INTERVIEW: Elton John on Metaverse Touring and the Music That Made Us
The Rocket Man details his Roblox collaboration and the future of music beyond the IRL.
To celebrate his ongoing, final tour which will extend to September 2023, Elton John has rocketed his way to Roblox with the introduction of “Beyond the Yellow Brick Road,” an immersive experience to celebrate metaverse music and creators worldwide.
For decades, the Rocket Man has kept eager fans on the edge of their musical chairs, with his gender-bending costumes, rhythmic tunes and industry-changing performances. Now, as music fans venture to virtual arenas, Elton John provides an extension of his legacy to the digitally-inclined.
The “Beyond the Yellow Brick Road” experience comprised Elton John’s most loved songs including “Rocket Man,” “Hold Me Closer,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” “I’m Still Standing” and “Cold Heart.” To complement the virtual concert, the legendary musician reimagined some of his most iconic looks from the 1975 Dodger Stadium Show Uniform to his 1978 The Muppet Show Chicken Suit.
His Roblox collaboration fuels the dire need for inclusivity in the metaverse, urged by next-gen creatives that seek identity affirmation in digital worlds and believe dressing their digital avatars allows them to express their individuality.
To create the experience, John tapped Roblox designers that span the LGBTQ+ community including Jenni, who built the digital rendition of the musician’s Hollywood Star green suit and Samuel Jordan who contributed to the immersive design of the Roblox environment.
Scroll below to explore Elton John’s inspirations for the virtual tour and what metaverse music means to him.
Musicians have used the metaverse for a variety of means in the past few years, what does the metaverse mean to you?
Throughout my career, I’ve always been interested in finding new ways to connect with my fans worldwide. As I finish touring, Roblox and the metaverse are perfect for this next stage of my life; it’s a new, innovative way for me to express my love of music, fashion, and the limitless creativity that comes from both.
How will experiences like Roblox inspire creativity for next-gen audiences, musicians and fashion designers?
The beauty of Roblox, to me, is that there are no limitations. It offers people all over the world the opportunity to be themselves wholly and connect with people in a way they never have before. It’s a new world that allows fans and creators to be themselves completely. You can be as flashy or down-to-earth as you want to be. It’s very much like how I have chosen to live my life and express myself on stage and through my music.
There is so much art and creativity from the moment you log in that it’s a constant source of inspiration for people, no matter who you are, what you love, and your passions. I am excited to see what the creators come up with; it will undoubtedly inspire me too!
What inspired your digital fashion collection in the Roblox universe?
I have worn many fabulous costumes while performing over the years and it has been so much fun to see many of them reimagined for the digital world. No Elton John outfit is complete without a surprising element that grabs people’s attention. To live in “Beyond the Yellow Brick Road,” you must have a pair of fun glasses, sparkly suits, jackets, and even feathers — a nod to the giant feather suit from the Muppets and “Kingsman.” The platform allows my fans to dress up in some of my most beloved looks.
What was the most surprising element about working on this collaboration?
I was first introduced to the platform through my two sons and thought it was incredibly inspiring; I had never seen anything like it! The creators we’ve worked with on “Beyond the Yellow Brick Road” are so talented and have made some of the most incredible looks; it’s so exciting to have the opportunity to relive some of the most incredible moments of my life with my family in a new and exciting way.