The billion-dollar music industry is undergoing a major transformation as artists begin to understand the potential of owning their work through non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Ashanti, singer, actress and co-founder of EQ Exchange – the women-led Web3 platform – recently highlighted this during the June 20 Cotton Candy Records meetup in New York.
Ashanti spoke on a panel with Janis Taylor, founder and CEO of EQ Exchange, in detail about how important ownership is to creators today. Drawing from personal experience, Ashanti said:
“It is so important to continue the narrative that owning is the way to go. Who wants to wake up and pour their heart, blood, sweat and tears into a project and have someone else next to you reap all the benefits while you do all the work? This was how my contract was set up years ago, but now I have Right after 20 years to come in, re-record and own new masters for my first album.”
Kylie Hamilton moderated a session with Ashanti and EQ Exchange CEO Janice Taylor at an NFT music meeting presented by Cotton Candy Records. Image source: darnopolis
Why is ownership important to creators
Ashanti told Cointelegraph that the process of creating a pre-Web3 album and launching music NFTs was “extremely frustrating,” noting that the artist would sign a record deal and create an album that would then sell for around $15. “Of that amount, the artist would only get about $0.38, an amount that was classy,” said the R&B legend. Once Ashanti began to realize that this was a common process, she began looking for alternative ways to own her intellectual property.
On March 25, 2022, nearly 20 years after the release of her debut album, Ashanti formed a partnership with EQ Exchange, making her the first black female artist to co-found Web3. Next, Ashanti released the group NFT with EQ Exchange on April 6, 2022, which was released on the 20th anniversary of the artist for her debut album titled Ashanti. According to Taylor, Ashanti sold its first five NFTs in minutes. Despite his admiration, Ashanti noted that the primary message behind Musical NFTs is that “owning your business is very important.”
In addition to ownership, Ashanti has made it clear that her NFT group aims to benefit her fans in a variety of ways. “Fans will get exclusive rights to hear my music first, which means they’ll get the music too. They’ll also get percentage royalties for new records, along with show and holiday tickets and access to limited merchandise discounts.”
Women in Web3 aims to inspire
Ashanti also indicated that she aims to bring together the NFT and its role in the Web3 space to inspire greater female participation. This is very significant, as media companies EWG Unlimited and The Female Quotient recently discovered that men continue to dominate Web3. According to the report, only 16% of Web3 creators are women, which leads to an inherent male bias. Ashanti said this with this in mind:
“I never thought in a million years that I would be in the Web3 space. But diving into this sector as a freelance artist was essential. Meet Cotton Candy Records is the first cryptocurrency-focused event I spoke to, and I hope to do more of these to continue inspiring creators and women Other colorants to share.”
Ashanti with EQ Exchange CEO Janice Taylor at an NFT music meet presented by Cotton Candy Records. Image source: darnopolis
Taylor added that education and events are critical to bringing more women into the Web3 space, noting that she was initially asked to hire a male crypto-asset co-founder of an EQ Exchange in order to appear “legitimate.” “Some of my early investors told me about this because they thought it would help me appear as if I understood the crypto industry better, even though I am a three-time technical founder.”
Fortunately, Taylor ignored this comment and entered Ashanti as co-founder of EQ Exchnage. “I specifically wanted a woman and a woman of color to be my partner because that’s the message that needs to be heard here,” she said.
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Sarah Omulio, founder of Access Abu Dhabi – echoing Taylor – told Cointelegraph that joining the crypto community offers an opportunity for women to build new career paths regardless of age or financial status. . She said:
“Women in America weren’t able to get credit from a bank until 1974 when the Equal Credit Act was passed. Fast forward to 2022 and less than 2% of project financing goes to women-led businesses. Web3 could become the equivalent that It changes this narrative by engaging women at the start of blockchain technology, a space where currently 93-95% of all cryptocurrency users are male.”
Although women are still a minority of Web3 users, Omolewu expla