British artist, topliner, and online creator Emma McGann is a shining example of how to rock the boat as a self-made artist in the age of independence. With the entrepreneurial spirit of the DIY musician, she leverages emerging music tech to interact with her dedicated fanbase in innovative ways. With over 11.5 million views, Live streaming has been the major source of that fanbase and has defined her journey over the past five years.
Blending tech with artistry at every turn, Emma has explored virtual reality, crypto-based live streaming applications, and even her very own Amazon Alexa Skill with which fans can interact. Now, the duality of the emerging pop icon and pioneering female entrepreneur is the central theme of her work as she embarks upon the next chapter of her journey.
Originally scheduled from April – June 2020 (North American live dates now postponed due to coronavirus concerns), The Duality Tour will bring Emma’s unapologetically pop sound and tech enthusiasm to fans, regardless of geographical boundaries. Partially funded by the UK Music Export Growth Scheme, the tour will be among the first of its kind, a hybrid in-person/virtual tour and will see her performing material from her upcoming EP “Monsters” (to be released later this year) and spotlighting the EP’s first single “Anyone Else” (drops on April 17, 2020). Written by Emma and produced by her partner MIRLYN, the track is a melancholic pop moment that explores the darker side of love.
In-line with Emma’s emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility, her Virtual Tour Pass welcomes fans worldwide who can’t attend in person, while also opening up an additional revenue stream for independent touring musicians.
“I want to pioneer a new tour format for the hybrid artist/online creator,” says Emma, “marrying a traditional run of live shows with a simultaneous virtual tour, so fans overseas can purchase Virtual Tour Passes to secure a 360° POV front seat at the show and be a part of the journey no matter where they’re based. No FOMO for anyone.”
But how will the virtual tix work? At selected shows across the tour, Virtual Tour Pass holders will have access to a portal through which they can view the live shows. Every Virtual Tour Pass holder will also receive additional perks including:
– Access to watch previous live streamed performances
– Their name on Emma’s guitar case
– A charitable donation (1 tree planted with every purchase)
– A handwritten postcard from the road
– A collaborative road-trip playlist
– Wallpaper artwork from each city
– Merch discounts Unique Discord roles
Fans who’d like to support Emma and the community further will also be able to ‘gift’ any amount of tickets they choose to friends or contribute passes to a community pot, earning tiered rewards for themselves with higher purchases.
From day one of the tour, everyone can also access a smart speaker ‘Tour Diary’ within Emma’s Amazon Alexa Skill, which updates fans daily with a tour diary recorded by Emma while on the road.
But the innovation doesn’t stop with virtual fan engagement. Emma will be unveiling a new instrument, the ‘Crystal Console.’ Custom-built for her live shows, Emma and her team have collaborated with Big Production House to create a pop-leviathan. For her first US tour, Emma wanted something unforgettable. “It’s completely bespoke”, says Emma. “The console houses dynamic effects, virtual instruments, guitar input, sample triggers and even broadcasting equipment, all mixed via Ableton. I wanted as much live control as possible, so I could really transform production into performance.”
Emma is passionate about sharing her ideas and experiences. She gave a TEDx Talk on how live streaming can create long-lasting connections. Her streams on YouNow have amassed 11.5 million views and over 225k fans worldwide. Over the last five years, this community helped crowdfund an album, launched her into the Top 15 of the iTunes charts and nominated her for the iHeartRadio Music Awards.
“YouNow are a big reason for my audience in the US. The tour wouldn’t be possible without the platform’s support,” says Emma, who will be broadcasting bonus content between shows via YouNow throughout the Duality Tour. “This hybrid tour is a way in which I can meaningfully give back to supporters, offering them an inclusive experience both online and in-person”.