Column: Kings of Leon venturing into NFTs

Ryan Meyer

Kings of Leon are about to release an album that could very well be my favorite of their entire discography. The three singles they’ve released, “The Bandit,” “100,000 People” and “Echoing” are all promising.

Not to mention, the band has been posting snippets of unreleased songs on Instagram that are absolutely phenomenal. They feature more synth than I’ve heard previously, particularly in a post with the caption “6 days.” Whatever song this is, its rumbling bass line and flawless keyboard melody make it an easy contender for my favorite on the album.

“The Bandit” and “100,000 People” both take their sweet time getting to the chorus, and it’s refreshing to see a band doing what they want with their music. The synthesizer aspect is particularly exciting. It’s not a route I expected the band to take but it is a promising one.

The real news behind the record is the fact that it is being released as a non-fungible token, a currency similar to Bitcoin. As someone not very familiar with cryptocurrency, these terms are lost on me, but there is a helpful Consequence of Sound article by Eli Enis that spells it out.

Basically, an NFT can “contain art, music or even something unique like a concert ticket.” There are also “golden ticket” NFTs being auctioned that contain incentives such as four front-row tickets to any Kings of Leon show for life or an opportunity to meet the band before the show, among other lavish perks.

I was worried that this NFT process meant the album wouldn’t be available to purchase in physical form, such as on CD or vinyl, but Enis’s article assures that those options are still possible.

I’m sure there are self-proclaimed rock and roll purists out there that aren’t too thrilled with the development of non-fungible tokens as a way for artists to make money, but that just might be the direction music is going. Especially with the pandemic continuing to postpone or cancel tours, artists need a way to make money, and offering new and unique incentives to fans is an innovative way to do so.

Enis’s article also says that popular musician Grimes earned $6 million auctioning off exclusive material.

It is not up to fans to determine how musicians make their living. If I had the money, I would consider auctioning for the opportunity to meet with these prolific, esteemed artists or be able to see them in the front row for the rest of my life. It will be interesting to see if smaller artists or bands adopt these tactics as NFT “popularity has soared immensely in the music community,” Enis writes.

 

Ryan Meyer is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]