Metaverse Music History in the Making With Cutting Edge Record Deal

February 8, 2023 – Def Jam Recordings (@defjam) and web3 entertainment and technology studio WAGMI Beach (@WAGMIBeach) today announced the creation of The Whales, a digital avatar group formed through a revolutionary artist deal with digital collectibles community The Catalina Whale Mixer(@catalinawhales).

WAGMI Beach, founded by entertainment executives Michael George, Carlo Fox, Benjamin Willis, Joshua Andriano, Alec Lykken, full stack engineer Casey Charlesworth, and technology strategist Misha Mitsnefes, is partnering with Def Jam to create the music group alongside an all-star cast of producers, songwriters, and performers, while collaborating with the Catalina Whale Mixer community in new and innovative ways.

The Whales will utilize The Catalina Whale Mixer intellectual property to reimagine the relationship between music, art, culture and community.

With music created by a who’s-who musical cast, The Whales’ first project will be released on Def Jam as a full-length album, soundtracking this watershed moment in web3 history. The project came to be when WAGMI Beach co-founders Ben Willis and Joshua Andriano had a chance meeting with Def Jam’s DJ Mormile and Ryan Rodriguez.

“We pitched the idea of a community grown avatar group to DJ and he just got it,” says Willis.  “To be working with Def Jam on releasing this one-of-a-kind music project is a dream come true.”

“At the core of all the NFT and Web3 attention is a fundamental technology change that will alter how music and art is consumed by generations to come, and this is our initial dive into what we believe to be an incredible new wave for artists and fans alike,” says Alec Lykken, co-founder of WAGMI Beach.

Def Jam is celebrated as one of the world’s most influential and pioneering record labels since its founding in 1984. With roots in hip hop, R&B, soul, and pop, the label represents influential superstar artists Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Jeezy, Pusha T, LL Cool J, Jhene Aiko and more. Over the years, Def Jam and its artists have driven culture by connecting fans to their favorite music directly and authentically.  “We’re living in a time where the line separating creator from consumer is being blurred.  We’re excited to bring together mavericks from music, art, and technology to experiment and innovate while creating a music group unlike anything before it,” says Carlo Fox, The Whales co-creator.


WAGMI Beach is a web3-native entertainment & technology studio with a mission to onboard culture defining brands and communities into Web3, serving as a catalyst for mainstream adoption, while demonstrating how blockchain technologies can be harnessed in meaningful ways across entertainment and media.


Founded in 1984, Def Jam Recordings has represented the cutting-edge in hip-hop music for more than 35 years. Def Jam began as a maverick independent label inspired by downtown New York City’s vibrant street culture and the emerging sound of hip-hop, pioneered by iconic stars like LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Over the following two decades, Def Jam established its dominance with superstar acts like Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, Ludacris, Rihanna, Jeezy, and more. Now in its fourth decade, Def Jam’s music and lifestyle has grown into a global brand – synonymous with creativity, quality and authenticity – encompassing a diverse roster of marquee stars and emerging talents like Pusha T, Big Sean, YG, 2 Chainz, Jhene Aiko, Muni Long, Jadakiss, Jeremih, Armani White, Coco Jones and many more. Today, Def Jam is the most-followed major label on all major social media platforms, and has expanded to include labels in the UK, France, Africa, India and Southeast Asia.