Seedphrase Discusses Digital Identity And Life Beyond the Monitor

Carving clarity between Daniel Maegaard and his digital persona, Seedphrase

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In the age of Web3, digital identities and pixelated avatars have given individuals the ability to to step outside of their conventional selves and embrace a more creative and expressive version of themselves.

And high-profile digital art investor and burgeoning DJ, Seedphrase is no exception. 

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The man underneath the mask, Daniel Maegaard, is a sharp-looking entrepreneur in the prime of his 30’s with an inherent passion for global travel and skiing.

Born in New Zealand, and raised on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, Maegaard’s rise to stardom has seen him traverse the world – from founding a Web3 community called Party Degenerates, to attending cultural events such as Miami’s Art Basel and generative art shows across Europe.

ONE37PM caught up with Maegaard to chat about the growth of Web3 identities, the artistic significance of CryptoPunks, and the recent successes of his creative alias Seedphrase.

This year marks Maegaard’s decade anniversary inside the crypto markets. Back in 2013, it was Bitcoin that peaked his interest, followed by the wave of altcoins. From these investments alone, he raked in millions of dollars.

In early 2020, Maegaard came across the NFT markets, and on May 20th he purchased CryptoPunk #8348 for 85 ETH, equivalent to $18,102 at the time. 

This birthed the digital persona of ‘Seedphrase’ that he is synonymous with today.

Ultimately, Maegaard is keen to carve clarity between his two identities –  the on-stage entertainer that is Seedphrase and Maegaard, a modest figure seeking to authentically impact culture and attract awareness to this nascent industry. 

It’s for these reasons Maegaard has his sights firmly set specifically on generative art and gamified finance.

Punks as Art

Yuga Labs purchased the intellectual property rights to the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections from Larva Labs in March 2022, immediately releasing the commercial rights of the assets to holders. 

Maegaard owns 20 CryptoPunks, including the lucrative seven-trait punk that is portrayed as Seedphrase.

On the Yuga acquisition, Maegaard revealed that “looking at some of the interviews with the Yuga founders, I genuinely believe it came from a good place”, before adding:

“Knowing what I wanted to do with Seedphrase and the seven-trait punk, I didn't have that clarity beforehand, but once Yuga did acquire the punks I was able to then have full artistic control over where I wanted to take this project.”

Created by Larva Labs in 2017, CryptoPunks were the original 10,000 PFP project on Ethereum. Their pixelated, artistic symbolisms have garnered them substantial cultural resteem and recognition within the traditional art community.

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) on the other hand is more associated with contemporary culture and aimed at a mass market audience. 

Founded in 2021 by Yuga Labs,  BAYC has arguably become the most successful example of an NFT project granting intellectual property rights to holders, allowing them to monetize their NFTs in commercial endeavors.

From the point of mint, the founders relinquished all IP rights from the collection exclusively to holders, in turn, fostering a flourishing commercial derivatives market we see today from Ape-themed fast-food restaurants, to fictional novels, and metaverse music bands.

“I love that this is how Punks are being perceived. That was always my notion from the beginning. We don't need to be putting Punks on canned water or fast food or anything like that”, said Maegaard.

“I think it's great that people have the freedom to do that with their Punks as well. That is in a way its own artistic expression, but I just like the idea of like Punks being first recognised as a historical collection. Let them just be art.”

Seedphrase the DJ

Seedphrase debuted in the music scene in November 2021, using NFT.NYC as his launchpad. Despite being relatively new to the world of DJing, Seedphrase pointed to opportunities at sharing the stage with some of the industry’s more profound musical visionaries. 

“My friend was putting together this party during NFT NYC and was getting a bunch of big artists on board like Steve Aoki, Blond:ish and TroyBoi. I said to him, ‘wouldn’t it be really cool to bring the seven trait punk to life?’”, recalled Maegaard.

Seedphrase’s fuse of electronic music is complemented by visually distinguishable headpiece. Maegaard reached out to American DJ Marshmello’s manager who supplied him with the contact to create a unique helmet for his seven-trait punk.

It was such an incredible moment for me. It grew from just me doing this for this event to thinking okay I’ve got something here. I want to develop this and I wanted Seedphrase to be born IRL rather than just being confined to a computer monitor on Twitter.

- Tom Farren

Seedphrase teased the upcoming release of debut music, a day-in-the-life track exploring the lifestyle and interests of the digital enigma that is Seedphrase. 

Speaking to the track’s audio visuals, Maegaard revealed that it will “touch on a bunch of different verticals such as music, fashion and art to give people a glimpse into Seedphrase’s world, and to get a better know-how of who this person is, what they get up to, and what interests them.”

Other Web3 artists such as Kingship and Spottie WiFi have also explored this avenue, releasing music as NFTs under their PFP aliases. In the commercial scene, Snoop Dogg and Eminem released a Bored-Ape themed music video titled ‘From the D 2 the LBC’ raking up 71 million views on YouTube. 

Spottie WiFi’s most recent track ‘The King’s Alpha’ in collaboration with Snoop Dogg is an evolution from his punk-concept debut album to a more introspective look into the life of the man behind the mic, Miguel Mora.

“The King’s Alpha is much more biographical and tells the real life story of how I went from being out of work during COVID to investing in myself and my music career and seeing it pay off”, revealed Mora.

His accompanying NFT dropped on on February 7th to a sell-out of 58 collectors, raising 4.84 ETH, approximately $8,000, in the process.

Although these artists have predominantly centered their music and lyrics around the themes of Web3 and their PFPs, Maegaard expressed a desire to not exclusively limit himself to the seven-trait punk, but to showcase broader content.

The lyrics will resonate with a wider mainstream audience because I want to be recognised first and foremost as an artist - rather than an ’NFT influencer.’ That is a mindset that has changed over the last couple of years.

- Seedphrase

“I'm really proud of what I've put together here, and I think people are going to vibe with it”, Maegaard concluded.

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