It was the dark days for music artists during the pandemic caused by Covid-19. They were deprived of their primary sources of income. Interaction with their fans was the way by which the artists were earning income. But with the pandemic there came an end to it as live shows were not possible, physical CD sales reached rock bottom and therefore there was low income flowing in for the music artists. Although there was a silver lining that appeared on the dark days. The music industry got into Non-fungible tokens which is by far the most crucial step the music has taken up.
Nevertheless, this venturing into NFTs of the Music industry was bound to happen. With independent artists, musicians were keenly in search of a way to earn income. The inclusion is also fueled by the close relationship between technology and the music industry. So they are among the first to come across any developments going around in the digital world. Furthermore, with this prominent artists including the budding ones got into a new form of music known as NFTs.
Understanding a Music NFT is simple. It is an NFT that incorporates music. It may be only one song, an entire album, or even a music clip. Musicians understood that by using this technology, they could offer exclusive, tokenized versions of their artwork to their followers directly, which would ultimately result in much bigger earnings.
As of now, there has been a lot of innovative participation of musicians in NFTs. All the instances that have taken place with music and NFTs convey that the NFTs and Music are the best collaboration to exist. This collaboration will go on in the future to become a huge success. The future of the music industry becomes even less certain now that the potential for wealth sharing within an independent, digital ecosystem of consumers and creators has materialized with NFTs.
In this article, you will find the best Music NFT moments that created a buzz in the music industry and have become a milestone in the development of music alongside NFTs. The list has been made in progressive order based on the months of the year.
February 2021 – Best NFT Music Moments
Jacques Greene sells his music rights via the Foundation
A U.K.-based record label LuckyMe made an announcement on February 2021 which might’ve been the push music needed to get into the NFT space. They announced that Jacques Greene who is a major artist of their record label would “in perpetuity” auction off the publishing rights to his brand-new song. The song’s title, “Promise,” was entirely appropriate. Fans only heard a brief six-second taster of the song prior to the auction, which was made available through the art marketplace Foundation. The song brought in 13 ETH.
In a statement posted to the Foundation website, Greene discussed the ideas that went into the piece and its relevance. “This NFT represents not only a 1of1 AV but the publishing rights to the song upon its release, in perpetuity. As we explore the possibilities of art on the chain and the promise of web3, we can maybe begin to let go of old systems. This platform is a promise. You can buy the copyright here. In purchase you will own the publishing to the song,” he said.
“I’m excited (and scared) of what possibilities and promises lie in this field, and for arts and culture in general. I have a lot of hopes and fears tied to it. Much rather think and talk about what might happen than sit around feeling dread. This platform is a promise,” he said on Twitter.
3LAU raises $11.7 million with Ultraviolet NFT album
Justin Blau aka 3LAU is one of the first music artists to get into NFTs. Around the autumn of 2020, he made a sale of his first NFT. This was followed by more NFT sales by 3LAU. When February was coming to an end in 2021 3LAU NFT collection Ultraviolet consisted of 33 NFTs sold for around $11.7 million. Surprisingly, the millions of money he amassed were done in just 3 days.
Justin Blau was starstruck with the achievement that came with the NFT sale. In an interview with Forbes Blau said “We were all cheering, and then everyone just stopped talking. Trust me, I didn’t know it was going to go this high.” This launched Justin Blau to stardom and gained authority in the NFT world.
In August he announced that he is developing an NFT music platform known as Royal. The platform will allow the NFT owners to gain royalties from artists’ and musicians’ songs. This further raised his bar in the world of NFT and music collaboration.
March 2021 – Best NFT Music Moments
“Catalog”-The first platform for audio NFTs was launched
The launch of Catalog was a revolutionary instance for music and NFTs. This was also the first marketplace for audio NFTs. It was released around the beginning of March 2021. This platform was released to give authority to independent artists. The platform will enable the artists to have direct contact with their fans. This launch showed that NFTs can be applied innovatively in music.
With “Catalog” the artists get 100% of profits from sales and a cut of every resale. They also have the freedom to choose the rate. Additionally, the artists receive everything mentioned above without giving up any of their copyrights. Moreover, because every artist on the platform has been authenticated, customers can be sure they are purchasing products from real artists and not from copycats.
