A Dirrty Viral Doing the Rounds

Catching my attention this week has been one of those annoyingly clever viral campaigns. Three videos posted on YouTube over the last month, by a curious creature going by the name of ‘Iamamiwhoami’ have had a staggering 366, 797 views, so at least  I’m not the only one who has noticed.

For me, not normally one to be intrigued by stuff like this, there are a few reasons why this has caught my eye. First up, I genuinely do like what’s going on in these clips – the images: a mud-caked skinny blonde licking trees, a haunting singing whale mouth, sexual sap, and a live birth; the sounds: minimalistic electronic bleeps, dirty bass lines, and futuristic obscured vocals; and the production:  professional, slick and  captivating. Secondly, the guessing game as to which artist it is has seemingly sparked global interest and lively debate.

There’s also a sneaky combination of coded titles (which are sending people into a decoding frenzy) and the strategic, staggered posting of the clips.  Very clever Mr Marketing Man, bravo!

The most guessed artist is Christina Aguilera, and I hope to God that this is correct. I really want Christina, the little pop princess of yesteryear to return with her new album and become a bona fide ‘credible’ artist. These clips seem to ooze style, substance and a darker, more mature sound than I ever would’ve thought Christina was capable of. It’s like when you see a monkey smoking a cigarette, it just shouldn’thappen and so when it does, you are then utterly compelled to watch. Aguilera simply shouldn’t be doing this. But there are many hints out there to suggest she is. She’s collaborated with Sia, Le Tigre, Goldfrapp and Ladytron for her new album and has said in a recent interview “My new [album] is just about the future – my son in my life, motivating me to want to play and have fun …Things that maybe I’ve been afraid to do in the past, to allow myself to go to a place of ‘less singing’. I’m more vulnerable and stronger at the same time.”

Other ‘could it be’ artists doing the rounds include Nine Inch Nails, also planning a 2010 new release, Lady Gaga ‘cos she’s just like weird and that ( ditto The Knife and Bjork), Goldfrapp due to all the owl imagery and the fact Alison Goldfrapp’s album is also due for release soon. Even those pesky little hippy dudes MGMT have been included in the guessing game.

You know what though, this could turn out to be one of the best ever ad campaigns for say, a treatment for fungal infections of the feet, or a weekend away at Centre Parcs, and if it does, then wont the whole of the blogosphere feel rather silly indeed?

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What’s in a name?

Having just featured a little piece on X factor, I thought I share some, um… thoughts

So I’m not a fan of X factor in the grand scheme of things but I’ll admit I do indulge in the audition phase for the sole purpose of observing the psychological behaviour of the competition hopefuls, and for the opportunity to see the overly confident yet completely delusional have their dreams come crashing back down to Earth, a little sinister I know, but it makes for great television.

Beyond this, I do also enjoy trying to pick the winner in the early stages of the game based on the group or individuals presence and personality, and to be fair, of all the seasons gone by, these have been easy choices straight of the bat, as a bit of clever video editing and focus on individuals tends to subconsciously influence us all.

Now considering X Factor, of all the winners to date there’s an obvious recurring theme, Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry, of which only 1 has managed a successful career (the jury’s still out on the last 2). For the most part, this could be attributed to the lack of nurturing beyond the show buck stop, but I believe there’s more to it than that…

Whatever happened to good old fashioned stage names for solo performers?… nothing, anyone smart enough is still using them, Lady Gaga… Stefani Germanotta couldn’t break into the industry until she invented a superficial character, one that I’m still convinced she’ll kill-off to reveal herself as the performer she’s always wanted to be. Or how about Rihanna… as talented as she is, I doubt she’d have had the success she’s enjoyed if she was performing as Robyn Fenty, there’s power and influence in a name, I know this, you know this, the industry knows this, and even Homer Simpson knew this when he changed his name to Max Power, so why, year after year do they churn out the same formulaic photo shoot (you know, the one in the tunnel with the extraction fan in the background) and with the name/surname format? It’s almost as if it’s only about the viewers recognising the X Factor brand… but then I guess maybe the contestants are to blame for not bringing any originality to the show, perhaps they need to start bringing a name rather than just playing desperate putty for the moulding.

Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, and Joe McElderry, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga are all available to download from the Nokia Music Store and are completely free to ‘Comes With Music’ subscribers.

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