An interview with Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda about minting NFTs on the Tezos blockchain.

TezTalks Radio: Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda Talks Tezos and Minting NFTs

November 4, 2021
Mike Shinoda’s pandemic anchor spurred his entry into NFTs

Like the rest of us, Mike Shinoda spent most of his time at home last year. Locked down in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the multi-award winning musician and artist jumped on Twitch - partly to anchor the sameness of each day waiting out the pandemic, and partly to see what all the fuss was about.

“When I started getting into NFTs, I leaned on that community a little bit - just wondering if anyone was already doing it - and it was actually the community that led me to Tezos”, said Shinoda. 

An early interest in crypto in 2012 - and numerous conversations with startups - exposed Shinoda to some nascent iterations of digital collectables, but he remained skeptical because he felt the world was still asleep to the potential of digital ownership, especially around digitized music collectables. 

Fast forward to 2020 and in the midst of the celebrity-fuelled NFT craze, Shinoda decided to zig while everyone else was zagging, stepping back to see what happened next. Avoiding the mad dash to participate allowed Shinoda to be more selective about his engagement with NFTs, both as a collector and a creator.

“I went to school for illustration - I thought that’s what I was going to do with my career. But when the band (Linkin Park) took off, it was like winning a lottery ticket.”

“I’m drawn to illustrations, that comic style. When you look at some of the things (NFTs) I’ve collected… a lot are illustrated.”

Shinoda’s mindset as a creator extends to the ‘working artist’ aspect of NFTs, where NFTs become a way for artists to make money and remain independent free from older, encumbered systems of distribution. 

“Blockchain related releases can be an avenue where that starts to happen”, he said. “I do feel there’s an avenue for people to express themselves creatively and musically, and it’s a way that fans can support the art.”

Shinoda has been quick to experiment with the levers and drivers underpinning the rise of NFTs, and the new economy that’s formed between creators and fans. He said pricepoint, style, and even formats should all be experimented with to find out what works and resonates most with an artists’ fans. 

“I had one friend put up essays that he normally would have just put up on his blog, but he minted them as NFTs and fans bought them for thousands of dollars.”

“The idea that these things have more value than we were used to  - that’s the part I think we’re all drawn to.”

Key Facts:

  • Mike Shinoda is a multi-award winning musician and artist, most notably the co-founder of hard rock group Linkin Park.

  • In this latest episode of TezTalks Radio, Shinoda discusses how we got into minting NFTs on the Tezos blockchain. 

  • Shinoda sees NFTs as a pathway to help artists remain independent, and connect directly with fans.

Watch the full episode here:

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