We designed the new campaign for Amazon Music's AAPI Pride Month, including digital billboards in Times Square in NY and Sunset Blvd in LA.
The campaign highlights Asian talent featuring Audrey Nuna, Joyce Wrice, Maliibu Miitch, and Debnever in a film directed by Christelle de Castro.
In 1993, Blackground Records was launched – launching the careers of legendary R&B artists Aaliyah, Timbaland, JoJo, Tank, and more. Since then, it's been stuck in label limbo – with the entirety of the discography locked up, never seeing rerelease either digitally or physically.
In 2021, Empire reached out to Offline Projects on the relaunch for Blackground Records 2.0 – a high profile campaign that spanned a full e-comm site, teaser animations, and billboards.
To launch, we released a cryptic teaser video as an homage to Tower Records with all the album releases as posters across a storefront.
Next, we created an interactive website, revealing the storefront as the hub to a full ecommerce site: Blackgroundrecords.net. Visitors could buy both physicals and merch of the entire discography with a custom marketplace built on Shopify.
Then we launched an out-of-home campaign across the US and EU, taking over major cities with design direction we oversaw.
TKAY MAIDZA & YUNG BABY TATE
Tkay Maidza and 4AD came to us with a concept to pay homage to all the Kims in culture for her new track with Yung Baby Tate. We took this to the extreme with a music video shot in a single day – featuring 9 scenes, 6 setups and 6 wardrobe changes featuring easter egg homages to Lil Kim, Kim Possible, and Kim Kardashian.
In early 2020, Brasstracks came to us to define the look & feel of their debut record. Initially, what we came up with involved the creation of a faux instrument store called Jackson Rayne's Music Emporium, involving an oddball cast of over 40 people. However as the pandemic took hold, we had to pivot to a direction we could execute remotely – the result was Golden Ticket.
Utilizing resources available from our homes, we crafted a world around the notion of Brasstracks' as underdogs within major label structures: two band nerds who managed to the key to a record deal, starting as session musicians and blossoming into renowned artists in their own right – a golden ticket.
We commissioned a custom gold bar by Rikki Mortimore to be the key visual for our campaign, captured like a pastiche of 70s jewelry ads. The press photos and album cover were shot remotely in NY with a skeleton crew onsite. We tied these all together with bespoke stickers for each track that captured the playful role kitsch in their music.
ALEXANDER WANG x ADIDAS
S6: The Last Hack
The aOxAW show was inspired by DEF CON in which we built an entire hacker game show hosted by Ilana Glazer based on CTF competitions where 4 teams of hackers compete in code challenges ranging from crypto to forensics. Teams who earn 1000 points open up two rooms where guests assigned to the winning team get 15 seconds to grab deadstock to take home.
We designed the show like a theme park where each moment was an interactive piece of storytelling. Guests entered the Brooklyn Museum via the cargo entrance and freight elevator with onboarding sound design by Danny L. Harle, entering the Arena which we carved out of the main atrium surrounded by Rodin’s and Picasso’s.
The CTF game involved 13 cameras and 8 computer streams where Bureau Cool visualized live code to look like an esports event on 4 projectors & 2 LED walls. 2 additional projectors were used to create code holograms on the S6 product displays.
To celebrate the return of GoldLink with his 2nd studio album Diaspora, we were tasked to creative direct the entire world in which his music resides. The core concept was an alternate reality that all black peoples reside after they pass from this reality – a haven trapped in the early 2000s, in which they become vampires of the diaspora.
Our ambition was to reinvent vampire tropes & subvert eurocentric ideals – the black vampire. All the visuals revolve around cultural references to the black diaspora, such as using the Pan-African colors of red/yellow/gold as the palette and using the owl as the animal symbol (instead of the bat).
We took this branding concept across all the cover art with two singles and LP, as well as the IFFY FM Beats 1 radio identity. We also built out an interactive website that featured a 3D blood moon, evoking a contemporary take on a GeoCities site.
We took Diaspora into the real world with the Zulu Screams music video, directed by Meji Alabi – which gave fans the first insight into our beautifully dark world with an afrobeat rave. Then we directed GoldLink’s performance with Maleek Berry on Jimmy Fallon and took Diaspora on tour with Tyler the Creator & Jaden Smith for Tyler’s IGOR run, hitting arenas such as Madison Square Garden and Merriweather Post Pavilion.
2018 US Tour
For 88 Rising’s US Tour, we created the world of District 88: a neon-tinged dystopian city occupied by 88’s artists and fans.
