Des Agyekumhene (BSc (Hons), MSc)

Thesis title: An Evaluation of the Rights of Musicians and Music Creators in a Changing Digital Music Consumption Landscape


With an ambition to help impact the way the world experiences music through blockchain technology, Des finds himself in a unique position of being an academic and blockchain enthusiast working in the music business.

Des is a music executive undertaking doctoral legal research at the University of Edinburgh, School of Law. He prides himself on knowing the latest technological developments in Web3 but his music industry background means he vitally understands the culture.

Des has recently launched a groundbreaking initiative called The primary focus of this venture is to honour excellence within the entertainment industry through the issuance of digital credentials. By integrating these digital certifications into the industry's ecosystem, aims to provide a reliable, verified way of acknowledging individual accomplishments and skills, thereby setting a new standard for recognition in the field.

As an award-winning PhD candidate researching artist remuneration rights in the digital era, Des also founded consulting agency Soga World after recognising the music industry's flaws in always hanging on the coat-tail of tech companies. Des understood that there was, and still is, an extremely steep learning curve when it came to Web3, but felt that his special power was to reduce that curve and bridge the gap between music and tech. But more importantly, Des wanted to make music industry stakeholders feel comfortable by showing them low-risk opportunities within the Web3 space and showing them that they could create truly impactful cultural moments using ideas that shift and content that connects with fans and the masses. 

Most notably Des helped achieved the first NFT project to impact the Official Album Charts worldwide, working with Aitch on his debut album “Close to Home”, reaching number 2 in the charts. He also accomplished the first NFT project at OVO Wembley Arena, working with Ne-Yo on his sold-out UK tour, selling meet and greets experiences as NFTs.

Committing himself to leverage his experiences to research and help creatives engage with fans in today’s digital landscape, Des has also participated in the broader policy affairs surrounding remuneration rights, intellectual property, and copyright law within the industry. His doctoral thesis assesses if the legal regime policing the rights of creators is fit for purpose in this evolving digital landscape.


Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Global Public Health and Policy (MSc)

University of Portsmouth

Biomedical Sciences BSc (Hons)

Research summary

My doctoral research is the first socio-legal academic study that fully understands and evaluates the role and place of streaming services within digital music consumption and assesses how the legal regime can be made fit for purpose.

Current research interests

1) Economics of Streaming 2) Copyright Law/ Intellectual Property 3) Web3 (Blockchain, NFTs, DAOs, Defi) 4) AI

Past research interests

Global Public Health and Policy, Infectious Diseases

Affiliated research centres