Nokia + NYC + Nicki Minaj + Me!

Nicki Minaj for Nokia

Just last week I was hanging out in New York City (my old stomping ground) thanks to the good folks from Nokia who flew me in from Los Angeles (and put me up in the heart of the city) to attend a massive launch party for their new highly-anticipated SmartPhone, the Lumia 900! An unexpected trip back east turned out to be an amazing opportunity to partake in the top-secret festivities which ended up including Nicki Minaj taking over Times Square on Friday night in addition to a swanky VIP party complete with super tasty custom cocktails and delicious gourmet appetizers. I also got to see a bunch of friends and my family plus I was able to attend two Broadway shows (that warrants a separate post since I live for musical theater).

Nokia NYC

Our group of eight (including my buddy Arjan from Arjan Writes and the oh so lovely Camille from Hard Candy Music along with a couple of esteemed tech bloggers) all got hooked up with a Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster coupled with a Lumia 900 (which was actually signed by Ms. Minaj!), the best part was the phone came with a working number (the area code is the apparently semi-hard to secure 917) courtesy of Nokia and their U.S. service provider AT&T, so as of late I’ve been walking around with two phones, I’m totally digging on the Lumia 900 (that has an awesome 8MP Carl Zeiss camera), it’s quite a refreshing break from my other phone (which I won’t name here but I’m sure you know what it is).

Nokia - Lumia 900

My host for the event was this adorable and young suave lad from London named David (who hadn’t been to NYC before, I know he loved it even though we were questioned by the cops for walking around with a big bottle of Jack Daniels, that’s a whole other story), not only did he keep things flowing without any major snafus or high drama, he was such a gracious and knowledgeable ambassador for the brand. David was the man, he had it all under control along with his just as cute partner in crime Ricardo.

The huge event in Times Square was totally epic, there was a mysterious big blue box placed right in the middle of the street with an enormous countdown clock, counting down the hours and minutes to Nicki’s performance. The area was totally packed with a bunch of people (literally from all over the world), some didn’t even know who was going to perform until the big reveal. Nicki looked and sounded great, she performed three songs and introduced a new remix of her hit Starships (off her new album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded which just debuted at number one on the charts) whipped up by the company and DJ Doorly. The remix was set to a truly stunning light display played on the sides of a nearby buildings, towering over all to see! Watch the video below, you’ll see just how crazy the whole thing was!

Nokia NYC

I’m so thankful for being picked to attend the event, I’ve been running PopBytes for almost nine years, so it feels great to still be picked out of a very crowded space. It was that extra bit of energy and inspiration that I desperately needed to keep my head in the game and keep this site running for another nine years! Cheers to Nokia for taking such excellent care of me, I seriously appreciate it more than they could ever know!

Nokia NYC

Nicki Minaj for Nokia

Nicki Minaj for Nokia

Photos | Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Nokia

Nokia brought Times Square to a standstill last night as thirty thousand people watched one of the biggest electronic take-overs of the iconic New York landmark for the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900. Using the latest CGI technology the team behind the massive Hollywood blockbuster, i-Robot, created one of the world’s largest LED displays.

Nokia took control of nine of the square’s famous electronic screens to ensure the crowd were immersed in light and music from every direction.

The light show was introduced by international superstar Nicki Minaj, who sang a medley of tracks from her new album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.

Dozens of the world’s leading visual artist worked for more than 5,000 hours, day and night for more than three weeks, to create the hundreds of jaw-dropping effects that were used on the large screens.

All of the electronic screens were controlled from a mobile server that was fed by eight miles of cable spread over four square blocks of the city.

Combining real dancers with 200ft high computer generated graphics, a building in the square was turned into a living, breathing entity. The building was made to appear as though it was filling with water and then “melting” in front of the crowd.

The ground-breaking visual event, to launch the Nokia Lumia 900 in North America, was choreographed to an exclusive Nokia Lumia remix of Nicki Minaj’s hit ‘Starships’, performed live by DJ and producer Doorly.

She performed on a stage that had been erected in the middle of the square in the early hours of Friday morning. A massive countdown clock displayed across the square drew the crowds who were anticipating a big event without knowing what exactly was going to happen.

The amazing spectacle came five months after Nokia wowed the world by turning a 360ft (120m) building into the backdrop for an exclusive 4D show on the banks of the River Thames. Sixteen projectors were used to make it seem like huge butterflies were flying across the London skyline and that the tower was spinning around – the first time this had been done outside of Las Vegas.

Video courtesy of HardCandyMusic

Nicki Minaj for Nokia


About MICHAEL KNUDSEN 5716 Articles
MK (Michael Knudsen) first started PopBytes back in September of 2003—while trying to make a website for his design portfolio, the site quickly turned into one of the premiere online destinations for all things pop culture! A native New Yorker, he currently resides in Los Angeles with his partner Ivan along with four dogs, four cats and two parrots. Follow him on Twitter @PopBytes.