You thought Lizzo was larger than life on Saturday Night Live earlier this month? Wait till you see her in Roblox.
The pop sensation will be a featured performer on this year’s Logitech Song Breaker Awards, which will premier Saturday, April 30, at 10:00 a.m. PST on Roblox, with three additional re-airings over the weekend. The show will also be co-streamed on YouTube. It is, says Logitech, the first music awards show to take place in the metaverse.
This is the second Song Breaker Awards, a ceremony honoring content creators who are influencing pop music. It’s being overseen by Logitech for Creators, a brand extension that markets mics and webcams to content creators. Last year’s show aired on TikTok, gathering 500,000 viewers. This year, organizers say they expect the number to be in the millions.
“We created the Song Breaker Awards in response to the Grammys,” says Meridith Rojas, global head of talent and entertainment at Logitech. “We noticed no one was talking about the creator. Today’s TikTok creators are the DJs. They curate the songs. They invite users on the platform to jump on the trend or dance. Then that craze turns the song into a hit.”
The decision to focus on creators’ contributions proved successful. Billboard reached out soon after the first awards show and turned Song Breakers into a chart that follows how creators are impacting music discovery and consumption. And when the time came to start planning the 2022 show, Logitech wanted to push the envelope even further.
“The format of awards shows in general has not evolved,” says Rojas. “It doesn’t invite the consumer in. But the world we’re in is very much about interactivity. It’s about having a two-way conversation between creator and viewer. Roblox has this evolving landscape for . . . different ways to engage with entertainment in the metaverse. So, for us, this was a really good place to challenge ourselves and make an interesting show.”
Starting Tuesday and leading up to the awards, Roblox users will be able to explore a pre-show experience that includes everything from badges and coins to swimming in a rainbow river and riding a virtual roller coaster.
And, in a nod to the platform’s gaming heritage, the Song Breaker Awards themselves will have a narrative arc, complete with a villainous cloud cat who viewers and creators will work together to vanquish.
Additionally, all of the choreography of the honorees has been motion captured and will be offered as emotes in Roblox.
As for the show itself, it will have both a blend of familiar names and ones that might not be as well known. Lizzo, as mentioned, will perform her new song “Special” on the award show stage. And singer-songwriter GAYLE, who rose to fame on TikTok, will perform her chart-topping “abcdefu” (though, for the family-friendly Roblox audience, it’s called “abcde-forget-u”).
The singers, and award winners (GAYLE happens to be both), will appear as Roblox avatars, giving them the opportunity to appear as enhanced versions of themselves—or something new entirely. (For instance, David Vu will appear as a dragon.)
Among the other honorees are:
Logitech and music awards shows might not be two things you think of simultaneously, but Rojas says events like this allow the company to raise company awareness in a unique way that makes them more than just a spectator.
“For us it’s about throwing the party and not always sponsoring the party,” she says. “If we can build our own [owned and operated] tent-pole events that stand for what we believe as a brand, then it’s not like we’re always looking for the next place to talk about our products.”