John Legend's digital avatar to perform in virtual One Wave concert
21 May 2020
John Legend will perform in a virtual One Wave concert in the form of a digital avatar.
Virtual concerts firm Wave is curating One Wave - a series of gigs with stars including Legend, Galantis, Tinashe, and others. The company uses cutting-edge broadcast and gaming technology to create motion-captured performances of the artists and turn them into animated characters in virtual worlds.
The All of Me singer is looking at creative solutions to connect with fans amid the coronavirus pandemic, and told GQ Hype magazine he'll record his part for the project and a team will build the rest of the staging around him.
"It's a motion-capture thing and they'll build a world around it," he explained. "We were going to do it anyway; it was just something we were interested in. The technology already existed. But obviously it's kind of more relevant now." Reflecting on how coronavirus lockdown measures have encouraged artists to work in more innovative ways, he mused: "I honestly think a lot of people are (coming up with more creative solutions).
"If you look at our performances of our songs, we started out just kind of bare bones doing me sitting at my piano in my living room... But then with (new single) Bigger Love we've tried to do more creative things, using dancers filming themselves remotely, and that's been a lot of fun and made us do things we never would have done during normal times. So in some ways it's been necessity being the mother of invention."
A date for John's One Wave concert performance has yet to be announced. The series can be viewed on the Wave app, which supports SteamVR headsets via Steam and Oculus Rift via the Oculus Store.