Los Angeles, CA, May 9, 2018 — DJ Jazzy Jeff’s resume speaks for itself – from his pioneering work with Will Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (the winners of the first GRAMMY® for Best Rap Performance) to his later work fusing genres for neo-soul artists and beyond, his discography is challenging and rewarding. One of his latest ventures involved assembling a dream-team of artists, songwriters, musicians and producers to generate an entire album from scratch very quickly and document the whole process for the world to see. The result is Chasing Goosebumps by The PLAYlist featuring Glenn Lewis, released to critical acclaim earlier this year and streamed on Facebook Live with a multi-camera setup during the process with the help of the VR-4HD AV Mixer from Roland Professional A/V.
Cristopher Schafer, the project’s Creative Director, noted, “Jeff had this concept of being able to bring a group of creative people into one room: artists, musicians, writers, producers, and camera people. He wanted to write, record, and distribute an album in a matter of seven days. One of the main pieces of equipment that we used was the Roland VR-4 HD, which was the core to bringing all of these various streaming pieces together to be able to put it into one stream.”
DJ Jazzy Jeff remarked, “Everybody who doesn’t understand the process, they’re always intrigued on how do you do it, how do you make this piece of music so fast that can last someone a lifetime? And I thought it would be really cool to bring people in to that process so that they not only can hear it but they can also see the process of it being recorded. The idea of the project is we are chasing goosebumps. People don’t make music that gives you goosebumps anymore, so we had no agenda other than to give you some kind of a goose bump whether it’s a goose bump, or how you feel, or something that’s going to snap your neck in half because it sounds so good.”
Tremayne Johnson, Video Switching Operator for the project, states, “I’ve done single-camera live streaming at times, but never multiple camera. Most of us are familiar with live streaming on our phone or live streaming from a small device or something like that. But what he wanted to do was be able to provide all angles. The Roland VR-4 HD really helped alleviate a lot of my anxiety about live streaming, because everything was right there on the console, and it was very, very user friendly. There would be times where there’s some action happening and we never thought that action would happen there, so I need to go in now and adjust the camera. Very easy, you hit the auto switch, and it’s moving along for you. It’s almost like you’re there, you’re able to set your time intervals, I’m able to just jump in there, fix what I need to fix, and jump right back into manual mode, and none the wiser. It’s a lifesaver for a very small economic crew.”
The project mixed vintage and modern synths, live instruments including drums, old-school sampling and more contemporary production techniques into an infectious mix of soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, pop and samba that fans immediately responded to. Jeff notes, “I remember when we were starting to talk about the stream, I remember saying to Cris, there are going to be some times that we’ll have ten people watching the stream, or we may have a thousand people watching the stream. We would stream for about 35, 40 minutes, and I would walk out and he would say yo, there’s 390,000 people watching. It was kind of like yo, what happened to the 10, 15 people?”
Schafer adds, “When we stopped the stream and we looked back at the numbers when the sessions we over we had reached close to 7 million people!”
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