This was followed by the partnership of Catalog with Bajan artist Haleek Maul for the sale of four tracks from his asset-backed Inner EP. The 13-minute sale garnered 56 ETH, which at the time was equivalent to $235,000, over one week in late October. “Touch,” a single song, sold for 17.1039 ETH ($68,491) all by itself.
Steve Aoki, Grimes make millions by selling NFTs
Grimes earned about $6 million in just 20 minutes by selling NFTs on NFT Marketplace Nifty Gateway. The NFT collection was called WarNymph Collection Vol 1 and this happened in March of 2021. Grimes made about $5.8 million by selling 10 exclusive digital artworks and a part of them by original songs.
Then it was followed by Steve Aoki, a world-renowned DJ, and producer, launching his first NFT Dream Catcher on Nifty Gateway. The NFT collection was sold for $4.5 million. The 11 distinct pieces of Dream Catcher were produced in conjunction with renowned visual artist Antoni Tudisco. They also boasted distinctive noises and stunning animation.
The above-mentioned sales gave a head start to music and NFTs. This further led to more NFT sales by music artists such as The Weeknd and Eminem. The Weeknd made about $2 million with his NFT collection and Eminem made $1.78 million with his first NFT collection.
Kings of Leon was the first band to release their LP as NFT
Kings of Leon released their album When You See Yourself in March 2021. This was their new album in over three years and fans were thrilled to get their hands on it. It was issued by RCA records and made their LP available as an NFT as well. They became the first band to ever release an album as an NFT on the YellowHeart platform.
They made over 820 ETH or $1.45 million at that time. Caleb Followill from the Kings of Leon band said in an interview with CleveRock “It’s crazy that the NFT blew up the way that it did. We’re all somewhat educated on it, and, at least in the beginning, I’m still scratching my head and trying to figure it all out.”
The NFTs included lifelong concert passes, exclusive digital editions of the album, and other items. Following that, the group from “On Call” and “Sex on Fire” contributed more than $500,000 to Live Nation’s Crew Nation Fund, which was created to aid road crews who were impacted by the epidemic.
RAC Launches SixNFT agency
Music producer and artist RAC, who is located in Portland, was familiar with music-based NFTs before launching his SixNFT Agency back in March of 2021. 2017 saw the release of the Grammy-winning musician’s album EGO via the blockchain-powered beta streaming and download service Ujo Music.
The SixNFT agency as per their website has the objective to assist “musicians, brands, and visual artists break into the world of NFTs….six was founded under the belief that creators and communities should be empowered to build their sustainable economies.” Six has already aided internationally renowned musicians BT, Galantis, and Tycho in creating incredibly successful drops.
“The Disclosure Face” was purchased by Delphi Digital for $125K
Disclosure a well-known electronic music duo put up the image from their 2012 EP the Face for sale as NFT. A group of their supporters who were already NFT investors made the decision to go all-in and bought it for $140,000. For the owners of the NFT, the Zora deal also included a lifetime supply of tickets to a Disclosure show.
Since then, the followers have gotten close to the group. Disclosure has given sets at occasions hosted by Delphi Digital.
April 2021-Best NFT Music Moments
Don Diablo sells first full-length concert film NFT
In 2021, Dutch DJ Don Diablo created NFT history when he made the first full-concert DVD available as a cryptocurrency asset through SuperRare. It was known as Destination Hexagonia. It consisted of a one-hour DJ set from the creator of “Cutting Shapes” and “Cheque” with sci-fi style visuals with 3D rendered sets.
The winning bidder, who spent about 600 ETH ($1.26 million at the time), along with the NFT, also received a special USB stick with the file. The show took a year to plan, according to Diablo. The purpose was to produce a cutting-edge sci-fi inspired live set with a cinematic approach as a singular work of futuristic art, as he explained in an interview.
VÉRITÉ becomes the first artist to auction master recording rights in perpetuity
Brooklyn-based songwriter VÉRITÉ debuted her beautiful new tune, “By Now,” in April. The musician, whose songs have received more than 350 million streams and who has never signed with a record label, sold 2.3% of the master recording in perpetuity as an audiovisual NFT on Zora for 11 ETH. The transaction brought VÉRITÉ praise from the NFT community and continues to be a significant turning point for independent artists.
May 2021-Best NFT Music Moments
SongCamp releases genesis NFTs
Around the spring of 2021, several musicians and visual artists got together and collaborated to produce three new songs. They divided themselves into three teams and gave themselves unique names. The artists spent five weeks working on the multimedia songs, which were later released as music NFTs.
