Willow Smith has officially made history, becoming the first artist ever to receive an NFT plaque from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The plaque is in recognition of Willow’s 2010 breakout single “Whip My Hair” going 3x platinum, as well as her songs “Wait A Minute!” and “Meet Me At Our Spot” going 2x platinum and her Travis Barker-assisted “Transparent Soul” going platinum. The plaque’s artwork was commissioned by Willow herself alongside her label, Roc Nation, and Infinite Objects.
“I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to engage in the sacred process that is music,” Willow Smith said in a press release on Thursday (May 25). “BIG LOVE to RIAA and Infinite Objects! I am so honored to be able to celebrate these milestones in such an innovative way.”
The authenticated Infinite Objects Video Print display will automatically change the song’s artwork when the RIAA updates Willow’s certifications.
In 2022, the drama surrounding her father Will Smith and his infamous Oscars slap undoubtedly permeated Willow’s world – but she didn’t let it affect her as much as it could have.
In an August interview with Billboard about her album Coping Mechanism, Willow touched upon the Oscars scandal, explaining that her family are human and they make mistakes just like everyone else.
“I see my whole family as being human, and I love and accept them for all their humanness,” she told the publication. “Because of the position that we’re in, our humanness sometimes isn’t accepted, and we’re expected to act in a way that isn’t conducive to a healthy human life and isn’t conducive to being honest.”
Willow went on to add that the firestorm which followed her father’s actions didn’t derail her creativity or “rock me as much as my own internal demons.”
Meanwhile in the NFT world – though it seems things have slightly cooled down following the NFT boom during the pandemic, Def Jam just recently signed its first NFT act – a Gorillaz-esque virtual rock band called The Whales.
The group, which is comprised of cartoon whale characters, was signed to Def Jam in partnership with The Catalina Whale Mixer — a collective of 5,555 NFT avatars on the Solana blockchain. The band, and the collective, were both created by WAGMI Beach in December 2021, with The Whales being born from a meeting between Ben Willis, Joshua Andriano and Def Jam’s DJ Mormile and Ryan Rodriguez.
Def Jam confirmed the NFT band will soon release their debut album, but wouldn’t comment on who the musicians are at the project’s helm, only saying it would be a “who’s who” of talent.