Charlie Puth on the Metaverse and TikTok: 'I Always Want to Be Ahead of the Curve'

Charlie Puth sits down with PEOPLE to discuss his upcoming concert in the metaverse's iHeartLand, his third studio album CHARLIE and how technology has helped his career. 

Charlie Puth is hitting the metaverse! The Billboard Music and Critic's Choice Award winner, 30, is partnering with iHeartRadio and State Farm to put on a concert for his fans at iHeartLand's State Farm Park, a state-of-the-art entertainment space for music and gaming in the metaverse.

"I'm really looking forward to interacting with my current fans and getting a whole slew of new fans that I might have not been able to reach in the past," Puth tells PEOPLE.

iHeartLand’s State Farm Park
iHeartLand. Courtesy iHeart

This is not the first time Puth has turned to the internet for his fan base. Amid COVID-19, the singer joined TikTok and quickly became known for sharing his music production process with his fans and allowing them to help build his songs.

"I usually wrote music after I got off stage after feeling the energy of tens of thousands of fans, but I wasn't able to receive that energy for obvious reasons… we weren't touring," Puth says while discussing the pandemic. Hoping to find inspiration elsewhere, Puth joined TikTok.

When talking about the creation of his hit song "Light Switch," which currently has over 300,000 streams on Spotify, Puth explains, "I turned to TikTok to kind of just test the waters and gauge people's interest in a playful song like that and see if they wanted to hear the finished product, and it was a resounding yes." He continued, "I'm very happy to say that a song born on the internet is now a song that I will play for the rest of my life. I love it."

Following Puth's performance in iHeartLand on Sept. 9, there will be an album release party in celebration of his new album CHARLIE coming out on Oct. 7. At the album release party, which will also happen in the metaverse, Puth will perform new music for the first time and answer some questions. For Puth, celebrating his new album online feels very fitting.

"I really feel like this album CHARLIE, my third studio album, was my most personal work yet. It's an album that was born out of the internet, my love of the internet. I was almost going to consider naming it something along the lines of that but it just felt right to name it myself because I am the person who is most interested in the internet and will always be with everything that comes after it."

Charlie Puth
Charlie Puth. Courtesy of Atlantic Records

Puth describes this album as a familiar yet different sound: "I made 12 songs, and I did that by taking two polar opposites, two dichotomies and smashing them together. And then out would come familiar, yet different-sounding songs like "Light Switch."

These dichotomies can also be seen in Puth's latest song "Left and Right," featuring Jung Kook of BTS.

"They're very rudimentary, like elementary chords. It's nothing super complicated," Puth says about the sound behind his new hit song. "But then under it in the chorus are really dense, lush chord changes that are in the forefront of the mix. It's basically delicate against really rough and I love that dichotomy and smashing that together. And being almost theatrical with the lyrics having them pan from the immediate left to the right."

Along with the music behind the lyrics, Puth says he owes a lot of the success of "Left and Right" to Kook. "[He] added a completely different flavor and excitement, and I think that is one of the reasons why the song is so popular right now."

While his performance in iHeartLand is yet another innovative achievement in his career, Puth is not ready to stop there. "I always want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to all things technological like the metaverse or anything that comes through after that."

Puth is looking forward to his future in music. Whether it be working with or writing music for other artists, Puth is excited about it all: " I just want to be doing this for the rest of my life because I really truly love how music affects people in a positive way."

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