Masked musicians: the rise of anonymous producers: Editorial
It’s no secret that wearing a mask and hiding your true identity creates a certain mysterious aura. For centuries, people have used masks for their expressive powers and as a way to push the performative element even further in different cultures, but it becomes even more interesting when masked identities and electronic music collide. We’ve seen the rise in popularity of producers who prefer to brand themselves as completely anonymous, hiding their faces completely, over the last decade and now we’re doing a deep dive into the intriguing world surrounding masked musicians.
The idea of musicians using masks doesn’t just stem from the electronic industry though, although that’s our main focus. Take the metal band Slipknot, for example. They’ve been using masks in their act since 1995 as an extension of their heavy sound. Helping to brand themselves successfully, the masks helped them stand out in a more than unique way and easily branded their image. Turning heads, their masks are as much of an important part of their music as the actual music itself, and they proved that you don’t have to show your face in your performances to be extremely successful and capture audiences’ attentions.
Moving back to the electronic side, using masks in performances and as a main part of a producer’s image has always been a subject that has been met with plenty of debate. On one side, you have those that absolutely love the look of it and the mystery surrounding it, then you have those that think it is a complete gimmick that takes away from the importance of the music. Both opinions are valid, but there’s no doubt that the hidden producers are here to stay and have cemented their place in electronic music history.
There are definitely a few popular names that will appear in your mind instantly when talking about this topic such as the legends Daft Punk, but no doubt one of the other names is Marshmello. He is an example of someone who has branded his entire image around the mask, from his name to his whole persona and how he presents himself within the media.
Image Credits: Claptone Press / Boris Brejcha Press / deadmau5 Studio / Marshmello via Rukes.com