Reggie Watts Talks Social Media and Tech at CES 2021
Andre Stone and Ariana Escalante continue our in-depth coverage of CES 2021 by chatting with James Corden about Reggie Watts, famous comedian and house band director for The Late Late Show. He’s attending the show to talk about technology, social media, and what he’s looking forward to as we head into 2021.
Watts isn’t just a musician or a comedian – he’s an innovator in the field of music technology with his app.
“WattsApp was the result of getting a little bored with how social media looks and works – especially on Instagram. I wanted something that didn’t haunt people, ”he says. “A clean place for fans that wouldn’t be bombed [by] targeted advertising. “
The app acts as Watts’ own social media hub / media network where he posts content and runs a store where he sells his old electronics. It doesn’t cost anything (other than what he sells in the store), and Watts hopes it can serve as a template for other artists.
“At least in my circles [of musicians and performers]We’re tired of using other people’s platforms, ”he says. “You can still make a website, but apps really are the way people interact with things.” The app is “a way of decentralization” and “to put power back into the hands of the artist and directly to his fans”.
In Watts’ case, technology isn’t just for work and fans. He has both an Xbox Series X and a Playstation 5. “I’m more of an Xbox cat, I have to say,” he admits. “Although I’ll say it, I’m getting on the PS5. The controllers are really great. It’s a really good experience. “But he adds,” I’m just so used to Xbox. The X series is great. “
His show, The Late Late Show, was one of the first talk shows to move into a studio, but the past year has been filled with shows and performances, all of which were virtual. “That was pretty exciting,” says Watts.
Once he and a friend set up a setup that would allow him to appear in real time as a hologram to play a concert of his music in a virtual environment, he says. He also appreciated the efforts of a famous comedy club “who built a wall of monitors in a semicircle, and you stand in front of the semicircle and you see all the people who have tuned in – so you have about 60 people” different screens and monitors, while on stage and holding a microphone. Stand-up comedians like Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Peretti played in this virtual club last year. “That was the closest thing to a live performance,” he says.
“I’ve always been interested in what I call ‘the physical movement’,” he says, mixing the words “physical” and “digital”. This idea takes the “physical elements from our world and digitally transcribes them with a volumetric camera in real time.” This is what Watts hopes to continually evolve, even if quarantine isn’t an everyday part of life. “The more we make the digital more organic and the more intuitive the way we interact with the real world,” he says. “We want portals to have amazing experiences … and we don’t always want to be engineers to do this.”