Artist Spotlight: The Evolution of Music NFTs
The music business has a history of digital revolution. In recent decades, P2P file sharing and streaming have reshaped how music is distributed and enjoyed. This tradition of disruption is continuing with a new breakthrough, one remixing the industry yet again: music NFTs.
Music NFTs give musicians a new universe of creative and financial options, expanding the range of art they can make and allowing them to earn more. The Avaissance program includes some of the hungriest and most talented musicians in the biz. Don’t believe us? Keep reading.
Meet these three of the many Avaissance musicians – each with a different sound and philosophy, all with the desire to drop game-changing work on Avalanche.
Inch Chua, a Singaporean “songsmith” who plays guitar, synthesizer, keyboard, and more, has released six albums and a bunch of singles. Inch has become a fixture in Singapore's indie music scene. These days, Inch has been expanding beyond music, layering it with other artforms.
For a theater production, Inch traveled to Antarctica to record sounds, which she piped to her audience through headphones. Her show blurred music, theater, and tech, the experience channeling her journey with the Antarctic ClimateForce expedition.
Despite a lifelong interest in technology, Inch hasn’t entered Web3 until now.
“Avaissance is my Web3 debut,” she said. “My philosophy is to build not with who will get you there but who you want to get there with. Avalanche and Avaissance have a clear vision and a builder’s ethos that attract me. The Avaissance community has felt very welcoming.”
For her Avaissance project, Inch hopes to feature the odd sounds of air escaping ice, which she says you can hear by pressing your ear to a glacier.
She’s still pondering possibilities. “I’m still researching the NFT landscape,” she says. “I’m someone who comes from a world of traditional releases. I’ve always had a strong cyber life, but I’m trying to figure out how to tether these experiences for listeners in the real world.”
Isaac Haselkorn toured with bands in India and Boston, playing as many as 200 shows per year, before the pandemic sent his business to zero. But the metaverse is always open, so today Isaac, who makes music under the moniker Almost Owen, has his heart set on Web3.
“I’m interested in tapping into experiences that aren’t available in Web2,” he said. “Or experiences that I can make more seamless or novel by delivering through this new medium.”
Isaac’s first album, Late Night Dangerous, pushed content and delivery boundaries. The pop album tracks a relationship from first spark to bitter end. Listeners who signed up for the album received one song per day by email, absorbing the story and album slowly over time. “That required a lot of Web2 tooling and integrating apps, Google sheets, Gmail, and other things,” he said.
Isaac is attracted to blockchain and music NFTs for the chance they give him to do things in new ways, even things beyond music. “There are other reasons I’m attracted to the crypto space that are just a part of my native curiosity, for the tech, for the excitement of being on the edge.”
He searches around on Etherscan and Snowtrace. He collects NFTs from other musicians. He’s jazzed to create on Avalanche and has some refreshing ideas about how a governance token might allow holders to influence song subjects and the music making process.
“I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far on Avalanche,” Isaac said. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Latashá is a hip-hop artist and “polymath creatrix” who augments her music with design, film, and other visual arts. Despite her successes (she has opened shows for Kanye West and Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest)), she believes the music industry is broken. NFTs, she believes, might be the way forward.
“I’m a big fan of the idea of remodeling the music industry, or deconstructing to reconstruct the music industry,” she says. “I believe the utilization of smart contracts to reimagine distribution is going to be the future of music.”
Latashá claims to be the first woman rapper on blockchain and the first creator to release an on-chain music video. NFTs have helped her make a living.
“The streaming platforms don’t give artists the value they would receive through NFTs or Web3,” she explained. “Additionally, artists don’t have the transparency that blockchain offers to musicians.”
Thanks to this greater transparency, Latashá has been able to study her NFT sales and identify her superfans.
As a music NFT artist, Latashá feels more freedom – both financially and creatively. “When I got into Web3, it was the first time I felt my value being met so quickly and without anyone telling me what my value was supposed to be.”
Though she has already minted and made big sales, she’s “very, very excited” about Avaissance. For her Avaissance project, Latashá wants to build worlds. She plans to drop a demo collection that intertwines music, AI, and photography using Avalanche.
For more on Avaissance, visit the pioneering program’s homepage.
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