From Binance to OneOf to profile avatar (PFP) NFTs, we’ve felt the presence of encryption at the biggest events in the music industry.
South African comedian and TV host Trevor Noah, who once again hosted the 64th Grammy Awards, said in the show’s opening remarks: “We’re in Las Vegas, like cryptocurrency is a city.”
The crypto meme (one of Noah’s two jokes of the night) was far from the industry’s only cameo, with crypto once again finding itself entwined with mainstream entertainment, from sponsored events and gala to non-fungible token (NFT) meetups.
Two crypto partnerships dominated the weekend festivities, one with crypto exchange Binance and the other from Tezos blockchain-based music NFT platform OneOf.
OneOf’s rise to fame over the weekend was part of a three-year partnership the platform signed with the Recording Academy in November, and well-known artists and award winners, such as Doja Cat and HER, have released collectibles on the platform.
Binance kept a low profile throughout the weekend (apart from the official gala), but a spokesperson hinted that “greater partnership plans” will be announced later.
Every mainstream artist seems to be experimenting with NFTs these days.
At a pool party outside the MGM Grand, Steve Aoki, crowned the “Prince of Web 3 DJs,” performed passionately, with the slogan of his NFT membership club “A0K1VERSE” flashing on the big screen.
“Steve Aoki was actually the reason I got into NFTs”, an onlooker said;
Another fan shouted: “AOKIVEEEEEERSE”!
Across the street is the meetup for OnChainMonkey, an NFT project that helps its holders host a variety of events throughout the weekend, including pool parties and dining at the Bellagio Hotel.
OnChainMonkey NFT holder Bryan Hernandez told CoinDesk: “We weren’t actually even planning to come to Las Vegas this weekend, but I swiped Discord two days ago and saw it was happening. For a second I wasn’t sure, but then I Seeing that brunch was included, I booked the hotel in 10 minutes.”
During the Grammys telecast, Noah demonstrated an NFT (which was much better than his Las Vegas opening), quipping: “You know, when your favorite artist goes from trying to tell you It’s hard to do when selling music turns to promoting photos of digital monkeys.”
Of course, the joke was an allusion to the Bored Ape Yacht NFT series and its emergence as a media star, and after the joke, the camera turned to Justin Bieber, who bought NFTs from the series back in February.
“Entertainment’s Newest Asset Class”
Record labels and talent agencies are scrambling to get their clients involved in the increasingly popular and mainstream form of digital assets, and many of them are experimenting with the technology.
“Cryptocurrencies are often viewed as a new asset class, and NFTs are the newest asset class in entertainment,” said a lawyer representing popular NFT project Doodles at the Grammys.
Ahead of the event night, there was no shortage of artists eager to talk about the upcoming NFT release, including rapper Gerald Gillum (stage name G-Eazy), who will announce his first collaborative series with OneOf later this month.
“It’s really about being curious and finding new ways to engage with fans,” he told CoinDesk in an interview. Compared to other promotions, he said working on NFTs felt like “a more creative process,” adding, “I’m excited to come up with concepts for artwork.”
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