
Initially, social media seemed to be the obvious solution to the challenge of building a community remotely, but Jadyn says that he quickly grew disillusioned with the culture that he found on Instagram and TikTok. “The essence of my web2 relationships were very surface level,” he explains. “I was gaining a community, getting these videos that blew up, but it was never sustained for more than a month. I wanted a community that was willing to have a deeper connection than just a fire emoji or a repost, a community that was going to stay by me, not only for my music, but for me as a person.”
“We’re not only building a community, we're building a world.”
— Jadyn Violet
In web3, Jadyn found what he was looking for: a supportive community built on positivity, in his words. “People in web3 are just nice, you know?” he explains. “All my web2 interactions were egotistical and narcissistic. It's very interesting that being kind never got me far in web2, but in web3 it’s actually one of the main things pushing me forward.” In April 2022 Jadyn launched his Violet Token, which serves as an admission pass to his core community, and, since then, he has never looked back. Over the course of 2022, he released a string of successful solo and collaborative music NFTs, including a sold out drop on Sound, Good Always Turns Evil.
The positivity that permeates Jadyn’s web3 community can be seen in his Underground Violet Raves (UVR), a daily Twitter space hosted by the artist. “Originally, we’d start at 10pm and it would go on until 5am,” Jadyn says. “Talking, playing weird music to each other — I loved it.” These days, his spaces start at the more reasonable hour of 11am EST, with hundreds of attendees arriving daily to discuss not only web3 music and NFTs, but “literally anything”. Today, UVR is an open forum that has been instrumental in building a strong community around the artist’s music, culminating in a series of IRL music events in 2022.
“Being kind never got me far in web2, but in web3 it’s one of the main things pushing me forward.”
— Jadyn Violet
“We ended up hosting the first ever UVR in Brooklyn, during NFT-NYC 2022,” he says. “We had over 250 people come in from South America, Canada, California, Europe. The same people that were showing up in those Twitter Spaces ended up showing up in real life.” Jadyn has since gone on to host UVR events in Virginia, in Cincinnati, and most recently at Art Basel, Miami. Drawing members of Jadyn’s web3 community together, each event focuses on promoting local artists, onboarding new people to the web3 music scene, and, of course, having fun. “These events were a real light bulb moment,” he says. “We’re not only building a community, but we are also building an ecosystem, we're building a world — it has a whole vibe to it.”
In the near term, Jadyn says that his focus has shifted to writing a larger NFT collection. Reticent to share the details, Jadyn says that his goal is to use gamified mechanics to provide listeners with something different and special. “I'm purposely not dropping anything at the moment and won’t be for the next two or three months,” he says. “I'm building up for a major project. I don’t want to drop music NFTs just for the sake of it, I want to provide real value and make sure that the people who choose to buy something from me get their money’s worth.”
It is a remarkably principled outlook, especially given the financial headwinds that have battered the wider crypto markets. “All of that is just noise to me,” Jadyn says. “Bear market, bull market, whatever. I'm over here building my community and, if you have a community, it will sustain you.”
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