Artists reinvent album releases with interactive environments

In the era of epic entertainment, Gens Y and Z want to be wowed by the entertainment industry and keep their expectations high for something new and different. The music industry is going big with album release events that engage listeners and create hype around new musical projects. Whether it’s an album, collaborative project, or even just a single, creators are adding an interactive aspect that youth are gravitating towards.


It’s been 40 years since the Voyager spacecraft was launched into the unknown with astronomer Carl Sagan’s famous Golden Record. The record had images, sounds, and wave recordings on it to give aliens a sense of life on Earth. To celebrate this anniversary and pay homage to Sagan, file sharing service WeTransfer teamed up with Stink Studios to create an updated “Golden Record” called “A Message from Earth.” The project is a compilation of 40 new contributions across a range of genres from musicians and scientists from 20 countries. This interactive website allows users to experience six stages: Greetings, Sounds, Images, Brainwaves, and Giving. The final stage invites people to consider donating to astronomy-related organizations such as SETI, the Carl Sagan Institute, and Astronomers Without Borders.


Musician Charlie Puth released his first single, “Attention,” from his sophomore album with an interactive LED infinity tunnel known as The Attention Room for fans to experience the song in a new way. The space was made up of 200 LED tiles that changed colors to replicate the brain’s reaction to receiving attention. The creators wanted to visually represent how the brain releases dopamine when receiving attention and the euphoria that ensues. Cameras were also set up to take six-second boomerang clips of participants to post on their social media.


Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett of the Gorillaz teamed up with Sonos to create a series of Spirit Houses to create hype for their latest album, Humanz. The houses, which popped up in Brooklyn, Berlin, and Amsterdam, were replicas of the band’s virtual characters’ home from their song, “Saturn Barz.” Visitors could hang in the lounge from the video and interact with physical installations and projections throughout three different rooms. The experience also utilized Sonos’ PLAYBASE stereos as they bumped some of the Gorillaz’s newest tunes.