The stage was designed to be a futuristic shrine, and at the top of the pyramid was a massive screen where floating heads of each artist resided.
Beneath it was a wall of fog & a crystal throne, surrounded by androgynous women in transparent 3M jackets.
We designed posters and show visuals with Allen Chiu and Tibur Ergür, inspired by dystopian imagery and iconography.
Designed to recreate the four stages of sleep across 96 hours at Eaton HK during Hong Kong Art Week, Dreamrave is comprised of two interconnected interactive installations: a physical 350 square foot infinity tunnel with acrylic mirrors, a floor-to-ceiling LED wall, and a feedback looping camera; and an interactive livestream experience where participants can manipulate the visuals at the physical installation.
The piece simulates the human sleep cycle, split into 4 unique acts: SELF, ASCENSION, SUBMERSION, and VOID. Following a nonlinear narrative of a mind’s ego-death, each scene shows the perspective of one as they dream up a world rooted in reality, before ascending to hyperreality and plunging into the abyss and losing their sense of self. The digital web experience, developed in collaboration with interactive artist Ian Glover, connects participants online into the collective consciousness. Shot on 16mm film with an original score by electronic musician Danny L. Harle from P.C. Music, the audio-visual content is processed algorithmically with typography & live footage generated by participants both within the space via a feedback loop camera pointed at the screen, and participants online – so that each viewing is completely unique.
A companion film Dreamrave (2019), also directed by Adrian Yu, accompanied the installation. Shot in HK and NY and featuring an original score by Danny L. Harle, it explored ideas of ego death and collective dreaming across the physical & virtual.
88 RISING HITC II
Head in the Clouds II
For 88 Rising’s 2nd compilation record Head in the Clouds II, we travelled around the world to capture each of their artists to create a cohesive new aesthetic inspired by classic 90s Hong Kong crime films.
From Chengdu to Jakarta to LA, we chased Rich Brian, Joji, NIKI, Higher Brothers, and AUGUST 08 around the world to capture new studio shots that blended 90s Hong Kong gangster films with Miami Vice.
Shot by 3 local photographers – Erik Voake, T3, and Teuku Aji – we were tasked to creative direct each shoot so that every image felt cohesive for the group shot.
TOP DAWG ENTERTAINMENT
Championship Tour After Party
To top off TDE’s US Championship Tour at Madison Square Garden, we threw down a basketball rave and brought out everyone on the label – from Kendrick to SZA.
We rounded off TDE’s 30 stop Championship Tour by transforming a hotel ballroom into a full court basketball rave for one night only.
Inspired by high school gyms, we created a full scale basketball court with neon lined hoops and surrounded by wooden bleachers for fans to climb on. Surrounding the gym were bespoke championship banners of each artist with their accolades – just like the ones from school.
Nitemind created an immersive lighting installation to illuminate the catwalk stage, while we projected TDE’s 3D visual content on the other wall.
Over a thousand fans lined up for the Tuesday event, which was also attended by the entire TDE roster straight after their performance at Madison Square Garden. At midnight, Jay Rock debuted his music video “Win” on his latest record “Redemption” and performed hits off the album.
SPOTIFY: LIL' YACHTY
King of the Sea
For Lil Yachty’s Lil Boat 2 record release, we teamed up with Spotify to create a short film in Atlanta, drawing inspirations from the Biblical story of Moses featuring Ugly God and Trippie Redd.
Directed by Adrian Yu.
SPOTIFY: RAE SREMMURD
For Rae Sremmurd’s SR3MM record release, we teamed up with Spotify to create a short film in Los Angeles inspired by video games & the apocalypse.
Directed by Adrian Yu.
FBZ Swap Meet
To launch Flatbush Zombies’ new album "Vacation in Hell", we created a two-day popup retail experience in four rooms of a 150 year-old defunct clothier building: a swap meet straight from hell.
For the launch of Flatbush Zombies’ record "Vacation in Hell", we transformed the old Louis Zuflacht Smart Clothes building in Lower East Side into four rooms of an immersive swap meet from hell.
Across two days, fans stood in line for hours to experience the FBZ Swap Meet. They entered to a dilapidated retail space designed to look like an industrial junk shop – with shirts hanging from the ceiling, broken chainlink across windows, holes in walls exposing neon lights, and wheatpaste posters designed by Madbury Club.
