How NFTs Are Changing the Music Industry with Spottie Wifi

In this episode of Freedom with NFT’s Spottie Wifi shares with us about:

  1. How he has leveraged NFTs to expand his music career.
  2. The strategies he used in investing in NFTs to become a part of certain NFT communities.
  3. Selling his first album called “I’m Spottie” in 60 seconds and raising over 60 ethereum.
  4. Advice to fellow musicians who are curious about NFTs.
  5. Communities he resonates with and why.

About Spottie Wifi:

Spottie WiFi is the best (and only) Crypto Punk rapper alive. He is the creator of the “I’m Spottie” collection, which is one of the most successful and innovative music NFT projects in history. The collection includes 31 songs, each with unique artwork and varying rarity traits — and “I’m Spottie” token holders which receive a limited copyright license so they can actually monetize the music.His debut album, I’m Spottie, sold out in an impressive 60 seconds, making him over $190,000! Spottie’s success as an independent musician in the NFT space has proven that musicians can successfully monetize their content, while still maintaining accessibility and allowing fans to listen to their music for free.

[00:00:00] Lauren Turton: Freedom with NFTs audience we are back with a really talented and special guest. Their name is Spottie Wifi, who is a web 3 musician, the best and only cryptopunk, rapper alive and fun fact Spottie Wifi sold his debut album as an NFT raising over 60 Ethereum in only 60 seconds, which was about 200 K at that time.

Hi, Spottie Wifi, how are you today?

[00:00:29] Spottie Wifi: Lauren. I’m great. It’s great to be here with you. How are you doing?

[00:00:33] Lauren Turton: I’m doing wonderful. I get so excited when I interview people on the freedom with NFTs podcasts that I’ve had the honor to connect with IRL in real life. So not only have I met you in real life in Miami, but I’ve also been able to see you perform. So this is a very special moment for me. Thank you for sharing your time and your energy with the freedom with NFTs audience.

[00:00:57] Spottie Wifi: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you for the invite. It was definitely great meeting you in Miami. And that was a great performance. It was a really fun crowd and a really fun show. So great memories.

[00:01:08] Lauren Turton: Definitely great memories. Let’s jump right in. Tell us about what you did before you knew about NFT.

[00:01:14] Spottie Wifi: Yeah. So I do have a music background that predates my NFT background. I was full-time in music as a rapper and as a song writer, performer almost a decade ago now, I started taking music really seriously in 2006. And then by like 2013 though, I had been burnt out by the music industry.

I had been in bands, rap groups, a solo artists, but struggled to make a living, had put out projects that got good critical reviews, live shows that got good reviews, things like that. But this was the SoundCloud era, the blog era, and it just wasn’t paying the bill. So by 2012, I had started working a day job at an advertising agency.

Got good at it. Came to enjoy it. And I pretty much stopped doing music, thought it was in the rear view mirror for me in terms of a career choice. And I didn’t write a song really from 2013 till last year, 2021. So yeah, I was doing media partnerships and marketing for big brands through that whole stretch of about eight or nine years.

And actually it was COVID that sort of disrupted that. I was working for a client that was really effected by COVID. I got furloughed ended up getting laid off. And then sort of stumbled into this crazy world of NFTs.

[00:02:39] Lauren Turton: So tell us about when you first heard about NFT.

[00:02:42] Spottie Wifi: So, yeah, I got into crypto in late 2017. So I had heard of crypto kitties, for example, and I just thought it was a joke back in like 2018 or 27, whenever that was. And then in January of last year, I’m on Twitter. And I start hearing about NBA top shot, and I’m a basketball fan.

I’m a sports fan. I used to collect sports cards. And so that just instantly made sense to me. I think for a lot of people, that was just a use case that made perfect sense because everybody knows that sports cards and trading cards, star wars, Pokémon. All these things get traded on the secondary market, but the big companies behind them, they don’t get a cut of that.

And so all of a sudden it was very eye-opening of like, yeah, of course the NBA is going to be into this and so every other big IP holder. That was very eye-opening. I started collecting NBA top shot moments. I was a little bit late to really make any money off of the NBA top shot a phenomenon.

I have not logged into my account in a long time, and I don’t think there’s any reason for me to, because I think that I caught the tail end of that big run-up. But through NBA top shot, I met a guy who’s a good friend of mine now named crypto Novo, and he had purchased eight cryptopunks in 22.

For like hundreds of dollars, he bought eight cryptopunks. So by the time I met him in January, February, last year, these things are worth thousands and thousands of dollars. Same time I started seeing Mark Cuban on YouTube saying that cryptopunks are priceless. They’re the rookie card of NFTs.

