Upholding a tradition of embracing technological advancement in art and breaking ground, Linkin Park’s multi-platinum GRAMMY® Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, producer, and illustrator Mike Shinoda presents his new “generative mixtape” ZIGGURATS NFT today. The six-minute and 45-second music and art project went live on the Tezos blockchain, as a collection of 5,000 exclusive NFTs—each one an ownable collectible with unique music and cover art, no two alike, designed by Shinoda—which sold out in minutes on Ziggurats.xyz. He celebrated the news live on the official Mike Shinoda Twitch Channel where he raffled off a ZIGGURATS NFT to a member of his community. Even though it’s sold out, fans can visit Ziggurats.xyz to view and listen to the entire collection.
A version of the mixtape hits streaming platforms tomorrow, Friday December 3.
ZIGGURATS represents a paradigm shift. Shinoda crafted the dozens of art and music layers over the span of years–from drums in the music to the faces of the characters on the cover art. The layers were then assembled in different configurations by custom software to create 5,000 pieces. When users purchase one of the 5,000 copies of ZIGGURATS on the blockchain, an exclusive version will be “minted” with unique artwork and music. No two versions are alike. The only commonality will be the vocals.
Upon purchase, collectors receive a file akin to “an unopened baseball card,” according to Shinoda. Hidden among these, he created five super rare special versions with handmade artwork not comprised of the layers. After all 5,000 sold out, the individual artwork and track was uncovered for every collector who purchased one as part of a global “unboxing.”
About the release, he commented, “I know there are a lot of fans who are curious about NFTs but haven’t tried it yet. So I designed this release to be an easy “first NFT.” There are multiple blockchains, this release is on Tezos. I chose Tezos because it’s a green blockchain, with one of the lowest carbon footprints of any popular chain. We’ve all bought an app we “own,” like Microsoft Word, or a music plugin, or an item in a game. But those items are unlimited in number. The difference here is that the NFT is limited edition, highlighting the value of authenticity, rarity, and originality.”
Musically, ZIGGURATS twists and turns through intricate beat-craft, deft scratching, and nimble rhymes, playfully toggling between modern experimentation and classic boom-bap. Shinoda’s flows bounce, bob, and weave over the fluid soundscape in head-nodding waves via four distinct movements—“Genius Bar,” “Richard Bachman,” “Cheat Codes,” and “CTRL C CTRL V.” It exists as four tracks on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music and as one continuous track on YouTube.
ZIGGURATS arrives on the heels of one of Shinoda’s most impactful solo releases to date, “Happy Endings” [feat. iann dior & UPSAHL]. In February 2021, he became “the first major label artist to launch a single via NFT auction through Zora.” To date, the track has amassed 30 million streams and counting.
In other big news, Shinoda also just received a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Remixed Recording” for his remix of the Deftones classic “Passenger” from Black Stallion.
Be on the lookout for more from Mike Shinoda very soon.
1. Genius Bar
2. Richard Bachman
3. Cheat Codes
4. CTRL C CTRL V
About Mike Shinoda:
Mike Shinoda is a songwriter, performer, record producer, film composer and visual artist with a B.A. in illustration and Doctorate of Humane Letters from ArtCenter College of Design. He is best known as co-lead vocalist for multi-platinum GRAMMY® Award-winning rock band, Linkin Park, who has sold over 55 million albums worldwide and commanded a massive fan following, holding the title as the most-liked band on Facebook and amassing over 7.7 billion YouTube views. Shinoda is the founding member of the group, which achieved the best-selling debut of this century with their Diamond-certified album, Hybrid Theory, selling over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone. Collectively, they sold out stadiums around the globe and earned a multitude of accolades including 2 Grammy Awards, 5 American Music Awards, 4 MTV VMA Awards, 10 MTV Europe Music Awards, 3 World Music Awards, and most recently, “Rock Album of the Year” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards for their seventh studio album, One More Light. In 2005, Shinoda launched his first solo project, Fort Minor, releasing The Rising Tied to critical acclaim and the every-sport anthem “Remember The Name.” In June 2018, Shinoda released his second solo effort, Post Traumatic. The deeply personal 16-track album garnered critical raves and unanimous acclaim, earning praise from the likes of NME, Variety, NPR, GQ, Forbes, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Complex, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Shinoda toured across the globe, including festival sets at Reading and Leeds (UK) and Summer Sonic (Japan).