[Photos via Zimbio
I've already been to one Soundcloud party before
when I received an invite for another. The first one, which featured artists like Chance The Rapper, JR JR, and A$AP Ferg, was great. It was a regular show - small, but semi-open to the public, making for a packed room. It was your standard show. So when I RSVP'd to SoundCloud's Artist Forum After Party, I was expecting it to be similar to the previous one: music fans, drinks, and lots of sweat. Boy, was I off.
Entering Samsung 837, which was located in the heart of the Meatpacking District, felt like entering a giant spaceship. I mean, I've never actually been in a spaceship, but I imagine it would be like that. With three floors equipped with virtual reality roller coasters, walls of headphones, watches, phones, even kitchen layouts - it was essentially one big, digital playground. Oh, and the hors d'oeuvres, don't get me started on the hors d'oeuvres. The servers, who did an excellent job, brought around mini tastings of tomato soup and spinach artichoke and for dessert, I think I had about twelve of those mini chocolate mousses.
Anyway, back to the important stuff. The 2nd annual Artist Forum hosted by SoundCloud was an event that took place all day long featuring speakers, DJ sets, panel discussions, live visual art, music performances, and more. The visual art was provided by The Bushwick Collective and speakers Naomi Zeichner (The FADER
), Sam Valenti (Ghostly International), Toni Romiti (artist), Sean Bohran (Burger Records), and Jami Welch (SoundCloud) appeared for informative discussions.
When I arrived, I caught Nickodemus who DJ'd in between sets, Araabmuzik, and Toni Romiti. Of course, this all led up to Chicago rapper Vic Mensa's intense set. Mensa decided to turn it into a politically-charged performance and talked about the election before going into his powerful single, "16 Shots." He climbed on top of his DJ's platform for an entire song while the DJ played the electric guitar - a refreshing sight that is rarely seen. Although the auto tune effect was in full-force, his performance did not lack emotion.
As part of the event, SoundCloud also shared some exciting news: over the next few months, they plan on inviting more independent creators from around the world to join the Premier program. They've added a highly requested new feature - the ability to edit track titles, genres, tags and descriptions, and to choose whether a track is public, private or downloadable - all within the SoundCloud Pulse app. They've also updated their Creator Guide, which you can check out HERE
. And in addition to all of this, they have announced that Joe Armenia will officially be heading up the Artist Relations team.
The after party was such a unique and fun
experience. Being able to enjoy incredible musical acts from anywhere in the space and then wander through three immaculate floors of activities in between was unlike no other experience. After enjoying R&B singer Toni Romiti's set, I watched The Chainsmokers at Austin City Limits in the Virtual Reality Tunnel. While listening to Araabmuzik lay down beats, I took photos with a 360 camera and chilled out in the "living room." Both the activities and music were endless. I could comfortably explore the intersection of music and technology - and have a great party - all at once.