Mariah Carey at LA Pride in the Park
Artist One Creative Director Rohit Kapoor explains how that viral Grindr moment came to be.
PRG partnered with Artist One Creative Director Rohit Kapoor, Creative Director Debbie Allen and Lighting Designer Terry Cook from Woodroffe Bassett to support lighting and scenic elements for Mariah Carey’s performance at ‘LA Pride in the Park’ earlier this month. The festival took place at Los Angeles State Historic Park and is one of the largest Pride celebrations in the U.S.
According to Rohit, Mariah wanted to create a special show for the LGBTQIA+ community, chock full of rare club remixes, camp, and fun easter eggs, as well as somber moments of reflection on the historical impact of Pride. Mariah created the perfect setlist and her team worked out the details, resulting in a carefully curated performance.
One standout moment was the inclusion of Grindr-themed content as the drop to the song "Obsessed." The idea came to Rohit just days before the performance. “On gay dating apps, guys tend to hit on you incessantly. If you don't respond, they just keep on hitting you up over and over again. It’s really annoying,” he laughed. “So, at the end of ‘Honey,’ I wanted to stop the whole show, and start with the notification sound that this crowd would immediately recognize, accompanied by the familiar visual of someone messaging you non-stop.”
When he pitched the idea to Mariah, she beat him to the punch. Rohit started explaining, “So I want the response to the desperate messages to be..” and Mariah immediately jumped in with “WHY YOU SO OBSESSED WITH ME!” She loved it and asked him to incorporate the concept into the show.
The vision required rendering the content, inserting audio and creating lighting cues, utilizing the entire creative team to transform the content on the day of the performance. It came down to the wire, but PRG did their part to execute the idea, creating a viral and authentic moment that resonated with the audience. If you logged into TikTok that day, you couldn’t miss it.
Showcasing the dual intentions of the singer’s vision for the performance, Rohit also included a montage of Pride March and Protest Images, for which he worked closely with Elle Moxley, Founder of The Marsha P. Johnson Institute. The moment in the show was a special tribute to the black transgender community, and a reminder of the important work still left to do in areas of activism, safety and equality for all.
The performance exemplified the collaborative and inclusive approach of Mariah Carey and Director Debbie Allen, highlighting the importance of giving trust and authority to diverse professionals in the industry. The Pride performance was incredibly well-received and widely shared, making a significant impact, and further affirming Mariah Carey's connection with her LGBTQIA+ fanbase.