Nifty Sax: Jazz musician and NFT pioneer on realism, discoverability, and the future of web3 music

We felt privileged to sit down and talk to one of the pioneers in the music NFT space. Nifty Sax, born Milo Lombardi, is a proficient jazz musician who began activity in the music web3 back in 2020. We asked him about the work he does with Nifty Music, his NFT music accelarator, whether decentralisation truly exists and the importance of realism for artists in the space. 

Rosa: How did you enter the world of Web3 and more specifically the web3 music community? 

Milo: I was a full time live musician before the pandemic and so during lockdown I was stuck with a lot of time on my hands. After looking around for a while, I found the CryptoPunk NFT sales which were starting to pick up a bit in 2020. At that time, there really wasn’t much music on the blockchain so I became one of the first to do so. I jumped into the space from there. 

Rosa: Did you have any premeditated goals before jumping into the space as one of its music pioneers?

Milo: Honestly I was just so excited about being at the forefront of something, it felt like a revolution for the first time in my life. I’m quite a nerd with technology so that excited me and fit my interests. The technology feels like it explores creativity and it really was a new chapter for me – I even used a name I never used before (NiftySax)! 

Rosa: Decentralisation is a huge buzzword in the web3 space. What does decentralisation really mean to you? Does it exist and how does it benefit you as an artist? 

Milo: I am not quite sure whether decentralisation exists yet. It’s a nice idea but I’m not sure if it is possible. Simply because things are easier when they are centralised, for example people prefer to get everything from Amazon than go to ten different shops for ten different things. It’s not always the best thing but it is more comfortable for the consumer. So I love the idea of more freedom but I don’t think we will ever see it if the world remains the way it is now. 

Rosa: If decentralisation isn’t the goal, what does web3 do for artists? What would you say to new artists wondering what they could gain from the space? 

Milo: The practical reason is that there is less competition, which may be an egotistical point but it’s realistic. If there are less people doing what you do, you will find more success. I think that should be number one on every artist’s list. Web3 also provides a way to package music in a way people want to buy it – and that is something people don’t want to do anymore! But NFTs package music in a way that is more palatable to invest into. At NiftyMusic we always have a rarity structure, consumers like the idea of trading, utilities and collectibles. This is the reason that keeps me going and this is what defines the revolution in music – we can sell it again!

Rosa: At Wishu, we don’t believe in gatekeeping or taboo around finances. As mentioned, artists like myself and yourself need to make money and we have been brainwashed to think we don’t deserve money for our art. Realistically what web3 can financially do for artists compared to web2?

Milo: Discovery in web3 right now is terrible, unlike in web2. When discovery becomes more possible in web3, it will allow for people to sell their music and be found through discovery that will hopefully be available. It is the same as Bandcamp only that people can resell and that’s the extra edge that web3 provides. Everything we do in web3 can be done in web2 it is just that web2 is more saturated, except maybe the resell aspect. 

I think the main mistake people make is assuming you can enter the space and sell for lots of money immediately which is false because there is definitely some marketing work to do. I also think artists should still develop careers in web2 because for now web3 is only an accessory which can often be forgotten in the space. Web3 can free you if you use it smartly as an artist – to monetise their music and find investment. The joy is that for the first time in 20 years, we can access the real money in the industry. 

Rosa: Since web3 discovery hasn’t yet found its strengths, as somebody who has found successful outreach, how did you manage to make yourself discoverable in a space that doesn’t necessarily encourage that?

Milo: Mostly, we rely on Twitter spaces. That is where decentralisation comes in because it would be great to use a different, uncontrolled and ungoverned space where everybody has the same chance to be discovered. I would do spaces everyday because you meet people, connect, create relations and then when you have a drop, these people will be the ones who help to push it. My own drop for example, was discovered through the blockchain because their are traders that watch contracts and once they saw it was 50% sold out then the rest was gone in an instant. If you go to one of these platforms you will see the impact. 

Rosa: Would you say that consistency is key to not only building but maintaining an audience?

Milo: Yes but I would also say being genuine is important. People can smell whether you’re they’re just to make a sale or whether you’re there because you’re excited. I’ve seen people who do everything right but don’t succeed because their heart just isn’t in it. 

Rosa: Can you tell us about your most recent NFT collection and why we should invest? 

Milo: I am doing a drop right now and the mint passes are for sale! It is the second floor drop we have ever done and my first official drop since NiftySax Fears, the original drop. It is structured to sell out during presale and make back their investment. Web3 is also a great platform to practise trading. 

Rosa: Also, just to clarify, could you break down the separation between the work you do as NiftySax vs NiftyMusic? 

Milo: NiftySax is my artist name in web3 and what I use to make music and sell my NFTs but NiftyMusic is my company which is a music NFT accelerator where we help other artists to drop their projects. All of our projects are 100% sold out as we are selective. We help artists to structure their projects in an efficient way, I do the marketing. My business partner Robin takes care of the smart contracts. I also mint my solo NiftySax projects on NiftyMusic. 

Follow Milo (NiftySax) on Twitter!

Get tickets to Web3 Creator Summit 2023 here.

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