The tracks “Static Twist” by The Lunar Veil, “Hold on Hope” by Driftwood TX, and “Antid0t3” by Rainbow Punch collectively brought approximately 10.05 ETH (about $34,000) from sales.
The first classical music composition to be sold on the blockchain
The first piece of classical music to be sold on the blockchain was an NFT of a special digital recording that was auctioned off by a Texas choral group in the first few days of May 2021. It was in January that the Dallas-based Verdigris Ensemble recorded the song “Betty’s Notebook.”
Nicholas Reeves’ 21-minute composition was listed on Async Art, a blockchain-based digital art auction site. At the time, it was worth $375,000. The winning bid was 56.46 ETH. All those participating in the historic recording received a share of the earnings.
Chi Modu passes away after minting NFTs of work
Chi Modu, a hip-hop photographer is very well known for his candid shots of prominent hip-hop artists. The imaginative photographer, who was born in Nigeria captured some of the most well-known pictures of the Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Mobb Deep, and Tupac.
At the age of 54, Modu passed away on May 19. Modu, however, minted 19 NFTs of his photographs right before he passed away and made them accessible through his website.
24-hour song is released by BT as NFT
Genesis.json was the product of ten months of labor by trance musician BT. It is a special “piece of software” that was offered on SuperRare as an NFT. Genesis.json will cover a 24-hour period and is deemed one of the most technologically advanced NFTs to date. It features more than 15,000 hand-sequenced audio and visual events.
According to a press statement, the cycle of the artwork will continue every day as long as the internet does. The song was sold for $212,000 (88.8 ETH). BT concluded during the sale: “I believe the blockchain and decentralized technologies are a paradigm-shifting system that respects artists and their work.”
August 2021-Best NFT Music Moments
The controversy around Tory Lanez NFT album release
The release of Tory Lanez’s NFT album When It’s Dark was accompanied by a little amount of controversy. It was made available in seven different NFTs. However, Lanez collaborated with E-NFT, which managed the auction.
Following the auction of Tory Lanez’s NFT album, fans criticized the E-NFT platform on Reddit. Users reported anomalies and flaws that complicated attempts to purchase the NFTs. Fans also mentioned that they later tried to sell the NFT for a profit and ran into problems with the E-NFT platform. Many people also vented their annoyance on Twitter, with some claiming that the rapper had deceived them. Lanez has not commented on the situation.
Audius becomes the first Web3 streaming service to partner with TikTok
Audius is one of the most unique Web3 streaming services. It was introduced in 2019 and is run by artists and is owned by a group of token holders as opposed to a single centralized organization. The system is made up of a fully decentralized music streaming protocol that was created using open-source blockchain technology. With stronger control over their recordings and how they are released, musicians will have better insights into who is streaming their music.
Audius confirmed it was collaborating with TikTok in an agreement announced in mid-August to make the songs of its more than 100,000 artists available for inclusion in TikTok videos.
For placing on the Audius charts, the platform features a rewards program that pays artists in $AUDIO. Currently, Diplo, Weezer, and Odesza are clients of the platform. Additionally, they have millions of monthly active users. Later, in September, TikTok would launch its “Moments” project, which would star Curtis Roach.
First CryptoPunk rapper Spottie WIFI sells $192,000 in music NFTs
Rapper Mig Mora from Illinois spent many years trying to establish himself in the harsh music business. Although for him the light at the end of the tunnel was at arm’s length. Mora received a second chance at a musical career in February 2021. For this CryptoPunks NFT played a major role. The alteration specifically happened when Mora bought CryptoPunk #5528.
After changing his name to Spottie WiFi, Mora became the sole CryptoPunk rapper in the entire world. Then, in August 2021, Mora issued a seven-song EP with a 2,000-copy cap. Each edition included a mystery mint NFT that gave the buyer immediate access to the master recording of the NFT. He ultimately sold $192,000 in music NFTs in a matter of seconds.
October 2021-Best NFT Music moments
The Wu-Tang NFT album was purchased by PleasrDAO
Once Upon a Time in Shaolin took The Wu-Tang Clan six years to complete, and the album was only released as a single copy in 2015. Then 3 years later the album was taken by the government from its original owner “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli. It ranks among the rarest albums ever released because not many people have heard it. PleasrDAO, a group of early adopters of DeFi, now owns it. The current sale, which cost the company $4 million, was facilitated by SixNFT.
