Just as the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the entire world, the Danish electronic band, WhoMadeWho had finally made inroads into the American market. Their large tour and festival shows were cancelled, and they were forced to explore new opportunities to keep their international fans engaged in a new digital reality. The band embraced a digital transformation, blending their core values with a new reality.
WhoMadeWho faced the challenge of sustaining international interest during the pandemic and therefore began launching projects to maintain their relevance and connection with the audience they had begun to break through to.
"We wanted to give something back to our fans. And we wanted to keep our team going. It wasn't just us musicians who were affected by the shutdown; it was also our entire production team of sound and lighting technicians and so on. The whole industry almost came to a halt overnight, and many people started doing something completely different," says Jeppe Kjellberg, who plays guitar in WhoMadeWho.
The band was determined to create something that suited the digital format. The new reality was that everything had to happen online, and instead of seeing it as a limitation, they saw the opportunities.
Leveraging a unique electronic live set-up, the band explored diverse digital projects, like segmented concert releases and playing songs they had not played or released before - and fans reacted extremely positively to it. It gave the band the desire to think even bigger in terms of digital formats, but they knew they couldn’t just play a concert as they would have done otherwise. It wouldn't be authentic because there is no audience, and there is no atmosphere to play into.
In collaboration with Bifrost Productions, they planned an ambitious livestream that resembled more of a film production than a concert titled "Dream Stream" and it is a one-hour and ten-minute one-take live recording where the band is joined by a choir, the Danish singer Selma Judith, and even the entire Greve Girls' Guard. The video not only shows how many different moods you can create with music but also demonstrates how much music can thrive on digital platforms if given the chance.
The band's innovative approach not only sustained their fanbase but also expanded their global reach, evident in collaborations with renowned platforms like Cercle and Beatport and resulted in the band playing a very well-received digital concert in front of Egypt's Abu Simbel temple and an innovative live performance taking place in Næstved, Denmark in Bjarke Ingels Group’s SKUM sculpture. The live performances not only ensured the band maintained relevance but also created significant international traction.
The video in front the Abu Simbel temple has gained over 7.3 mil. views on Cercle’s YouTube channel, while the video from Næstved has more than 325.700 views on WhoMadeWho’s own Youtube channel.
WhoMadeWho redirected the tactics to the digital reality they were forced to be in during the shutdown. They have created measurable results in increased followers on social media and streaming services, but perhaps most importantly, they have gained even more traction with an international fanbase that is incredibly engaged. The success of their digitized initiatives showcases WhoMadeWho's ability to engage fans and evolve and innovate within the digital landscape.
“In the digital sphere you can't just play a concert as you normally would. It wouldn't be authentic because there's no audience, and there's no atmosphere to play into.”
WhoMadeWho, comprising Jeppe Kjellberg, Tomas Barfod, and Tomas Høffding, originating from Denmark, is a dynamic musical trio. With a vision to create unforgettable musical experiences, the band has evolved its sound towards a more electronic and techno-inspired direction. Their journey, marked by international tours and festivals, took a transformative turn during the global pandemic, leading to the exploration of innovative digital projects.