A Pioneering Artist Charting a New Path Through NFTs


For sure, the mononymous LATASHÁ is likely one of the greatest unbiased artists in music NFTs up to now. The hip-hop musician and efficiency artist is likely one of the trailblazers actually displaying what is feasible for artists who’re keen to profit from the alternatives stemming from NFTs and Web3.

“I used to be a 50k artist a couple of years in the past, and now I’m a six-figure artist, shifting into seven very quickly. That’s my journey.”

Although to be clear, Latashá’s journey of rediscovery by means of NFTs and Web3 extends far past simply monetary success. Quite the opposite, it represents a brand new sense of inventive and private freedom. Issues that, whereas definitely aided by the earnings NFTs present the artist, are a lot deeper than simply cash.

“Via my neighborhood, I really feel very liberated and full; I really feel like I could be my fullest self now with Web3.”

Web3 artist LATASHA
The artist has had an extended journey to get the place she is at the moment. Credit score: Wealthy Aunty Ta$h by LATASHÁ; Images by Jahmel Reynolds

This interview was performed by NFTevening’s Angela Giampolo at the NFT in America event in Los Angeles. Quotes are condensed and edited for readability.

How Latashá turned a hip hop artist “completely by chance”

As shocking as it could be given her standing as a number one music NFT artist, Latashá didn’t plan on turning into a recording artist in any respect. At the least not earlier in her life.

Certainly, as an undergraduate at Wesleyan College, Latashá studied Black Research, poetry, and efficiency. As a matter of truth, she truly had a unique efficiency medium in thoughts, though she noticed these plans change after graduating.

“I believed it was gonna go to Broadway proper out of faculty. However I ended up working at Chase Financial institution to pay the payments.”

Nonetheless, she took half in nighttime ciphers and poetry slams as a technique to proceed expressing herself. That’s when the seeds of her musical profession have been first planted, someday in 2011.

“Any person noticed one among my performances and was like, Hey, it’s best to pull as much as a cipher and simply rap. And I by no means had that earlier than in my life. I simply determined, okay, let me do it however I used to be actually scared. After which I got here, and I crushed the cipher. And everyone’s like, I feel you’re a rapper, you simply don’t comprehend it.”

BTS Photo of NFT Artist Latahsha posing in front of graffiti
“AFTER THE PARTY TA$H” from the MANY FACE TA$H NFT assortment.

Latashá’s early detrimental experiences within the music business

Actually, Latashá confirmed super expertise as a rapper. A lot in order that shortly after she put out her first mixtapes and visuals, she began getting consideration from some large names within the business.

“I began getting calls from like, Q-Tip, Large Sean’s staff, and Kanye West’s staff to do performances and open for them.”

That early publicity enabled Latashá to start performing throughout New York and even internationally. Nonetheless, she additionally acquired her first style of the downsides of the music business.

“I used to be falling right into a deep melancholy on the identical time as a result of the business was simply so taxing. They need to take loads from artists. And , I simply couldn’t fathom how can I put all this vitality into my work on a regular basis, and somebody telling me that I’m solely going to get 25% or 10% of all of my earnings.”

Latashá’s rocky street to turning into a full-time musician

The following large milestone in Latashá’s artist journey got here in 2016. It was then {that a} lady had heard one among her songs, “Black Magic”, and beloved it. A lot so, that she gave Latashá $10,000 to assist her focus absolutely on music. That’s precisely what she did, however it was just the start of a really troublesome journey.

Following her pivot to pursuing music full-time, Latashá struggled to make ends meet residing in New York, even enduring stretches of homelessness. But confronted with these challenges, she discovered the resolve to maintain chasing her ardour.

NFT Artist Latasha holding up a set of cards from behind a table
“CARD READER TA$H” from the MANY FACE TA$H NFT assortment.

How two inspiring books helped Latashá begin turning issues round

She made a concerted effort to reorient herself, discovering books that helped her by means of her scenario. She references Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God, and particularly Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Manner.

“I actually imagine that The Artist’s Manner helped me get out of lots of issues that I used to be coping with. I began to see with an abundance mindset and issues of that nature. And that’s after I acquired my residency at Nationwide Sawdust.”

Nationwide Sawdust is a famend establishment and dwell music venue in Brooklyn devoted to the event and discovery of classical and new music. Considerably, Latashá was the primary hip-hop/non-classically skilled artist to enter the residency program there.

The residency gave her a welcome degree of stability. She then went on to hone her artistry at one other New York artwork establishment, The Shed. Via these applications, she was capable of proceed studying, educating, performing, and rising her profession.

The grind of being an unbiased artist led Latashá to hunt a change of surroundings

It’s at this level that Latashá notes that she switched the taxing work of surviving, for the equally however otherwise taxing work of thriving.

A part of the problem was among the stress coming from residing in New York. Because of this she turned desirous to discover a new surroundings. Her close-knit artist crew, Lighthouse – composed of her greatest mates Angel and T, and her associate Jahmel – felt the identical.

Lastly, in 2019, the 4 artists determined to go throughout the nation to Los Angeles.

“I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have something [in Los Angeles]. I simply wished to maneuver right here as a result of I felt like I wanted to decelerate and I wanted a brand new house. So we discovered a home out right here.”

NFT Artist Latasha sitting on a briefcase in a field
Lots of Latashá’s pictures NFTs, like this one, characteristic BTS stills from her music movies. Picture: “MONEY IN THE BRIEFCASE TA$H”

How a publishing deal in the end led the artist to NFTs

Touchdown in LA with no work lined up, Latashá determined to signal a publishing deal to pay the payments. A scenario that she rapidly realized she hated.

