J Balvin to Offer Augmented Reality Livestream Concert of New Album “Colores” on YouTube

J Balvin is hoping to leave you seeing coloresin a unique way…

The 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer will release a special augmented reality look at his new album Colores on YouTube

J Balvin

Since he won’t be able to perform the songs from his album Colores, which was released in the middle of the COVID-19– pandemic, before a live audience, J Balvin started to look for livestream options. But not just any livestream.

“I thought: What can I do that will be different from what reality allows, and that you can only view this way through your cellphone or your laptop, but not in real life,” says J Balvin, who spoke exclusively to Billboard from his home in Medellín.

“Simply doing a filmed live concert is never as exciting as the in-person experience. But, what about a concert that’s built to be seen on a screen? There you can really do something different.”

J Balvin’s “Behind the Colores: The Live Experience,” will stream on Saturday, June 20 at 7:00 pm on YouTube. And, it will be very different.

Presented by Buchanan’s Whisky, a brand J Balvin has a long association with, it’s an augmented reality experience where he performs live in a virtual space inside his home in Medellín, while his directors in Los Angeles will provide guidance and bring in additional elements through AR.

“He’s done music videos [that are wildly creative], but this is a completely different thing,” says creative director and producer Antony Ginandjar. “Imagine Jose being in rooms that come alive.”

The concept, which roughly took a month to conceive and execute, is the direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More than a concert, it’s a way to celebrate the release and success of the album,” says J Balvin’s co-manager Fabio Acosta. “If there had been no pandemic, we would have probably done a normal tour.”

“Behind the Colores” took approximately one month to execute, from developing the concept to the actual stream on June 20. For simplicity’s sake, the concept can be divided into three augmented reality layers: The space J Balvin is in, the objects he interacts with (there will be ducks and 3D helicopters that fly into the room, for example) and face tracking and digital makeup effects inspired by Snapchat and Instagram worlds.

“I don’t think anything like this in this context has ever been done before,” says Tom Colbourne, owner and founder of BLINK, the show’s production company and creator of all the graphic content.  “If we were in normal times, to launch J’s album and do a special about the album we would have created a stage with LED screens, dancers, props, everything else,” he adds. “So our starting place is how do we create a performance space that does him justice. J is an artist with a very rich visual identity. How do we do something that will be entertaining and capture the spirit of his brand? Because we can’t do it in a physical stage we do it in a virtual stage that is made up of different abstract virtual environments for every song.”

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