In a blog post, PleasrDAO explained their decision-making process: “We firmly believe there are ways to share this musical masterpiece with the world. A lot of things in life are temporary, fleeting, and impermanent. But remember this — just like our blockchain, Wu-Tang is forever.”
Bored Ape Yacht Club throws Apefest during NFT NYC
The Bored Ape Yacht Club, one of the best NFT projects was released on April 2021. It became an instant classic in the NFT space. Gordon Goner, Gargamel, No Sass, and Emperor Tomato Ketchup were the ones who developed the project. Since then the Bored Ape Yacht Club has come a long way to reach the pinnacle of NFT projects and it has amassed over a million dollars in sales volume.
On October 2021, the project held an Apefest on the NFT.NYC Conference. The BAYC event, which lasted over four days, featured merchandise pop-ups, gatherings, and other activities. All of this culminated in a huge bash as the Bored Ape team took over the Brooklyn Steel warehouse and played a crazy night of live music for only BAYC or Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT owners. The festival-like event, featured performances by The Strokes, Lil Baby, Beck, and Questlove and featured Chris Rock and Aziz Ansari as the MCs. It made it very clear that the Guy Oseary-represented initiative was not one to play with.
November 2021-Best NFT music moments
Bored Ape band Kingship + Timbaland launches Ape-In
Kingship, a virtual band of Bored Apes, was introduced by Universal Music in November 2021. Timbaland, a producer, founded Ape-In Productions in the same month to develop music and animation for Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT avatars. TheZoo, a virtual hip-hop group, has already published a single using it.
Celine Joshua, the founder of Kingship said in a press release: “Creating Kingship has been incredibly fun and imaginative. I started 10:22PM to push the boundaries of innovation in the music industry and with Kingship, we’re literally inventing what’s possible in real-time.”
Rare Scrilla and Ghostface Killah release Rare Pepe NFT
Among all the NFTs released on Black Friday in November 2021, the attention grabber was Rare Scrilla and Ghostface Killah’s NFT. At 12 a.m. on November 26, the auction for the piece of hip-hop crypto art opened.
Online records show that the asset, which combined Scrilla’s images with Ghostface’s music and lyrics, sold for $281,136. The song’s master recording now belongs to Starry Night Capital.
December 2021-Best NFT Music Moment
Unreleased Whitney Houston track sells as NFT
An auction for a Whitney Houston NFT was started by the music NFT marketplace OneOf on December 13, 2021. It included a previously unreleased demo recording of Houston at the age of 17. The single edition NFT sold for $999,999. It was also accompanied by a digital movie made by the critically acclaimed artist Diana Sinclair, who is only 17 years old.
Pat Houston, Executor, the Estate of Whitney E. Houston, said: “I’m excited to see Whitney’s legacy and her wonderful music expand into the bold new technology of this era. It was a joy partnering with 17-year-old Diana Sinclair and watching the artistry of Whitney’s music influence a new generation.”
The Whitney E. Houston Foundation, which works to inspire, provide opportunities for, and empower youngsters, received money from the sales of the collection. The “OneOf One” NFT auction winner receives complete personal use rights to the demo music. This means that the song’s owner only has full private access to it and that any form of public distribution is absolutely forbidden. This historic auction demonstrated the potential of NFTs to assist in bringing classic music artists into a new era of music culture, much like legacy auction houses being part of the NFT ecosystem.
January 2022-Best NFT Music Moments
Royal and Nas’ first-ever NFT sells in minutes
In January 2022, the hip-hop legend Nas made his debut in the blockchain. Nas and 3LAU collaborated to present his first-ever NFT collection on the 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 extremely quickly. And the overall revenue was more than $560,000.
February 2022-Best NFT Music Moments
Coachella’s NFT collection offers lifetime festival passes
Coachella, one of the biggest and most well-known events in the world, released a variety of digital collectibles. Coachella announced plans for a multi-part NFT drop that month in collaboration with the massive cryptocurrency exchange FTX, part of which included lifetime festival passes. Coachella Collectibles offers fans the chance to buy lifelong festival passes, unlock special on-site experiences, actual things, and more. It has a total of 11,010 NFTs spread across three collections.
