WME’s Newest Clients Are A Pair Of Bored Ape NFTs

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

​Escapeplan, a DJ and producer comprised of two acres from Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Courtesy of Big Night Entertainment Group

Hollywood talent agency WME has added a pair of Bored Apes to its roster of musical artists as NFT-mania sweeps the entertainment industry.

The Beverly Hills-based talent agency signed Escapeplan, a DJ and producer duo comprised of two apes from Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)—a popular digital artwork collection of 10,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Bored Ape NFT holders own the underlying art and can commercialize it.


The Escapeplan NFTs are owned by Big Night Entertainment Group, a Boston-based entertainment management company. When reached by dot.LA, Tim Bonito, a managing partner at Big Night’s talent agency, declined to name the humans who make the electronic music released by the Escapeplan apes—but described them as a “rotating collective” of producers and artists.

“We’ve put out a couple of mixtapes—we call them our ‘Banana Mash’ mixtapes,” said Bonito, who manages Escapeplan.

The two apes are named ETHan and zeETH (the capitalized letters refer to the abbreviation for the Ethereum cryptocurrency) and hail from the snow-covered mountains of Sethan Village, India, according to a fictional bio listed on WME’s website. In real life, Escapeplan released its first single this month: “Jungle,” a collaboration with rapper Rich the Kid.

WME will help Escapeplan secure event bookings and land brand partnerships, Bonito said. The apes plan to drop more music and even appear at upcoming music festivals—albeit while playing behind electronic screens.

“We essentially live both in the metaverse and in real life,” Bonito said.

The talent agency’s signing was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually
Photo courtesy of AmazeVR

Virtual reality startup AmazeVR now has $17 million to further expand its VR concert experience.

The West Hollywood-based company’s latest funding amounts to a bet that virtual shows, a staple of the pandemic, are here to stay. Mirae Asset Capital led the Series B funding round, with Mirae Asset Financial Group subsidiary (Mirae Asset Venture Investment), CJ Investment, Smilegate Investment, GS Futures and LG Technology Ventures investing again. Mobile game maker Krafton joined the group—but South Korean entertainment company CJ ENM’s stake reveals AmazeVR’s plans to expand into K-pop world.

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