Artist in Focus
“Digitalisation is helping artists,” says creator of first indie rock music NFT
On August 19, India got its first Indie Rock Music NFT, ‘Nusrat’ by the Chandigarh-based band, ‘Naalayak’. Launched by FanTiger, India’s first dedicated music NFT marketplace, the band created history when it became the first indie rock band to launch a song that fans can invest in and earn royalty. The concept of Music NFTs enables fans and investors to purchase partial ownership of the song, share royalty income, access to an exclusive community, limited edition signed merchandise, and an opportunity to personally interact with the artist.
The band ‘Naalayak’ which made the song, is led by singer and composer Sahil Samuel. In an exclusive interview with The Plunge Daily, Samuel told us about the song, the origin of their band and the future of India’s music scene in the age of NFTs.
What motivated you to make the song ‘Nusrat’? Why is it called Nusrat?
The song ‘Nusrat’ as a whole can be defined by the two words ‘Nusrat’ meaning ‘asking’ and ‘Furqat’ meaning ‘freedom’. Therefore, ‘Nusrat’ expresses the pursuit of freedom from the lingering past when you have already moved on, but the past keeps on pestering still. For that reason, to drive away the disrupting bygones, you ridicule them to leave you alone. Nusrat was written while on tour in Bangalore on 1st April 2022. There was no particular reason for writing the song. We all carry a past with us that we wish to dismiss from our minds and be delivered from. This song is a result of one such context.
Why is your band called Nalayak?
I will start with a big “hahaha” for this question because I know this will be going with me for a lifetime. So the reality behind the name “Naalayak” is my school life. I was the worst student, never liked studying, just an 11th pass-out student. So my teachers and parents gave me this name. And now I’m using this name as my stage name.
Do you think the rock music scene in India is again rising?
Yes, I see it very clearly, from the past 3 years, it’s like a big boom in Indian rock culture. I’m one of the people who got recognized for indie culture and the alternative rock scene. I don’t think India will have a fixed genre, which is good as it means we will have versatile music and genres here in India. Furthermore, platforms like FanTiger are giving a major push to the artist and the music and this will benefit the entire industry.
You kind of created history when you became the first rock band to have an NFT screening in India. How did this happen?
I was aware of the concept but never paid much attention to it until one of my contacts told me about the first Music NFT launch done by FanTiger. Thereafter, I learned about the benefits NFTs hold for fans and artists. It felt like a perfect thing to do next. I wanted to extend my gratitude to Naalayak’s fans for the support they have been showering through the NFT for Nusrat that is available on https://fantiger.com/nft/nusrat , and wanted to make them a part of the success.
How do you think digitalization would affect the music scene in the future in India?
I feel digitalization is helping us, the artists, take the music to the masses. Music is more accessible than ever. First the music streaming platforms and now music NFTs. The entire industry is moving around digitalization. Also, I must say kudos to Fan Tiger for dedicating themselves to the Music NFT space. Honestly, their confidence advances the fact that digitalization will be at the core of everything we do in the music space.
How much money do you expect out of the NFT?
Well honestly, I would want this song to be a huge hit as it is not just about Naalayak this time. The NFT money we are talking about is for the people who believe in Naalayak too. But otherwise, the money is just a number, the expectation I keep is for the music to be liked by the audience and here FanTiger is playing a critical role in providing us with greater reach.
Where do you plan to take your band in the upcoming future?
It’s my dream and it will be done and that’s my faith that Naalayak will not be recognized as a band that just performed in India. As we know music has no boundaries and barriers, I want to see NAALAYAK doing international tours and album tours in the future.
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