Rebecca Mayes Connects With Fans By Singing About Video Games
from the definitely-beyond-haiku dept
Matthew Cruse writes to us about “another path to success on the internet that bypasses the middleman” — describing Rebecca Mayes singing her way to fame by writing songs inspired by video games and distributing them on a blog. Doing this has apparently gotten Mayes a spot on BBC Four for a new show called Gameswipe, as well as some other offers for her to continue her work in other venues.
Obviously, the story of talented people getting a big break isn’t exactly a new thing, but there are a few interesting points about this article. One is that there is a growing number of artists who are figuring out that there are more ways than ever to build up an audience. It sounds like Mayes had a bit of help from friends who are connected in the publishing world (at the least one Wired writer, Paul Govan). But that doesn’t negate the hard work of putting together “stuff that doesn’t suck” and bravely posting it on the internet for anyone to freely download. She also benefited from the quirky idea of creating songs that doubled as video game reviews and that could piggy-back on the popularity of a variety of game titles. So the second key point in Mayes’ success is her subtle blend of content and advertising. Folks are always complaining about intrusive pop-up ads and avoiding TV commercials, but if the content is done well AND promotes other products at the same time — Mayes’ story shows that fans can (and will) still appreciate the whole work. (Luckily Mayes is in the UK, so she doesn’t have to mess around with disclosing all her possible sponsorship relations.) Lastly, though we don’t really know how much Mayes is making via donations for her songs or for her appearances on a BBC TV show, the success story here is that she made it from obscurity to relative fame without relying on a music label or the promises of copyright royalties. We don’t know if Mayes will be a mega-superstar, but if “rockstar” is the bar for success, then there will be a lot more failures in the music industry. (And arguably, the era of rockstars may be ending, as the attention of audiences is splintered into ever more narrow niches.) The upshot of all this is that we’re seeing how high-quality creative content can be independently produced and distributed — and how an enviable on-going career in entertainment can be formed by connecting with fans.