Singaporean musician JJ Lin is the latest celebrity to take his talents to the world of Web3. Earlier in July, it was announced that Lin would be joining ARC — Asia’s first app-based community with an NFT membership — as a co-founder, alongside Kiat Lim and Elroy Cheo.
Although this is a new undertaking for Lin, he’s no stranger to managing businesses. Over the years, he has built up an impressive portfolio, with ventures in F&B, e-sports, fashion, and music.
With NFTs being the latest addition, it seemed a fitting time to go over JJ Lin’s portfolio of business ventures, in chronological order.
Starting off, JFJ Productions is an extension of the endeavour which Lin is most known for: music.
Lin founded the music production company in 2007 and continues to lead it today alongside production manager Guanlong Huang, and studio manager Xinting Zhou.
The acronym ‘JFJ’ stands for ‘Just For Jesus’, a nod to Lin’s Christian roots which serve as one of the primary influences for his music.
Based in Taiwan, the company operates a physical studio with audio and video recording equipment. JFJ Productions has helped produce some of Lin’s most renowned works, including his collaborations with artists including Steve Aoki and Anne Marie.
Other artists such as Junshuo Xhu and Zhiying Lin have also made use of the studio’s services in the past.
Still Moving Under Gunfire (SMG)
In 2009, Lin started up his own fashion label called Still Moving Under Gunfire (SMG). The idea behind it was to recognise the volatile nature of life and how one can, at times, feel like they are ‘under gunfire’.
Partnered with photographer Matthew Edward Loh, Lin set out to bring this vision to life. The two hoped to create a streetwear label which illustrated a lifestyle of strength and faith.
SMG started off with a year-long showcase at a boutique cafe on Ann Siang Road, before establishing an independent presence at SMUDGEStore in Cathay Cineleisure Orchard. The store offered apparel from the SMG label as well as other streetwear brands including Subcrew and Devilock.
At the time, Lin spoke about the label as a way for him to live a fuller life beyond music. “I try to see my life as a complete entity that includes my entertainment career and my current business venture,” he told AsiaOne.
SMG’s Singapore outlet shut down in 2013 as the location was no longer suitable for the brand. However, SMUDGEStore’s have since opened up in Shanghai and Taipei over the past three years.
“It’s my dream to reopen SMG in Singapore,” Lin said in an interview with Female Singapore.
Skipping forward to 2017, Lin expanded the scope of Still Moving Under Gunfire (SMG) and launched his esports organisation under the same branding.
The team started off by participating in the ‘Realm of Valor’ professional league and has since branched out to a number of different games.
Today, the organisation has rosters in Singapore, Malaysia, and China, competing in games including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Mobile Legends, and Valorant.
According to Esportsearnings, Team SMG has won over US$2.2 million in prize money across 42 tournaments. A majority of the earnings have come from competing in PUBG Mobile in China.
In 2020 and 2021, Team SMG fielded an all-Singaporean Valorant Team, which won over US$25,000 in prize money as per Liquipedia.
In 2018, Lin ventured into the F&B industry with his very own chain of cafes. The name ‘Miracle Coffee’ was inspired by a philosophy which Lin was exploring through his music at the time: “If miracles had a sound, what would it sound like?”
Miracle Coffee’s first outlet was a kiosk in Taipei’s Neihu district. The interior design was done by Singapore-based Parable Studio, who set out to create a space where people could experience everyday miracles through coffee.
The cafe uses single origin coffee beans from different parts of the world, including Panama, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
In 2019, Lin opened a second outlet at the SMUDGEStore in Shanghai. It was met with immense reception, with customers queueing up for as long as 14 hours to get a coffee on the opening day.
Today, there are four Miracle Coffee outlets in operation. The latest two are located in Taipei’s Da’an district, one being part of the SMUDGEStore.
In July 2022, NFT company ARC announced that JJ Lin would be joining the team as a co-founder. Although it’s Lin’s first business venture in the space, he has long been a participant. Lin is known to have spent close to S$900,000 on NFTs, although the figure could be a lot higher in reality.
Upon joining ARC, Lin explained that he was inspired by the idea of co-creating and bringing diverse groups of people together. As the company works to be a bridge between the Web2 and Web3 worlds, Lin hopes to put his prior experience across different industries to good use.
“The music industry and business world have taught me a lot about creating new ventures, but also given me tremendous opportunity for personal growth. I hope to bring those elements to help nurture budding talents, fuel new ideas and put Asian ventures in different fields on the global map,” says Lin.