There’s been a buzz going around the alleys of New Tokyo about a project that recently dropped. It’s a project with some familiar and revered names in the space, but whom are taking a radically different approach toward PFP art as well as NFT utility. That project is called SAN, which means “three” (sān) in Chinese, and is founded by the following three members: Kakuberry – Head of Vision, IMCMPLX – Head of Design, and Cromagnus – Legendary 10KTF OG and Head of Art. Although the team has grown with some notable additions as Devin Marty – Head of Strategy, David Leung – Head of Product Development, and Flu – Head of Partnerships among others, the project is symbolized by an upside down triangle and the number three is used as a motif in its communications. In its latest episode, the DAM Show had a rare opportunity to sit down with Kakuberry and Cromagnus to hear more intimately about SAN and what the project entails.
The idea started sometime in 2021 when Kakuberry and IMCMPLX self-funded the start of the manufacturing process for the highly-stylized and customizable earbuds that were the original inspiration for the project. Having experienced various projects with roadmaps that often never got delivered, they decided to begin working on the deliverable of SAN’s roadmap first before anything else. When it came to the art, Kakuberry admits that there was no list of artists and Cromagnus was always “the one.”
“…we took our time with this project. We didn’t want to over-promise and not be able to deliver the things we wanted to deliver.”-Kakuberry
The art takes an interesting approach towards a 10,000 PFP collection where boundaries often found in the square canvas are challenged. During the interview with The DAM Show, Cromagnus breaks down the details and processes he went through to arrive at the final versions we see today. Although he confesses he did not want to create another typical animal PFP, when he reconsidered the possibilities with robotics and drones, things started to take shape. Speaking of shapes, Cromagnus took on the extra challenge of incorporating a three-dimensional triangle in each piece to symbolize SAN and its three pillars.
“I really wanted to avoid the symmetry and iconography thing because a lot of the PFPs, if they’re like straight-forward, you end up getting this sort of, like, iconographical look and it feels somewhat limiting.”-Cromagnus
From Web3-enabled hardware to an artist-forward music platform that includes a “listen-to-earn” mechanic alongside live event activations, the team has ambitious plans to demonstrate their capabilities and redefine utility with NFTs. While the 10,000 token drop was a free mint, unlocking access is available as an option to holders through a soulbinding mechanic with a tiered pricing structure: “Level 1 is available for 0.7 ETH; Level 2 is available for 1 ETH; Level 3 is available for 1.33 ETH; and Level 4 will start at 5 ETH.” For those unfamiliar, soulbinding is a method which makes a token non-transferable and cannot be resold on the secondary markets. Moreover, the project originally launched with royalty fees set a 9.33%, but after listening closely to the community’s concerns, the team has dropped that rate down to 5.33%.
There is much to talk about when it comes to this new project, especially when one factors in the unexpected surprises the community receives in forms of smart contract scavenger hunts, metadata updates on the tokens, and even leaks by Cromagnus of the incredible artwork yet-to-be-revealed. There has been a lot of anticipation for the reveal, and it seems that today at 7PM PST might be that moment according to their latest tweet. Whether you plan to soulbind or collect the tokens purely for the artwork, SAN is looking like a project worthy of your research to determine if the investment is right for you.