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As a year without live events, 2020 left behind a void for artists and exposed the need for liberalization of the music industry. Subsequently, NFTs or ERC‑721 tokens have grabbed the attention of digital creators, collectors & hustlers alike. As many of you already know, NFT’s are unique, non‑interchangeable assets in the blockchain that can be bought, sold and traded. While digital files can be easily & endlessly duplicated, NFT can be tokenised to create a digital certificate of ownership.

In this guide, we touch upon how some of our favourite musicians have used blockchain via Ethereum to make money & further the quest for decentralization.


Australian Producer Ta‑ku takes to Zora to release ‘HearWhatYouSee01’, an ongoing Audio‑Visual Project ‑ featuring original photography and unreleased music.


On Feb 28, Canadian Musician Grimes sold over $6 Million worth of digital art on the Nifty Gateway platform and has donated an undisclosed percentage of these proceeds to Carbon180, a non‑profit that studies Carbon Removal. NFT like other blockchain technologies are inefficient in that they create a huge carbon footprint.


In a joint effort between DOOM’s widow Jasmine Dumile, hip‑hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment and digital marketplace Illust Space, Doom sold 11 masks in Oct 2020 and a 1 for 1 “Black Sludge” AR mask earlier this month. These masks can be traded/resold by their purchasers. “Smart contracts” in place allow Doom to receive 10% of every resale, forever.


The electronic music legend has minted an AV clip as a surprise NFT auction on Foundation. The auction is a 1 of 1 mint of a collaboration with visual artist Weirdcore, technical input from Freeka Tet and accompanying music and SFX by Aphex Twin.


IAMSound in collaboration with Zora NFT have created an art exhibition feat. the works of Artists like Yaeji, Mura Masa & Toro Y Moi.


Australian Future Bass artist FLUME in collaboration with visual artist Jonathan Zawada forayed into NFT with their project ‘Saccade’ with trippy artwork and hypnotic ambient sounds that were available for purchase on Foundation. 8 more NFT’s by the duo were available for swap on Zora.


Eminem raked in $1.78million from his first collection of ‘Shady Con’ NFTs selling the first line of the digital collection on the online marketplace Nifty Gateway.The collection included digital action figures based on characters in some of Eminem’s best-known music videos, original instrumental beats created by the star and more.


The Weeknd has announced a collection of new music and limited edition art that he is selling exclusively on Nifty Gateway, the collection includes new music and limited edition art that The Weeknd has developed in collaboration with the media production company Strange Loop Studios, with three different visual artworks, each featuring a filtered segment of a new Weeknd song. The winner of this auction will be the sole owner of the song, as The Weeknd does not intend to release the track in the future.


“A Journey with the Dogg”, a collection on crypto.com brings together Snoop Dogg’s memories from his early years with art inspired by the NFT movement including an original track “NFT” — an instant classic that is inspired by the movement.A portion of the proceeds will support young, emerging artists in the crypto space as well as Snoop’s Youth Football League. A total of eight pieces was available in limited quantities with one piece being auctioned, and another — “Snoop Dogge Coins” — was an open edition piece available for one hour only.


Brainfeeder artist Flying Lotus has joined forces with with Irish artist, filmmaker, and game developer David O’Reilly to release an NFT drop that they describe as a ‘a wide array of new experiments and ideas. A response to a feeling about the current era.


The Chicago rapper recently released NFTs for two singles, “Cash Cows” and “Sundays for Lovers,” and he has since teamed up with the Kyoto rapper Daichi Yamamoto for more. Along with an NFT for Jenkins’ and Yamamoto’s “Kill Me” music video, the release also includes NFTs representing custom 3D jackets within an Ethereum-based virtual world.


Georgia Anne Muldrow has unveiled a new album, VWETO III, the third instalment of Muldrow’s VWETO series, which she launched in 2010. Unlike her other work, this album encompasses deep hip-hop beatscapes, “low-slung gnarly funk, psychedelic cosmic slop, wigged out left-field, retro synth jams, jazzy afro-futurism, and uplifting soul.” In collaboration with FORESEEN, Muldrow has launched an online auction for one NFT of the album and its artwork by Cape Town artist Breeze Yoko. 


Wu-Tang Clan announced the eventual release of Wu-Tang Clan: Legacy, a 400-pound coffee table style book featuring rare, never-before-seen pictures of the legendary group. Only 36 copies of the book will be made available for pre-order. Each copy will be signed by the group, numbered, and stamped with a certification of authenticity. The 300-page book will be made of steel and bronze, with each copy individually designed by sculptor Gethin Jones, inspired by bronze ritual bowls of the Zhou Dynasty.


Liquid AGSTar Technologies Inc., ImagineAR Inc., McCartney Multimedia Inc. and Oasis Digital Studios announce a historical collaboration, in an effort to unveil never-before-seen photos of John Lennon. A first set collection of 15 photographic and animated NFTs with AR enhancements, that recount the original inspiration of his Walls and Bridges album cover art. Music enthusiasts and fans will be able to purchase this NFTs in two special groups, as originals, variations, and cinematics; gaining digital ownership of a representation of a very personal time in his life.


Legendary Bassist Bootsy Collins releases an NFT in collaboration with CryptoStache. The NFT is titled ‘Funkship Area-51’, of which 20% of the proceeds from the new NFT will benefit MusiCares, an organization that aids musicians in need. Named after a song from Collins new record The Power of the One, ‘Funkship Area-51’ will feature art available on Open Seas. Collins’ earlier NFT release was a crypto art piece , an audio-reactive collaboration with Eclectic Method.


M.I.A. is auctioning off a piece of digital art titled “GIFTY 1”, part of a larger art series called “NFT GARAGE DANCE.” “GIFTY 1,” described as a still image from a GIF collection “bookending her 25-year tenure as a digital artist”. The release of “GIFTY 1” will be followed by another NFT drop called “KALA COYN,” created in 1996.“KALA COYN and the GARAGE DANCE series is a living, breathing, psycho-spectral canvas that crystalizes this moment in time for me”, says M.I.A. 


Words by Keerthana Sudarshan