Once used as a convenient method for interacting with your peers, social media is now redefining what it means to brand yourself as an artist, but it may come with consequences. Local Atlanta producer Gus Glasser believes that social media is essential, yet he himself has faced its potential destructive elements.
“It’s interesting meeting people who have a lot of followers and then seeing how they really are,” Glasser said. “Honestly, I just hope they are happy because living through an image wouldn’t really make me happy.”
A jazz pianist by day and an MC by night, Gus Glasser’s music has a whimsical silence to it while still remaining true to his Atlantan roots. After the release of Glasser’s breakout tape “The Gus Glasser Lofi Mix” earlier this year and the promise of more to come next year, he has been utilizing social media to amass nearly 80,000 views on the song “Heaven” from the album.
Glasser receives notable artist recognition through his signature afro and a few personal distribution methods, but social media remains pivotal in reaching an untapped market of listeners. Glasser is accustomed to reaching listeners through social media, but it is matched with a few qualms.
“I’m just trying to figure out how to use [social media] to where I’m happy. I don’t want to be the guy who just puts out a bunch of random posts with witty captions just to waste the viewer’s time,” Glasser said. “I wouldn’t post anything that I myself wouldn’t want to waste my time viewing.”
As a Georgia State student, Glasser has many resources at his disposal. Well beyond simply educating its students, Georgia State provides a healthy environment for artists looking for real world success.
“The atmosphere is amazing. I meet creative people everyday, very equal mix of GSU and Atlanta. I mean we also have a recording studio [at Georgia State], all these amazing teachers with industry experience, and the Creative Media [Industries] Institute. I have not used them to my full potential though,” Glasser said.
Learning distribution techniques in a classroom allows students to maximize their social media usage, but it may not just be fun and games. Glasser said that because social media raises anxiety and depression, especially on college campuses, he doesn’t want his fans dealing with these conditions as a byproduct of his marketing.
“I just want to find the right balance between using social media to distribute and using it too much,” said Glasser.
Artists, too, are not excluded from facing lashes to their mental health. Choosing to personify your social media account can leave you vulnerable, and social media users today are able to pincer attack an artist on any post. Unsurprisingly, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and many other artists have previously closed off their social media accounts temporarily to barricade themselves from insulting internet users.
“Sometimes I’ll post a lot of content for a week or two, but afterwards it just becomes too much,” said Glasser.
Being invisible on social media does not necessarily mean jeopardizing your fame, and many artists confirm this theory. Similar to West and Bieber, Adele has won 15 Grammys and spent a lifetime on Billboard lists while posting substantially less than the average high schooler. Glasser mentioned how he respects Adele’s method for achieving stardom.
“How do you [Adele] separate fame from music? She doesn’t even really tour, but she’s still Adele,” Glasser said.
Adele has backed out of many tours, yet she remains a music industry powerhouse. Even without pseudo-publicity stunts, Adele is able to achieve an image solely through her singing ability. Achieving fame without an image is definitely a feat in this day and age.
Emerging artists will go to lengths to build a reputation, and eye-catching publicity stunts are often the result. Stunts aside, artists can employ other methods of building an image substituting creativity for clickbait.
A result of “just growing it out for the hell of it to see what happens,” Glasser’s afro was a gift from above.
“It [Glasser’s afro] is the brand. I just wanted to grow my hair out, but I never thought this would come of it. Now people know me for my afro, and they’ll come up to me just to talk about it,” said Glasser.
Artists have always sought to build an image, whether it be through interviews, shout outs, features — and in some cases, an afro. Social media simply provides a new outlet for emerging artists to make a name with, and this somewhat new marketing strategy may one day become standard in practice.
You can check out “The Gus Glasser Lofi Mix” on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/0NuIt50UKaH8D4UPYBpQLl?si=HkKkGtUwS8aoN98JEZzNaQ
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