NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Vela Vada, a new project by electronic musician and producer Brian Danos, has announced today the launch of his debut album, Borrowed Ladders. The world-electro album is heavily influenced by the rhythms and spirit of Danos’ native New Orleans, veering from indie electronica to chilled-out downtempo grooves. Borrowed Ladders includes a diverse selection of New Orleans legends, including Nicholas Payton, Tiff Lamson, Maggie Koerner, 79rs Gang and many others. The album is now available for digital distribution on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Tidal and several additional channels.
As a tech entrepreneur by day and musician by night, Danos has fused his two passions with the launch of Borrowed Ladders’ exclusive content in the metaverse, giving virtual users access to exclusive album artwork and more. Borrowed Ladders will be presented to the world in a new way through The Ropeadope Cultural Center, a virtual community utilizing web3 platforms where listeners and creators can connect. Fans can now browse and purchase NFT’s of the entire album in high-quality audio, with 25 different album covers created by Danos using a programming language to generate random shapes and colors. Each cover is unique; aside from the selected cover for distribution, each will be only available as an NFT.
“NFTs allow artists to develop communities around their projects in a way that was impossible in the past,” Said Danos. “The misconception about NFTs is that they are overpriced images. But in reality, NFTs are a membership to an exclusive club with many benefits and perks. For example, I will be able to access the blockchain wallet address of those who own my NFTs and plan to airdrop them exclusive content over time as a reward for supporting me.”
Ropeadope and Vela Vada will also host a virtual panel presentation on Thursday, August 4, (4 p.m. CT) in The Ropeadope Lounge, a VR ‘space’ with avatar to human interaction. Virtual guests will include Ropeadope CEO Louis Marks and special guests Eric Heigle (Producer – Vela Vada, Arcade Fire, PJ Morton, Soul Rebels; Member of Grammy-award winning Lost Bayou Ramblers), Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (American jazz trumpeter and composer) and more. The panel – New Orleans: Then and Now – will feature an in-depth discussion of the roots of music and evolution of New Orleans at this time in history. Fans will have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions from within the VR space, or by posting questions in discord.
The album name, Borrowed Ladders, stems from a connection to the sci-fi movie, Gattaca. “In the film, society is split into two groups of people: the natural-born and the genetically modified,” Said Danos. “As a result, ambitious, natural-born humans will purchase DNA material from disheartened, genetically modified people to assume a superior identity and pursue their dreams. This practice is called borrowed ladders, and this album is truly a collaboration with me ‘borrowing ladders’ from some of the best artists in New Orleans.”
While Danos intended Vela Vada to be a completely solo effort, the project quickly evolved into a collaboration with many New Orleans musicians. He allowed them to open their own doors and follow new paths without clinging to any preconceptions. This free-handed approach resulted in tracks that are vital, original and able to stand tall artistically in the world of electronic music.
Growing up in New Orleans, Danos was surrounded by music. From the sounds of street performers to Second Line parades, he absorbed everything. Initially listening to jazz, he picked up multiple instruments and was eventually drawn into the world of electronic music where he could fuse these raw sounds with a synthetic backdrop.
Fusing lush, lo-fi horns with synthesized textures, his songs are distinctly melodic and accessible. While influenced by many artists like Brian Eno and Bonobo, his genre-fluid style is difficult to pin down. Danos has produced tracks for several acts, including the Mardi Gras Indian group “79rs Gang” on their release “Expect the Unexpected.”
For more information on Vela Vada and Borrowed Ladders visit Borrowed Ladders | Vela Vada (bandcamp.com). Details on the album NFT premiere and panel discussion will be available at the Ropeadope discord channel (Ropeadope#1999), and at https://rally.io/creator/DOPE/.