Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
With the DJ community being so predominantly male, it can be hard for a newcomer to stand out and be remembered. Marshmello has the answer: a giant marshmallow head. Although it’s not entirely original (Deadmau5, Daft Punk and the Barndance Boys are clearly among his inspirations), combined with the name and logo, it’s a strong brand, and it’s doing the trick. His self-released debut album Joyride hit no.1 on the iTunes electronic album chart on the day of release, and his new single Alone has gained 10 million YouTube views in a month, already matching previous single Keep it Mello. The man behind the Mello is believed to be Chris Comstock, a close friend of Skrillex, and previously known as Dotcom. He began his career as Marshmello in 2015, with remixes for acts such as Calvin Harris, Zedd and Jack Ü, as well as a series of original tracks released to Soundcloud. We may not see many novelty records in the charts these days, but Chris is using the same tactics as acts like Mr Oizo and Gorillaz, who crossed the line between novelty and cool. And like those acts, the music perfectly matches the persona – so high-energy it verges on ridiculous, an exaggerated version of EDM/trap trends that could be mistaken for a joke. Perhaps even Mr Mello isn’t quite sure himself.