When will Kanye West’s new album ‘Donda’ come out? Good question: it remains imminent. However, today we learned that when it DOES come out, it will ship alongside some hardware.
Go to West’s official website and you’ll see the ‘Donda Stem Player’, a $200 / £200 device that will be released alongside the album – initially in the US and UK.
What does it do? “Customise any song,” is the pitch. The circular device will be able to split any song into stems, isolate the parts, add effects, and control the vocals, drums, bass and samples.
Judging by the FAQ on the website, owners will load music onto their device using the Stemplayer.com website. It’s not entirely clear whether it will ship with stems for ‘Donda’ itself, although that seems to be the implication.
There is already a link here. Kano’s CEO, Alex Klein, wrote some lyrics for the track ‘Water’ on West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ album. Klein tweeted a link to West’s site today as the player was launched:
— Alex Klein (@alexnklein) August 25, 2021
Count us fascinated. We’ll be keen to see what people make of (and, indeed, with) the Donda Stem Player, as it gets into their hands in the coming… well, days or weeks, depending on the album’s release date.
There is also some backstory to this too. West was reportedly working with another tech firm, Teenage Engineering, on a ‘Yeezy Stem Player’ earlier this year.
Here are the features of the device, as listed on West’s website:
Control vocals, drums, bass, and samples
Split any song into stems
4 channel lossless audio mixing
Real time loop and speed control
Save, playback, and share mixes
Content and software updates from your browser
Soft silicone blended skin
4 touch sensitive light sliders
3.5mm audio jack
USB-C power and data
Anti-static, oleophobic coating
Simultaneous Bluetooth and audio jack playback
Supports: .AIFF .AIF .FLAC .M4A .MP3 .WAV .WAVE .AAC .ALAC .MP4
In the box
1 x Stem Player
1 x Carry Case
1 x USB-C Cable