Sonos Brings The World Of Gorillaz To Life At 'Spirit House' In Brooklyn

Opening this weekend, the virtual band takes it to the next level with this presentation of their augmented reality. 

Resting comfortably in the corner of Williamsburg sits Spirit House, an art and sensory installation powered by Sonos and transformed into the reclusive space and world of the virtual band, Gorillaz. Open to the public this weekend (April 21-April 23), the creative event serves as the perfect treat for fans who are more than ready for the band’s upcoming album, Humanz.

Since the release of their four new tracks, Gorlliaz creators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have followed the yellow brick road of virtual reality to share the residence of the animated band members 2D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs through their 360 app. The tour includes three rooms, with the first two acting as recreations of the gang's grim, and an inviting living space. Another room, a home theater, transforms into an exhilarating musical spaceship. The final space is the playing ground for Sonos’ latest rollout, the PLAYBASE, a home theater speaker that brings bass and fashion into the mix.

Fans are expected to uncover easter eggs throughout the first two rooms, or phases. The first phase contains an open-plan kitchen/living room area with dirty dishes, imitation Fruity Pebbles, pizza on the wall and Pazuzu, a statue often seen at the band’s fictional Kong Studios and Plastic Beach. Gorlliaz memorabilia lay around as the Humanz tracks “Accession,” featuring Vince Staples, and “Let Me Out,” with Mavis Staples and Pusha T, play on an enjoyable loop through Sonos speakers.

In what Sonos reps describe as “the next level,” the second phase presents a home theater -- which also serves as a time machine -- of the band’s favorite vintage records from Grace Jones and the Parliament Funkadelic to Hewlett’s 2008 graphic novel The Cream of Tank Girl to “family” photos of the group filling the room. The room also allows you to enjoy a stretched out projector screen in the home with colorful and futuristic visuals to “Saturnz Bars” and “Andromeda.”

Picking up the “end of the world” theme from their 2005 Demon Dayz album, the projection takes us from the Spirit House to the starry galaxies. By now, it’s incredibly difficult not to bop around to the infectious riddims by Popcaan heard on “Saturnz Barz” or D.R.A.M.’s impressive harmonies on “Andromeda.” Before members of the group appear in full CGI on the outer angles of the room, visitors are pulled into every beat as the display exudes magenta and soft blue blocks.

The final room serves as an “Ask Me Anything” for the Sonos PLAYBASE. The speakers provide more ease to those who want to break free from aux cord DJ’s, while operating TV and music duties from their phones.

The black and white patterned mural in the showroom is just one side of a limited edition poster by Hewlett visitors that's given at the exit. In all, the Spirit House sets out its mission to provide a musical and artistic experience like no other. “Gorillaz have always been inspiring artists who ignore the limitations of any medium or format,” said Dmitri Siegel, Sonos VP of Global Brand. “The launch of their first album in seven years is such a big moment for Gorillaz fans and we’re excited to invite people all over the world experience it using Sonos.”

Built in a matter of days, Spirit House became a conversation between Sonos and Gorillaz in February when the band shared plans for the upcoming album. When asked what made the group the perfect fit for Sonos, Jed Lewis of Sonos' Global Brand Activation called it a match made in heaven. "We've been fans of Gorillaz for a long time, and when we discovered that the band was releasing their first studio album in several years around the time we were launching our new home theater speaker, PLAYBASE, it was a no-brainer," he said. "Plus their new album, Humanz, is so focused on their own home, which is where people experience Sonos best, so it was a collaboration that was a perfect fit for both of us."

While the RSVP’s for the Brooklyn space are now sold-out, Gorillaz isn't done wowing fans. Followers can also register for the half-hour tour when it hits Berlin from April 28-30 and Amsterdam on May 6. With the announcement of their “global listening party,” the group is set to unveil its Demon Dayz festival this fall.

You can catch Humanz after it hits stores and streaming platforms on Friday, April 28.

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Ayesha Curry Celebrates Google Assistant Partnership With Thanksgiving Recipe

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Ayesha Curry has teamed up with Google Assistant to share a hearty recipe or two for the chef in you.

To celebrate their partnership, the entrepreneur and mother of three made an appearance at Google's Friendsgiving event in New York City SoHo district on Thursday night (Nov. 14). Before starting a cooking demo, Curry talked about her love for cooking, the importance of family sitting around the table for a meal, and how Google Assistant has helped make her life easier.

"I think it's great because I can walk into my kitchen, child in hand while making a bottle, and ask what the rest of my day looks like. I can just say, 'Hey Google, what does the rest of my day look like' and it'll pull up my whole schedule and it's just one extra peace of mind because I didn't have to do anything tangible. It's effortless... It's like a digital version of a cookbook with how-tos, timers, everything in one and it can truly be integrated into your kitchen."

After using Google Assistant to playfully cue the Kids Bop version of "Truth Hurts," Ayesha whipped up her new Fall Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Apples recipe on a cast iron enamel skillet from her cookware collection. Not only did the device give step-by-step instructions, but it also provided her with alternative ingredients for one of the ingredients.

"With this recipe, you'll see it's super easy, it's fool-proof. Baking is so scientific, this [recipe] is not that. That's what I love about it."

After serving the cooked bread pudding to the audience, the Seasoned Life author talked about her upcoming cookbook in collaboration with one of her sisters and what people can expect.

"It's going to packed, full of flavor. The realistic nature of this [cooking mother] situation is that unless I'm writing a cookbook and developing recipes, I'm not cooking every night at home. That's just not realistic. We all have jobs, we all have things we're taking care of, but I'm always trying to get a meal on the table.

