How This Digital Pioneer Is Using NFTs to Create Opportunities for Musicians Recovering From a Year of COVID-19 Lockdowns

Agencies
·4-min read

A 22-year old digital thought leader has just used the magic of NFTs to help London-based music duo D-Block Europe earn $8,000 in just 48 hours—the first time NFTs have been used in this way.

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Zack Ahmed helped the Brit Award-nominated artists bag their hefty payday for a photoset containing just four digital band portraits. And he says this crazy new marketplace is only getting started.

“Some say art is a poor man’s job,” says Zack. “NFTs have proven that’s dead wrong. I’m giving power back to the creators—helping them monetize their craft.”

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Savvy self-made content and marketing specialist Zack has built several successful branded YouTube channels and crafts partnerships and strategies that help challengers and incumbents to target the ever-growing post-millennial market.

In 2018 he put on one of the UK’s first ever pay-per-view concerts and was an early adopter of Cryptocurrencies.

“I was talking about this stuff back in 2016,” he says. “But when the pandemic gutted music artists’ traditional means of making money—from gigs, merch and so on—I realised NFTs might be a lifesaver.”

NFTs, meaning Non-Fungible Tokens, help artists exploit the principles of scarcity and authenticity enshrined in the blockchain in a similar way to how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work.

An artist can create an NFT for any work they produce and sell it on to collectors or fans as a unique token of the work’s provenance and exclusivity.

An unnamed collector recently paid $69 million at auction for an NFT of a digital artwork by visual artist Beeple.

The transaction brokered by Zack for D-Block Europe—technically for 4.2 Ethereum coins, worth around $8,000 on the day—is one of the first times artists raised have revenue from non-music sales through NFTs.

Young Adz, one half of the Brit Award nominated Lewisham group, met Zack Ahmed in his early days, and was impressed with the young man’s grasp of this bold new frontier in finance.

“Zack got me into the NFT world by introducing me to the gallery scene,” says Adz. “I feel like NFTs are the perfect world for me, due to my interests in both gaming and music.”

D-Block Europe normally play packed venues like London’s Alexandra Palace, but COVID-19 radically disrupted that income stream.

“Zack understands the future,” says an impressed Adz.

The masterstroke was when Zack introduced Adz to his friend Alex Masmej, co-founder and CEO of Showtime.

Showtime is an NFT platform that’s like a traditional gallery, where potential buyers browse NFTs and learn about artists before buying.

During a whirlwind two-day auction last month, D-Block Europe sold their photoshoot on Showtime for the equivalent of $8,000.

“Zack has been stellar in getting big name artists excited about NFTs,” Alex Masmej told us. “Our partnership with Young Adz was really successful and set the foundation for all creators wanting to break into this new industry.”

Alex is grateful to Zack for creating this partnership.

“Zack grasps the intersection of NFT and how it can finance artists early in their career.”

For Zack Ahmed, the real magic of NFTs isn’t just about making a quick buck.

“They’re not just about listing your creation and getting paid—it’s about creating a narrative that holds sentimental value.”

In a neat little piece of symmetry, Zack’s own NFT masterpiece—a witty photoshop of him chilling out on Mars with NASA’s Perseverance Rover and a SpaceX Starship—just sold to one of the world’s biggest NFT collectors, Dubai-based 3F Music.

His Martian masterpiece sold for 0.5 Ethereum—worth a little under $1,000 at the time of writing.

Zack’s friend and associate Antoni Tudisco, a 3D Artist, recently collaborated with big-name DJ Steve Aoki on a NFT drop that sold for just over $800,000.

“There’s loads of hype about NFTs out there,” cautions Zack. “But artists should do their research, and don’t be disheartened if their NFT doesn’t sell right away. It’s not just a gimmick—it can be a financial lifeline.”

“The key is transmediation—taking one form of art, like music, and transferring the magic to another medium,” he says. “And this is really only the beginning.”