The Lazuli Collective, a three-tier company focusing on management; strategy; events and activations while bringing mindfulness to the entertainment industry, officially launched May 9 amid Mental Health Awareness Month.
Co-founded by Brandon Holman and recording artist WATA last year, the Lazuli Collective hosted a highly successful Wellness Oasis at the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, which Holman tells Billboard “came about organically.”
“People started their day with yoga, meditation and breath work before they went to the festival and I think people really appreciated having the space to rest, recharge and heal,” Holman explains of The Wellness Oasis activation. “One of our teachers, Lihi Benisty from Open, was shown in the Coachella recap video, so the fact that they’re using meditation and wellness in the marketing of the festival shows the value we brought to the Coachella experience.”
Holman adds of the emerging market, “We’re at the beginning stages of the intersections between wellness, music and entertainment. [The Lazuli Collective] is combatting the commodification of the wellness industry to recenter it around BIPOC practitioners. Lazuli is using music and entertainment as a vehicle to bring healing to a bigger scale and audience. We want to empower all teachers, practitioners and brands to build a network and collective of people doing the work to provide opportunities to them. As brands like Coachella or Goldenvoice say they want to do a wellness space, we can tap into our extensive network and open the floodgates of opportunity.”
And for WATA, she says that she was inspired to co-create the Collective by learning over the pandemic that she and Holman were able to “curate these experiences that help people heal, relax and meditate, even through our phones. We saw, this has the potential for in-person activations and partnerships with brands like Calm, that help take our desire to bring wellness and healing to our community and to the global stage.”
The Lazuli Collective plans to position itself at the forefront of wellness, culture and technology by teaming with like-minded companies including Calm, Nike, ABC and The Recording Academy to release new projects, as well as to produce events and audio content.
Mindful music by WATA (who will soon release her new album Journey Through a Conscious Mind) is featured on the Calm app. Courtney Phillips, head of music at Calm, offers in a statement, “The Lazuli Collective is championing incredible artists within the wellness space. Through our partnership with WATA, she created bespoke sound baths inspired by each New Moon. The experiences brought a new sound with a genre-bending take on meditation music, while also creating a safe space for both curious listeners and experienced meditators alike.
In addition to WATA, the collective represents meditation and mindfulness teacher Ian Davis. Last year, Davis’s company Creative Vibes Only and the Lazuli Collective teamed with the Recording Academy, MusiCares and the Black Music Collective to host an event with performer Robert Glasper for Mental Health Awareness Month.
Ryan Butler, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Recording Academy says in a statement that “Brandon and the Lazuli Collective have been great to work with, and instrumental to some important initiatives for Black creators and professionals. The Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective, along with MusiCares, partnered with Brandon last year for the Be Well campaign, an immersive mental health workshop, in the height of the pandemic where mental health was of utmost importance. I look forward to all Brandon will continue to do in the wellness space with the Lazuli Collective.”
Looking ahead, WATA tells Billboard, “Our goal in doing these activations is to show people that self-care, healing and wellness can be a part of your daily life and it’s not selfish or elitist to prioritize your well-being. What if meditation, yoga and sound-healing were integrated into events the same way speaker panels are integrated? We’re reshaping the way we think about wellness — it’s not an extra thing, it’s a necessity.”