Social Media Myspace And Music
To most people, music is something that they listen to on the way to or from work on a train or bus. They mostly use Spotify, and they mostly listen to the biggest artists, with the largest fan bases. However, there may be only one, or two underdog artists who appear on your playlist. Maybe they are from your town, or state, or just someone who you connect with on a deeper level. It is these artists who reach out to you personally, not using publicists who write their latest Twitter posts. These artists are more intimate with their fans on social media.
Social media has been used by musicians for around 20 years now, particularly Myspace and now youtube. Myspace used to be a website where musicians would get in contact with their fans and network with other musicians. Myspace was also useful for fans as bands/artists would post their latest track to their profile page. Myspace has since gone into disuse, and webpages such as Bandcamp have taken over.
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (NIN) was a pioneer of using the internet to connect with his fans via his website NIN.com. In 2008, he posted a remix competition with the release of his album Ghosts i-iv. This competition connected Reznor to his fans in a way that he could get personal with them. (Wikstrom, P. (2013))
Even before this, musicians have been using the internet to connect with fans, in Bergen, Norway the DJs used a mix of myspace and Facebook to communicate with their followers. They used both platforms as Myspace allowed the musicians to upload their latest tracks and could personalize their page to suit their aesthetic, whether as Facebook is good for posting events and tour dates as they could see who was going to come. (Mijos, O. (2013))
This concept of being branded self online or ‘microcelebrity’ is taking the world by storm. Instagram and YouTubers are the main platforms being used by people to create highly curated versions of themselves and publishing them online for the world to see (Senft, T. (2013)). Such musicians using this strategy are Dodie and Todrick Hall. When using social media, musicians post about their tour dates and where to get tickets, as well as when their latest single or album comes out. Unlike other regular microcelebrities on youtube, and Instagram musicians encourage their fans to directly interact with them through their concerts and their music (Chen, C (2013)).
Music is something that everyone can relate to across cultures and across generations. Each generation over the past 100 years has had a new way of connecting with their favorite musicians; radio to records, television to MTV now the internet. Things haven’t changed so dramatically. We used to rely on journalists and their interviews, which were edited to give that particular newspaper or magazine a look at the stars and not what the stars thought themselves. So this direct contact with musicians online, allows fans to feel more connected than ever before and even encourages more and more people to get onboard with music (Jones, S (2000)).
The Internet is a great place to explore who you are and to be more open with yourself and what better way to get in touch with it all than music, the self-proclaimed window into the soul.