In any walk of life, in any industry, any setting — trying something new can be hard. Like many artists, Brooke Alexx has been watching closely as NFTs saturate the music world and wondering if, when, and how they might fit for her.
There are so many questions to answer entering the NFT space for the first time. Will fans embrace a new idea? How should they be priced, and perhaps most daunting, where do you even start with art direction? For Brooke, the answers became a combination of thoughtful planning, a leap of faith, and the realization that something ‘new’ doesn’t have to be new at all.
The Brooke Alexx Genesis NFT Collection, digital art counterparts to 4 of her latest singles, dropped at Noon on April 1 as individual images in 4 numbered collections, sold at $25/each. The results were an excited and ignited fan base — and a collection that sold out in mere hours.
Brooke talked with us about the story and strategy behind her first drop:
Tell us more about the images that make up The Brooke Alexx Genesis NFT Collection collection and how it all ties together for you as an artist.
Brooke Alexx: When I was researching NFTs and thinking about what I wanted to do for my project, I started to think about my latest releases, which are all using old family photographs (for cover art) that I took and manipulated in photoshop — put them in black and white, distressed the edges, and put handwritten titles on them. Since they weren’t taken by a photographer that I hired, they were free-range and it was an excellent and unique opportunity (to also offer as NFTs).
These songs jumpstarted my career to what it is right now. Grace, the first single about my mom, started off this whole EP which is about my family and my roots, and helped me reframe what I wanted to write about. It was about something completely different and resonated so well with my audience so I continued down that path. Because these songs were so successful for me, I thought it would be great to memorialize them with NFTs.
It’s a really interesting juxtaposition to use something ‘old’ like family photographs, for something ‘new’ like digital collectibles.
BA: Yeah! New and old. I love that.
A lot of artists are still sitting on the sidelines of NFTs, wondering if they’re a good fit for their strategy. What made you decide to go ahead and do a drop?
BA: When YouTube started becoming a big thing when I was younger, I kinda missed the train to hop on and I saw other people’s YouTube channels grow — and mine not — because I joined too late. I vowed to myself that I would never let that happen again. When TikTok started becoming big I hopped on it immediately and started growing my fanbase on there. I feel like NFTs are going to be the same kind of thing, and I wanted to be one of the early adopters because I think I will have more success that way.
One hesitation some artists seem to have with web3 and NFTs is the fear that the idea won’t resonate with their fans. Did you have any of those concerns?
BA: I did have those concerns. What I like about Single specifically is that it allowed people to buy my NFTs with dollars if they didn’t already have cryptocurrency, and I knew most of my fanbase probably wouldn’t have crypto. I thought that was a great selling point.
Pricing an NFT, particularly your first one, can be tricky. How did you settle on the collection size and price?
BA: To be honest, we were trying to decide as I was uploading them (laughs). My fanbase is largely a younger demographic who maybe don’t have that much money to spend, especially on something they’ve possibly never heard of before, so I felt like $25 was digestible. It was kind of like buying a t-shirt from the merch table at one of my shows.
You’ve talked about how representing women in web3 is important to you. Tell us more about that.
BA: Female empowerment is really important to me, it’s a big part of my brand and my music. I have seen that the NFT space seems more male-dominated, and I wanted to carve a little path for women to learn and dive in. Maybe if women see other women doing it, they’ll be more interested to learn. I do think posting about this got a lot of my followers interested, so I hope it worked.
What are some offerings that you could see being tied to your future NFT drops?
BA: Backstage passes, meet and greets, special merch — anything that is going to make a fan feel closer to me. I see it as a way for my fans to show their support and love.
So now that you’ve done your first drop, what would you say to artists who are still unsure about NFTs?
BA: Just go for it! The worst that can happen is that it’s not successful, and you can try again later. That’s exactly what happened with my music. I’ve released a lot of music that wasn’t successful, but all of those taught me valuable lessons that helped me get to the music that I’m putting out now. It’s all a learning experience and you’ll never know until you take the first leap of faith.
Learn more about Brooke at www.brookealexx.com