Childish Gambino, the musical alias for acclaimed actor/screenwriter Donald Glover, has shared a new single which is only available to be heard through a new virtual reality app on Android an iOS phones.
According to reports, the song, titled, “Algorythm”, can be accessed by users who download a brand new augmented reality app named PHAROS AR, which was launched for mobile phone users on Wednesday. As Billboard reports, the real-time reality app takes users on a journey into “a cosmos of tropical petroglyphs.” The technology allows multiple users (players) in a single geographic location to explore the virtual space together in hopes of unlocking the new song. The game within the app was developed by a company known as Unity, which has partnered with the rap artist in the past during a three-day V.R. event at California’s Joshua Tree National Park.
A statement shared by Unity to their blog on Wednesday further explains how fans can access Glover’s music through the app.
“The PHAROS AR app, developed by MediaMonks, lets you experience new Gambino sounds while you’re immersed in a cosmic, interactive journey. The AR experience, which draws inspiration from his PHAROS New Zealand event, is visually thrilling, with motion-capture-driven particle effects creating astral bodies and high-fidelity psychedelic effects accompanying the story … The app also provides an immersive sound experience, using spatialized audio loops to slowly build up the highly anticipated new music.”
Glover reportedly had plenty of input throughout the process of developing the virtual landscape, and was ultimately the one who gave Unity the final approval.
“When you see him in concert or see his music videos or his new film or the AR app,” Unity tech producer Sarah Stumbo said in a statement about the project. “It kind of all ties together into the same universe.”
Speaking of technology and its relation to Glover’s music, it’s worth noting that Childish Gambino also offered his fans a virtual-reality vinyl as part of the deluxe version of his acclaimed, George Clinton-approved 2016 studio album, Awaken, My Love!
While the recorded version of “Algorythm” may be a new release, Glover has actually been performing the track throughout his 2018 arena tour, including his two recent performances at Coachella. Glover also used his time at the popular event to premiere his new short film, Guava Island, in which Glover co-starred alongside Rihanna.