Singer-songwriter Sandi Thom has partnered with Web3 company Gala Music to release her new single, Festival Of The Oppressed.
The hitmaker – who topped the charts worldwide with her 2006 single I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) and has since released six studio albums – discusses her latest move in RETROPOP’s February issue.
“It’s called Festival Of The Oppressed, which is taken from a Germaine Greer book,” says Sandi of the single. “The line is ‘revolution is the festival of the oppressed’ and there’s probably going to be a lot of discussion, predominantly within the UK, because it really reflects a lot of the political, social and economical struggles of the past few years. You know: Brexit, the Tories, Suella Braverman – it name-drops all those people and things.”
Much like she took to the Internet back in the mid-2000s to launch her career, this time around Sandi’s inked a deal with Gala, which is “transforming music from a low valued, streamed commodity, into an interactive, unique and reward-generating experience”, for the release.
For the artist, it’s a no-brainer: “I’m someone that’s been known for talking quite openly about the industry and how there’s a lot of bureaucracy and red tape, like any kind of giant corporation, and as someone who has run an independent label for over a decade, you’re not going to get the same outcome as major label artists with the old model of promotion.
“But the metaverse is revolutionising the music industry, so we’re putting out a song about revolution in a space that is revolutionary. And it’s very controversial. But I’m not doing things by the book.”
Several big name artists, including Snoop Dogg and Kings Of Leon, already work with Gala, but Sandi is the first well-known British singer to sign with the company and kick started that relationship last year with the charity track Silence.
Both will feature on her forthcoming EP, ‘Warpaint’, and having spent recent years out in the Middle East, where she became heavily involved in rescuing stray dogs and focussed largely on her philanthropic efforts, now she’s back in the UK and plans to channel that same level of activism through her music.
“Sometimes with music, what’s right in your face is watered down because the powers that be don’t want [protest] songs to make waves, right?” she offers. “So that’s why I’m putting these new songs out on Web3, because the NFT lives on the blockchain in perpetuity, it’s end-to-end encrypted, and there’s nothing you can do to take it off, so it’s going to be there forever. There is no media outlet, no radio station, nothing that’s going to be able to pull that stuff down!”
Festival Of The Oppressed is out January 24. ‘Warpaint’ is out soon.