On a chilly Tuesday night in January, Big Sean transformed New York City venue The Garage into a pink and purple-washed space for the listening event of his latest album I Decided. Currently sitting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the introspective LP — home to the hits “Bounce Back” and “Moves” — flooded into the speakers as the G.O.O.D. Music MC stood underneath a faux tree and lip-synced along to the words of teach track.
Los Angeles-based lifestyle boutique firm MVD Inc. worked in collaboration with Def Jam Recordings, G.O.O.D. Music and Big Sean to create a unique album preview. With neon mood lighting and displays with positive affirmations like “Take No L’s,” the atmosphere evoked similar colors and ambiance of Sean’s music videos for “Bounce Back” and “Halfway Off The Balcony.”
“Our firm MVD Inc, along with GOOD Music and Def Jam, decided to take a chance and think outside of the box when it came to how music should be previewed,” says MVD partner Massah David. “At the time the standard listening sessions only took place in a recording studio with press. So we collaborated with G.O.O.D. to figure out not only how to preview the album in a cool way but to make it an experience that identified who Sean was as an artist.”
The themes didn’t end with the lighting. At the center stood a tall tree with a classic car on either side. While the crowd enjoyed the music — and partook in the accompanying bar and photo booth — Sean took center-stage, dancing and singing along to his tracks.
“As an artist I always try to push myself creatively,” Sean tells Billboard. “Working with MVD and my creative director Mike Carson on all of my album listening events has allowed me to continue to push creative boundaries and create one-of-a-kind listening experiences, where fans not only hear my music but feel and truly experience it.”
Working toward creating a night that reflects Sean’s music and engages the attendees was a group effort, echoed by rapper and G.O.O.D. Music president Pusha T.
“G.O.O.D. Music has always thrived on being innovative and we collaborate with Miatta and Massah to bring that vision to life. We not only want you to hear the music but immerse yourself in it, sonically and visually,” Pusha T adds. “If you look at all of Sean’s listening events they each took you down a journey merging performance art and music, we want to continue pushing that envelope.”
Catch a glimpse of Big Sean’s listening party in the video below.
Additional reporting by Adelle Platon.