“I used to be just about handled like a slave. They have been like You have to write a lot music for us, and so they solely gave me like $8,000 for it. They stunning a lot advised me that my sweat fairness didn’t equate to what they have been providing me. And it broke me aside.”

Latashá has spoken typically about how damaging her expertise with the publishing firm was. It affected her a lot that there have been complete months that she couldn’t write. Clearly, the scenario was untenable. And as soon as the corporate tried to get her crew to begin taking pictures music movies without spending a dime, she knew sufficient was sufficient.

“After they advised me that they weren’t going to pay my folks, I just about mentioned I’m not writing any extra music for you guys. Like should you acquired to sue me, sue me.”

NFTs would become precisely the outlet that Latashá wanted as an artist. Picture: CROWN TA$H; Images: Jahmel Reynolds

Unbiased and in search of a brand new path, Latashá’s associate launched her to NFTs

Luckily, maybe predictably, they didn’t sue. Even so, Latashá had a while to kill ready for her yearlong contract to finish. She was, as she says, “sort of free”.

In fact, the 12 months her contract ended was 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic altered all the pieces for everybody. For some time that 12 months she was residing off of unemployment. Round that point she was additionally spending time studying about metaphysics and manifestation, and other ways to deal with herself.

She was additionally giving lots of thought to the music business then, and find out how to advance her profession with out the affect of middlemen and gatekeepers. It was then, in direction of the tip of 2020, that her associate put her on to the emergent NFT house.

“Jahmel began entering into NFTs. And I used to be identical to, No, completely not. I used to be so towards it. I used to be like, Persons are gonna steal your artwork, your copyright… How does this work?

Regardless of her early skepticism – and partly, due to NFTs figuring out properly for multimedia artist Jahmel – Latashá finally opened as much as the concept. What’s extra, as she began to wrap her head across the blockchain, she began to see its benefits over the business that she was working to free herself from.

“He confirmed me the way it works. And I used to be like, okay, I like that there’s a blockchain. I might see each transaction and that transaction permits transparency, which could be very completely different from the music business, proper? Within the music business, you’re not seeing the place your cash goes or coming from.”

NFT artist Latasha in a bathing suit sitting on an an inflatable pool lounger
The “Seaside Day Tash” NFT comes from one among Latashá’s greatest NFT music movies, “GOGO WYNE”.

Latashá’s new neighborhood and success in NFTs gave her renewed energy as an artist

Latashá minted her first NFT in February 2021 – about three months after Jahmel had first launched her to NFTs. She additionally names Connie Digital, one of many first hip-hop artists to get into NFTs, as one other inspiration.

Noting the visible nature of the NFT house, she selected to mint a music video, not only a track. Apart from being one of many first NFTs of its variety, it additionally made Latashá the primary feminine rapper on the blockchain. Though, that’s to not say that the artist’s success with NFTs occurred in a single day after that.

“No person cared about music NFTs on the time. No person understood. However I simply stored going. I believed within the blockchain, I believed in what we have been doing. I believed locally that I used to be rising within the house.”

That perception is what allowed Latashá to present herself to her artwork in a manner she was by no means capable of previous to NFTs. And naturally, the success did come. And her objective of being compensated for her work in an actual manner lastly got here to fruition.

“In a single summer time, I made pretty much what a label would have offered me for a record deal. With out giving my copyright away, with out giving something away just about. And that was loopy.”

Latasha standing in a field wearing an orange dress
“QUEEN TA$H” from the MANY FACE TA$H NFT assortment.

Latashá’s mission to indicate artists a brand new and higher world of Web3

Evidently, Latashá by no means seemed again after her first successes as an NFT artist. Quite the opposite, she continued to drop a string of hugely successful projects. Quickly sufficient, she was able the place she might assist different artists to comply with the trail that she had carved out.

She turned the Head of Neighborhood Programming of the artist-first NFT platform, Zora. Via that position, Latashá has been capable of onboard over 500 artists into Web3 and NFTs. She’s particularly dedicated to highlighting and onboarding creators from marginalized communities, who might not see a spot for themselves in Web3.

“I feel oftentimes when folks see Web3, they see this like, crypto bro life. And there’s a lot extra to it. I’m prepared for folks to see all the gorgeous artists – BIPOC artists, LGBTQI+ artists, all these different artists which can be coming into the house. And I’m huge on highlighting that world.”

Latashá is engaged on onboarding many extra artists into NFTs. Picture: HAPPY TA$H; Images: Jahmel Reynolds

Utilizing NFTs to create a world of artists who can lastly be themselves

All issues thought-about, what Latashá desires is for extra artists to get to expertise the transformation she did, due to NFTs and Web3. Via these avenues, Latashá has been capable of occupy a brand new world. One by which artists can lastly pursue their passions.

“I feel on the root, most artists simply need security. We need to really feel safe in what we’re doing as a result of we love what we do. However when the world is continually telling you that what you do just isn’t going to present you what you want, you sort of take it again and also you push your self away.”

Total, Latashá’s story as an NFT artist is a superbly inspiring one. One by which an artist’s shifting focus onto their spirituality and self-confidence coincided with a revolutionary new know-how. And the result’s an artist who finds herself on the forefront of a brand new paradigm, desirous to convey others alongside.

“I need to create a brand new world of artists which can be feeling properly and feeling like themselves. Artists that may take their time.

That’s one other stunning factor concerning the blockchain – as a result of artists are making an earnings, they don’t really feel this rush. They usually don’t really feel like they’ve to only dwell off of vainness metrics on Instagram or Twitter or TikTok. They will simply be themselves.

That’s the world that I need to create.”

To study extra about LATASHÁ, and to seek out hyperlinks to her music, Web3 initiatives and social media channels, remember to take a look at her website.

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