DJ Marshmello: What's behind the mask of rock music at Rio's most mysterious attraction?

DJ Marshmello: What’s behind the mask of rock music at Rio’s most mysterious attraction?

The face of one of the biggest names in electronic music has huge X-shaped eyes, kind of a wicked smile and something of an internet meme. Just don’t expect to see the real DJ Marshmello’s face. Introduces himself On September 3, the same night as Post Malone and Alok.

The event’s most obscure allure has covered its face with a kind of bucket shaped like marshmallows since it started popping up at festivals in 2015. Websites specializing in the genre link its identity to that of American DJ Chris Comstock, better known as Dotcom, but that’s not all. . From a rumor that has not been confirmed.

The musician, who blew up with a remix of the song “Where are ü now” by Jack Ü and Justin Bieber, has given quite a few interviews and almost nothing is known about his origins. In an official bio, he struggles to explain why he decided to hide his face:

“I just want to make good music. That’s why you don’t need to know who I am.”

Marshmello appeared in the wake of other masked DJs, including Canadian Deadmau5 and French duo Daft Punk. They all follow a long line of artists who make mystery their biggest trade – there are names like Sia, Kiss, Slipknot, and Gorillaz. But what’s behind the mystery?

American band Kiss performs at Monsters of Rock 2015 – Photo: Flavio Moraes / G1

What the expert says

Most masked people cite privacy or “art over image” as motivation. But for Thiago Soares, professor and researcher of music and pop culture at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), it is impossible to single out a single element that explains the behavior of all these artists. Do some analysis.

“In the case of Kiss, for example, strong makeup hides up to their age. They age, but don’t suffer from the fallout from that. The mask also makes up for that little bit,” he says. “On Sia, I think there is really a poetic strategy. There is also a critique of the form of pop music, of the artist as an iconic and central figure.”

“Every artist builds a path in the media. The mask is a fun element in this novel, it’s an invitation to unveil.”

But what about marshmallow? “One explanation could be criticism of DJs overrated, for this pop star thing,” the researcher analyzes. “It seems to me that he also uses an aesthetic associated with digital culture, and emojis. The logic of the masked, anonymous person is also very present on the Internet, with items such as the ‘V for Vengeance’ mask, the anonymous fake post.”

Soares also remembers that the cult of masks is much older than any pop star. “It’s not a contemporary thing. The circus and the scenic dimension that flirts with the stage is part of the entertainment tradition,” he explains. “The actors used masks to represent feelings. This idea of ​​masking the face arose from increased visibility.”

The masked man’s point of view

Zangado is successful on the Internet with videos about games – Photo: Jamil Elvis / G1 AM

If masks are all over the internet, it’s clear that celebrities in this universe won’t miss the opportunity to create their own puzzles. Thiago “Zangado” is one of the most famous anonymous Brazilian YouTuber. He’s been hiding his face since he started his channel – now with 4 million followers.

“I live in a small town and am an engineer. I didn’t want fame to interfere with my life and work,” he justifies when g 1. “I also agree with Slipknot and Daft Punk, who want fans to focus on their music. In my case, the things I say and the example I set.”

Zangado says he believes “ideas are more important than image”, especially when talking to young people. Therefore, it is believed that the mask helps in sending the right messages. “Every artist should have a legacy. When I go to an event, I always try to show the importance of studies, family relationships and respect for differences… It’s my legacy.”

“Whether I have small eyes or big eyes, smooth hair or not, it doesn’t matter. This is my identity.”

For the UFPE researcher, it is necessary to be careful with the rhetoric of “I don’t want to be famous,” especially on the Internet, where the relationship between masks and real life is more murky. “In the case of YouTubers, it’s more like a personal marketing rhetoric, a desire to differentiate themselves from others,” he assesses. “The artist has a theater. For YouTube, theater is his life. We are entering a moment of this appearance in which the private has become famous. It is the tyranny of intimacy.”

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