Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music returns in a new guise to reflect the ‘new normal’ with In The Round – a series of socially distanced live-broadcasted events that reunite music communities online and in real life and look to reimagine the future of live music.
Taking place in Johannesburg on 19 November 2020, the series kicked off in London and will also travel to Brazil and Spain, where artists will perform for their family, friends, and fans for the first time since the pandemic began through intimate performances, in compliance with local government guidelines, that will then be broadcast to the world from unique locations.
In The Round takes inspiration from Boiler Room’s signature event format, in which the artists are surrounded by their fans in a close setting. This intimacy is recreated for the COVID-era, with the live audience socially distanced according to local health and safety measures, amid the iconic 360-degree layout.
The line-ups bring together headliners of today with the headliners of tomorrow, with Focalistic and up-and-coming Marcus Harvey representing South Africa with more artists for the series to be announced. Focalistic is a prolific and fast-rising rapper in the country, known for his powerful lyric formations on the songs he has released since his debut into the rap scene. His hit song “Overload” received positive reviews from his fans. Marcus Harvey is a singer, rapper, and producer. His career kicked off during his teens under the moniker Hipnautik, where he made waves courtesy of a few impressive open mic sessions. This year he released an 11-track debut album called ‘I Am Marcus Harvey’.
Through this new True Music series, Boiler Room x Ballantine’s give a full ‘In the Round’ view of the headliner’s journey as they share their own take on what it means to be an artist during this period and what this performance means to them, told via the broadcast and a short film film sharing fragments of personal stories from friends and family who enable their scene to thrive.
Audiences worldwide will also have the chance to get involved and be part of the experience, via an exclusive Zoom event, giving 1,000 of the artist’s fans to have up-close, early access to the performances before they are broadcast to the world.
As part of their longstanding commitment to celebrate and champion local music communities, this initiative comes hot on the heels of Boiler Room x Ballantine’s ‘Streaming from Isolation’ series, which supported 20 x under-threat music collectives around the world in the form of grants, giving them the opportunity to continue to do what they love and make a living while COVID-19 restrictions were in place, and broadcasting their sets direct from their homes to audiences worldwide.
The return of Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music will celebrate the global feeling of positivity and conviviality, aiming to embrace the ‘new normal’ and reconnect communities with fans through music whether virtually or in real life.
Ballantine’s Head of Music Tom Elton commented: “It’s been a tough year for everyone, and we’ve seen the music and events industries hit particularly hard with live music being canceled all over the world. We’ve always been committed to championing local communities and music culture through our long-term partnership with Boiler Room, and now more than ever are striving to find ways to use music to bring people together again, both on and offline. We’re excited to embrace the ‘new normal’ as True Music evolves, continuing to give a platform to the headliners of tomorrow, as well supporting the wider music and events ecosystem that we’re lucky to be a part of.”
Boiler Room Founder Blaise Bellville concluded: “Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music has always been about supporting musicians, fans and communities. It’s been an especially hard time in the music and events industry, particularly in underground and emerging scenes. We are, however, at an exciting time to continue this partnership through the In The Round series, paving the way for a new way of doing socially-distanced, live-broadcasted music event and seeing how we can showcase and support artists in the new normal.”
To find out more about Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music and to sign up for exclusive early access to the performances, check out truemusic.boilerroom.tv