1. Tell us about yourself, your background and how you became involved (and so knowledgeable) in the world of music NFTs!
My Name is Kevin Christensen (artist name Kevin $avage) and I’m an NFT advisor, artist, music producer, and influencer – which ultimately led me to the world of NFTs!
I’ve always been interested in Cryptocurrency, and have bought and sold Doge, Litecoin, Bitcoin, and Etherum. I initially wrote off NFTs because it wasn’t clear how it would fit my interests. However, after hearing people discussing them on Clubhouse, I began researching and realized that this could be a ripe space for the beat selling market. I then wrote a short white paper and also created a YouTube video on the topic. That video blew up, and so I began doing consultations with potential clients, as well as a video with another big NFT pundit/consultant, Death Beach.
I researched minting platforms (minting is the process of creating the token). From this, I used my own Crypto to mint some NFT’s, and thought about how one would release their own NFTs. Since then, I’ve been advising artists and clients on how they can mint and market their NFTs.
2. What does NFT stand for and what are NFTs?
NFT stands for “Non-Fungible Token.” Essentially, it is a digital certificate of authenticity or a smart contract that keeps track of who owns the contract and what the contract contains.
The way I like to describe NFTs to clients is that it is a digital asset that can be sold and traded with a clear record of who originally created it and who has owned it. In many ways, NFTs are similar to digital trading cards, since they only have as much value as the market determines.
3. How does this relate to the music industry / how do NFTs work in this space?
When I came into the NFT space, music NFT’s existed but weren’t really talked about. It’s a relatively new space that is growing rapidly, with artists innovating and figuring out how to make NFTs work for them.
NFTs in the music industry aren’t one size fits all. I’ve seen artists and producers mint digital items like sample tracks and unreleased tracks, or mint tokens that can be redeemed for physical items. It depends on your brand and what you think you could market to your audience!
When I work with clients, I figure out what assets they have in order to figure out their point of difference. Here are some examples:
- For touring artists with a large fan base, minting a token that gives the token holder a backstage pass would work.
- For songwriters or producers, I would suggest minting a token to be recognized track credits, or even mint voice memos or notes of early work.
- For artists whose fan base consists of a lot of producers, minting rare samples or full project files could be hugely valuable.
- For artists with memorable or collectable content, minting their tracks into one-of-a-kind memorabilia could entice collectors. Imagine if John Williams minted the Star Wars theme and sold it as a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia! He would retain all the rights, but the holder would get to own the only Star Wars themed NFT.
Keep in mind that these techniques only work if you continue to heavily market your content. Plus, you’ll need a loyal community because your fans will truly provide the value to your content. The sky is truly the limit, so think outside the box about what you think a collector or fan might find alluring!
4. Why do you think NFTs are popular at the moment?
There has been an increasing interest in the Crypto space due to some uncertainty around fiat currency. I think because NFTs exist as a way to turn your Crypto into more Crypto, there are a lot of people out there interested in making money. This has attracted a lot of artists as well as collectors to create, buy, and sell NFT’s.
There have also been a lot of big names such as Mark Cuban spreading awareness on Twitter, which helps direct attention to the space. I think because there has been attention from mainstream press, the platform has snowballed. At this point, NFT’s are a meme which also helps grow their popularity. Saturday Night Live even did a whole sketch on them!
Outside the celebrity element, we have seen NFT’s like Cryptokitty and Cryptopunks sell for insane price points. There are also a number of smaller brands in the space like illmind and 3LAU who have been very successful by offering content with intrinsic value. In my opinion, the NFT space is very fertile for the music industry to put it to use as a way to sell things that you normally would see sold, and be able to do it easily and with transparency.
5. Are there any artists we might know that are involved with music NFTs?
Maybe more than you would think! A couple off the top off my head would be:
- Shawn Mendez
- Calvin Harris
- Kings of Leon
- The Weeknd
- Tory Lanez
6. What do you think those interested in NFTs should know?
Firstly, NFT’s aren’t a get-rich-quick scheme! Don’t expect to mint an NFT and sell it for millions of dollars. Also, depending on your project, you will probably spend money minting the NFT itself. Because of this, you will need to really promote your NFT – whether that is on Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Telegram, Discord, or Facebook. You need to attract the people in the NFT space as well as your fans if you want to be successful.
Finally, before you move forward, come up with a strategy. Partner with people who are experienced in NFTs, and perhaps reach out to them for a short consultation. They can provide knowledge about the space, and help you save time and money, and enter with a game plan. If you are interested in buying NFTs, watch out for NFT bubbles and you will see NFTs that explode in price. I’d stay away from those NFTs, look for the undervalued projects with good communities and unique ideas, and invest in those.
7. Do you have any advice for songwriters and copyright holders in regard to music NFTs?
Seek out legal counsel before minting any music. This is very much the Wild West, so there isn’t a lot of precedent. Get some legal guidance before minting anything that could violate any contracts. If you hold all the rights to the content, that is different. But, if you share rights, make sure your bases are covered.
On the other hand, if an artist/label comes to you about an NFT release, ask to receive some future royalty sales of the NFT. One cool thing about NFTs is that even after the initial sale, you can make kickbacks from future sales. Let’s say you sell your NFT for 1 ETH, and in the contract you have noted that there is 10% royalty on future sales. If the NFT is later resold for 10ETH, you would make another 1 ETH from that sale!
8. Any final comments or advice for our readers?
As with anything, do your research. This is a technical and confusing space. Hopefully, things will become more simplified as new platforms are developed to mint and sell NFTs. Also, ask questions and see what others are doing. This can be helpful to learn and grow.
Lastly, REMEMBER YOUR SEED PHRASE! Keep it safe so that you don’t lose access to your digital wallet.
Further Information About Kevin & Audiosocket
A big thanks to Kevin for his insight into NFTs and for breaking it down for us! You can keep track of Kevin via his socials or contact details here:
Artist name: Kevin $avage
If you like to keep your finger on the pulse in the industry, check out our articles on music industry trends in 2021, how TikTok is changing the music industry and music podcasts you need to hear. Don’t forget that Audiosocket is always here for your music needs with our catalog of over 80,000 tracks for you to license!