Nokia Bell Labs

We Speak Music

Original

Reeps One

“Our Voices are our most precious tool. As they grow, we grow.”


Technology and branded content haven’t always been the best of friends. Whilst there’s undoubtedly a wealth of great work out there, the narrative is often unsatisfyingly similar: seeking to reassure an unsettled world about tech’s place in our lives.

But in the battle to win the audience’s trust, we were convinced of a better way. And for the brand that resisted the urge to craft that familiar narrative, it could yield far greater rewards.

What if we took an audience on a journey of discovery that really was as much a learning experience for the brand as it was for them? What if we invited viewers to truly be part of our exploration with us?

This is the premise behind our recent partnership with Nokia Bell Labs. Their rich history in artistic experimentation made them ideally suited to a film project that was collaborative and ground-breaking in nature.

Reeps One

“Beatboxing has the potential to reach further, to accomplish things that they never thought possible.”


We Speak Music Trailer

The result is We Speak Music - a voyage into the human possibilities of the voice. Fronted by visual artist and world-class beatboxer Harry Yeff (aka Reeps One), the series of 6 short documentaries explores how beatboxing is reframing our understanding of the human voice and influencing communities and creatives from all over the world.

Guided by the infectious curiosity of Reeps One, the series investigates how the beatboxing subculture is creating a nonverbal form of expression between global, online communities. From its origins in the hip-hop community in New York, to modern collaborations with neuroscientists, educators and engineers. These members use their ability to communicate ideas and feelings across linguistic boundaries, using just the human voice. The series culminates in a creative duet between Reeps One and his AI “vocal twin”, showing the true creative potential when we bring together the best of humanity with the best of technology.

Far from being just another predetermined marketing message disguised as documentary, from the outset Nokia Bell Labs embraced the experimental spirit of this film as an authentic manifestation of their purpose as an organisation. It’s both beautiful and scientific - genuinely collaborative as it champions progress from different individuals and institutions from all corners of the globe. And this humility is what shines through. As a viewer, you can’t help but feel more admiration (and trust) for a brand that intentionally holds itself back and allows others to have the limelight for a moment.

Nokia’s bold marketing decision to abstain from pushing a hard agenda in favour of contributing to a global conversation is paying off, as the film continues to receive critical acclaim and support from the beatboxing and scientific communities, creating a new space for brands to engage with audiences in a deeper, more meaningful way. We Speak Music has so far premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the British Film Institute, Inspire Fest in Ireland and many more. And with no paid media behind it, the opening episodes have gained hundreds of thousands of organic views just days after their digital release.

Jaguar

Agent of Influence


Picturehouse

2015 Cinema Ident