The Music NFT Newsletter Vol. 12
Curating the Future of Pop featuring Nico Franc, Cooper Turley, Sophia Alexa, Kaien Cruz, Grady, R3hab, Dalton Maulding, and more.
👋 Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to another edition of my newsletter covering the future of pop, NFT music collectibles, and the artists driving change. I have scoured the mighty interwebs jumping between Web2 and Web3 to find recently released music and new artists to feature this week. Web3 Music is still a very developing place that needs hits and stars native to the space to help accelerate it forward. It’s all a matter of time. Web3 Music pioneers like Cooper Turley are committed to investing in artists that can help build up the new format. In an interview last week, Turley told me about his new Coop Records venture that aims to support artists in new and creative ways. Also featured this week is rising singer-songwriter Nico Franc who minted a terrific new collectible on Zora that should find a way to flourish in Web2.
🌐✨ In the Web2 world of pop, make sure to check out new releases by Fletcher (the Malay-produced “Serial Heartbreaker is sooo mega), Bazzi (a deeply inspired new LP showing off his range, I will believe in him always), Rina Sawayama (this is high-grade pop, love her), Daya (her new EP is excellent), Noah Cyrus (very personal new album), and Dalton Mauldin (a star in the making, do not be late to the party. If there’s ever an artist I’d manage, It’s Dalton. That should tell you something.)
❤️ If you appreciate this newsletter, please subscribe or share it with a friend. Web3 Music needs more context, discovery, and culture. I’m here to contribute to that effort.
Why Nico Franc's "Stuck" Is One of the Best Pop Songs of The Year
Nico Franc’s “Stuck” gives me goosebumps every time. There’s something about the finely-tuned bittersweet sentiment of the song that instantly connects.
Experiencing the task of weeding through tons of new music every week for years, I’ve developed a fine sense of what works and what doesn’t. “Stuck” is one of those songs that immediately stands out from the pack for its quality and authenticity.
Time to get to know Nico Franc and discuss his take on digital music collectibles to build deeper relationships with fans.
“I feel music NFTs are like fan merch except that they are tied to the blockchain ( . . . .) I’m mostly excited about building a different kind of relationship with fans.”
Cooper Turley Launches Coop Records to Support the Next Generation of Music
Cooper Turley is a driving force in the Music NFT space who is firmly committed to finding new and novel ways to support artists. Last week, Turley announced the launch of Coop Records, which blends his interest in Web3 and crypto with his love for music.
Coop Records is an investment venture managing a $10M fund that aims to help build the future of music, including supporting artists and new Web3 projects.
“Fans collecting Music NFTs create an additional sense of community and purpose around the artists ( . . . ) I think it's really interesting to think about investing in an artist brand that encompasses all of their different verticals—from streaming to publishing, and from touring to NFTs.”
Web3 Music Hot Takes ✨
A quick run-down of new releases that are hot and happening in Web3.
Kaien Cruz “Black Ice” Following their recent NFT collaboration with visual artist Somehoodlum, South African singer Kaien Cruz returns with a brand-new music collectible, titled “Black Ice.” It’s a gorgeous ballad featuring Cruz’s powerful vocals that chronicles the highs and lows in relationships. Minted via Sound.xyz.
Sara Philips “Six Feet Under” The pop singer has developed a penchant for turning worthy musical mementos into digital collectibles that fans can buy and enjoy. This new track is another special one. It’s a demo of one of her best-streamed songs that also marked her first major TV placement. Minted via Catalog.
Grady “Dream Vacation” The Web3 artist took a long (work and play) vacation in Europe this summer that led to a string of new music that he’s been drip-dropping weekly. In a recent Twitter Space, the Venice, CA-based artist explained that traveling solo in Europe was an inspiring experience. The solid vocal harmonies interspersed with groovy strings of “Dream Vacation” take listeners on a Mediterranean joyride. Don’t be startled by the wake-up alarm at the end of the song. All good things must come to an end. Minted via Sound.xyz.
Sophia Alexa “Before I Go” The California-born and Dutch-raised singer/songwriter minted her fourth collectible this month, and, quite frankly, this may be my favorite one. “Before I Go” shows off Alexa’s songwriting prowess with its subtle, beautifully-crafted folky melody and inspired delivery. Fans of Taylor Swift’s recent work will be in for a treat. Minted via Sound.xyz.
Harry Was Here “Living Nightmares” Producer Thoreau turns anguish into art on this sublime new track. He explains that the dream of being in music became a nightmare. He writes, “Seems like it’s impossible to keep up with every demand being expected of artists these days on top of making actually good music which is the only thing I set out to do. But I’m still out here giving it everything I got.” Balancing between frenetic and tender, the production stylings of the song convey the artist’s mixed sentiments perfectly. Minted via Catalog.
Peter Saputo “I Don’t Wanna Care” Saputo has been on a roll, firmly establishing himself as a Web3 native artist who has a pretty prolific track record of releasing his music as collectibles first. Once in a while he’ll even mint a track for free, including this fine little ditty. Minted via Zora.
R3hab & Laidback Luke “Weekend On A Tuesday” These two stalwarts of Dutch house music team up for their first digital collectible. This crisp, vocal-driven house number serves up plenty of dancefloor swagger and lots of hit potential. File next to Joel Corry & MNEK “Head & Heart.” Minted via AnotherBlock.
Nico Franc “Stuck” I can’t say enough good things about this song. Perfectly produced and performed, it has hit written all over it. Co-produced by legendary hitmaker Rob Cavallo. A one-of-one edition of the song is available to collect now. Minted on Zora.
Alex Paul “Me "Ghostea” This is a fun little bop that easily fits on a dozen playlists with that feel-good Latin production. It seems a talented up-and-coming producer is at work here. Keep going. Minted on Catalog.
Lackhoney “Oh Brother” (Demo) I’m primarily familiar with Lackhoney’s work with Song Camp but he has been minting some of his own music as well, including this demo that neatly demonstrates his fine knack for melody. Minted via Catalog.
💡 Music Tips? I always welcome pitches or hear about song collectibles I may have missed. Please DM me on Twitter.