Beyond the Hype is an interview series exploring how artists, creators, and their teams are using NFTs to cut through the digital noise to co-create value with their community.
Today, we’re chatting with Erick Sanchez, Founder of Normandie Records, an independent record company, creative house, and online record shop striving to support artists navigating today’s complex music industry. Read on to hear more about Erick’s journey and how he is using NFTs to power the mission!
Tell us a bit about the work you do at the Label – and how does Web3 fit into it all?
I run operations at the label and work closely with every artist on their campaigns and needs. I also run the e-commerce side of things. On the artist side, I see Web3 providing a deeper level of value for the artists whenever they’re trying to bring something to market. In a digital environment sometimes it’s hard to keep track of the lifespan of art but with Web3, the blockchain provides a lasting connection between super supporters and the artist, as well as their art. For e-commerce, I'm trying to change the way people buy records online.
What role do NFTs play in developing both the label and the artists on your roster?
I always try to find the best fit for the technology in everything we do. Sometimes the timing isn’t quite right and other times, the artist is really excited about NFTs. It ultimately depends on a few factors but education is always a priority. Right now our focus is on having conversations about security and helping artists set up their wallets.
How are NFTs different from everything else that you sell in your online shop?
They’re very different because they're long-term plays. I try to think about what things will look like in 1 or 2 years, and NFTs have evolutionary capability. Unlike other projects we bring to market, with NFTs I think about what kind of value we can continue to provide to holders over the long term. Currently, our NFTs are all about access. No other item in our store provides that, so it pushes me to be creative and be thoughtful about innovation.
Your NFTs tend to have a feel-good, fan-element. Is that by design? Tell us more about your long term vision for NFTs as a label.
As much as I am a fan of music, I have always been fascinated by the magnetism certain labels possess. I believe that comes from the community around the label and its artists. A lot of music is consumed online these days, and that can get old quick. The foundation of all Normandie Records NFTs is for the holders to feel closer to the brand and the artists. I want them to understand that they hold something that we consider to be special and that we appreciate them. I want them to know that they’re always one token gated page away from something cool and personal.
How do you go about educating your audience or artists on your roster about the Web3 space? Do you have any playbooks or resources for success?
I actively try to make different forms of content to appeal to different demographics. I use newsletters, videos, and even one on one sessions. I try to be very detailed and clear about the practicality of the token. I also make my intentions clear. I think the biggest obstacle in NFTs right now is cutting through the noise. I find that being transparent about why you’re selling the NFT helps lower that wall of reluctance.
More on that: How do you define success in the Web3 space?
This is one man’s humble opinion, but success in Web3 is defined by how much the technology can help elevate your current model. The innovation involved in figuring out the best token for your audience is the true treasure. I think the success you’re seeking lies in that area somewhere; through a thorough understanding of your audience and a collaborative effort to craft a token, experience, or exchange that resonates and benefits everyone.
How have you used NFTs or Tokengating to foster genuine engagement with your artists' communities?
This year, with the help of Single, we launched an NFT that was tied to a vinyl record release for The Tulips’ album Message For The Living. The vinyl jacket packaging has special indicators tied to the NFT and each holder owns something unique. This is something I envisioned since early 2021 because it became clear to me that the tendencies of a vinyl record collector are not much different from those of an NFT collector. I hope to continue doing this with more releases.
What was the hardest thing about getting started in the web3 space? How did you get past it?
For me, the hardest part was explaining the technology to the general public. In January 2021, I couldn’t find anyone but a few insomniacs on Clubhouse to talk about NFTs with. I had so much adrenaline at the time, I wanted to hit the ground running but had to be patient. Things have changed now but a lot of what Web3 truly is remains unclear to most people. Until we have real conversations about the value of NFTs beyond financial gain and better demonstrations of what’s possible, we won’t break through. So it’s still a work in progress.
How do you promote your NFTs? Are they isolated from everything else you do?
Currently, I use all the social media platforms, NormandieRecords.com, and our Normandie Records newsletter. I try to utilize all the tools available that can shine a light on web3.
Where can readers follow you to tap in?
www.normandierecords.com is a good place to start. You can find the label on all social platforms as Normandie Records or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feeling inspired yet?
If you're interested in stepping into Web3 for the first time, or releasing an NFT, book a demo below -- we'd love to discuss how Single could help bring your ideas to life!