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meet SOULS, the interactive NFT collectibles that dance and sing by SiA and david oreilly

10,000 unique interactive BEINGS living on ethereum


International pop star SiA and renowned visual artist David OReilly have collaborated on SOULS, an NFT collection of 10,000 unique interactive beings living on Ethereum. The colorful life forms exist as virtual objects that can bounce, wiggle, dance, sleep, and even speak in a musical language sung by SiA. Exploring the creative potential of Web3 (a new iteration of the World Wide Web that incorporates decentralized apps and blockchain technologies), SOULS began as a series of simple colorful paintings that grew over time into an expansive collection of never before seen digital beings. Each SOUL is born with its own personality, name, voice, color pattern, rarities and ambient sound, while some enjoy interaction and others prefer none. Users can click, drag and rearrange them as much as they want to, and each being will let them know if they’re feeling happy, sad, bored or overstimulated. Each being’s unique traits are listed in the project’s OpenSea NFT marketplace, while in a total of 10,000 beings, 7,910 are considered common, 1,814 uncommon, 214 rare, 51 epic, and only 11 legendary.


designboom reached out to David OReilly to find out more about SOULS, where the idea for the project came from, and the ways users can interact with the virtual beings. Read our conversation in full below.meet SOULS, the interactive NFT collectibles that dance and sing by SiA and david oreilly

all images courtesy of SOULS





designboom (DB): What was the initial idea behind SOULS? Animation, interactive design, and music were all involved from the very beginning?


David OReilly (DOR): SiA created a series of ‘blob paintings’ a long time ago, which I loved. She painted them with nail polish. They have a kind of bold lucidity that runs throughout her work. I realized an interesting way to treat them in 3D, using a technique called inverted normals. The interactivity and music came later as the project evolved.


DB: How did your collaboration with SiA begin?


DOR: Sia and I became friends in London almost two decades ago. We kept in touch over the years, then last year she called me to talk about collaborating on a collection. She had gotten into NFT collecting in a way I wasn’t expecting. We then started meeting up regularly and sending ideas back and forth as it took shape.

meet SOULS, the interactive NFT collectibles that dance and sing by SiA and david oreilly
the ‘blob paintings’ that marked the start of the project



DB: What is the main purpose of the project?


DOR: We wanted to bring something gentle, tactile and musical to the world of digital art. I loved the challenge of breathing life into her soft, colorful blobs, and introducing a feminine touch to the culture of NFTs.


DB: On what platforms can SOULS be used and in what ways?


DOR: SOULS works entirely in the browser on mobile and desktop – the website allows you to browse your collection or curated collections. You can use touch, mouse or keyboard to ‘play’ Souls as an instrument or choir. As well as singing, each SOUL has their own ambient sound, which are beautiful textures to explore. On Apple devices you can pull Souls into AR.

meet SOULS, the interactive NFT collectibles that dance and sing by SiA and david oreilly
colorful, interactive SOULS bounce, wiggle, dance, sleep, and sing



DB: Each of the interactive lifeforms comes with special traits, including a unique personality, name, sound, and color pattern. How did you decide on those traits, and, what are some of the most special traits that rare, epic and legendary SOULS possess?


DOR: SiA picked the colors, and came up with the idea of overlapping colors being rare, which turned out to be a very elegant way of doing rarity. Each SOUL is made up of up to four different color elements, and it’s mathematically rare for these to all have the same color.


DB: How can one’s different SOULS interact with each other?


DOR: SOULS use a fairly complex emotional system, for what’s currently possible in the browser. They react off each other and exhibit different behaviors based on their mood. Each has a tendency to become happy or sad at different times, for different reasons, at different frequencies – depending on their attributes. Large groups of SOULS also exhibit collective behaviors.

meet SOULS, the interactive NFT collectibles that dance and sing by SiA and david oreilly
Ija #1849



DB: Will the project continue to evolve? Any future plans?


DOR: As a whole we have no idea what NFTs even are yet. What this technology and community was last year compared to what it is today is night and day. The potential of the technology that it was built on is barely even understood. We’ve made a project that is designed to evolve but also stands alone as a singular artwork. The next stages depend on how and where the community wants to take it.


SOULS was created by SiA and David OReilly with development by Manifold, creative code by Vince McKelvie, animation & design by Joel Plosz, and music by Nathan Turczan. Each collectible can be saved as JPGs, PNGs, GLBs, GIFs, and used as real world Augmented Reality object in iOS. The interactive beings live on Ethereum, which means there are energy costs associated with the project. The team has partnered with Aerial to purchase carbon credits equivalent to the emissions created by its NFT transactions. These credits support verified environmental efforts in an effort to make all of the project’s NFT practices carbon-neutral. Upon launch with OpenSea, SOULS hosted a charity auction where seven of the rarest SOULS in the galaxy were auctioned benefitting the Trevor Project to support LGBTQ+ youth. These SOULS were hand selected by SiA and David OReilly for their iconic traits and unique collectability. The auction raised 30 ETH for the organization.



project info:


name: SOULS

creators: SiA and David OReilly

development: Manifold

creative code: Vince McKelvie

animation & design: Joel Plosz

music: Nathan Turczan

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