'It's yours to keep', Boney M's Liz Mitchell talks NFTs, new old music and a future world tour
- Credit: Liz Mitchell
The “voice of Boney M” Liz Mitchell is excited to be releasing unique pieces of art and music as non-fungible tokens (NFT), after releasing five albums “recorded years ago” last December.
The Harlesden singer hinted at a world tour in the future and talked about the possibility of creating her own one-of-a-kind digital works of art to be auctioned off.
“I’m not much of an artist and I think the fans would really die laughing if they saw what I can do.
“I’m hopeless.” Liz said.
“Even if I was to draw a heart it would be lopsided - everybody to their own.
"My husband is very good he can draw ever so well and my children too, but I guess I sing well and that’s where the gift was.”
She continued: “My mother sews very well so the talent is spread around the family in different ways and everybody has their own thing you know. But I'm not a good artist at all – they might just find what I do really funny.”
Liz says she is currently working to auction NFTs, created by artists who have had a “whale of a time” with her image over the years, creating videos, paintings or revamped photographs.
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She may also release special NFT remixes of her songs as well.
An NFT is a unit of data which is stored on a digital ledger known as a blockchain.
The blockchain then certifies the digital asset, which could be a video, photo or file of music, as unique.
“It becomes personal,” Liz said. “it’s like a one buy that belongs to that person. If they are paying for that value it means a lot and only they have that."
The singer compared NFTs to the “old days” of record buying, vastly different from streaming platforms like Spotify.
“You bought the record, and you had your record at home. It was your song, so NFT is kind of like that.
“You are buying something and it’s yours to keep, whereas now the way people download music, it’s not yours to keep, its something everybody is sharing - which is nice too but the artists don’t earn.”
The lead singer had re-released her entire solo catalogue online for streaming and download by last December, after doing a reggae Christmas concert with her family from her home during the pandemic last year.
It was her first online show but she adds that she hasn’t gotten bitten by the social media bug just yet.
Liz explained how the albums were recorded “many years ago” but battles with record companies unwilling to release her music under the name Liz Mitchell, rather than Boney M, raged on for decades.
“People were afraid to touch the Boney M sound – which is me. I literally needed to have created a completely different voice if I wanted to continue recording as an artist,” the singer said.
She adds that nowadays it is easier to release music, no longer having to go through a record company or make deals.
"I'm well in age now and I don’t think anybody is worried I'm going to be making hit records in the sense that I was making 20 years ago," the 69-year-old said.
Despite the struggles of Covid which saw many artists suffer, Liz says the music of Boney M kept “many people happy”.
The band’s much-loved 1978 track Rasputin topped the charts in the UK and was trending globally in June this year, after it was remixed by DJ Majestic and featured on a TikTok dance challenge.
Liz said: “You know where there is a lose there is a win, where there is a win, there is a lose. Life is up and its down and we just have to take it and go with the flow.
“I think most people need to be really glad that they are alive against all the odds, because many people died during Covid, many people are not here. So those of us who are still here just need to be grateful for our breath really.”
The singer says the her music has a positive spirit.
“I always want people to understand that there is a lot of love in whatever I have done in my life.
"The music I sang with a lot of love and I just love people, I love the audience and I love my family. I just want people to love back."
Liz said she "definitely won't be retiring this year".
"I was thinking of retiring after my 70th birthday but because of Covid I'm being encouraged to try and do at least one world tour before I pack it in."
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