Minting an NFT

NFTs in the last month have gone from a topic of discussion largely limited to crypto-forward circles to a topic used in popular parlance.  

Now how did NFTs get on my radar? 2020 lockdowns caused me to (1) get back into the crypto world in general and (2) listen to lots of podcasts. Two podcasts paved the way for my introduction to the intersection of music and blockchain. The first was an episode of the Solana Podcast with RAC a grammy-winning producer and well-known figure in the space at the intersection of blockchain and music. That was the first time I heard about NFTs and the potential for using tokens to crowdfund music as well as monetize a fanbase.

A few weeks later, a good friend recommended I check out “Pod of Jake”, hosted eponymously by an intellectual personality known as Jake. His conversation with the producer and DJ 3LAU, had more gems, including ideas on how artists and fans can have aligned economic incentives where fans can earn $$ from promoting an artist’s work.

Tangentially and in the meantime, I built a profile and started releasing music on Audius, a decentralized music streaming platform, link to my profile here.

Why did I decide to mint an NFT? I thought the concept was cool and wanted to be an early mover in the space.

How did I mint the NFT? First, I chose a platform. @HelloShreyas, author of “Investing as Entertainment” was kind enough to send me a invite so I went with Zora. I linked my Ethereum wallet to it and filled out my creator profile to start.

To create the art piece, I took a screen-recording from my DAW of a drop from a completed Future House track and layered it over the audio. I’d largely seen NFTs with either visual or audio-visual content and figured that was a good method.

Uploading and minting with Zora is very easy, as the site has great UI and UX. I waited for ETH price to drop for about a week after creating the NFT, and my gas fees were 70% lower the day I minted it thanks to the quick dip in ETH prices at the beginning of March.

The link to the NFT (screenshot below) is:

What are the lessons from the process?

  • Figure out what Blockchain you are minting on – Ethereum is getting cost prohibitive (See below)
  • Monitor ETH and Gwei prices – This can vastly change how much it costs both to mint your NFT, and for people to bid (if the platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain)
  • The market favors big names – the super high value music NFT sales are going to artists like Diplo, 3LAU, RAC, Disclosure, etc.
  • Better used for targeting your existing fans than expecting the “NFT to the Moon” hype train to fetch you a high selling price
  • The more engaging the visual content, the more likely your NFT will stand out.
  • The lower-end NFT market is and will become more saturated as friction is removed from the creation process

What’s next in this space?

  • Exploring other NFT minting platforms
  • Collaborating on audiovisual NFTs with talented visual designers
  • Thinking through how creators (especially in the Desi Dance scene) can utilize Web 3.0 artistic tools such as NFTs, Social Tokens, and Metaverses

To follow the journey – follow on my socials!