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 with Neil Jacobson’s Hallwood Media for artist management, according to details tipped to DMN this week. The seven-time Grammy winner and Black Eyed Peas member has tapped Jacobson’s full-service management company to represent his solo endeavors worldwide.
Among will.i.am’s current projects include a partnership with Formula 1 Racing as their artist-in-residence, placing “The Formula” featuring Lil Wayne as the official song of the 2023 F1 season. Will.i.am will release two more F1-inspired songs throughout the season, culminating in the release of his upcoming solo album via Epic Records this fall.
The artist says he pitched the concept to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali in November as an initiative that will continue with a new artist each year.
“To put out a record and go on tour with a sport as it travels the whole world — that doesn’t happen,” said will.i.am, who is slated to perform at a handful of Formula 1 races throughout the year in addition to the release of his album.
Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of musicians becoming an integral part of each Formula 1 season.
The residency program’s first showing in Miami with LL Cool J resulted in all 20 drivers getting pelted with smoke during the introduction. Mercedes driver George Russell called the performance “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 conducting an orchestra on the starting grid — much more favorable.
“I think it’s cool that the sport is continuously growing and evolving, and they’re not just doing the same stuff that they’ve done in the past,” he said. “They’re trying new things. They’re trying to improve the show, always, and I’m in full support of it.”
While some remain skeptical of the collaboration, will.i.am is adamant that music will be “a bridge to communicate” with new F1 fans, many of whom discovered the sport through social media or Netflix’s docu-series “Drive to Survive.”
“The ‘new fan’ probably doesn’t know anything about the race. They know Lewis (Hamilton) — they might know Max (Verstappen). Those are the only two people they know,” said will.i.am, who suggested that new fans were “flocking” to the sport for “the vibe” more than anything. “They don’t know the engineers, and they don’t know the details of how someone wins the race, so some education needs to go into the new fan.”
“But the vibe is not enough to keep them,” he continues. “I remember playing the Singapore Grand Prix, and there’s like 100,000 people in the audience watching the show, but it wasn’t broadcast. If this was the Super Bowl, it would all be broadcast. And F1 has 23 Super Bowls every single year, but they haven’t stitched those two worlds (together). The residency program is the first step to address that.”
Hallwood Media says that it continues expanding its reach as a full-service management company and global label for artists, producers, and songwriters.