Record label leads the way with NFT dancehall riddim
10Tik featured, supports medium as retirement plan
Milli Music has released a complete dancehall riddim compilation in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT). The project has been introduced as an album and artwork in collaboration with MarvmentNFT Marketplace, which not only provides revenue to the artistes and producers involved but also doubles as an investment opportunity for their fans.
Entertainers have been jumping on board the NFT train, from veterans such as Bay-C, who, in April of last year, sold one of the first reggae NFTs for 0.1 Ethereum (ETH), which is equivalent to approximately US$180, and artistes as new to the music business like Skillibeng, also made his Crocodile Teeth album available as an NFT, which, according to the OpenSea platform, is currently sold out.
Label representative Monique Sinclair explained that the project, titled NFT Drip Riddim, is different from projects released previously by other entertainers.
“We’ve blended the sounds and personalities of eight Jamaican artistes, each delivering raw talent and making the investment more unique. These days, you cannot log on to the Internet without coming into contact with an NFT promo. Choosing to sell the album as an NFT ultimately provides a way for each of the artistes to connect with their fan base and vice versa. Even if you are not a fan, it can be beneficial,” she told The Gleaner.
Sinclair added, “The digital asset representing the album in the form of audio files and images can be bought by fans, instead of just streaming or downloading the music, and the actual asset is tied to cryptocurrency, [so] if and when that goes up in value, the consumer can benefit from their investment.”
The dancehall artistes featured on the album are hitmakers Charly Black, Chronic Law, Jashii, 10Tik, General Degree and rising stars Lanae, Rozarro and Jdon Heights. Acting also as an executive co-producer, Sinclair explained that with the artistes selected to be part of the project, consumers could choose their investment based on their individual stats.
“Take, for example, Charly Black, who is on the album; he has 300,000 followers on Instagram alone, over one million subscribers on YouTube and significant streams, as well as a reputable name; it makes sense for someone to buy an NFT of an artiste like Charly Black, based on his popularity and so on.”
Speaking on the artistes featured, Sinclair continued, “We selected these specific artistes because we wanted a diverse release. We included General Degree because he brings the old-school flavour, and we greatly respect him; 10Tik is a pretty good artiste in terms of his vocals, Chronic Law is skilfully lyrical, how he puts his words together is very magical, and Jashii has never delivered a ‘girls song’ in this way. The other artistes were also very easy to work with to get everything done in the two-month period that we did it.”
The NFT Drip Riddim project went on sale as an NFT for collectors to access and bid on May 25 when the official compilation was released on streaming platforms Spotify and Apple Music, iTunes, Deezer, and Amazon Music, to name a few. The label commissioned Wikid Media to create the associated three-dimensional visuals, and a graphic designer out of Africa assisted the team in developing the NFT artwork.
With the challenges associated with publishing rights and gathering profits from distribution during the current climate, Milli Music has recognised that NFTs are an opportunity for them and other labels to monetise audio assets and wants to partner with more artistes on future projects. MarvmentNFT Marketplace has for long been concerned with the way dancehall music is monetised and has provided a platform for artistes and producers to create digital NFTs for their music in multifarious forms, including audio, and video clips, images and album covers.
Fast-rising dancehall deejay 10Tik is keyed up about his investment in his work and the opportunity to be part of what he describes as “a solid retirement plan”. Though still considered a new act in the dancehall space, the Roll Deep artiste-songwriter is already thinking ahead.
“I feel the NFT will provide a good future source of revenue, specifically in the retirement stages, because NFT royalty payments are perpetual,” said the artiste, whose song Pi Pi from the album was made available for 0.5 ETH (approximately US$920) on the MarvmentNFT Marketplace.
“I am still learning how it all works, but looking back at the pandemic period when artistes couldn’t do stage shows for income, there were those who had already invested and could sell their NFTs. We should all be looking into it,” 10Tik continued.