Kings of Leon will be the first band to release an album as NFT


On Friday, Kings of Leon will release their new album, titled When you see yourself, in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT), becoming the first band to do so.

The band is actually releasing three types of tokens as part of a series called “NFT Yourself,” say the people involved in the project. Rolling Stone. One type is a special album package, while a second type offers live entertainment benefits like lifetime front row seats, and a third type is for exclusive audiovisual art only. All three types of tokens feature art designed by the band’s longtime creative partner, Night After Night; The smart contracts and the intelligence within the tokens were developed by YellowHeart, a company that wants to use blockchain technology to return value to music and improve direct relationships with fans.

A quick summary: NFTs are a type of cryptocurrency, but instead of holding money, they can contain assets like art, tickets, and music. NFTs operate on a blockchain, which is a transparent and publicly accessible network, which means that anyone can see the details of any NFT transaction. Computers involved in transactions become part of the network, which is continually updated and cannot be hacked due to its many-headed hydra nature. In the case of NFTs, their value becomes subjective and therefore fluctuates, somewhat like stocks. (For more information on the subject, read Rolling Stoneof cryptography in music).

NFTs previously had a relatively underground following of DJs and producers. But these digital tokens have become widespread in the last year, as many musicians sought additional sources of income in the non-concert era of the pandemic. The likes of Portugal. The Man, Shawn Mendes, and Grimes have teamed up in recent weeks.

Shortly after YellowHeart was first formed in 2018, the company piqued industry interest in the possibilities of cryptocurrencies in ticket sales, but founder and CEO Josh Katz says that’s only one facet. As was the case with Reyes de León and Portugal. The Man, Katz offers consulting services through YellowHeart to educate artists on blockchain and create their NFTs.

The Kings of Leon album will be released everywhere: Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, but the NFT version available on YellowHeart will be the only product with special benefits. The token, priced at $ 50, includes enhanced media such as an alternate and moving album cover, as well as a digital download of the music and limited-edition vinyl. The NFT album sale opens on Friday at 12pm ET and continues for two weeks. After that time, no more will be made and the NFT becomes a negotiable collectible.

“Over the past 20 years, two lost decades, we have seen music devalue,” says Katz. Rolling Stone. “Music has become excellent for selling everything but music. There has been a race to the bottom in which, for the least amount of money possible, you have access to everything. It used to cost $ 20 to get a song. “He believes the broadcast’s subscription-based apportionment model irreparably harms artists, and NFTs will make modern fans want to own music again:” It’s the early stages, but In the future, I think this is how people release their tracks: when they sell 100,000 for a dollar each, then they only made $ 100,000. “

YellowHeart is minting 18 unique looking “golden tickets” as part of the Kings of Leon NFT launch. Of the 18, the band will auction six and skip the other 12 like a painter would with a rare piece from an art series. “Each of them is a unique NFT with the most incredible Kings of Leon art you’ve ever seen,” explains Katz.

Each “golden ticket” also unlocks a real concert ticket, marking the first time a music The ticket has been officially sold as NFT. The holder of the token is guaranteed four front row seats to any Kings of Leon concert during each lifetime tour. The token owner also gets a VIP experience that includes a personal driver, an on-show concierge to attend to their needs, a time with the band before the show, and exclusive lounge access. Upon exiting the show, the fan car will have four bags filled with each item from the merchandising stand.

Katz notes that this is an “extreme example to prove a point.” YellowHeart wants to show people how much control can be put on the ticket with smart contracts. In the future, he says that this same technology can be used for general tickets, which could be a breakthrough in the secondary market. Every time an NFT is resold, a percentage of the money earned could go to the artist, or whoever is included in the contract, maybe even a charity. (In such cases, YellowHeart may also set a maximum price at which the NFT can be resold, rooting out resellers.)

In the last Kings of Leon option, there are six other unique looking tokens that are standard NFTs with elaborate audiovisual art. Starting Thursday, fans will be able to view them on the YellowHeart website. Prices range from $ 95 to $ 2,500. YellowHeart will be minted, however many will be sold before Sunday at 8pm ET, which is also when the NFT “golden ticket” auction will end. (However, if someone bids in the last 10 minutes of the auction, it restarts for another 10 minutes.)

Over time, all of these NFTs are expected to increase in value. Thanks to the aforementioned smart contracts, the revenue generated from future reselling will go where the artists want it to go. Kings of Leon decided to donate all proceeds from two of the deals, the $ 50 album NFTs and the highest priced “golden ticket,” called Bandit Wave # 2, to Live Nation’s Crew Nation fund for traveling professionals without work. .

Katz says that NFTs allow for maximum creativity around content release, which he thinks is a huge draw in an age where artists are taking a more DIY approach. He plans for YellowHeart to become an entertainment wallet containing music, tickets, and collectible content from fans.

As crypto breaks into the music industry, this week’s Kings of Leon project is by far the most extensive foray into NFT yet. With him, the band wanted to “deconstruct, degenerate and distort the iconic symbols and photographs of the band,” the Kings of Leon team wrote in a press release to be expanded later today (March 3). “The result is an amazing reimagining of the work of this legendary band. Without using external material, all original photographs were taken by [Kings of Leon creative director and Night After Night CCO] Casey McGrath or band member Matthew Followill “.

“We are approaching the launch of When you see yourself in such an analog way, from the band’s approach in the studio to shooting everything on film to literally pulling out the duct tape and glue sticks and dry transfer lettering, “McGrath says in the statement. “Approaching ‘NFT YOURSELF’ with a digital art mindset sent electricity through work. For those in the space who understand, they will appreciate the audio-generated imaging, pose detection, and pixel transformation techniques we use to create this collectible art. For those who don’t, we hope they appreciate the undeniable power and excitement that results from the collision of analog and digital. “



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