Snapchat and its augmented reality capabilities have become a haven for music artists seeking to promote their new albums or simply amplify their art with immersive experiences.
We’ve seen the likes of Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Ariana Grande publish Snapchat Lenses to push their new releases, while Bruno Mars and others have created augmented reality effects with Lens Studio that act as extensions of their work.
In this edition of AR Snapshots, we highlight AR experiences from some of the hottest artists around, including Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and Justin Bieber. And if you’re thinking the old school of music isn’t getting enough immersive attention, we also have an AR experience in tribute to The Beatles for you.
Get Emo with Billie Eilish
Emerging via Soundcloud, singer/songwriter Billie Eilish has risen to stardom with her electronic pop sound with emo and goth sensibilities.
Her sound is now immersively represented through the Billie Eilish AR Lens. As the ethereal chorus from “When The Party’s Over” plays over your smartphone’s speakers, virtual mascara runs down your face in streams.
Even if you’re not a fan of Eilish, the Lens is ideal for expressing existential despair and general depression, so keep this in your social media toolbox nonetheless.
Crank Up the Hits with Cardi B
Before Lil Nas X sucked all the air out of the zeitgeist, Cardi B has laid claim to the most controversial due to her hit single “W.A.P.” Depending on your perspective, it’s either an ode to female sexual empowerment, or it’s offensive. An AR experience for this song is featured at the tail end of a previous AR Snapshot.
Her latest single, Up, continues her hit streak. It also has an AR experience to go along with it. Up Beauty adds Cardi B-inspired virtual makeup effects to your face as sparkles appear throughout the camera view and the song itself plays in the background.
Reaching into Cardi B’s back catalog, Atlantic Records published Cardi B 1st, a Lens celebrating the one-year anniversary of the artist’s 2018 album, Invasion of Privacy. The Lens recreates Cardi B’s look from the album cover, overlaying virtual sunglasses and colors your hair (if you have any) canary yellow. Flash a grin or open your mouth for a secondary surprise.
Ride the Beat with Megan Thee Stallion
Rapper Megan Thee Stallion rode to greater fame thanks to Cardi B’s aforementioned “W.A.P.” but she also commands attention on her own catchy songs, which also have their own AR experiences.
Take, for instance, Hot Girl Summer, which also puts virtual makeup on your face. The song title is emblazoned at the bottom of the screen while the song plays on. To turn up the heat in this experience, open your mouth and watch flames erupt around the song title.
Ms. Stallion also landed a song on the Birds of Prey soundtrack, and Atlantic Records took it upon themselves to publish a Lens for the track. The Diamonds Lens highlights the song and projects a 3D translucent diamond over your face. Harley Quinn herself appears in the diamond’s reflection as it rotates on the screen.
Seek Justice for Justin Bieber in AR
The logo for Justin Bieber’s new album, Justice, is the subject of a court battle with electronica group Justice, but that hasn’t stopped him from publishing an AR Lens to promote the release.
Unlike the other Lenses on this list, the Justice Lens takes place in the rear camera. Upon launching the Lens, the camera view dims, with instructions to look up. Point your camera up, and the maybe ripped off logo manifests itself.
Of course, Bieber is also the only one in this story whose album was predicted by Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” TV series, so his AR product should be different.
Cross Abbey Road with The Beatles
Younger generations may not appreciate the impact of The Beatles, but it’s a fact that they’ve had a massive impact and influence on pretty much all rock and pop music that has come since they stormed the scene in the late 1950s.
In tribute to their seminal album, the Abbey Road Lens uses background segmentation to place the album cover in the background of your selfies. Switch to the rear camera, and you’ll see the Fab Four crossing the titular street in your personal space.