Despite the music NFT community seeing a huge amount of growth in 2022 so far, not many record labels – both major and independent – seem to be jumping on the bandwagon. This seems to be a cause of concern for artists delving both into Web2 and Web3 success as NFTs promise to be a great potential source of funding for independent acts. One label who sets itself apart from the rest in regards to forward Web3 engagement is Chill Ghost. Specialising in lo-fi and chillhop music projects and artists, the independent record label has recently collaborated with NFT distribution platform Pianity. We spoke to its Director, Callum Finlay, about this exciting partnership and his thoughts on Web3’s potential place in the chillhop music space. 

How did the idea for Chill Ghost come about?

We founded the label just under 2 years ago, built not only from a passion for the genre (lo-fi music) but also from a desire to build a truly artist-friendly label that offers fairness, transparency and industry advice to its roster. Both of us have significant music production experience and worked on the business side of the industry long before the label began. We eventually reached a point in our careers where we wanted to strike out and build something of our own.

What inspired you to get Chill Ghost assimilated within the world of Web3?

I’ve always been fascinated by Web3 and its potential applications. I think, if developed correctly, it could provide an unparalleled potential to hand control back over to artists, especially in music where large labels often have huge amounts of control over artists both creatively & financially. Web3 could bring about a more equitable system and we want to situate ourselves within that when it happens.

For those who don’t know, could you describe your relationship between Pianity (a distributor for music NFTs) and Chill Ghost?

Chill Ghost signed a label partnership deal with Pianity a few months ago giving us access to their platform and allowing us to drop regular projects on their platform. We want to be able to offer all our artists the ability to participate in the Web3 space and allow them to release NFT’s under the Chill Ghost brand.

What would you like to see more of in regards to NFTs within the music industry and the lo fi music industry in particular?

I would like to see more artists look to NFT’s as a source of funding for their careers. If done properly in conjunction with a project rollout, NFTs could provide independent artists with valuable funding for marketing activities like digital ads, playlist campaigns etc.

How do you feel NFTs will affect merchandise sales for independent artists?

I see NFTs possibly an extension of merchandise. I think people will always buy merch to wear in the real world but alongside that we could see a new market for digital merch. This could take the form of gaming skins, metaverse posters/art etc. However, I do see NFTs developing into a much more integral part of the industry with functionality that empowers artists to create, release and promote on their own terms, not just digital art.

What are your feelings on NFTs developing fan to artist relationships?

If used correctly they could really help artists reward early engagers/top fans. For example, attaching perks such as discounted tickets & merch to an NFT and giving them to early engagers and/or attendees at early concerts artists could help to foster a tight knit community of superfans, rewarding them for their early support.

How do you access information and education regarding Web3 for the music industry specifically?

Reddit is a good place to keep up with current and up and coming projects, subs like r/NFT r/MusicNFT are a good starting place. I think having an understanding of blockchain as a whole is really important as this will allow you to think of potential use cases for the tech in any space, including music. I would encourage people to read some research papers on the subject, you can find a load of great papers on the blockchain as a whole & potential applications in music.

How does Pianity support the organic need for artists to build their own network and client base in Web3 while also exposing artists to a wider client base?

Pianity has a very engaged user base of NFT collectors. Many of whom may not even be aware of the artist beforehand. This can help artists who are new to the NFT space launch their first project to a new base of potential fans who are already buying NFT’s. Their team can also provide good insights into what makes a successful launch as well as info on building your own Web3 network/introducing your current fanbase to the Web3.

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