LOS ANGELES, CA—Less than a month after the release of her latest single, Religion!, indie pop artist, Shelita, released her newest single, Libations! from her up and coming album, today. Her last EP, Special, amassed over 20 million streams and reached #24 on Billboard.
Libations! is an ode to celebrating yourself, your loves, and elevating yourself to a different place while you’re doing it. It is, for all intents and purposes, a mid-tempo urban pop love song, comprised of tropical elements, which provides listeners with a “feel good” summertime hit.
But, what’s unique about this release is the larger role it will play for the remaining songs on the album. This single is part of the limited edition blockchain-based digital collectibles that Shelita plans to launch later this summer.
Shelita is one of the few artists who is an early adopter of Blockchain technology, which serves as a digital ledger. Shelita is using the blockchain to serve as a ledger that maintains ownership of non-fungible ERC-721 tokens so that the fans can see in real time the ownership of each digital collectible and know that the payments are going directly to the artist.
Grit Daily spoke with Shelita about her latest release, which will reside on Spotify exclusively for two weeks. Shelita was one of the artists personally invited to upload to Spotify directly, a feature that will be rolled out to more artists and labels over time.
Grit Daily: How did you come to choose the name “Libations!” for your newest single?
Shelita: The journey began in Boston a day before I spoke at MIT. Bellringer introduced me to Rajon Brooks and we went to his studio to listen to his song ideas. When I heard this special melody with horns from a track that Rajon created, I fell in love with it. I couldn’t get it out of my head. We all started writing and combining ideas soon after. Bellringer and I were then brainstorming potential directions to take the song, and he noticed that the word “libation” hadn’t been used as a hook for a pop song before and knew it was a word that had a meaning much deeper than just drinking. We actually finished writing the song driving in the car vibing to the beat, free-styling together.
GD: We are listening to your song right now. Take us on a journey inside your head.
Shelita: This song celebrates falling in love with living. Fall in love with living in the moment. Imagine sitting back and relaxing on a nice, dreamy summer day and just chilling with someone you love. Celebrate yourself and those who love you.
GD: Why play around with the word “libation?”
Shelita: A libation in the traditional sense of the term is a ritual where a drink is poured out as an offering to a deity or to the dead. I wanted to transform a libation as something that can be used for the living to toast to the living to celebrate life and each other.
Embracing New Technologies
Shelita has been a trailblazer in adopting new technologies, which includes streaming and blockchain-powered platforms. Her vision is to show the world a new artist model, where artists are put first, and fans are treated with the respect they deserve.
GD: You were chosen by Spotify to directly upload this single. What can you tell us about this new feature?
Shelita: I feel lucky to be among the first group of artists to use this feature which enables artists to upload songs directly to Spotify without a middleman. Cutting out the middleman gives power back to artists and pays artists more in royalties each time a fan streams the songs. This is the beginning of an exciting new era for artists.
GD: This single is part of a limited edition blockchain-based digital collectible. What can you tell us about the release?
Shelita: Blockchain is the present and the future, just like in 1998 where the internet was the present and the future. I believe that limited edition digital collectibles and virtual goods are the future of digital commerce for the entertainment industry. It will be interesting to see as adoption increases how artists incorporate digital collectibles with their fans. There are a lot of possibilities on how artists can utilize digital collectibles.
GD: Why are you choosing to start your work with blockchain and your music, now?
Shelita: I’ve been using blockchain technology before it was “cool;” the world is just finding out about it. There is a new music revolution happening and it will be led by artists who embrace new technologies.
The single will be released on Friday, May 17, 2019 on Spotify.
“Libations!” was written by Shelita, Bellringer and Rajon Brooks in a unique bi-coastal collaboration from the eastern shores of Boston to the humble streets of Crenshaw in Los Angeles.
It is produced by Bellringer, co-produced by Rajon Brooks and Shelita, mastered by Chris Athens (Drake, Usher) and executive produced by Michael Drexler.