A fast-rising Nigerian singer, Ugochukwu Emmanuel Chinonso, professionally known as Darvey Rucci, has highlighted the need for his colleagues to adopt NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and how it is used will favour the industry soon.
NFTs, which started as standalone art pieces and memes by content creators, are tokens used to represent ownership of unique items. NFT data can be digital files such as photos, videos, audio and even tweets. They are non-fungible because they are uniquely identifiable on the blockchain.
This means they can only have one official owner at a time.
They are pretty popular in the American gaming, music and film industry because of the opportunities it presents to the entertainers and their fans alike.
For instance, ‘Antara’, released in January 2022, made history as the first major Hollywood film project funded via NFTs. This means holders will own a share of their digital rights and will profit from box office achievements.
Early adopters in the Nigerian entertainment industry in Nigeria are Mavin Records boss Don Jazzy and Darvey Rucci who said he hosted his music repertoire on NFT and is reaping dividends.
In March, Don Jazzy announced the purchase of an NFT of a bored ape allegedly worth $318,000, about N131,970,000.
Highlighting the Importance of NFT in the music industry, Darvey Rucci said it would afford musicians the ability to tokenise tracks or entire albums.
Additionally, he said it would create many opportunities for musicians to rethink their creation and distribution models.
He said: ‘‘NFT can be used to grant access to discounted concert tickets, particular areas at concerts or meets ups with the artist. Music NFTs can also generate lucrative revenue for some artists.
For instance, one music NFT supporter, Cooopahtroopa, estimated that Bajan rapper Haleek Maul made $226,800 in music NFT sales on Catalog, while his annualised Spotify earnings are just $178.
‘‘Music NFTs may appear like the blockchain alternative to buying tracks on iTunes. When you buy a track on iTunes, you buy the right to listen to that music. There’s no asset ownership on iTunes, only a license to listen to what you’ve paid for. Music NFTs let anyone listen to tracks but confers ownership over that file through an NFT’’.
While digital art makes it challenging to make money as an artiste, Darvey Rucci claims that Blockchain technology and NFTs offer musicians and creatives a unique opportunity to monetise their works.
Beyond music, NFTs, according to him, provide the opportunity to give digital art a sense of uniqueness.
He said, ‘‘Galleries and auction houses become obsolete when you can sell directly to the consumer. In addition, artists can program in royalties, so they’ll receive a percentage of sales whenever their art is sold to a new owner’’.
Darvey Rucci, who noted that Don Jazzy motivated him into acquiring his NFT collection in 2021, added that NFTs would also help Nigerian entertainers curb piracy because of the tight security protocols.
To this end, he said, he has embarked on a publicity drive to school his colleagues about the benefits of NFTs to protect their intellectual property while making money from their effort in the process.
The indie afro-fusion artist, best known for his 2021 debut single, ‘Down for you’ and several music features, says his greatest influence in the entertainment industry are Tyga and Dan Bilzerian.
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