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thelaughingman's avatar

What are some good ways for an artist to release music anonymously, and gain a viral following?

Asked by thelaughingman (11points) July 28th, 2009

There’s always been something intriguing to me about artists, writers, musicians, etc that choose to release their creative works anonymously, whatever their reasons for doing so. However, since one would be restricted from using traditional self-marketing techniques, what do you think are some innovative ways a musician or writer in this web 2.0 world could release their works anonymously, yet still gain attention and a following of hardcore fans? In this hyper-connected world of sharing personal information, the notion of one gaining prominence by secrecy is paradoxical, but not necessarily impossible, in my opinion. Personally, I’d think the key to carrying out such a promotional campaign would be to utilize quirky, mysterious channels and publicity stunts. What do you think?

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5 Answers

Chongalicious's avatar

Well, as far as I’ve seen; people are able to upload content to Limewire anonymously. I’m not sure it’ll have that rapid response you may be lookin for, but it’ll put the word out. For example: there is a song out there called Super Mario Rap. No one knows who the original artist/artists were, yet it is incredibly popular on the underground, and now YouTube. For some reason, the artist name always seems to come up as Mike Jones, when it is clearly not his voice on the track.
Another method is to leave unmarked CD’s in heavily visited areas…someone is bound to pick it up!

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Music is a little trickier than written and visual art.

I was in a band who did this sort of thing though for a while. We used to go to carnivals, sneak into the sound booths where they controlled the speakers for the entire event, upload a song or two with a spoken message before the played, never mentioned any names, what the songs were called, or who we were. Did it in St Petersburg, it was a fun time, you’d be walking down the street and you’d over hear two kids talking about that random broadcast at the coffee shop they were at yesterday.

Inofaith's avatar

Gorillaz is a good example, yes eventually the word came out who the actual makers of the music where.. but it was all a carefully choreographed publicity-wise.

In the beginning it was just out there and the buzz was created, noboy really knew what or who did it. But there it was. And it sounded good too. And looked new.

Later rumors came, and I think this all has to do with keeping peoples attention.. just like in a good movie where you think you know the answer to something [who killed etc.] But not that sure so you hang on to the film to find out in the end.

Gorillaz gave you some of their identity, but they gave you only the alias identity you could access. You knew who they where.. those 2D animated artists… but you didn’t know who they really where.. that question must’ve been stuck in everybody’s mind for a long while.

“oh wow, a new gorillaz song came out!”
“and is there any news on the identity??”

So I’d say give people half, and make it an un-scratchable itch in the back of their minds not konowing who it was that was responsible for the great experience they got.

The content still needs to be good.
... if you walk down the street and some stranger passes by and puts a 100 dollar bill in you hand.. you’d chase after them and want to know who it was that gave you this.

wundayatta's avatar

Sometimes I wonder if fluther could be used this way. I would fluther whether or not I ever got recompense for it, but I have been collecting the stuff I’ve been writing here with a kind of idea of trying to pull it together for a book. However, I’d have to publish it anonymously, because there are too many shameful details about my life that I’ve written about.

On the other hand, that might not be so bad, since if it were published under my handle here, I’d already have some people who had heard of me. They would probably be more likely to buy the book than people who hadn’t heard of me. A couple of people have even told me they would buy it, although I have a hard time imagining who would be interested in a whole book of my thinking. A paragraph here or there—sure, but a whole book? Hell. I wouldn’t read it!

Inofaith's avatar

I’m reading a book on music and it includes a part about the management, promotion etc

One chapter in particular is about direct marketing: it basically states that bands who have a direct connection with the fans can build a very steady growing fan base. Because people accept more if they hear from a friend instead of a commercial or some spam message.
“Hey have you seen that new gorillaz clip? its cool. who are these guys anyway?”
Your (teen) friends dig, and so you look it up as well, subscribe to a website or something similar… and the band sends you all kinds of details… free songs etc.

Then you tell your other friends about it etc.

So maybe spreading a rumour anonymously amongst some friends could get the fire spreading…

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