But this time, it doesn’t feel so fulfilling.
Last month, Proximity, a popular EDM YouTube channel, posted an anonymous track titled “Slowly.” The track gained mounds of support from artists like Oliver Heldens and Pete Tong. Reddit users and music blogs alike speculated that the track belonged to ZHU due to its anonymous nature (even though we know who you are already, Zhu). So, basically, everybody lost their shit because this dance-worthy track was so ~mysterious~.
Turns out, the track belongs to Dropout, a trio of friends (Ethan, Ray, and Selden) from Santa Barbara and Big Beat Records’ newest signees. “We want our music to help listeners not only dance their faces off, but also find a sort of meaning or release in that dance, beyond just the fun of jamming out,” Dropout explains. “So that’s why we decided to initially release the track as an ID, because we wanted people to have an opportunity to experience the song independent of us, and just to feel the music as a piece of art that isn’t necessarily tied to anybody but the listener.”
I LOVE the track — it’s fresh, groovy, and will 110% be one of my summer jams. The combination of pitch-shifting vocals and bouncy beat makes for a perfect festival hit. It’s one of those rare songs that can be light, fun, and airy, but heavy and meaty all at once (thanks to the dub step undertones). But as for the mysterious marketing technique behind the track release: over it. Don’t get me wrong — I still obsess over the novelty of Zhu’s initial anonymous marketing concept. Jake Udell (of Th3rd Brain) and his team were the creators behind Zhu’s mystique marketing concept.
There was just something so inexplicably cool about seeing that low-key Zhu logo and being unable to see him clearly as he hid behind a mesh screen while playing. Similar to the well-known street artist Banksy, there’s just some grandeur about not knowing who is actually behind a work of art that you love — it could be anyone. In Dropout’s case, though, it seems a bit stale and overdone. I mean, the trio probably had good intentions and really wanted people to initially connect solely with the song rather than the three of them, but after only a month of anonymity, they reveal themselves! I’m being so unnecessarily hard on Dropout, but there’s just something about it all that doesn’t seem genuine, and instead, seems manufactured and maybe a little desperate.
Regardless, “Slowly” is still one of my favorite songs at the moment