If you were to crack open a music studio app right now and fire off an album, you may be apt to drop it on SoundCloud, YouTube or another music-friendly sharing service, but rapper Jaden Smith, son of A-list actor Will Smith, put his latest on Instagram. Specifically, he put up preview videos of five of the songs from the album on his Instagram profile, with the full album available only within the IGTV app. This means that you cannot download the album to listen to offline, you'll need an Instagram account in order to listen to it, and you can only listen to it on a mobile device or something that can use Android apps, like a Chromebook, or a Linux, Mac or Windows PC with the Android Emulator installed.
The album itself is an electronic, somewhat retro-influenced retread of some of the songs on last year's SYRE album. Appropriately, it's named SYRE: The Electric Album. The varied takes riff on a number of the songs featured in the older album, injecting them with the kind of unique personality and flair found in electronic music. There's a distinct retrowave and vaporwave vibe to most of the tracks, backed up by the pink-edged pictures that accompany each of the track previews on Instagram. It's quite clear that this album aims to be aesthetic, and it delivers in spades.
Celebrities from the music world cross-promoting their music on Instagram or simply using their accounts as any normal person might is definitely not a new concept in the slightest, but this may well be the first time that a major artist has used the platform as a place to release their music. It's made even more unusual by the fact that the album is exclusive to Instagram TV for now, with no word on exactly when or even if it will see a wider release. It stands to reason that it will eventually end up hitting more conventional music distribution channels, given his relationship with Columbia Records and ROC Nation LLC, but that doesn't entirely constitute a guarantee of such. Many artists have released b-sides, spinoff albums or otherwise less mainstream music through unofficial channels before, though this can definitely be counted as a unique case.