From a distance, it might seem like Beats By Dre and Third Man Records exist at opposite ends of the tech spectrum. The former, it appears, focuses on sonic innovation through digital technology while the latter is a creator of meticulously crafted analog devices. However, Third Man co-founder and spokesperson Ben Blackwell begs to differ as he calls from his desk at Third Man’s Nashville headquarters.
“I think points to keep in mind that these are both artist-run companies,” he notes. “They’re artists who are very, very strong, visionary men in their respective fields, whether it’s music or record labels. So to me it seemed like a very obvious connection… It seemed really appropriate.”
Thus, Record Store Day’s Black Friday celebration will mark the entrance of the Third Man Records Limited Edition Beats Solo3 Wireless, bringing together the two visionary companies for the first time. The collaboration came to be when Beats used the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” for a notably successful 2016 ad campaign, and got both parties talking about ways they could collaborate moving forward.
The decision to work together on headphones came relatively naturally, both Third Man and Beats expressing outward enthusiasm for the project and a desire to bring out the best in each other. “When you get to work with another company that is motivated as much as you are, if not more so, it makes you want to step up your game and really really bring it,” Blackwell explained.