Through a dynamic, insect-like personality called “Lonely Bug,” Liam Payne captures the zeitgeist of the COVID-19 pandemic—the frustration, the pensiveness, the introspection, and in some ways, the indulgence of childlike feelings and tendencies—in non-fungible token (NFT) form.
A sentient, conflicted character that Payne conceived of at the start of the COVID health crisis, theoretically, Lonely Bug is “meant to be this ethereal character.” “It’s almost like a fly that is stuck under a beer glass and wants to escape but can’t,” Payne said. “I think we all felt that at the start of the lockdown.”
After starting out as graphite on a sketchpad, Lonely Bug would take on dimension, thanks to the help of Payne’s former “Get Low” collaborator, Zedd, as well as Gabe Damast (“Silly Gabe”), a 3D animator, designer, and VDJ, and entrepreneur GaryVee.
“When Liam explained the Lonely Bug concept to me, I could really feel for it because there’s something in that concept that I see in myself…the bug being trapped in this box, being able to see all the beautiful things outside of the box but not being be to access them,” Zedd said. “And of course for Liam, I think that’s something extremely personal. To a certain degree, it’s his life, being the superstar he is, being able to see all the beautiful things but not really able to do them, and of course, everyone can always look inside and see what he does.”
As COVID-19 continued to evolve, Payne, Zedd, Silly Gabe, and a handful of others close to the project routinely met via Zoom to strategize and shape the Lonely Bug blueprints. “After we established what we wanted the animations to look like, then the musical conversation started,” Silly Gabe said.
For this portion of the Lonely Bug vision, Payne would turn to Zedd. Circumspection when selecting the chords to be used in the “four to five” Lonely Bug pieces was paramount to the accurate and appropriate sonic translation of the emotions associated with the pieces, Zedd explained:
“My role in this Lonely Bug world is to score the correct emotion for each piece because they can be interpreted in different ways and that’s why I always kept in touch with Liam and continuously asked him all these questions about how he wants people to feel when they see it because the pieces are kind of emotional and sad and if I put the wrong chords underneath, it wouldn’t feel that way, so I really wanted to make sure that everything I put there is exactly what Liam was envisioning because he came up with the concept. They’re supposed to feel different in their own ways and I’m guiding those emotions.”
Representing a “more physical, more immersive” approach to an NFT drop, from its conceptualization to its look and impact, the Lonely Bug Collection will land on Nifty Gateway on June 15. Learn more about the making of the transcendent, envelope-pushing NFT below.
Featured image: UPI