rom time to time, an artist comes out of the woodwork with a novel creation that blows even the most cutting edge tech implementations away. Cory Strassburger is that artist, and Blu from spaceship Xanadu is that creation.

Blu is an alien living in space, orbiting earth in a ship called ‘Xanadu’. He’s a simple alien with a humble mission: Take over the entire galaxy. Blu’s to-do list from an early video should paint the full picture:

  1. Pimp Ship
  2. Make Entourage
  3. Pwn Elon (1st to Mars)
  4. Build Empire
  5. Rule Metaverse

Fans get to watch Blu plan, plot, and press as he works to build his “big f’in empire.” With a subscriber count pushing 75k and videos receiving over 10x that in a short time, Cory is on to something major.

Yes, one man created that video. I am excited to say I shuttled my way to outer space, joining Blu on spaceship Xanadu in pursuit of my own humble mission just to get to know more about him. I had a blast! Let’s dive in…

[Christopher] Hey Blu. It’s great to finally meet you! How’s life up here in outer space?

Awesome to meet up, Christopher, and welcome to Xanadu! Space is great, in the last few months I escaped death twice, my pizza delivery ship exploded… compliments of Amazon... and apparently a massive metaverse invasion is brewing in some bootleg distant galaxy.

What inspired you to start a YouTube channel? Other than your goal to lead an empire, of course.

It all started after I quit my job and trekked to Earth so that I could meet the greatest fighters in the universe, Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee, but they already croaked. So, I decided to build a time machine, which never panned out, but during that time I got addicted to David Dobrik’s YouTube channel, which is what ultimately planted the seed.

You’re a one man show who does everything from planning to producing to post-producing your content — It’s insanely incredible what you’ve achieved. On that note, though, what is your most favorite and least favorite thing about doing it all solo?

Cory’s really the one man show, but I can answer for him since we share the same brain. First, he’d be stoked by the compliment. Then, he’d say his favorite thing is learning all the crafts he’s new to, like storytelling, performing, cinematography, music, stuff like that. His least fav is there’s no one to give the crap work to.

Blu and Chatterbox smiling on his spaceship

I can only imagine! If your top fans were reading this and you could say one thing to them… what would you say?

Pwn Elon!

Haha. So, we’re here on Xanadu… but where are you from originally? What’s that place like? Do you miss anything about it?

I’m from planet Tykera, which is pretty cool if you like doing nothing. I bounced off that rock early on... to pursue my dreams, you could say. I do miss my family, especially my mom.

Maybe you’ll get to link up with her someday and introduce us on your channel! You’re clearly not alone, though — I see you have a friend on your ship… Tell me more about him?

That’s Chatterbox. And, until recently, he’d been hiding out from his former employer inside this box of random contraptions I scored at an intergalactic pawn shop.

Nowadays he flies around the ship, inescapably jabbering and giving me headaches — So, depending on the day, I flip flop between jettisoning him into outer space or taking him on as my first crew member.

From Cory’s standpoint, Chatterbox represents another side of his personality or a voice in his head separate from mine. Another alter ego, if you will.

Left side is Blu's Zen Pod. Right side image of Chatterbox the small alien sidekick
Blu's 'Zen Pod' and Chatterbox

That’s meta. I see you’re partnering with Teflon Sega on a new episode! I’m a massive Teflon fan! What’s it like working with him? What artists or celebrities do you dream of collaborating with?

It’s hard not to love Teflon. He’s a badass mofo. On the other hand, the metaverse is pretty empty atm, so I didn’t have much choice when it came to finding a collab ;p Haha!

Seriously, though. He’s one of those rare beings I clicked with from the get go, which I cherish. I have a feeling we’ll be doing lots together over the coming years. Hell, if I have it my way, we’ll eventually form the Guardians of the Metaverse with he and I as its first two members. I want CodeMiko, too, but she’s busy building an empire.  

Speaking of Guardians, my dream collab would be James Gunn writing an episode or two of Xanadu… or me being an extra in Guardians of the Galaxy III. Best part is I can fly to whatever planet they're shooting on and just be in the background, you know, in some bar scene!

A diagram of the solar system re-imagined as Blu's empire

That’s true! Hey, if anyone from Marvel is reading this or knows someone at Marvel—this is your guy!! So, you’re a clear advocate for NFTs and the general advancement of the Metaverse. What do you think is coming next for web3?

I see two key ingredients evolving and melding that are essential for something like a metaverse to exist. On the experiential side, immersive VR and real time game platforms give us a super canvas to create more dynamic art, tell interactive stories, play games, grow communities, foster a culture or even build an entire world from the ground up.

On the structural side, crypto tech represents the framework needed to operate and scale a community or world because it adds governance and commerce, thus economies, jobs and opportunities for growth and expansion. The best part is crypto represents a generally open/interchangeable architecture with various degrees of autonomy, which means small groups or individual creators can build big things historically impossible.  

I think a creative renaissance is right around the corner because the Metaverse represents such a fertile playground of raw, scalable potential. Imma calls it the Great Creative Conjunction because it's going to attract folks across so many industries, and it’ll be hella fun and unpredictable watching it all converge and play out! The downside is it’s going to be a frackin mess early on as we all fumble to grasp what it's really all about. Eventually we’ll wield all this potential with a clearer purpose, and when we do, it won’t resemble anything like what’s happening today!

I do have to add how much I love and cherish reality and have no plans to abandon it! The metaverse is just a new uber playground that I'm excited to get dirty in.

Behind the scenes in Unreal Engine

Hype! I love it. Where would you dream to see your whole production in the next few years? You started from the bottom… but what’s on the horizon?

I'm dreaming of the day when I can capture Xanadu episodes entirely in VR while working alongside an excellent virtual cast and crew. Think about fun film production, but everything’s happening in virtual space. I’m also excited to experiment with live streaming content in a similar sense. Imagine Xanadu entertainment more like a virtual play or sitcom that unfolds live in front of a “studio audience.”

But what thrills me most is exploring audience interactivity, ways the audience can be a part of the Xanadu episodes, whether as characters, flies on the wall, or more elaborately sewn into the fabric of the story. I think crypto tech can play a big role in facilitating this.  

I can envision it... Now, are there any special or secret projects you can tell us a bit about? Always looking for alpha…

I’m fostering a couple unique NFT ideas but can’t say much more than that, other than they're cooking on a very slow brew. One downside to rolling solo is anything outside of my focus beam (making episodes) leaves snail trails, at least for the moment.

Otherwise, I'm toying with the idea of building a small metaverse bubble/artist community.  Imagine a handful of meta artists in spaceship studios clustered around Xanadu… We’re all working on our own things but occasionally come together for this or that cool collaboration project.  

Over time, more would come, like the intro scene in “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” where the space station begins to grow exponentially as more countries come onboard, then aliens began arriving from various galaxies, growing it even bigger until eventually it becomes the size of a planet. Planet Xanadu!

Planet Xanadu… I can’t wait to live there someday! Finally, the question I ask every virtual I meet—Who are you, Blu?

I’m just a Blu alien building an Empire. B

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