In the digital age, it’s quite easy to find yourself talking to one of your favorite artists when you happen to be the one tweet amongst thousands that they choose to respond to on any given day. But are musicians, aside from the odd response, communicating properly using the tools available to them? It’s arguable that some aren’t as web-savvy as they could be, and even with a label’s marketing department helping them out, it’s not a bad skill to have.
Some artists are extremely active online, and you’ll often find that they have the biggest following. Kanye West is one such example. While extremely controversial and prone to many a PR snafu, he’s also one of the most connected artists on the internet, with hordes of followers and the ability to change someone’s life by following them – he followed no one, then one day chose a random user. The press swarmed the individual not long after Kanye told him he was “the chosen one.”
This is an interesting use of popularity and communication tools, but it’s also arguable that Kanye was simply giving back to one of the many people who followed him, and that he did – anyone finding themselves breaking off from a partypoker game to answer the door to photographers and journalists wanting to know why one of the most famous living musicians was following them, and just them. But could Kanye also potentially use that attention to solely follow a charity, or someone with a grave illness? Potentially, and it’s that power that requires a lot of communication skills.
Furthering the example, Kanye also used his social media profile on Twitter to apologies to Taylor Swift after his infamous interruption of her award acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, an apology which was public enough to show to his fans that he was a fallible human being – not a bad thing. Stars are turning to online tools more and more as a means of connecting with their fans and showcasing various things about them that may not come through or be present in their music. It’s a good time to get online if you’re followed by cheering crowds.
Written by Tiffany Monrone