Why Music NFTs Are the Future According to NOTD
"It's a way to connect with fans in a new and different way."
Editor’s Note: NFT digital collectibles are a new way for fans to support the artists they love. In this series, I talk to artists who have ventured into this new space to share their experiences.
I’ve been a long-time fan of Swedish dance-pop duo NOTD (pronounced ‘noted’) and I love how they’re navigating the future of music by making their recent singles available as digital collectibles. Time for a quick chat via email and get their take on music NFTs and how these collectibles impact their relationship with fans.
To the uninitiated, NOTD is the pairing of producers/songwriters Sam and Tobi. The group first stepped into the limelight with the global pop hit “I Wanna Know” featuring Bea Miller in 2018. Since then, Sam and Tobi have continued to deliver high-grade, chart-ready pop gems featuring highly sought-after collaborators like Astrid S, Shy Martin, Tove Styrke, and The Band Camino
NOTD recently released their new single “Worst Thing” (featuring kenzie) as an NFT for fans to collect on sound.xyz. It was the second time that they dropped a track on the music platform after previously successfully releasing a collectible for “about you,” their collaboration with pop outfit Nightly. The initial drop of the “Worst Thing” sold out quickly, but if you’re passionate about NOTD’s project, you can try to bid on OpenSea and continue to support the group.
Let’s dig a little deeper into “Worst Thing” to create more context around the song that fans now have an opportunity to invest in.
“Worst Thing” was written by NOTD’s Sam Brandt, Tobi Danielsson, along with featured collaborator kenzie, plus a slew of hit writers including Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, and Selena Gomez. The track was produced by NOTD and Noble.
The track reminds me exactly why I have such an appreciation for NOTD’s music. Sam and Tobi have a knack for combining a strong sense of melody with crisp production stylings. Per usual, they also throw in a bit of soundboard candy that makes every single NOTD track a delight to the ear. Kenzie added her own unique twist to the song with her disarming delivery that amps up the emotional intensity of the song.
“Worst Thing” is exactly the type of song that music fans may want to collect and cherish. Time to dig in with Sam and Tobi and learn more about their web3 adventures.
Arjan: Making your songs available as NFT is a great way to establish a deeper connection with fans. How did you feel about doing two NFT drops and helping pioneer the space?
NOTD: We don't feel like we're pioneers in any way but maybe being a major label artist doing drops at this stage is a bit surprising. We had support from our team at Universal Sweden who totally has our back and gets the purpose of what we are trying to do with music NFTs. As producer artists, we have to get creative when it comes to building a fan base. We don’t sing on our records, which is the traditional way that artists develop that deep connection with their fans, so we love finding new and organic ways to do so. Both drops so far have accomplished that at a small scale which has us very excited for the future.
How has the response been from fans on this new way to share your music?
It's been amazing. On sound.xyz you can see live comments on the drop and they’ve all been positive, and that's very fun to see. For the “About You” drop, holders can claim a free custom t-shirt, and the reaction to that has been great too although we're not sure every holder knows that they can do that. We need to spread the word! Overall, we’re pretty new to the space as a contributor (we've lurked since 2020), so getting such a warm welcome has been great and we are very interested to see how we can keep rewarding our collectors.
Fans who normally would buy their favorite artists t-shirt or poster can now have a digital item that signals they are a fan and we think that's the future.
How do you think NFTs will support creators including yourselves?
It's a way to connect with fans in a new and different way, more direct and it can be more personal. Also, it's an additional revenue stream for artists that just didn't exist until now. Fans who normally would buy their favorite artist’s t-shirt or poster can now have a digital item that signals they are a fan and we think that's the future. Most artists we see doing drops at the moment are independent so the income from their sales will definitely support them since they are not giving a chunk of the money to a label, plus it will get a lifelong royalty on their art and that is really good.
Are there other NFT advocates in the space you look up to?
We've learned a lot by talking to people like David Greenstein at sound.xyz, our manager Jon Allen at Buddys, and also just by following people in the space on Twitter. Seeing what 3lau has done for the space is also super inspiring. There is so much information out there. You just have to find it and immerse yourself in it. We're learning so much.
What do you recommend to other artists who want to get into the space? What's a good way to start?
Things move super fast and it's sort of overwhelming but do your best to stay updated and get involved in conversations about it on social media. Don't be scared to ask questions. Maybe the first step is to buy an NFT from an artist you really like, both to support and as an experience to get yourself into the space. One of the first music NFTs, we bought was from Medasin, who we are big fans of and it was a very cool experience.
Follow NOTD on Instagram, Twitter, and Sound.xyz. Sam and Tobi will kick off a headline tour after the summer. Get your tickets here.