M.I.A. (who’s touring behind her recent album, Matangi, when she’s not pissing off the NFL) and Janelle Monáe (who’s turning 2014 into a victory lap following the success of Electric Lady) performed together last night—even though the former’s show was in New York and the latter was in L.A. Thanks to the magic of holograms, however, Monáe showed up to do a verse on the track “Bad Girls,” while M.I.A. performed an original contribution to “Q.U.E.E.N.” The results are pretty interesting to watch, involving such fancy tech trickery as integrated video mapping and 3-D projection, and—thanks to the quick thinking of a spectator—part of the “Bad Girls” performance is now online.
The collaboration was sponsored by Audi, and it acknowledges the innovative entertainment potential of holograms—beyond resurrecting the dead and performing with fictional characters. The two singers also upped their respective cool and self-absorption factors with their comments about the possibility of future hologram performances. M.I.A. says, “It’s definitely cool for us and it’s cool for me. I could be in 10 places at once.” Janelle Monáe’s response is a bit more, well, Janelle Monáe about the whole thing: “I would do some experimenting with different versions of myself, playing different instruments.”