Credit: Arturo Homes/Getty Images for Meta
Miami Art Week recently witnessed a revolutionary blend of technology and music as Austin Millz, recognized not only as a prolific artist/producer, but also a true pioneer in his craft, collaborated with Meta for the Meta Sonic Listening Party alongside 10x Grammy-nominated artist Victoria Monét. This dynamic event, aligned with Meta’s “It’s Your World” campaign, delivered a unique and immersive experience that left the city buzzing.
Austin Millz is incredibly talented both on stage and in the studio, especially on the keys, which is part of what made this so special. During the event, Austin demonstrated the capabilities of the Meta Quest 3 by teaching Victoria how to play the piano using the innovative PianoVision feature. This live demonstration added an interactive element to the experience, creating a first-of-its-kind mixed reality jam session that blurred the lines between the virtual and the real.
Following the success of last year’s viral Meta House experience, Meta transformed Miami Art Week into a mixed-reality playground, providing a platform for emerging artists, musicians, and creators to redefine the future of creative expression. The “It’s Your World” campaign brought together a diverse array of talents to showcase the limitless possibilities of mixed reality across various experiences throughout the city, making it only fitting that Austin was involved.
We had the opportunity to chat with Austin about this experience and what’s ahead, check it out below!
Collaborating with Victoria Monét in a mixed-reality jam session is an innovative approach. How did the idea for this come about, and what excites you most about merging technology with live musical performances?
Austin Millz: I think merging live music with technology is the future, whether you’re collaborating in the studio or collaborating in real time and real life. I think what just happened this past weekend was the first of its kind. I think it’s going to pave the way for newer events of this nature and push the boundaries of creativity. Meta had the right idea with the Meta Sonic Listening party and this experience. It was great.
During the session, you used PianoVision on Meta Quest 3 to teach Victoria Monét how to play the piano. Can you share more about the creative process behind incorporating virtual reality into a live music experience, and how it enhances the learning and collaboration aspects of the performance?
Austin: For sure. Just knowing how to intertwine and really know how to navigate technology is one helpful thing. But Meta Quest and the PianoVision technology is so user friendly that honestly, it’s half and half, the technology is so amazing that it can really allow the user to feel comfortable. It gives that real IRL effect of having somebody in person helping you, but the technology is so amazing that having a person there too is not essential, but it helps to have somebody there just for that real life aspect. This new technology is so captivating and innovative that you can just really be hands-on with it.
The Meta Sonic Listening Party is part of Meta’s “It’s Your World.” campaign, celebrating the next generation’s creative expression. How does your collaboration with Meta align with this campaign, and how do you see technology influencing the future of music and art?
Austin Millz: I think Meta is really pushing the envelope in terms of innovation. For me, I’m using Meta everyday—whether it’s Facebook or Instagram, and it’s just really allowing me to have my music across the world. It’s allowing me to touch different audiences, and allowing me to just really take my creativity to new heights. I’m super excited for the new technology, because I think it’s going to take it to a whole other new level. The “It’s Your World.” campaign has allowed me to create my own world with Meta.
As a creator yourself, how do you personally leverage Meta’s products or immersive technology in your creative process? And how do you think these tools can inspire and assist other artists in pushing boundaries and exploring new avenues in their work?
Austin Millz: I’m super excited to see what I’m going to do with them. I already have so many different ideas, even with the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, I’m definitely going to use those during my live shows. I can capture content and really have the user or the audience or people watching my content feel like they’re at a live show. That’s something that I’m really looking forward to. There’s so many things in terms of the apps too that are in Meta Quest 3 that you can just really be hands-on with, and have things be really accessible and just really be able to learn things that you never thought you could before, because Meta’s going to allow you to be hands-on with the technology. Whatever age you are, it’s going to allow you to feel like you’re getting there. I think Meta is allowing the average consumer to really be hands-on with anything they want to create their own world.
How do you see events like the Meta Sonic Listening Party contributing to the intersection of art, technology, music, and what impact do you hope that these experiences will have on the creative community overall?
Austin Millz: I would love for it to just expand people’s thoughts. There’s people that are still on the fence about using this technology or AI, and I hope that the Meta Sonic Listening Party experience could move people one step closer to express their thoughts and really live a little, and take a risk in allowing themselves to embrace this new technology. That’s the way of the future, so I feel like Meta is really leading the force with this next wave of technology. I hope that users who had second thoughts about using it can now go, “You know what? Let me just embrace this and embrace the future.”
How have the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses played a role in your day-to-day creative process or interactions?
Austin Millz: Honestly, like I said earlier, it’s really something that I’m looking forward to using at my live shows. It’s an easier way to capture content for something that I could have been using another device for but instead I can just have the glasses on my face, recording live. Like I said, it is an easier way to use technology in a way that hasn’t been done before.
Anything else that you would like to share with the YourEDM readers?
Austin Millz: Yes. I’m going on a headline tour in 2024 end of February until June. Go get your tickets on AustinMillz.com and, yeah, I want to see you all at a show soon! Happy New Year!