Fresh from his Super Bowl performance, greatest hits album, and House of Balloons reissue, The Weeknd is teasing an entry into the world of .
On Twitter, the singer wrote that a “new song living in NFT space” was coming soon (whether he’s talking about an original song or some other form of NFT is unclear, and we’ve reached out for comment).
Whatever he means, Abel Tesfaye is far from the first musician to experiment with non-fungible tokens—the blockchain-based collectibles that have quickly become crypto’s splashiest investment craze.
what the heII is a nft space
— jordan (@jordandied) March 26, 2021
An NFT is a specialized token that can be associated with a file (say, a GIF or an MP3) and auctioned off. The idea is that you’re buying a form of transparent proof-of-ownership, which can be worth much more than the file itself.
Grimes sold a collection of NFTs for around $6 million, and Kings of Leon attached a kind of premium VIP package to NFTs promoting their recent album, When You See Yourself. Jacques Greene auctioned off the publishing rights to a new single as an NFT, and artists like Aphex Twin, Yaeji, Mura Masa, and Toro Y Moi have sold digital art in NFT form.
NFTs are polarizing among artists. Some see them as a possible new revenue stream for smaller artists—something progressive, with the potential to transform how artists get paid for their work. Others see them as a pure vanity project: a chance for bigger artists to capitalize on their already-large followings by shilling for ecologically harmful, VC-backed marketplaces.
The Weeknd may not have been nominated for any Grammys this year, but given the size of his fanbase, there’s a chance he could be seeing a decent profit from whatever he’s got planned.
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