'Just Type My Name in Google and See What Comes Up': Creating an Online Persona in the Urban Music Industry
10 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 24, 2015
Drawing on empirical evidence gathered from a five-year ethnographic research project undertaken in London and Cyprus, this paper explores and examines digital media use specifically as it relates to the urban music industry, with a particular focus on Grime music.
Grime music is a predominantly male, black Atlantic creative expression that has broken free of its east London origins to have a global socio-economic significance.
The traditional recorded music industry, based on a centralised model and heavily reliant on tight control of distribution, has evolved from a local and personal activity, shared with co-present others, to a space where immediate audiences can be established for artistic output without the need for an intermediary. It is within this context that Grime music artists create and market online personas in exchange for sales, recognition and feedback. Grime music came of age in the YouTube era, quickly adopting Web 2.0 technologies, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to enable the formation of new identities as recording artists and entrepreneurs.
This paper explores how, in this sector, accessible and affordable digital technologies have been utilised by urban music practitioners to construct public, performing identities with a local, national and international reach.
Keywords: grime music, digital technologies, identity, YouTube
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation