Watch Holograms of Janelle Monae and M.I.A. Perform Duets Cities Apart
NEW YORK CITY — Soulful singer Janelle Monae bounced around at SIR Stage37 alongside rapper M.I.A. during a performance of “Bad Girls,” though, like magic, Monae digitally teleported from one end of the tiny stage to the other end.
The New Yorkers in the crowd, many holding smartphones above their heads to record the night’s electrifying finale number, weren’t seeing Monae in the flesh. They were watching a hologram, beamed onto the stage with 3D projection mapping technology.
Nearly 3,000 miles away at Quixote Studios in Los Angeles, an M.I.A. hologram entertained an audience during Monae’s “Q.U.E.E.N” (see 0:32 in the video, below), similar to how a holographic Tupac Shakur “performed” with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at Coachella in 2012.
M.I.A. and Monae’s duets were part of Audi’s A3 automobile line launch events. In NYC, a tilted glass screen, used for the projections, separated M.I.A. from the audience.
“The set uses 3D projection mapping and adds layered depth of field perception and animated graphic content,” an Audi spokesperson told Mashable.
This isn’t the first holographic stunt since Tupac’s virtual comeback. Last year, hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan resurrected Ol’ Dirty Bastard as a hologram. Also in 2013, rumors of R&B group TLC reviving Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes as a hologram circulated but ultimately fizzled.
“The idea is that we teleport into each other’s shows, so you know, there’s a show and then it goes beyond the space where you’re performing and the city where you’re performing,” M.I.A. said before her NYC performance.
“For me as an artist, I think having an opportunity to experiment with all of these companies that specialize in holographic production is a good opportunity to get to know what that is because for artists it’s not very accessible to take on tour,” M.I.A. added.