Music, technology and hydration harmonize in smartbeats by smartwater, a first-of-its-kind audio toolkit designed to power the pursuit of holistic wellness.
The premium water brand tapped musical innovator Chaz Bear (who records and performs as Toro y Moi) to produce four tracks to complement and enhance an array of need states and occasions – from chilling out to working out – each paired with the smartwater variety that delivers a complementary hydration offering.
“Everyone’s definition of wellness – and everyone’s personal wellness journey – is unique,” said Annie Lohman, senior brand manager, smartwater. “As a disruptive wellness brand, smartwater is committed to providing innovative tools and solutions that support our consumers’ evolving paths to healthy body and mind.”
The smartwater team challenged Bear, a progressive artist with deep wellness credentials, to bring an approachable edge to the emerging genre of ambient soundscapes. This immersive, mostly instrumental music has flourished in the streaming era, with millions of audiophiles tuning in as a means to boost productivity, mood, energy and more.
Bear recruited four like-minded peers to add their creative thumbprints to his vision of wellness via music. Folk artist Madeline Kenney’s ethereal vocals guide “Flow”, designed to fuel focus (with smartwater original); Washed Out’s signature “chillwave” sound features on “Balance” for mental grounding and clarity (smartwater antioxidant); R&B and electronica vibes fromDJ Nosaj Thing from on “Move” elevate the heart rate for breaking a sweat (smartwater alkaline); and Empress Of’s “Connect” provides a fitting backdrop for entertaining and socializing with friends (smartwater sparkling).
Sound technology provider Endel used stems from the Toro y Moi-produced tracks to create four companion soundscapes. Endel’s proprietary algorithm generates personalized sound experiences that take into account information such as location, heart rate, weather and time to create tailored frequencies. The endless soundscapes regenerate in real time as these factors change.
“As a disruptive wellness brand, smartwater is committed to providing innovative tools and solutions that support our consumers’ evolving paths to healthy body and mind.”
Toro y Moi released the smartbeats tracks as an EP on Spotify and Apple Music, and the soundscapes can be streamed via the Endel website and mobile app.
The smartbeats project started with an open-ended creative brief to explore the synergy between the physiological effects of sound, movement and hydration.
“We wanted to create music that would optimize or enhance certain need states in the same way smartwater did earlier this year with the launch of smartwater alkaline and smartwater antioxidant,” said Jennifer DelVecchio, Senior Manager, Entertainment Marketing,Coca‑Cola North America. “We knew music would be the means to an end, but we didn’t know what the ‘end’ would be. By trusting Chaz with full creative control over the project, we were able to deliver something truly authentic.”
In addition to Bear and Endel, smartwater collaborated with a pair of fitness and mindfulness gurus – Joe Holder (wellness creative director for smartwater and founder of the Ocho System) and Jesse Israel (founder of the mass meditation movement The Big Quiet) – on the smartbeats initiative. Both are advocates of the horizontal integration of a range of wellness practices and tools – from clean eating, to yoga, to sound baths.
Israel will integrate the “Balance” track into The Big Quiet tour, which will bring mass meditation events to 10 U.S. cities in October. “I really value the approach smartwater is taking not only to introduce new products that support different need states and opportunities for personal wellbeing, but also to constantly innovate through projects like smartbeats,” said the former music industry entrepreneur.“When I first heard about it, I was immediately onboard because it’s an intersection of things I love and truly believe in – music, popular culture, technology and wellness.”
The smartbeats tracks are meant to complement – not replace – fans’ musical libraries with music rotation and provide an unintimidating entree to soundscapes. “This is the busiest, most anxious and most burdened generation ever,” DelVecchio said. “They understand the importance of wellness, but financial and time barriers make integrating wellness into their daily lives easier said than done. With smartbeats by smartwater, we’re making wellness accessible through the universal medium of music.”
Holder agrees. “Everyone has their favorite workout playlists, but there is an opportunity in what I call the ‘bookends’ of a workout to use soundscapes like ‘Move’ to get grounded and in tune with yourself as you warm up, and then again as you cool down and activate a calmer state in your nervous system,” the Nike Master Trainer said. “Because the cool down is a warmup for the rest of your day. Being able to shift between your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems quickly and efficiently supports your total wellbeing by improving everything from digestion to mental clarity to sleep.”