May 24, 2020
W&W On Milestone Rave Culture XR Live Show
W&W are known for being calculated with their releases, shows, and branding, and while they’d been quiet in the first few months of the current pandemic, we were sure something special was coming. And wow, did they ever deliver! Debuting the first extended reality show in electronic music, they blended a virtual Rave Culture world with their green screen live recording to create a fully immersive experience. Premiering loads of new IDs and exclusive material, it was a set deserving of the Tomorrowland mainstage. A first of its kind visual experience with the simulated arena show, we had loads to celebrate in our interview!
Willem, Ward, thanks for joining us. Over the last several months, you’ve been one of the only artists who have not done a live set of any kind. Can you tell us some more about that time, staying quiet and building to this incredible event?
When we got the idea to do an XR broadcast we found it really tough not to share it with everyone, but we really wanted it to be special and didn’t want to give too much away already. It was hard as we got a lot of questions from people asking what was up with us as we had been so quiet. Glad that came to an end now though!
Your set is the first Extended Reality (XR) Livestream in electronic music. What does that landmark milestone mean to you?
In our whole career we’ve always strived to do new things and be innovative. Being the first to do this now is definitely something that we can be proud of, and we’re just super happy we found a unique way of connecting with a lot of music lovers.
Can you compare and contrast how you prepared for and approached your set for this livestream versus say one of the biggest festivals of the year like Tomorrowland?
Funny question because we actually planned this whole set like we usually would plan our Tomorrowland set! There’s a lot of time and work that goes into preparation as most of the music is completely new, but we still want it to work on a dance floor. Now, that is of course a bit different as we usually really feed off the energy of the crowd and now we’ll be playing in front of a green screen. But we’ll try to still bring that energy!
Talk to us some more about some of the key design aspects and elements in the virtual world you’ve created? Are there any in particular that you’re proud of?
The event will take place in an arena in the virtual Rave Culture city that we’ve been creating since the start of the label. It’s amazing to see how enormous the concept of the Rave Culture city has grown ever since we had this idea. It really feels like a whole separate world right now! We think the Li-Ning arena looks really sick! We can’t wait to see what people think of it!
Looking closer at the music, can you highlight three tracks included and why they stand out to you?
There’s this one single that we’ve been working on for over two years now, it’s a solo single and it’s going to be the very first time we play it!
Besides that we’re going to play our collaboration with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Fedde Le Grand which will be out soon!
Also we have a LOT of super cool music from talented producers on the label coming up! We know, it’s not just one song, but we just can’t choose as they are all so good!
As artists, reading and connecting with a crowd is so important, and something you’re known for excelling at. What do you think the future will be in terms of building that interactivity with your fans without them physically in front of you?
This whole COVID-19 crisis has of course completely changed everyone’s lives… we always try to look at the bright side of things and to appreciate the spare time we have now to connect more with family and friends. But the one thing we just miss so much is the crowd interaction, playing music in front of groups of people is something that will never get boring for us! This stream is a way for us to at least try to feel some of that connection again, and that’s why we also set up a Twitch channel, so we can be more interactive with our fans!
We can’t wait to see where you guys go from here! In the meantime, is there anything else you’d like to share about your upcoming plans or messages for everyone at home getting through things day by day?
As cheesy as it sounds, every cloud always has a silver lining, life is a cycle of highs and lows, and without the lows we wouldn’t be able to experience the highs as actual highs. So let’s stay positive and try to use this time to get stuff done that we usually never got to do – whether that’s simple stuff like cleaning your house or really spending time to better yourself!
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