Music Business

Illmind on how to create an NFT collection & Squad Of Knights for musicians and producers

Ilmmind, a 2x Grammy Winning/10x Grammy Nominated multi-platinum producer who has worked with Nicki Minaj, Ye, Drake, J. Cole, Dr. Dre, Ludacris, Ariana Grande, and others, released his first NFT in 2020. Now he’s teamed with Moonwalk to launch Squad Of Knights, the first NFT and metaverse-based artist and music producer community.

5 Best Practices for Creating an NFT Collection

By Illmind

At first blush, concepts like Web3 and NFTs may seem a far cry from the music industry, but they are actually poised to seriously disrupt the experience for artists, fans and everyone in between.

That’s because Web3, which Wired defines as “a decentralized online ecosystem based on the blockchain,” is shaping up to be the next phase of the Internet in which we move away from social platforms as intermediaries and form more direct relationships.

In turn, these relationships can potentially enable new incentive structures in the music industry specifically—and in entertainment as a whole.

I think Web3 and NFTs can help make the music industry a better place for everyone.

That’s in part why I recently teamed up with NFT and Web3 platform Moonwalk to launch Squad of Knights, the first-ever NFT- and metaverse-based artist and music producer community. The goal is to connect and mentor up-and-coming music creators and visual artists by providing the tools and incentives they need to collaborate virtually and IRL. 

Squad of Knights

The Squad of Knights collection includes 8,888 programmatically generated Ethereum NFTs that give holders access to a series of curated experiences and events focused on helping them nurture long-term relationships in music, design and the creative arts.

It also includes custom members-only wallets where holders can see their NFTs and reward token balance, as well as unlock challenges, redeem tokens, form squads, attend invite-only events and book studio time.

Finally, the Squad of Knights collection unlocks access to a metaverse on NFT art and event platform Spatial where the community can gather to share NFTs and experiences.

The NFTs are available now on the OpenSea marketplace.

I’ve learned a lot about NFTs ever since I released my first in the Fall of 2020. Here are my five tips for making an NFT collection a success:

Build a Community

First and foremost, you need to cultivate a community among NFT holders.

With the Squad of Knights, we are doing so by offering benefits—like 24/7 access to events and collectibles in real life and the metaverse, as well as the ability to form squads and book studio time to collaborate on music—that encourage engagement. What’s more, NFT holders maintain 100% ownership of the music they create here, which we hope is another incentive to join.

Encourage Connectivity

Each NFT, which we call a Knight, is basically like a membership pass to this exclusive community where singers and sound engineers can connect and collaborate.

In my experience, finding the right people to work with in the music industry can be incredibly challenging. Even in the age of social media, it can be hard to exchange creative energy to collaborate with even the right partners.

The Squad of Knights collection hopes to solve this problem by enabling human connectivity within the music and technology communities via NFTs and Web3. What’s more, Spatial allows members to share content within their communities, which helps further enhance engagement and connectivity.

Offer Social Tokens to Encourage Engagement

You should also seek to gamify the NFT experience to further encourage members to come together to get to know one another and build relationships.

For example, Squad of Knights NFT holders can participate in collaboration challenges to earn the $KNIGHT token, a social token that can be redeemed for rewards like studio time—and perhaps even access to a recording label. This is enabled by the digital wallets mentioned above, which are powered by Web3.

Host Real-Life Events

It’s also important to include a real-life component, which is why we also offer in-person events such as battles and studio time. We hope these events help burgeoning relationships grow and thrive.

Provide Exclusive Content

Finally, I recommend providing exclusive content as another incentive to join the NFT community. Squad of Knights offers exclusive airdrops, sound pack tools, Q&As with industry professionals and merchandise and experiences that aren’t available anywhere else to encourage up-and-coming talent to take the plunge with us.

Ramon Ibanga, Jr. (born August 28, 1980), known professionally as Illmind (often stylized as !llmind), is an American record producer, songwriter, and educator. As of 2012, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Illmind has co-written and produced hip hop, trap, pop, soul, and electronic music for labels such as Cash Money, Def Jam, and Aftermath, and worked with artists such as Nicki Minaj, Andy Mineo, Kanye West, Drake, J. Cole, Dr. Dre, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Ariana Grande, and others. His accomplishments also include production on the Hamilton Mixtape and Disney’s Moana, both created by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Illmind has released several studio albums and had a number of songs and albums reach the music charts.

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