And so I started doing my research and I decided, even though I was like freelancing at the time, I was like barely employed. I was like I have this crypto that I’ve been accumulating, it’s finally appreciated. It is worth something I’m going to diversify and buy a cryptopunks. So on February 23rd after a couple of weeks of research, I bought this cryptopunks with spots on his face number 55 28.

And it was 27 Ethereum. There was a $40,000 investment at the time. And I was just thinking of it as an asset. I was not thinking of doing anything musically with it at first, but that was my very first if Ethereum based NFT purchase.

[00:05:02] Lauren Turton: Thank you so much for sharing that with us. That’s such an incredible story. So now you hold this incredible NFT. At what point did you decide I’m going to figure out using NFTs for my music career?

[00:05:18] Spottie Wifi: It was pretty quick, like as soon as I had it cryptopunks, the first thing I did was I made it my profile picture on Twitter. Right? That was the main use case for cryptopunks. That still is the main use case for cryptopunks. Because at that time nobody was doing anything creative with a cryptopunks.

There was no cryptopunks comic books. There weren’t any cryptopunks with endorsement deals with Adidas at that time. And there still are no other cryptopunks rappers, even to this day, this was before the Boardape. The Boardape kind of, one of their claims to fame is they gave the holders the IP rights to do whatever they want with them.

And so there’s all sorts of rappers and artists and people do creative things with their apes, but nobody was doing anything with punks at that time. But what I noticed is anybody with a Twitter avatar of a cryptopunks, they would develop a following pretty easily. People would be in tune with what they have to say, even if they have no idea what they’re talking about, you have no idea what their resume is.

What is this person’s background? Nobody cares. It’s just like, Okay, well they have a cryptopunks, if you’re into NFTs, you would follow them. And as a musician it triggered an old muscle that I hadn’t been exercising in a while where it’s like, oh, a musician always wants to figure out a cheat code to get people, to listen to their music and I said, this is it. This is a cheat code, and nobody’s doing anything creative with their cryptopunks so I said, I’m going to make mine the first cryptopunks rapper. And I was really just thinking of it as a way to differentiate my cryptopunks so that my cryptopunks would be worth more than others.

And that’s how it started, my cryptopunks has spots on his face. That’s what makes it rare. There are 10,000 cryptopunks. There’s only 124. They have spots. So I started calling him spotty pippin, people like that. People would laugh at that whenever I would say that. And then I decided, well, that’s his government name.

His stage name is spotty wifi. And then I wrote a song called I’m Spotty. I put that song out on April 16th, I believe of last year. So for February 23rd was the purchase, April 16th, the song I’m spotty was put up online. So it was pretty quick.

[00:07:31] Lauren Turton: Very quick and earlier I shared that you raised over 60 Ethereum in 60 seconds, when you dropped your album. So talk to us about that.

[00:07:44] Spottie Wifi: Yeah, so that’s the headline, the headline is 60 Ethereum and 60 seconds. But really I was spending about six months before that, putting out music and building relationships and joining different communities in different ways. I made a song about my cryptopunks.

The song is very, like strongest perspective, straight out of larva labs as the cryptopunks with the gift of gab. So I was telling the story of being a cryptopunks rapper. My next song was the cryptopunks theme song which is called Christie’s. I ended up buying a Boardape in may. I made a song about my Boardape who is my height man gorilla. You can see him right here. So I made a song called elite ape, so I made music to celebrate the culture. And I was putting out these songs from April through August but as the summer went on, it was just snowballing. Every song was getting more love than the previous song.

My audience was growing and so my producer and I, we said what, it’s only right. We have to make an album that is an NFT, that’s where this is leading to. But we didn’t want to just make an NFT for the sake of it, we really made it as innovative as possible. I believe, we introduced the idea of rarity traits for like an artist putting out an album.

What that means is there were seven songs on the album, but we made a bunch of remixes. So when you minted my NFT, you didn’t know if you were going to get one of the songs from the album as the NFT. Or if you were going to get like a really rare remix, some of those, or even one of ones. So there were 33, I think, 33 different possible songs, you could mint. Each one had its own unique artwork. You get a copyright license to that song when you own it. So you could put it in your podcast, you could put it on your film, in your video game, your advertisement or whatever, you could even license it to a third party. But I still own the master recording and I still own my publishing.

