Music

DJ Georgia Sinclair Taps Metaverse for High-End Virtual Residency

Sharing her vision for how virtual reality will make live touring a “premium” for artists.

By
914 Hypes

DJ Georgia Sinclair Taps Metaverse for High-End Virtual Residency

Sharing her vision for how virtual reality will make live touring a “premium” for artists.

From her early days of hosting KidsWB at Warner Bros., Australian media personality and DJ Georgia Sinclair is the perfect embodiment of inspiration, and what it means to be a modern-day futurist and visionary.

Over the past few years, Sinclair has risen to prominence throughout the Los Angeles and Las Vegas nightlife scene, bringing her vibrant beats to life from some of the industry’s hottest nightclub venues, with active residencies at Zouk and Ayu at Resorts World Las Vegas, in addition to Big Night Entertainment Group venues, Tao Group, and Premier Nightclub at Borgata Casino.

Her 10-year career as a DJ has taken her to levels she couldn’t have possibly imagined during her days of TV hosting – and as fate would have it, fell into her lap in the most gut-wrenching periods of her life.

In February, Sinclair sat down for an exclusive interview with Digital Journal, revealing that early on in her TV hosting career, she was diagnosed with that forced her to resign from Warner Bros. and undergo a two and a half year recovery. “I felt like I lost my identity. Little did I know, I was just discovering who I really was,” she added.

According to Sinclair, it was this period where she taught herself to DJ, using her passion for music as a distraction from her illness, and making that full transition into the electronic music landscape.

In an exclusive interview with Hypemoon , Sinclair (and her virtual avatar) unpacked why the DJ believes virtual performances will soon become a normal and regular revenue stream for all artists — making live touring a premium for artists and consumers.

“What you’re looking at behind me is the future of how artists are going to tour,” Sinclair told Hypemoon, pointing to her Unreal Engine 4-based avatar. “She’s a motion capture avatar that moves just like I move in real time,” she emphasized, adding that the underlying tech behind the avatar “removes a lot of the barriers that are presented with traditional touring, including travel time, costs, and physical limitations.”

According to the DJ, the growing popularity of today’s understanding of virtual reality (VR) is a major milestone in our embrace of the technology:

“It’s taken us a long time to get to the point where I feel somebody could comfortably put on a headset and attend a show for a couple of hours – without getting sick. If you have ever interacted with VR, let’s say, 10 years ago, where you put on a headset – feelings of nausea and dizziness were common. That doesn’t happen as often anymore, and it’s a lot more interesting visually.”

Sinclair shared her belief that with platforms like Redpill VR, people will comfortably stay at a show for its full duration, and actually have the ability for their avatar to walk into the DJ booth and see what the DJ is doing in real-time.

Throughout the interview, Hypemoon was able to see first-hand the high-end graphics and processing Redpill’s technology uses to power Sinclair’s studio and avatar.

A First-Ever Virtual Residency

Considering herself a “DJ before anything else,” Sinclair’s immersion into Web3 stemmed from  a period of burnout in her own career – something she says is not uncommon for most DJs today, adding the title of “tech entrepreneur” to her identity.

“I was going through this period of burnout. My travel schedule can be very grueling at times. I was just exhausted and it got me thinking there has to be a better way of doing this,” she confessed.

With a bit more brainstorming, Sinclair finally came up with what she considered to be the best of both worlds – literally.

“I started to think about what it would look like if I went ‘virtual?’ So, I started to look into a few different platforms, finally discovering and choosing Redpill, which is the platform I built my avatar on.”

Today, Sinclair regularly performs inside “Aurora,” her first-ever virtual residency with Redpill VR, a virtual reality platform that creates virtual performance venues.

Its website also describes it as a VR platform that pushes for unparalleled social interactivity, unlimited creativity, effortless distribution and robust monetization of consumer and developer-generated content through immersive virtual reality music experiences, events, and venues.

Sinclair told us that when she plays a virtual show, she, by and through her avatar, is performing live in a venue or studio – with her movements tracked using a special virtual camera system that drives a virtual motion capture avatar version of her.

Debuting Her Virtual Avatar

Recognizing the real value of utilizing high-end VR tech like Redpill, she also admitted that it is currently a fairly expensive process – something she eventually believes will soon change and become the “norm” for everybody, particularly artists.

“I thought this was the future. It is the future. And five years ago, I’m looking into this future, where for a little while, I think many people called me crazy. But now, people are starting to catch up and understand that this is undoubtedly where it is going,” she told Hypemoon.

Having completed the design of her first virtual avatar in early 2019, Sinclair says it took most of that five year brainstorming period for her to finally “perfect” the vision for how she wanted to incorporate it into her everyday performances.

“This avatar that you see now is actually hand drawn,” she told Hypemoon. “There was no scanning or photography involved in her creation at any stage. This was a team of multiple artists that drew this and created all of its layers.”

She compared her avatar to something that we would typically see in a world like HBO’s “Westworld”:

“…there’s a skeleton under there, containing a whole bunch of different code. That’s the reason this is able to move in a way similar to how humans do. It took a team of around six artists and approximately six weeks to actually construct her.”

Sinclair said that after some back-and-forth in approving different elements, she was able to approve the final artwork that took nearly (six weeks) to complete.

Throughout the conversation, it became readily apparent that the ability to run these types of graphics in real-time that follow Sinclair’s every movement, requires something more than a simple computer.

“Right now, to run graphics of this quality, you need a gaming computer,” she explained, adding that “it’s quite expensive.”