Fans entered the next room to find a hellish, industrial installation for photos. A deconstructed scaffold stands ominously in the corner, bursting out of the ground with gravel all around the room, all washed with dark red lighting. The Vacation in Hell logo appears from the ground in a acrylic light box.
In the next room, fans can bring their merch to be personalized with custom heat press graphics and patches. Finally downstairs in a dim basement, fans played their favorite classic video games on projectors along the walls.
Find Your Garden
For British singer Samm Henshaw’s US debut, we created a campaign featuring two showcases, a music video, and branding – inspired by overgrown flower beds.
With Samm Henshaw’s US debut, we were tasked to create a campaign highlighting Samm’s natural musical talent with two showcases, a music video, and bespoke branding.
To do this, we created a campaign called Find Your Garden – inspired by overgrown flower beds.
We put together two exclusive experiences in New York and LA, where we transformed a bank vault and villa into neon greenhouses. DJs spun deconstructed club tracks before Samm hopped on stage for explosive live performances.
Before and during the NY show, we shot a music video in the bank vault on a set we designed to allow audiences to live the music video as an immersive experience.
NY MUSIC MONTH 2019
In INTERLUDE+’s 3rd year in partnership with NY Music Month, we expanded the LGBTQ+ music & art program across four venues with eight influential queer artists in the music & art industry.
In the third annual New York Music Month, we partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment for another edition of INTERLUDE+: Offline’s music and art program for and by LGBTQ+.
Curating four sessions with eleven influential speakers, we uniquely designed each of the four venues to reflect the sensibilities of each speaker, which included electronic producers Tygapaw & Debit, rappers Kodie Shane & Le1f, and music publication The Fader.
Programs included a zine workshop, a discussion on identity and artistry, a deep dive into musical production, and a voguing masterclass.
For each session, we also collaborated with four local organizations including Wallplay, The LGBT Center, Splice, and A/D/O to bring the one-of-a-kind curriculum to life. Registration went through a bespoke interactive microsite we created specifically for INTERLUDE+.
NY MUSIC MONTH 2018
In INTERLUDE+’s 2nd year in partnership with NY Music Month, we expanded the LGBTQ+ music & art program across four venues with eight influential queer artists in the music & art industry.
In the second annual New York Music Month, we partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment for another edition of INTERLUDE+: Offline’s music and art program for and by LGBTQ+.
Curating four sessions with eight influential speakers, we uniquely designed each of the four venues to reflect the sensibilities of each speaker, which included electronic producer BATHS, rapper Cakes Da Killa, and digital artist Andrew Thomas Huang.
Programs included a livestream BBQ, a panel on identity and artistry, a masterclass in musical production, and a lecture on 3D digital cinema & VR.
For each session, we also collaborated with four local organizations including the Lot Radio, The LGBT Center, Splice, and A/D/O to bring the one-of-a-kind curriculum to life. Registration went through a bespoke interactive microsite we created specifically for INTERLUDE+.
NY MUSIC MONTH 2017
We launched NY Music Month’s first ever hands-on music and art youth workshop series for & by the LGBTQ+ community, bringing together respected musicians, artists and industry leaders to inspire a new generation of creatives in a nontraditional educational environment.
To celebrate Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of New York Music Month, we partnered up with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment to create INTERLUDE+, a hands-on queer youth music and art program with three sessions and six guest speakers.
Hosted in two spaces we uniquely designed in collaboration with Nitemind and From the Source, we curated an interactive program that broke down the barriers between artist and audience.
We replaced sterile seating, desks, and fluorescent lighting with astroturf, recycled wood tables, and neon lights, creating an experimental learning environment that kept youths engaged and relaxed.
Our one-of-a-kind curriculum included a lecture on dance and happiness with Dev Hynes, CDJ tutorials with Discwoman, live sound experiments with Jules Gimbrone, and more.
DEF JAM: BIBI BOURELLY
Bibi Bourelly EP Launch
We launched Bibi Bourelly’s highly-anticipated EP “Free the Real (Pt.2)” by transforming a famed 150 year-old Chinese restaurant into a neon-line opium den.
Def Jam x Offline Projects celebrated the release of Bibi Bourelly's EP 'Free the Real Pt. 2’ with an Open House party, transforming an old den in Historic Chinatown into a pop-up immersive venue for Bibi’s friends and family.
We assembled a slew of performers from diverse corners of underground hip hop and world club music to bring the spirit of Free the Real to life – including Fade to Mind’s Asmara of Nguzunguzu, Alpha Pups’s Astronautica and a live performance by post-R&B up-and-comer Hayleau.
