Will.i.am joins Hallwood Media for solo artist management

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Hallwood Media

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Credit: Hersey Shiga

Will.i.am joins Neil Jacobson’s Hallwood Media for solo artist management, including his track “The Formula” featuring Lil Wayne as the official song of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Producer, musician and entrepreneur will.i.am has signed an artist management deal with Neil Jacobson’s Hallwood Media. The seven-time Grammy winner and former Black-Eyed Pea has hired Jacobson’s full-service management company to represent his solo projects worldwide.

will.i.am’s current projects include a partnership with Formula 1 Racing as artist-in-residence, making “The Formula” featuring Lil Wayne the official song for the 2023 F1 season. will.i.am will release two more Formula 1-inspired songs later this season, culminating in the release of his forthcoming solo album through Epic Records this fall.

The artist says he presented the concept to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali in November as an initiative that will continue with a new artist each year.

“Putting out a record and touring with a sport that goes all over the world — that doesn’t happen,” said will.i.am, who does planned performing at some Formula 1 races throughout the year in addition to the release of his album.

Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of ​​musicians being an integral part of every Formula 1 season, as the residency program’s first appearance in Miami with LL Cool J resulted in all 20 drivers having smoke pelted during the induction. Mercedes driver George Russell described the performance as “distracting”.

“I’m here to race. I’m not here for the show,” he told reporters. “I’m here to drive and I’m here to win.”

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton found the performance – which also featured will.i.am on the starting line-up conducting an orchestra – much more positive.

“I think it’s cool that the sport continues to grow and evolve and they’re not just doing the same things as they have in the past,” he said. “They try new things. They are always trying to improve the show and I fully support them.”

While some remain skeptical about the collaboration, will.i.am is adamant that music will be “a bridge of communication” with new F1 fans, many of whom are following the sport via social media or the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive”.

“The ‘new fan’ probably doesn’t know anything about the race. You know Lewis (Hamilton) – maybe you know Max (Verstappen). They’re the only two people they know,” said will.i.am, who suggested new fans are “flocking” to the sport largely for the “vibe.” “They don’t know the engineers and they don’t know the details of how someone wins the race, so the new fan needs some training.”

“But the sentiment isn’t enough to keep them going,” he continues. “I remember playing the Singapore Grand Prix and around 100,000 people saw the show but it didn’t air. If this was the Super Bowl, everything would be broadcast. And in Formula 1, there are 23 Super Bowls every year, but they didn’t bring those two worlds together. The residency program is the first step in addressing this issue.”

Hallwood Media continues to expand its reach as a full-service management company and global label for artists, producers and songwriters.