With a background in music videos and live event production, Phil Kluba, the founder of Press— leveraged its industry experience to create a different space: the Metaverse.
Since founding Press It, Kluba has strived to be at the forefront of online content development, an effort he has proven time and time again. As an active individual in Toronto’s vibrant music scene, for as long as he can remember, he has written songs, performed music, promoted concerts and produced videos for various acts across Canada. . By combining his background in music and event production with his passion for the technology and entertainment industries, Kluba has positioned himself and his company at the intersection of reality and the virtual world.
His pivotal moment dates back to 2016 when he took the risk of investing his company’s efforts in livestreamed virtual events. This approach has opened up a world of opportunities for the entrepreneur, including producing virtual events at the offices of Facebook, Twitter and Shopify. When the pandemic hit and remote virtual events became a mainstream product, Press It was at the forefront, providing technical solutions to various businesses. Press It produced SickNotWeak’s “Isolation Nation,” a remote mental health talk show hosted by Michael Landsberg, and was highlighted to work on “National Canadian Film Day,” a show featuring personalities like Sandra Oh, Ethan Hawke and Jay Baruchal.
From developing digital wearables for avatars to creating digital immersive environments and augmented reality experiences, Kluba is revolutionizing the future of music videos and live entertainment, bridging the gap between real and meta. This new frontier is changing the way individuals interact with events – and Kluba’s latest venture into the metaverse promises to be groundbreaking.
So who is Phil Kluba? We met the entrepreneur to talk about this new world.
“Essentially the story that comes is that I got my start in music very early as a musician. From there, I started making music videos for myself and other creatives, and I eventually found my way into producing virtual live events, which opened the door to introducing my business into the tech industry. Now I’m pushing into the Metaverse space,” Kluba says.
Simply put, what exactly is the Metaverse and where do you see it heading in the future?
It is a shared virtual environment that allows people to interact with each other and with their environment via the Internet, much like a simulation. This kind of shared environment will make the world even more connected.
I see it growing in various industries because of its ability to create hands-on, yet remote interactions. School and council meetings can be virtual. Brands can develop unique ways to present themselves in carefully selected digital landscapes. Clothing companies can adapt their clothing to avatars as well as their human counterparts. The opportunities are endless.
Every relevant metaverse will need a way to transact. I imagine that these virtual environments will either adopt an existing cryptocurrency or create their own. The worlds of crypto, blockchain, NFTs, and virtual events will all come together in the metaverse, creating not just creative opportunities, but entire economies.
To best predict what’s to come, I look back to Web 1.0 and the dot com boom. These have caused so much disruption and forever changed the way we interact in the world. Now imagine being able to start over, but in the metaverse. Welcome to Web 3.0.
What has been your greatest accomplishment while working in the metaverse realm?
Considering that this new technical world is a very open platform, I really had to think about where to focus my efforts within it. I’ve explored a few decentralized metaverse platforms including SandBox and Decentraland, and while I’m still interested in those platforms, I’m mostly focusing on Facebook’s, or rather Meta’s platforms, primarily Horizon Worlds.
More regulated metaverse platforms seem more appealing to big brands and companies looking to dive into the space. Meta’s platform may not have a marketplace or currency like other platforms, but inevitably, I feel like it will eventually.
The metaverse will allow endless creative expression. What I find most fascinating is that the Metaverse and the development of Web 3.0 are only connected through the creation of 3D art. This awareness led me on the path of discovering these creations of the new world which are constructed and expressed in the form of 3D renderings. These types of artists are the backbone of the metaverse – and it’s extremely important to find these people and help develop their skills.
I think my role in all of this is to ultimately help creators and guide them through this new digital landscape; to help bridge the gap between brands and digital artists, which will help further develop this digital world.
Do you see any commonalities between the metaverse and the live event space?
Sure! We’re already building fun and interactive places on Horizon Worlds where you can host your next event, whether it’s a live music concert, comedy show or more.
What does this mean for the real world?
Well, imagine putting on glasses at the Raptors game at Scotiabank Arena. Now imagine those glasses allowing you to see the stats of those athletes while watching the game live. Essentially, not only will we be able to create fun new ways to host events in the Metaverse, but we can actually enhance real-world experiences through Metaverse technology.
What’s next for Phil Kluba?
I’m caught between managing traditional media projects at Press it, including live streams, music videos, and virtual events, while also expanding into the metaverse.
Over time, I find myself even more rooted in virtual reality and the opportunities it holds. Right now I’m working on a few projects that allow downloading digital clothing options for avatars, while also creating digital environments for a few of our clients.
The desire for brands to get involved in the metaverse is pretty strong right now, so my main goal is to educate our clients about what the metaverse is and present them with options on how best to jump into it. space. Something that I anticipate a lot of them will do sooner or later.
Additionally, I am starting to provide live streaming services on meta/virtual events platform Virbela. What I’m creating here is shaping a kind of metaverse agency, which is already attracting interest from some big potential clients and could lead to some incredibly exciting partnerships for me.