Teaming up with Volt Lites, we lined the space with harsh red neon and fogged it up, creating a hazy atmosphere as woozy as Bibi’s latest record.
We brought NONOTAK back out to NYC for a multi-week residency at Refuge Arts, debuting a new site specific installation ORION v1 and live performances of ECLIPSE.
For a second returning project with installation and performance studio NONOTAK, we brought the duo to Refuge Art’s Brooklyn warehouse space to debut their ORION v1 installation. The goal was to showcase their collaborative designs of sound, light, and space - a collision of audio and visual through digital art.
Working with NONOTAK, we created a bespoke installation featuring eight low resolution LED screens – programmed to display a 15 minute loop of synesthetic visuals and music.
On ORION v1’s opening night, we curated a series of performances including NONOTAK’s festival touring ECLIPSE show and DJ sets by No_4mat, Gobby, DJ Clone, and more.
We returned to the Russian Turkish Bathhouse to transform it into WAVEFORMZ: a night of absolute hardcore inspired by 2000s rhythm games, with 3 floors of lighting installations and an accompanying livestream rhythm game PULSELIVE OP.
We transformed the Russian Turkish Bathhouse into WAVEFORMZ: an eden of euphoria inspired by early 2000s dance games.
We brought acclaimed producer Hudson Mohawke under his alias DJ Mayhem: Mohawke’s self-titled “younger brother who loves hardcore music”. As support, we invited Rabit with his MC LEDEF, as well as Debit and Vapordog – all performing variations of hardcore.
Nitemind and Adrian Yu created lighting installations throughout all three floors of the bathhouse with rainbow-colored neon washes.
To amplify the WAVEFORMZ experience, we launched an alpha of PULSELIVE OP: a livestream rhythm game. Using the livestream on your browser, audiences online could play the rhythm game in real time with the performances during the event.
The event completely sold out in two hours.
We transformed Salvation Army’s day care center into a multi-sensorial roller disco – something like Saturday Night Fever meets the Thunderdome.
We brought director duo BRTHR & Ocular Presence to collaborate with OP’s Adrian Yu to create bespoke installations for the popup venue, transforming the gym and cafeteria into an industrial roller rink.
Kyle Hall and Anthony Naples performed vinyl sets while 400+ attendees roller skated around the gym.
BRTHR projection mapped the basketball backboards with original textures, while Ocular Presence programmed unique lighting designs to envelope the space. All around, Adrian Yu and BRTHR placed reflective 3M designs and mirrored installations – all activated when using flash photography.
OP002 & OP002+
We took over the 124 year-old Russian & Turkish Bathhouse in East Village and transformed it into an intimate immersive neon playground.
Selling out in less than 3 hours, OP002 brought together an international selection of DJs, moving from HD’s club deconstructions to Jacques Greene & Hank Jackson’s house & techno.
Nitemind and YOU designed two floors of installations, splitting the experience into two: the cafe became a purple-hued dance floor with lasers and neon, while the underground spa became a red-hued rave dungeon with functioning saunas and pool.
Following, we collaborated with RINSED to throw the OP002+ afterparty at the Umbrella Factory loft – featuring Jacques Greene and RINSED residents, along with Ocular Presence performing a live lighting experience.
We transformed a furniture warehouse into a popup audio-visual playground, bringing together a slew of international artists & performers for a onetime experiential event.
Set in a Brooklyn furniture warehouse, we launched OP with a massive event featuring NONOTAK’s debut US of LATE SPECULATION – an audio-visual performance with 2 projectors on 3D mesh screens.
We curated an eclectic lineup of underground musicians, moving from Aquarian, Lee Bannon/Dedekind Cut & Sporting Life’s bass deconstructions to Volvox and Cry Baby’s techno explorations.
NON Visuals provided a 3 channel, live VJ performance throughout the event, projecting onto mesh strips and a screen flanking the dance floor.
We activated MINI Living’s Urban Cabin exhibit with a 6-week charitable program, with artists and musicians transforming the modular living space into an interactive playground.
Using the Urban Cabin as a canvas, we brought designers to create existing and bespoke pieces to transform the space each week – while touring and local experimental musicians soundtracked the environment. Over 20+ artists in total.
All proceeds and donations went to Immigration Justice Corps, providing legal assistance to immigrants.
Each artist was interviewed exclusively for OPx, our weekly newsletter.