So basically Lauren, if you have my NFT, McDonald’s could pay you to put my song in their advertisement and then if it hits the airwaves, I still collect a royalty, a performance royalty for my song playing on the airwaves. So that was innovative in and of itself, that sort of business and legal framework that we came up with.

We also press the vinyl record search. So each NFT has a vinyl record that’s attached to it, that people can claim if they’re wanting to claim it and give us a shipping address. We just tried to like take things that we saw working for other popular NFT collections outside of music and bring them to music.

And I think that is what kind of led to that moment where everything’s, where sold out. We sold 2000 NFTs for 0.03, Ethereum each. That’s how you get the 60th Ethereum in 60 seconds. But it was a lot of work, that went into that, leading up to that 60 seconds.

[00:10:38] Lauren Turton: You’re a pioneer, you’re an innovator. What advice do you give musicians who are just learning about NFT?

[00:10:47] Spottie Wifi: Man, there’s a few pieces of advice that I always give first. I always tell people be patient, don’t come in on a Monday thinking you’re going to sell your wares by Friday. Like that is a recipe for disappointment. Come in, ready to learn, ask questions. There are no dumb questions and build relationships.

Number one, you want to meet other musicians. You want to meet other artists. You want to collaborate and you want to meet collectors. You know, like I spent six months building relationships. Before I ever offered anything for sale and it would have been a very different result if I was trying to sell an NFT of my first song, when I put it out in April, it would have just been very different.

So that’s one thing. The other thing I would say is I always encourage people to think, why do you need an NFT to do what you’re doing? People are saying music NFTs, or like they’re lagging behind other mediums or other genres of art in terms of NFT success stories. And I think some music NFTs are just boring.

Like I don’t need your song to be on the blockchain in order to listen to your song 99.99% of the time, people don’t value music. Right. We’re used to being able to listen to music for free on YouTube or for $9 a month on Spotify. So like when you are thinking about an NFT or a smart contract, all of a sudden the world of what you can deliver to your listener, the value you can offer to your fans. It’s limitless. You can literally come up anything that you could offer them via a contract, you can now offer them through your NFTs. So think beyond the MP3, cause remember an MP3 just allows somebody to listen to your music and it’s very hard to sell MP3 in the post Napster era. So can you offer people access to your live events, access to you as a personality, direct messaging, zoom calls, physical merchandise, you know, can you offer them a copyright license to use your music in different ways and just try to innovate, because that is the real potential here.

Especially if you’re an indie artist, I was able to kind of cut a long line of musicians that were interested in NFTs as an unknown entity by innovating and by like just kind of hacking the culture and using my music to contribute to that culture.

[00:13:14] Lauren Turton: So many golden nuggets, so many insights I’m thriving over here, listening to this interview because I know what’s going to help so many of the freedom with NFTs audience members. You mentioned communities earlier. Are there any communities that are worth checking out?

[00:13:31] Spottie Wifi: Oh, for sure. For sure, I mean,, I’m very active with the Board Apes. I’m very active with the gutter cat gang. Now, some of these are very expensive now and I understand I’m in a privileged position, even when I started by buying a cryptopunks that bought me the ears of thousands of cryptopunks owners.

But that’s a high barrier to entry. I recently was on a Twitter spaces being interviewed by some guys that are part of the creatures NFT collection, which is Danny Cole’s NFT collection. And I bought one right on the spot just because I was vibing with them. And it was a cool crowd.

And that was like half an Ethereum. Now, even for most people, that’s an exorbitant amount of money though spending a thousand dollars on a JPEG. That’s a lot of money. I would just say, generally speaking, don’t measure community by the price tag of the NFT, don’t feel like, oh, Spottie was able to do this cause he was in a privileged position, but that wouldn’t work for me because I can’t afford a cryptopunks or I can’t afford a Board Ape.

It’s not about that. It’s about immerse yourself in the culture. Get on Twitter, get in Twitter spaces, anything where somebody is talking about NFTs, anything where people are talking about music NFTs, get in there, raise your hand, join the conversation. And you will naturally find communities that you can be a part of that don’t cost an arm and a leg, because remember, like somebody had a good tweet today, they say community, doesn’t have a price tag. Joining a club might have a price tag, but joining a community, you just need to be a participant in that community. So I think that’s a major key, and you will find if you want a profile picture for your Twitter, so that you are signaling to the rest of Twitter, that you’re with the NFT community, you will find one in your price range, but the more important thing than price is just find a community that you actually vibe with.

And that you resonate with and where you feel at home, that’s going to be more important than like figuring out how you can come up with thousands of dollars for something, because it’s expensive.

