The COVID-19 pandemic virtually eliminated all artists' major sources of income in 2020. Live performances came to an end, sales of items drew to a halt, and the money stopped flowing.
Months passed by without much improvement.
But as a new kind of music art emerged, it was inevitable that the music business will use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in 2021.
And so it was in 2021 that both established and upcoming musicians began to use a brand-new kind of music known as NFTs.
NFTs are a novel class of digital assets. They provide new channels for content producers to promote and monetize their works, broadening the potential audiences for literature, music, and other forms of media.
The term "music NFT" means precisely what it says. Musical composition is included in this NFT. A single song, a whole album, or even a music video might qualify.
Musicians discovered that they could offer exclusive, tokenized copies of their artwork to their audience directly using this technology, which would ultimately result in much bigger earnings.
Royal and Nas’ first-ever NFT sells in minutes
In January 2022, the hip-hop legend Nas received eternal life on the blockchain. Nas and 3LAU collaborated to present his first-ever NFT collection on the aforementioned platform, Royal, of the legendary DJ in a two-part drop.
1,870 NFTs were included in the collection, which was the first live sale of NFTs on Royal.io.
Both drops sold out quite quickly. And the whole revenue was more than $560,000.
Without further ado.. we're honored to announce Hip Hop legend, innovator and entrepreneur @Nas will be the first artist to drop his music on royal on January 11th! https://t.co/TkyWvOJOvY pic.twitter.com/hQGGXVuPhz— royal (@join_royal) January 6, 2022
Coachella’s NFT collection offers lifetime festival passes
In an effort to embrace NFTs, Coachella, one of the biggest and most well-known events in the world, released a variety of digital collectibles. They made a big splash with their NFT offering in February 2022.
Why? Coachella announced plans for a multi-part NFT drop that month in collaboration with the massive cryptocurrency exchange FTX, part of which included lifelong festival passes.
Coachella Collectibles provides fans the chance to buy lifelong festival passes, unlock special on-site experiences, physical items, and more. It has a total of 11,010 NFTs spread over three collections.
Introducing Coachella Collectibles NFTs 🎡 Lifetime festival passes, digital collectibles redeemable for physical items & more available Friday at 10am PT at https://t.co/D8v4cD04wc— Coachella (@coachella) February 1, 2022
Explore our debut collections👇 pic.twitter.com/eEPdVvxPhg
Dillon Francis signs residency deal for Bored Ape NFT
Electronic artist Dillon Francis has received several honors. The platinum-selling DJ and producer garnered Latin Grammy and Latin American Music Award nominations for "Sexo" in 2018; in March 2022, he added a historic deal to his resume.
In return for an NFT from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, Francis agreed to a sole residency with Big Night.
Snoop Dogg releases first Death Row NFT mixtape
Snoop Dogg released an NFT mixtape on OpenSea little than a month after acquiring ownership of the storied Death Row Records, the company that saw his rise to fame.
The compilation, "Dogg on it: Death Row Mixtape Vol. 1," was released on the Polygon blockchain and includes entire songs, acapella, and rhythms that Snoop made in conjunction with musicians from all around the world.
"Dogg on it" was a fresh competitor in the expanding music NFT sector at the time. The collection was an alluring drop for the Hip-Hop audience within the NFT ecosystem since NFTs granted complete ownership rights to their owners.
Snoop would release "Death Row Mixtape Vol. 2" in April, containing an even larger lineup of Web3 musicians and artists.
NFTs take over the Grammys
The Grammy Awards, the most esteemed ceremony in the music business, included a representation of NFTs in April 2022. As part of a three-year effort to include NFTs into the entire Grammy experience, the Grammys unveiled an official NFT collection in partnership with Tezos-based NFT platform OneOf.
Coachella x ODESZA NFT breaks Solana 1/1 sales record
An exclusive NFT with a 360-degree immersive experience of the Antarctic Dome at Coachella sold for $145,000 on April 18, 2022, exceeding the previous record for a single NFT transaction on the Solana blockchain.
The NFT, which clocks in at little under six minutes yet provides an almost flawless visual representation of Coachella's REGEN's unique projection dome experience, contains work from nine prominent digital artists and a musical composition by ODESZA.
Pussy Riot and Salem Ilese Drop ‘Crypto Boy’ in support of reproductive rights
After their song "Crypto Boy" acquired popularity on social media in the spring of 2022, American singer-songwriter Salem Ilese became viral. Ilese decided to work with Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot on an NFT release with a charitable goal in line with the tone of the song.
Ilese and Tolokonnikova recruited popular TikTokers Sad Alex, 30, and July for a music NFT collection, as opposed to women's reproductive rights, which grew quickly in the U.S.
They had the intention of donating 100% of the proceeds from the collection's primary sale to the Center for Reproductive Rights. The initiative, appropriately dubbed "Crypto Boy," served as another example of how NFTs may be utilized for good.
SongCamp launches Camp Chaos NFT collection
SongCamp, a collective Web3 lab exploring the frontiers of blockchain and music technology, embarked on one of the largest projects the music NFT industry has ever seen in March 2022. Chaos was founded as a 77-person "headless band" with the goal of writing 45 songs for publication as an NFT compilation costing over 20,000 unique tokens.
Chaos was the third project ever for SongCamp and its most daring undertaking to date. It was created by musicians, visual artists, engineers, and more. With Chaos, the SongCamp community developed a ground-breaking use-case for Web3 music collaborations and proposed fresh, original ideas for dividing money.
Pharrell Williams joins Doodles as Chief Brand Officer
One of the most significant statements Doodles made at NFT.NYC 2022 was that Pharrell Williams will be joining the team of the adored PFP project as Chief Brand Officer. Just over a month and a half had passed since Julian Holguin, a former president of Billboard, was appointed CEO of Doodles.
It was also announced at the same time that Doodles would be breaking into the music industry through Doodles Records, with a Volume 1 compilation to be released, featuring original music with executive production from Pharrell. However, it is still unknown exactly what the long-term plan is for Pharrell x Doodles.
LimeWire returns from the dead as a music NFT platform
LimeWire, a historical client for peer-to-peer file sharing, saw a chance to reinvent itself as an NFT and Web3-focused brand, much like other abandoned products and services. LimeWire debuted its marketplace in July with featured collections from Travis Barker, Soulja Boy, Dillon Francis, A$AP TyY, and other artists after concluding a $10.4 million private token sale in April.
Bored Ape-masked DJ takes over the main stage at Tomorrowland
At the next edition of the famed Belgian electronic dance music festival Tomorrowland in 2022, Ape Rave Club, a DJ, and production initiative reported to be supported by "some of the most exciting producers and creatives in dance music and NFTs," took the stage.
A single DJ made the Ape Rave Club live premiere, performing an hour-long set to a crowd of thousands while sporting BAYC merch and a complete wraparound Bored Ape-styled helmet.
To sum it up…
NFTs have had a significant impact that is being felt throughout the digital, financial, and creative industries. But the most instructive litmus test for how blockchain technology can make it easier for people to co-create and co-own intellectual property seems to be the music industry alone!
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