When Music Worlds Collide is the debut studio album from Jonathan Hay, Mike Smith and King Tech that features some of the biggest names in the hip-hop genre. When Music Worlds Collide went viral and trended on mainstream media such as Fox News, Billboard, Business Insider as the streaming album was released as a 'Spotify -vs- TIDAL challenge'.
Jonathan Hay has been described as a "public relations maven" and is best known for his controversial work on Rihanna's single "Pon de Replay". Mike Smith is a Billboard charting artist and was a celebrity judge on BET's TV show One Shot with Sway Calloway, T.I. and DJ Khaled. King Tech is known for being a co-host on The Wake Up Show on Sirius XM Shade 45 and for helping launch the career of Eminem. Released in May 2015, one of the focuses of the album release has been the "Tidal vs. Spotify challenge". DJ Envy reported that Hay said, "This album for us is about Spotify vs. Tidal, a streaming battle only. We did this release completely grassroots and independent."
"We reached out to both Spotify and Tidal to participate in this challenge. We weren't expecting either to contact us back," Jonathan Hay told Billboard. "So I was surprised when Roc Nation contacted me about the criteria for our challenge. I explained our concept, and asked them to listen to our album. We got great feedback from them about the album, and then they featured it on their [Tidal] homepage under New Releases -- which is staggering. Jay Z has put it out there that Tidal is about helping independent artists. We can say firsthand that's true."
Mike Smith was quoted as saying to Billboard, "Tidal makes an extra effort to promote new and independent artists. They definitely have a leg up on this over Spotify. Jay Z said this would be a priority, and based on our experience, it is. "Smith also agreed the sound quality in the pricier version of Tidal was superior to Spotify. "I compared [Tidal] to my computer file of one of our songs and the quality was insane. Streaming through Tidal sonically has really come of age."
Boy Genius Report stated "Tidal went the extra mile to help the duo promote their album and gain exposure. Obviously, that experience had a big impact on Hay and Smith — rightly so — and it influenced their decision in this challenge. "When Music Worlds Collide was selected as being part of Tidal Rising. Tidal Rising is a program dedicated to artists from around the globe who have passionate fan bases and are ready to broaden that base to a wider audience. Tidal Rising was designed to help accelerate the exposure and give voice to tomorrow's biggest names.
Hay was quoted in International Business Times as saying “For our album to go from TuneCore to the homepage of Tidal, and to be heard by Roc Nation...that shows their level of commitment to the artist. What sets Tidal apart from others is that it is run by artists and musicians,” he said. All in all, Hay found that “Spotify can’t touch [Tidal] – nobody can. It’s truly brilliant."
According to Tidal execs, streaming of When Music Worlds Collide took off after being featured on the service's home page. They included the project in both the “What’s New” and “Tidal Rising” sections of the site, drawing in curious users looking for something different to listen to. Tidal says they “saw a tremendous upstick in streams” after they began pushing Hay and Smith's album. Ten days after being featured there was an 11,564.8 percent increase in streams of When Music Worlds Collide. “It’s a testament to what a partnership between quality music and Tidal can accomplish,” said a company representative.
When Music Worlds Collide has a "Deluxe" and Special Edition" release as well. Jonathan Hay, Mike Smith and King Tech's collaborators on the project include:
Twista, Royce da 5'9", Cyhi The Prynce, Inspectah Deck (from Wu-Tang Clan), Crooked I (from Slaughterhouse), Skyzoo, DJ Revolution, Dizzy Wright, Iliana Eve, Caskey, Nappy Roots, N'cho, Wordsworth, Kool G Rap, Russ Smith (NBA), Horseshoe Gang, Chris Webby, Audio Stepchild (Death Row Records), Sadat X (from Brand Nubian), Sylvia Massy (TOOL), DJ Whoo Kid, Jerome Brailey (from Parliament Funkadelic), Mitch Littlez, Benny Reid (Concord Records), Marsha Moyo, John "JR" Robinson, Nino Bless, Heebz Street (Doggy Style Records) Pink Grenade, Troy Ave, Truth Ali, Bernie Grundman and Madchild.