"So that's what this new book is really going to be about. It's going to be about quick, simple, easy ways [to cook]. I tried to keep everything 30 minutes or less, but it's packed and full of flavor."

Ayesha Curry's Fall Bread Pudding recipe can be found exclusively on any Google Nest device. If you're a Google Assistant users, simply say "Hey Google, show me Ayesha Curry's fall bread pudding recipe" and you'll have a sweet and savory dessert for your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) dinner.

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Billboard And VIBE Host Second Annual R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players Event

Billboard and VIBE joined forces for the second annual R&B and Hip-Hop Power Players event on Thursday night (October 17). Held at New York City's Union City, the brands honored the 100 accomplished music executives, agents and more who made the third annual list for their outstanding contributions of driving, influencing and guiding the music industry and hip-hop culture today.

Billboard Executive Director of R&B/Hip-Hop Gail Mitchell and VP of Culture Media/VIBE Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas greeted guests at the invite-only reception saying, "Big shout to the team that puts this together, we just want everyone to know that this is a night of celebration. A lot of people have been working in the game for a long time - you are here tonight so you are all winning." He added, "We thank you for taking the time to celebrate your colleagues."

Shortly after, the hosts presented Steve Pamon with the Billboard Executives of the Year Award shared with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. As he accepted his award, the Parkwood Chief Operating Officer delivered a speech saying, “This award was given to myself and Beyoncé, but the award truly belongs to the team behind me. We live off respect and responsibility. A sincere thank you.” He went on to say, “We live off of respect and the responsibility of being around all of you. You are hip-hop. We are hip-hop. It’s not about us. It’s about us all.”

The late Nipsey Hussle was honored with the Billboard Impact Award for his contributions to breaking barriers of cultural appropriation, young professionals seeking educational resources in science, tech and mathematics spaces, and positivity in his community. Prior to Marathon Agency co-founder, Steve Carless, acceptance of the world on Hussle's behalf, there was a 30-second moment of silence.

In his emotional yet encouraging speech, Carless said, “I accept this on behalf of Nipsey, his family, and all his loved ones and his children. What this means to me, it’s a testament to his hard work and dedication." He added, "Congrats to everyone who made this year. It’s a huge honor...One thing I do want to say it, this award is about inspiration. Responsibility is to uplift each other mentor each other and lead each other. May all of us leave here and know we have a responsibility.”

As attendees enjoyed beverages and captured Instagram-worthy images at the Billboard and VIBE cover-inspired installations, rappers Casanova and Young M.A hit the stage, respectively, to perform their popular singles. Flip through photos and interviews from Thursday night's event down below.

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21 Savage And Doja Cat Close Out The Summer At Genius' IQ/BBQ Concert

With summer slowly closing its curtains, Genius held its third annual Genius IQ/BBQ and live concert on (Sept. 7) in Brooklyn, NY. After the end-of-summer event opened its doors and hit capacity, music lovers who made it were in for an interactive, day-long experience.

Presented by Boost Mobile, the free event offered a sky deck view and lounge for V.I.P. guests as well as a warehouse full of both indoor and outdoor experiences. From vendors to ice-cold White Claw beverages to a one-of-a-kind multiplayer trivia game, attendees' attentions were absorbed in activities and an all-around good time. In between sets and as the indoor stage radiated hues of purple, DJ S.WHiT! spun hits from your 1st or 2nd generation iPod.

RCA recording artist Destiny Rodgers took the stage to command the room with her hip-hop, pop, and R&B infused set as she performed her singles, "North$ide," "Apologies," "Lockdown," and "Tomboy."

Hailing from South Haven, Indiana, self-taught guitarist Omar Apollo brought the funk, psychedelic rock, and rhythm and blues while performing "Kickback," "You Got Me," "Unbothered," and "Brakelights."

Yung Baby Tate sported a dark purple laced bustier, black skirt, and thigh-high boots while she sang her hits "Pretty Girl," "That Girl," and "Beckham." The Atlanta producer, rapper, and singer also performed her unreleased track "All Dat" and paid homage to Nicki Minaj while she rapped her "Babytron/Megatron" rendition.

Ann Marie slowed the BBQ down with her R&B sounds rocking a late '90s/2000s-inspired black leather fit. The Interscope Records songstress melodically delivered "Handle It," "Unlove You," "Ride For Me," "Throw It Back," and "My Body," while her backup dancers kept up with their hard-hitting moves.

Rising rapper and Bronx-native Lil Tjay helped to warm up the crowd with his newly released single "F.N." that had the crowd putting their middle fingers up. The 18-year-old Columbia Records signee rapped through his reflective lyrics keeping the crowd hooked from start to finish.

The one and only Doja Cat fans warmed the artist up before she appeared on stage, chanting "Doja, Doja, Doja, Doja." Rocking a yellow, black, and white Fashion Nova pantsuit and jacket set, the 23-year-old engaged with her fans singing her hits "Roll With Us," "Go To Town," "So High," "Game," "Juicy," "Tia Tamara," and "Moo!."

Headliner 21 Savage took over the stage with a 30-minute set as shades of red with hints of green captured the emotion in the UK-native's performance. The Billboard chart-topping rapper took his fans back in time opening  with his 2016 single "Red Opps." 21 carried his set going into Savage Mode with "No Heart," and "X" and gave fans a few M's while rapping "Bank Account."

The Not All Heroes Wear Capes artist closed out the event with performances of "Don't Come Out The House" and "10 Freaky Girls" off of his 2018 album, making the third annual Genius IG/BBQ live concert an event to remember.

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