AKQA Coala.Lab partnership for new perspectives on music

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AKQA Coala.Lab is a new partnership established to create pioneering perspectives on music through conceptual and culturally influential work.

The collaboration sees AKQA’s influence in the music industry expand to a global platform. The partnership with Coala enables artists to translate their creative and engaging stories into hugely popular music videos, films and experiences.

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Founded in 2014 as a festival based in São Paulo, Coala stood out in the entertainment business by supporting and offering a stage for an effervescent music scene. The festival has since hosted concerts by iconic artists such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento while acting as a catalyst for new generation talents such as Xenia França, Duda Beat and ÀTTØØXXÁ, and has duly established itself as one of the most significant cultural events in the country.

The first partnership between AKQA and Coala.Lab dates back to 2018 with the launch of Bluesman’s album campaign by rapper Baco Exu do Blues. The album reached more than 280 million streams and generated a 495 per cent increase in the artist’s monthly listeners on Spotify and the accompanying film crafted for the album’s launch won Cannes Lions’ first-ever Brazilian Entertainment for Music Grand Prix.

AKQA Global Chief Creative Officer Diego Machado said: “Artists crave the solidarity and strategic impact that brands have while brands desire what artists have in abundance: cultural influence. We are uniting both to create remarkable content that is creatively uplifting and easily sharable, which is central to our core DNA.”

Gabriel Andrade, curator and founding partner of Coala agrees said: “true insights into music and entertainment come from people who inhabit that universe. To relate to the creative community and these cultural phenomena, brands need to genuinely participate and contribute, and not just say they do.”

Gabriel is now Music Lead of AKQA Coala.Lab and lists streaming platforms, tours, music videos and records as some of the touchpoints explored when developing projects. “In addition to being in touch with the present and continually contributing to culture, it is necessary to see artists as creative agents throughout the process and not just brand ambassadors,” he adds.

To release Brazilian artist Emicida’s new album, AmarElo, AKQA and Deezer teamed up to create an invitation to silence. The 60-second video was awarded a Lion at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity in 2021, while Nike’s film The Awakening in Dance with dance group Black Tourmalines and singer Ludmilla resulted in a platform for collective empowerment and the manifestation of black culture, stimulating positive social transformations through sport and movement. The project also won a Cannes Lion in the Entertainment category. Meanwhile, Beck’s Frequency partnered the brand with top Brazilian DJs, including Vintage Culture, and used music and innovation as a tool to drive brand interest and engagement. This was duly recognised in Cannes as well as, with Gold and Silver Lions.

AKQA and Coala have also teamed up on projects for many other brands and artists including Usher, Kevin o Chris, DKVPZ, BaianaSystem, As Baías, Bivolt, Som Livre, Criolo, Milton Nascimento, Nego Bala and Yo Yo Ma.