Grimes has revealed in an interview that she made more money in crypto and NFTs than in her entire career as a musician.
The singer, whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher, recently sat down with Wired magazine to talk about her career, her fascination with future technology, and her ex Elon Musk. In the interview, she touched on her brief involvement with crypto, saying that:
“I’m sad about what happened to NFTs and crypto, because it got polluted fast with people trying to make as much money as possible. But I do want to think about compensating artists, especially digital artists. And I hope when the aggro niche dies down, we can come back.”
When asked if she had made more money from selling NFTs than she had from her entire musical career, Grimes responded with only: “Yes.”
Grimes, NFTs, and crypto
Grimes, who recently released a new single titled ‘I Wanna Be Software’, has long been a fan of various aspects of technology, including transhumanism, crypto, NFTs, and AI, and often incorporates these themes into her music. Her 2020 studio album, Miss Anthropocene revolves around the themes of dystopian sci-fi and techno-oligarchy.
In early 2021, when NFT mania entered the mainstream, Grimes was one of many artists who jumped on the hype. She released an NFT collection of 10 digital artworks, which sold for US$7,500 (AU$11,480) each.
The collection sold out in 10 minutes. Thanks to several changes of hands from buyers within the first 48 hours, Grimes made a whopping US$5.8 million (AU$8.88 million) from those NFTs.
The singer also once tweeted several lines of lyrics about cryptocurrency: “I cash crypto like Ash Ketchum,” We’ll assume that she was working on a song about crypto, but decided to bin it, and it’ll never see the light of day.
On transhumanism, Grimes revealed in the Wired interview that she is working on a children’s book called Transhumanism For Babies.
She’s in support of artificial intelligence music, too
As mainstream artists like Drake voice displeasure over AI-generated music that steal and use their vocals without consent, Grimes is one of very few artists who is embracing AI.
“I relished the final days of being the only species who creates art but I’m excited to welcome our AI friends into the beautiful journey of creation with us. I see a lot of cynicism but it’s a privilege to live through such an utterly historic moment,” she once tweeted in 2022.
As platforms like Spotify fight to take down AI-generated deepfake songs, in May this year, Grimes launched a platform, Elf.Tech, to let fans produce their own AI music using exclusively her vocals. She also vowed to split 50% of royalties from those AI-generated songs with her fans.
“Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings,” she tweeted. “I think it’s cool to be fused with a machine and I like the idea of open sourcing all art and killing copyright,” she also wrote.
However, Grimes’ ambitious push for AI music did not seem to gain traction among her fans. A Bloomberg report noted that since Elf.Tech’s launch, “none of these new tracks have achieved viral status or become certifiable hits.”
The most-streamed song made on Elf.Tech, Cold Touch, is at 852,210 streams since its release in mid-May. “That’s only around 300,000 streams more than Grimes’ own latest single, I Wanna Be Software, which dropped last Friday. No other Grimes AI tracks have cracked 100,000 streams,” wrote Bloomberg.
Might want to get back to selling NFTs, then.