Nils Frahm calls out artists for selling NFTs: “It’s unforgivable to participate in something which is so bleak and wrong”

Nils Frahm
(Image credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns)

Much of his music might ooze calm, but it turns out that pianist Nils Frahm has some pretty trenchant opinions, not least when it comes to musicians selling NFTs.

In an interview with The Independent, Frahm calls NFTs - encrypted tokens that prove ownership of pieces of digital artworks - “the most disgusting thing on the planet right now”. NFTs have proved controversial because of their environmental impact: it takes a huge amount of computing power (and, therefore, energy) to keep them secure.

Frahm expressed disappointment that “even some of my heroes like Aphex Twin are selling, sorry, crap for 130,000 bucks... It’s unforgivable to participate in something which is so bleak and wrong.”

Other artists who’ve sold NFTs include Grimes, deadmau5 and Kings Of Leon.

Despite being omnipresent on many streaming services’ ‘concentration’ and ‘relaxation’ playlists, Frahm is also critical of this kind of ‘functional’ musical curation: “It’s just a bullshit pop phenomenon,” he says.  

“It’s like the trend in America for food supplements, you know, where food can’t just be food - it needs to also, like, make you more smart or whatever you need to succeed.” 

“I’m very surprised at how functional music has become: the music needs to be as boring as possible, so people forget about it,” he continues.

Frahm was being interviewed to mark the release of Graz, his surprise new/old album, which was actually recorded in 2009. 

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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