To accompany the rerelase of Graceland Paul Simon has launched #Graceland25 Instagram contest, and it kicks off today.
The opening track on Paul Simon’s 1986/87 albumGraceland, titled “The Boy In The Bubble,” is an ode to the “miracle and wonder” of modern technology.
In the ’80s, it was the rise of 24/7 broadcast media, a burgeoning telecommunications industry and medical breakthroughs like “the baby with the baboon heart.”
Twenty-five years later, we live in a new era of miracles: instantaneous peer-to-peer communication, real-time global information networks and unfettered access to limitless media. Technology is, once again, turning the status quo on its head and sparking revolutions around the world.
It’s a poignant time for the re-release of Graceland, a pivotal album in Simon’s career. Not just a commercial and critical success, it’s notable for introducing world music to many, and Simon experimented heavily with electronic drums and synthesizers — a new creative direction for him at the time.
The anniversary collector’s edition contains exclusive unreleased material. But more than that, Simon’s team is tapping into digital media with the hope of reaching a new and socially engaged audience.
“When I first met with Sony Legacy to discuss this project, we all agreed that we wanted to find some creative ways to breathe new life into a classic record, and to reach a younger demographic,” says Elliot Fox of Sneak Attack Media, the agency that assisted with the digital campaign. “We all felt that the ideas and music on Graceland have the potential to live on forever, and people of all ages just need a chance to interact with them.”
Their key point of entry: Instagram.
The #Graceland25 contest launches today, and the team wants to see Instagram travel photos from fans. With the #Graceland25 hashtag, simply share the best Instagrams of your journey to Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, and you could win the 25th anniversary box set, a Yamaha acoustic guitar and other prizes. Those familiar with the record know that travel and rebirth are important themes, and this collection of “vintage” visual travelogues is fitting.
But there’s more to the digital campaign. Sony Legacy aims to explore the rich history behind the creation of the album, much of it recorded in South Africa with local musicians during the apartheid regime. It introduced American audiences to artists like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and mired the release in international politics.
To top off their social campaign, Sony looked to YouTube, often the primary destination for young music fans. Cover song videos are big, and the label tapped some indie rock heavyweights to perform their renditions ofGraceland classics. Guest artists include Givers (see below), Oberhofer, Bosco Delrey, Brett Dennen and more to be announced.
“The band Givers from Lafayette, Ala. contributed a cover of the song ‘That Was Your Mother.’ They were able to bring in legendary musician Dickie Landry to play saxophone on their cover,” says Fox. “Landry is actually credited with playing saxophone on the original version of the tune for Graceland. The outcome was pretty astonishing.”From Mashable.