Despite all the controversy surrounding the crypto world, one clear bright spot of blockchain technology is its ability to support creators and artists in monetizing their work. Rapper and visual artist Latasháour guest in the latest episode of the chain reaction podcast, is a living embodiment of web3’s potential to support independent artists.
She successfully hit and sold her first NFT in 2021 of a music video she had made – her first foray into the web3 world. Since then, she has sold NFTs of her work for tens of thousands of dollars and has become a highly visible advocate for artists to leverage web3 technology. She serves as community head at NFT marketplace Zora, where she has hosted her signature event, Zoratopia, across the country to educate artists interested in the space.
You can listen to the full episode below:
For artists, the value proposition of minting NFTs is “just like putting things in an art gallery,” Latashá said.
“I remember [artists], especially in the music industry, that the entrance fee is so expensive. I mean, to get your songs on playlists, to get your songs on the radio, you usually have to pay some amounts that are just absurd, starting at $10,000. So I’m like, would you rather pay $10,000 to a radio station? Or would you rather pay $50 to $100 on the chain and watch this thing grow, especially in this new fertile soil right now,” she added.
Since Latashá first entered the NFT space, a plethora of new challenges have arisen for artists looking to replicate her path to success. For starters, gas prices on Ethereum have risen significantly, from about $25 per NFT when it launched, she said. Second, the crypto industry as a whole is in the midst of a market downturn, and with the token prices falling, so are the NFT prices (which are listed in their native cryptocurrencies).
Latashá said that despite these challenges, she still believes that using web3 is a smart strategy for many artists. Like any other industry, she said, web3 goes back and forth, and market participants will have to weather waves of different sentiment.
“I think there was eagerness and a lot of people came in at the same time,” she said, musing on crypto’s most recent bull run. “I think that was probably the part that we had to think about before, because we had to prepare the people for when there was ebb and flow,” she continued.
More education could have made a difference in helping makers prepare for this downturn, Latashá said. That’s one of the reasons educating people is at the heart of her mission at Zora.
“I always say [to artists], decide what to do with your money, right? If you want to keep your money in crypto, go for it. But I’d also say you’re in multiple income streams,” Latashá said. “Always decide if you want to take some of your crypto and use it in different art forms, or get a marketing team for your music or do other things that can monetize in different ways… I don’t think we ever would.” We must always be free and as open as possible.”