March 2022-Best NFT Music Moments
Dillon Francis signs residency deal for Bored Ape NFT
Dillion Francis, an electronic musician made a notable move that will be remembered for years. In March 2022, Francis received an NFT from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection in return for an exclusive residency with Big Night. Francis specifically obtained BAYC #378. Notably, the agreement also calls for record cooperation with the Web3 electronic duet ESCAPΞPLAN, which comprises of ETHan (#4321) and zeETH (#309), two Bored Apes from the BAYC collection.
Snoop Dogg releases first Death Row NFT mixtape
Right after Snoop Dogg acquired the ownership of Death Row Records, he released a series of songs as an NFT mixtape on OpenSea. The NFT mixtape was titled “Dogg on it: Death Row Mixtape Vol. 1.” Snoop collaborated with international musicians to develop the beats, acapella, and full songs for the compilation, which was released on the Polygon blockchain.
“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 fandom within the NFT ecosystem because NFTs offered full ownership rights to their owners. Snoop would release “Death Row Mixtape Vol. 2” in April, featuring an even larger roster of Web3 musicians and artists.
April 2022-Best NFT Music Moments
Grammys get into NFTs
Everyone knows Grammys and it is known as music’s biggest night. The Grammy Awards, the most esteemed ceremony in the music industry, featured a representation of NFTs in April 2022. As part of a three-year effort to include NFTs into the overall Grammy experience, the Grammys unveiled an official NFT collection in partnership with Tezos-based NFT platform OneOf. The critically regarded fine artist ThankYouX, the Emmy-winning Emonee LaRussa, and the 3D animator and contributor Andre Oshea were the highlights of the debut collection.
Coachella x ODESZA NFT breaks Solana 1/1 sales record
An NFT which consists of nine well-known digital artists’ creations and an ODESZA musical score broke Solana’s 1/1 sales record. The exclusive NFT with a 360-degree immersive experience of the Antarctic Dome at Coachella was sold for $145,000 on April 18, 2022. It is just about 6 minutes long. Although, within 6 minutes it provides a flawless visual experience of the unique projection dome experience of Coachella’s REGEN.
May 2022-Best NFT Moments
Pussy Riot and Salem Ilese Drop ‘Crypto Boy’ in support of reproductive rights
With the hype that came around on Salem Ilese’s song “Crypto Boy”, the singer and songwriter got budding in popularity once again. This was followed by Ilese deciding to work with Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot on an NFT release with a charitable goal in keeping with the tone of the song.
Ilese and Tolokonnikova collaborated on a music NFT collection based on “Crypto Boy” with viral TikTokers Sad Alex, 30, and July, as opposed to women’s reproductive rights, grew quickly in the U.S. The Center for Reproductive Rights received 100% of the money from the collection’s initial sales.
The project was introduced on Sound.xyz, which also heavily publicized it. The release was “a historic moment in web3 music as one of the first songs in crypto to go viral and showcases the power of coming together for an important cause,” according to Sound.xyz on Twitter. In the end, the initiative “Crypto Boy” served as yet another example of how NFTs may be employed for charitable purposes.
June 2022-Best NFT Music Moments
SongCamp launches Camp Chaos NFT collection
SongCamp is a collaborative Web3 laboratory exploring the frontiers of blockchain and music. On March 2022, SongCamp took upon an initiative that might be the biggest phenomenon in the Music NFT space. SongCamp developed 45 songs that were released as an NFT collection of 20,000 digital assets known as Camp Chaos.
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 would be joining the team of the adored PFP project as Chief Brand Officer. 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.
July 2022-Best Music NFT Moments
LimeWire returns as a music NFT platform
LimeWire, a client for peer-to-peer file sharing, saw an opportunity 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 stage at Tomorrowland
At 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 interesting producers and creatives in dance music and NFTs,” took the center stage. A single DJ made the Ape Rave Club live debut, performing an hour-long set to a crowd of thousands while sporting BAYC merchandise and a complete wraparound Bored Ape-styled helmet.
NFTs have made innovative changes in the digital world. It has gotten into sports, music, and many more spaces. With NFTs, these spheres have developed immensely with new ways of interacting with the community. The amalgamation of the music industry and the blockchain is probably the best thing that happened for artists. The artists can now have direct contact with their fans. All the instances that occurred with music and NFTs mentioned in this list show the potential that Music NFTs have within them. People have amassed millions of dollars through Music NFT sales and NFTs have allowed independent artists to have full control over their assets. With NFTs, the music industry has taken a major leap toward innovation.