“The gaming computers powerful enough to run high-quality graphics cost several thousand dollars, plus the VR headset on top of that,” confessing that our current position in the VR landscape makes it quite the financial investment to be able to attend a show or event like this in VR however, she expects that to change in the next 6-12 months.

“That’s going to go away with cloud computing technology,” she emphasized. “After that, all you’re going to need is the headset to tune into one of these shows.”

During NFT.NYC 2022, Sinclair performed live at VR World, streaming live through Redpill VR, with her avatar on a gigantic screen for all in-person attendees to watch.

With companies like Meta and Apple releasing their own VR headsets, the DJ says that accessibility to these types of equipment will become “better, faster, and cheaper.”

“That’s what I mean when I say that I can’t really see any downside to artists incorporating virtual performances into their tour schedule. It’s also going to make attending a show more accessible for a lot more people,” she said.

How Do We Get There?

Certainly, the road towards mass adoption requires both a fundamental understanding of what Web3 actually is (or what it’s supposed to be) as well as that helping hand that makes that jump more “natural.”

“Web3 is freedom and power,” Sinclair shared. “As an artist, it gives you the power to own and sell your own digital assets, which gives you a lot more options.”

Sinclair says that as a touring artist and music producer, this is really powerful, because it means that “you no longer need to rely on a record label to release your music…I can reach my fans directly and self-fund my own projects. I also see this as equally powerful when I’m touring virtually.”

As for the role virtual touring will play in the real world, Sinclair says that this won’t replace live touring.

“At the end of the day, I think this is going to make IRL performances a more premium experience,” she said.

She pointed to an artist and producer like David Guetta as an example. Guetta, a French DJ and music producer, has been a major staple in EDM culture with over 10 albums and according to Billboard, “no less than 45 top 40 appearances on the national singles survey, including 28 top 10s.”

His recent single, “I’m Good (Blue),” featuring Bebe Rexha has quickly grown to become the U.K.’s No. 1 single, accumulating 5.4 million streams during the latest chart week – releasing to the public five years after its demo first dropped.

“Imagine if you’re a guy like [Guetta], right? The biggest DJ in the world, who is constantly on tour. He must have experienced some form of burnout before, perhaps not wanting to do 200 shows a year. But what if [he] could play 150 virtual shows or 200 virtual shows a year, and maybe 10 live shows a year? Well, wouldn’t those 10 shows then become more special to him and of course, the fans attending? I think virtual touring is also going to create a lot more space for emerging artists coming through – a super positive thing for live touring.”

From a fan’s perspective, Sinclair also pointed to other physical world restrictions, including location and age. “If you are underage, for example, where you can’t attend shows for that reason – in here, there’s no alcohol. If you have a physical disability, you might not be able to attend certain IRL shows – you can attend in VR. It’s really exciting and I think it’s going to be game-changing for a lot of people.”

The Gold Standard

Ultimately, mass adoption is dependent upon the amount of awareness artists like Sinclair are able to raise about how these new technologies can really change our everyday perspective of how we choose to absorb content – in this case, enjoying live music.

“I think most people aren’t even aware that this technology exists, nor that it’s this good,” she shared. “You know, I think most people still think VR is pixelated and not very interesting – but it will really just come down to making the hardware accessible, because that’s the expensive part.”

She told Hypemoon that she can see a future in which these major phone companies like T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T begin to roll these VR headsets into their phone plans. “Perhaps that will be a way that people can access the hardware. Until then, I want people to know that they can still view someone like me performing a virtual show in 2D through their computer through the Red Pill app, but the experience is a lot more interesting in virtual reality. I’m just excited for the day where everybody has access to a headset and can actually put it on and enter a new world.”

So, the biggest question is do individuals need a VR headset to actually enter the metaverse?

No.

The metaverse, essentially, is just any virtual space where users can interact within a computer-generated environment – virtual reality (with these headsets) simply enhances the experience an individual can have once they are inside the metaverse, just as Sinclair explained.

For those who are in a position to invest into one of the market available headsets – ranging from Meta’ Oculus Quest 2, HTC’s Vive Pro, HP’s Reverve, Pixmax Vision, etc. – Sinclair says that in her opinion, Meta’s Oculus is the route to go.

“Right now, I think Oculus is the gold standard. It’s hard to challenge that, but if anything, all of today’s biggest tech companies are working on headsets right now, and undoubtedly, they’ll come up with better technology that eventually trumps the Oculus. However, if you were going to shop for a headset right now, the Oculus Quest 2 seems to be the one everybody loves most.”

Earlier this month, Meta (formerly Facebook), announced “Project Cambria,” the company’s new high-end VR headset that fans have started to refer to as the new Oculus Quest Pro. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently confirmed that Meta’s next headset will be officially revealed in October (most likely at Meta Connect 2022 on October 11).

What’s Next for Sinclair’s Virtual Avatar?

As the conversation concluded, Sinclair hinted that we will be seeing a lot more of her virtual avatar soon.

“I have a few things on the boil, you will all be seeing a lot more of Virtual Georgia in the near future,” she said.

Sinclair’s most recent single, “Little Love,” debuted on September 16, which quickly followed August’s release of “Rumbo,” a Cuban-inspired tech-house banger.

As a source of inspiration, Sinclair admitted that she’s a huge Peggy Gou fan. “She’s probably the coolest human alive, I love her.”

She also mentioned that she loves following fellow Aussie artists like Nervo and Alison Wonderland, in addition to other female powerhouses such as Anfisa Letyago, Madds and Sam Blacky.

Fans are able to experience Sinclair’s live shows in VR through the Redpill app or watch it in a 2D livestream from their computer.

For this original interview and more news about blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and Web3, visit Hypemoon.com.

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