On February 10th, Columbia Records held an interactive showcase, featuring four different artists: Cannons, Elaine, Jack Kays, and Q, all performed their hit songs and gave us a teaser for their greatness that is yet to come.
Seconds into the event, Cannons instantly transported you into another dimension. From their mysterious lyrics on heartbreak to their 70s retro pop feel, Cannons set up the event in a way that offers an answer to any underlying question of what to do with live music in a pandemic. For Cannon’s, and Columbia it’s simple, you use music as a metaphor for your visuals, and invite the world to be your stage.
Showing out in color-changing boxes, that have landed on space. Cannons sets our imagination on fire with a performance that is truly out of this world. Not only did they deliver with their hit “Fire For you”, they performed an unreleased single “Bad Dreams.” Both songs amplified their electric setting and truly help to deeper the message that they have a sound that can only be described as out of this world.
As you continue on Columbia’s odyssey, and come down to earth and strong sense of peace starts to wash over you as Elaine begins the opening notes to her song “Risky.” Dressed in all white, and appearing angelic, “Risky” is performed in a stripped-down acoustic version that truly showcases all that Elaine has to offer.
Elaine’s operatic whistles and falsetto calls are elevated by her beach appearance. The soothing ambiance of the beach is something that can put anyone into a state of peace, but as this location is intertwined with Elaine in a flowing white outfit, a true aura of serenity is met and matched.
As we step away from the beach, Columbia brings us into the forest and unleashes the most pivotal moment of the showcase. Alone, and illuminated by the soft orange flames of a campfire, Jack Kays uses this time to tell his truth, and use the world as an ear to what he has to say.
With every strum of his guitar, Kays expresses nothing but utter pain. As you look into his face, you can’t help but see the appearance of someone who is fighting a battle but is trying their hardest to be the victor. Kays performance stands out amongst the rest because he is the true embodiment of the strength of sound and space. The haunting loneliness of the campsite, truly adds another level to his lyrics. As he’s dark and alone singing: “And I have nothing but pride, And I am losing my mind” from his song “Barely Alive”. You truly understand that his loss of reality is due to the utter loneliness felt deep within.
As the event wraps up, the last step is back to the beach where Columbia wraps everything up full circle with the artist Q. Giving a laid back, and peaceful performance, Q creates an atmosphere that is deeply interwoven with his music. Out of all of the performances, Q placed the least amount of pressure on his visuals.
Clad in a white knit sweater with black jeans, Q is illuminated by a sweet violet light and is put behind a screen that makes it feel like his performance is almost a real-time movie. The simplicity of his performance allows you to pay the deepest amount of attention to what he has to say, and understand the weight that those words carry.
As shown with Q, as well as all the other performers, the pairing of visuals and music is something that helped to give their sound a new meaning. The Columbia Records experience is something that not only helps the world to understand where talents lie, it helps music to understand how to move forward, and positively adapt.
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