[00:15:34] Lauren Turton: Community is everything on this web three and NFT journey. You have had massive success in the web three space. And throughout this interview, we can see that it’s because of the work that you did your entire life leading up to this. I’m curious to know what are your long-term plans? What’s next for Spottie Wifi?

[00:15:59] Spottie Wifi: Well, what’s next is I’m working on my new album. My new album is a collab album. I’m really trying to bridge the gap between the NFT world and the mainstream by working with other artists. My first single was a song called all time high, featuring Bun B. Bun B is a legendary artists, legendary rapper out of Houston.

My latest song is called full set. It’s produced by Ellie to produce. Ellie is a multi-platinum Grammy nominated artist. Who’s worked with everybody from like Fat Joe to Megan thee stallion, Eminem and a lot of other artists. I got a few other great collabs that I’m super excited about that I’m going to be able to release this summer.

And later in the year, so the album is really my top priority right now. And music will always be the top priority. But I’m also putting the finishing touches on a comic book. That’s going to tell the story of Spottie the story of his height man gorilla, his DJ malski and all these other crazy cast of characters that are part of the Spottie verse as I call it.

So the comic book will come out probably in the summer, but definitely later this year at some point, and really the long-term goal. Is to take Spottie into the living room of every home in the world. I wanna make Spottie, the Mickey mouse of the new generation. I just happened to be using music as my language of choice or my way to kind of kick in the door, that sort of thing.

But I really see spotty and a lot of these other characters that I’m developing as vessels for storytelling and music just happens to be my primary medium.

[00:17:32] Lauren Turton: Storytelling is such an important topic, especially for those who are just entering the NFT space and wanting to leverage this technology. Any advice you can give on people, who might be new to telling their story?

[00:17:46] Spottie Wifi: That’s a great question. One thing I would say is don’t feel like you need to do it alone. There are a lot of people that are collectors of NFTs that see the opportunity to use these NFTs and the intellectual property. But maybe you’re not a natural born wordsmith maybe you’re not great at coming up with like snappy names or memorable monikers, things like that.

But there are people that’s what they do and they love to do that. And they would love to work with you and help you. You can get creative, maybe you find a partner. You know my music producer, I’m not a music producer, I’m a songwriter and a rapper. My music producer and I were partners, we’re true partners.

We co-own cryptopunks, 55 28. We co-own the trademark Spottie wifi, co owned Spottie wifi, LLC. And that’s because I realized in the very beginning. Well, he’s the music producer I’ve worked with since I was a teenager, we’re best friends, he’s the best man at my wedding. And I just realized very early on that if I was going to make Spottiee wifi, what I envisioned it to be, he could help me press fast forward on that whole journey because we have that working history and chemistry.

So don’t be afraid to look outside of yourself, find partners that can help tell your story, that’s probably the best advice I could give because I consider myself a true storyteller. , and that was probably the biggest key for me was convincing my partner to join me on this journey.

[00:19:20] Lauren Turton: Again, so many golden nuggets, so much great advice coming from you Spottie wifi. This interview of freedom with NFTs up, share with us. How can we stay in contact with you?

[00:19:32] Spottie Wifi: I try to make it easy. A Spottie wifi on all platforms. That’s S P O T T I E W I F I, if you spell spotty wrong, you’re just going to get like Verizon ads or something like that. But it’s just remember, his government name was always spotty Pippin. So it ends with an I E just like Scotty Pippin, but it’s Spottie wifi on all platforms, Twitter and Instagram is where I’m most active.

I’m on LinkedIn as well. And my website, I got a brand new, beautiful website. We just launched it Lauren. A couple of weeks ago. So it’s, we’re .com. They’ll take you to the same place, but check out the website. And I encourage everyone to check out my collection on LooksRare or on Opensea, wherever you buy NFTs. There’s still a lot of vinyl records available of my first album. So if you go on my website, you can go to my merchant store and you can actually search my NFTs by serial numbers so that you can actually make sure you buy one that still has a vinyl record.

[00:20:30] Lauren Turton: Thank you so much for your time and your energy today. I know this episode of freedom with NFTs is going to help so many people, especially musicians freedom with NFTs audience, you know, the drill. If you resonated with this episode, please share it with your community. I started this podcast so that more people could get informed and get involved in web three technology.

So they could create new opportunities and revenue streams in their life and in their business. And I can’t do this alone. I need your help and I need your support to spread the word that’s all for now. I’m your host, Lauren Turton. We’ll see you on the next one.

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