Beatie Wolfe is a singer-songwriter, entrepreneur, and innovator who has lead the charge on melding music and technology to create unique album listening experiences. She’s invented the World’s First 3D Interactive Album App for her debut album 8ight, a musical jacket for her second album Montagu Square, and most recently the world’s first live 360 AR stream for her third album Raw Space. Hailed by GQ Magazine for her “smoky, captivating melodies,” and The New York Times for her “absolutely breathtaking” live show, Wolfe is both a master musician and extraordinary innovator.
Here are a few key ways Beatie has blazed a trail through the music industry – while retaining love and respect for her favorite old school traditions.
Reinterpret Classics, Twist Nostalgia
As a child Beatie was deeply impacted by the story and world a physical album created for a record. But, when it was time to launch her first album, digital downloads had all but replaced physical albums. And yet, Beatie couldn’t bear to release her album into the world without a physical component as well.
“I didn’t want to just go nostalgic and just release a vinyl. I wanted to reinvent the vinyl for today,” she said.
This lead to Beatie’s idea for a interactive 3D vinyl app for your phone. In true Propelify fashion she turned the idea into reality. Or better yet, virtual reality. “You could slot your phone into this Japanese device and it turned your phone into a theater performance in the palm of your hand,” is how she describes the experience.
The 3D app was the first in it’s kind, and a brand-new way to incorporate the lyrics, art, and visuals of an album electronically and digitally. By reimagining the album for today, Beatie produced created a world-changing app and preserved her favorite art form.
Collaborate With the Right People
For all of Beatie’s projects, from her musical jacket to the first live 360 AR stream, she has had to collaborate with multiple parties to get to the finish line. And, she attributes this collaborative nature to her success.
“I like to work out an idea and a vision and find collaborators who will genuinely benefit from that vision, so it becomes a win win for everyone,” she said.
In this vein of cohesive collaboration, Beatie formed a strong partnership with Bell Labs, through their EAT Program. While Beatie was on site at Bell Labs, a sound engineer asked if she would like to visit the world’s quietest room. This room is an anechoic chamber, a no reflective echo free room, a place so quiet, it’s possible to hear the sound of blood rushing in your veins. (We recently visited the chamber – check it out!)
Beatie fell in love with playing music in the chamber and was also kicking around ideas about “anti-streaming” music experiences. Thus, the idea to launch her third album, Raw Space, as the world’s first live 360 AR album stream was born.
Here’s how it worked: A record player was set to play her vinyl on repeat for one week in the anechoic chamber. While the record played lyrics flew off the spinning turntable and visuals appeared around the room. Users could log online and see into the room and experience the Raw Space as a live 360 AR album stream.
The collaborative process between Beatie and Bell Labs was crucial in the Raw Space record launch, and one of the many partnerships Beatie credits to turning her pioneering possibilities becoming realities.
Back Yourself Into a Corner, And Force Yourself to Rise to the Occasion
As a musician who mixes innovative technology into her album launches, Beatie has experienced many messes, misses, and challenges en route to release day. Days before her 3D album app launched, she was unsure if the technology would even work. This was a major problem as GQ was already on board for a premiere of the app on all of the magazine’s platforms. But, Beatie thinks these seemingly impossible deadlines and challenges create a climate where you have to move forward and rise to the occasion.
“Once you have pushed yourself into a corner where theres so many things riding on that, you make it happen. There’s no way of pushing things forward if you do what’s comfortable.”
Want to disrupt your own industry like Beatie has with music? Create an impossible challenge – and then meet it head-on.
Watch more highlights from Beatie's interview: