High-energy sounds extending over an electric blue Maldivian sea. Harmonies echoing through the ancient, red-gold walls of Petra. Beats thudding from a famed Roman movie studio.
Our ongoing partnership with Cercle–the French media and music platform founded by Derek Barbolla–has resulted in some spectacular shows over the past year and a half, and we’re thrilled about what’s on deck in 2023.
As we approach the new year, let’s recap all that’s gone down so far.
Our partnership debuted in the Maldives, when and where Cercle brought the artist Monolink to perform a live-streamed set from Gaatafushi Island–W Maldives’ private hideaway in the Indian Ocean. Under the open sky, Monolink’s synths and rhythms ramped up quickly, as if supercharged by the neon blue light reflecting off of Gaatafushi’s shoals. The performance, in about a year since it dropped, has racked up well over 5 million views on YouTube.
Next, Barbolla and Cercle’s art director, Philippe Tuchmann, hopped north and east to the lush hills and pink sands of Kerala, India. There, Cercle hosted the artist Colyn at the Jatayu Earth’s Center–the live-stream footage captured the site’s screaming eagle frieze with vivid clarity as the sonic voyage unfurled. W Goa, nearby, hosted an exclusive set and afterparty, as well.
Swapping jungle greenery for desert gold, a trip to Jordan marked Cercle’s third stop with W. Performed at the famous Petra landmark Al-Khazneh (the Treasury), the artist duo Bedouin rendered a unique set that fused the aural and the extraordinary. Surrounded by 2,000 years of history and lore, the fire-red and forged orange rock of the clearing functioned, ostensibly, as an acoustic amplifier. W Amman, in turn, hosted a private event featuring Bedouin.
Cercle then touched down outside of Rome, Italy at the world-renowned Cinecittà studios (where Fellini, Visconti and Scorsese have all made movies). Headlined by the musician Carlita, this production took on an eclectic feel–surrounded by faux temples and uplit illumination, it was a surreal night of memories and dancing. W Rome’s mixologists were on hand, and the hotel also hosted a private rooftop party the following evening.
To close out 2022, Cercle alighted in Montreal, Canada, with Miss Monique in tow. The DJ performed from La Biosphère, an eye-catching geodesic dome made of thousands of acrylic cells. The following night, the Night Session took place at W Montreal where guests and music-lovers filled the Living Room for a DJ set by Phil + Derek (Cercle) and headline performer Miss Monique.
“Music is a universal art that makes us feel emotions, and these emotions differ from person to person. When you combine music, architecture and design, the emotion is increased,” says Tuchmann, regarding Cercle’s ability to combine sound and stage so effectively. “Really, the exact thing we are looking for,” says Barbolla, “is immersion.”