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The Persona in Popular Music

With many Pop musicians, what you see is what you get. Their personal lives are kept at a safe distance from their work in a very profesional, cut-and-dry fashion. And then there are the others – Prince, MF Doom, Rammstein, Die Antwoord, (to name a few off the top of my head). These artists and artist groups built what might be termed their Pop Persona; that persona is an image, and that image plays into the music itself. The artist cannot be disregarded when listening to the music, yet these artists are often able to balance such a level of involvement with the imaginary celebrity they’ve constructed around themselves with easy-to-access points of entry for newcomers who just want to enjoy the music. In a way, this also occurred with Andy Warhol, but we might say he was playing off of something that already existed- which means it was around even before his time.

This topic would be very hard to talk about, but I can’t help but feel as though it’s gone unaddressed in mass cultural discussion. I’m also unsure if this kind of topic is fitting for Artifice, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway.

  • I believe what you are situating here is a pop star which say Justin Bieber or Britney Spears whose personal is out there for all to see and too exploit. Whereas, pop stars like Prince and David Bowie were/ are relatively private individuals; however, they created an alter persona for the public. And perhaps the article can speak about these differences from a musical point of view and how it affects or doesn't affect the musician. – Venus Echos 5 years ago
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  • For other possible examples, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj have done multiple personas as well. – Emily Deibler 5 years ago
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  • I think I understand what you are trying to approach here, but I believe there is some unclarity in what the actual topic should be. Are you aiming to propose an exploration of music icons, versus those who are newcomers? – Arazoo Ferozan 5 years ago
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  • Tangentially, you could also explore how the personas of musicians in their music are inextricably projected into their personal lives? – stefancharles 4 years ago
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