TWIN CITIES, Minn. – Creating an alias in the music industry has been popularized since the emergence of mainstream musicians Daft Punk and GWAR. Yet, in the current industry age, the internet and social media marketing has made it more difficult for an artist to hide their persona while marketing their music.
Musician Spoke has proclaimed himself an anti-artist through non-conforming to the music industry’s marketing cadence. He rarely posts social media content, does not advertise his 4- album catalog he’s been releasing since 2018, has rarely performed live, and has yet to show his face to listeners.
“I don’t know if that still works but that’s what I’m gonna do. Everyone feels like they need to be in the spotlight now, and I don’t like that. I never really liked that,” says Spoke. “So I’m thinking if I mark myself as an anti-artist, which technically shouldn’t work, but maybe I can do it.”
So where does that leave Spoke? The answer is within his sound, letting the world guess his persona while focusing on his multifaceted music that leans into instrumentals that sound underground, indie, ambient, and post-punk, between mid-90s to early 2000s alternative rock such as bands Pinback and Built to Spell. His latest album Rezent is a play on words and short for “resentment,” starting off with its fitted first single “Come My Way” a commentary on the state of the music industry and its reliance on social media.
“It’s about not being able to make it as an industry kid because I don’t have a social media following, which is all they really care about.”
The rest of the 6-song album goes by quickly. Each song, excluding closing track “Grit Quartz” is under 6 minutes. Spoke wanted to make long hits that keep listeners engaged, influenced by Blur’s hit “Song 2” for its range between loud and soft. Rezent has Spoke continuing his mystique as he aims to switch up his sound with various genres, while recording all parts of his music as a solo act and emphasizing on percussions in each of his songs.
“Each song has several different styles in it. And you know how on modern albums it’s all just the same song? It’s not like that, it’s all different stuff. It’s just everywhere,” explains Spoke. “My theory is, if nothing matches it all matches, so that’s kind of what’s going on with. Which makes it hard for the algorithm to push it out, ’cause there’s no categories.”
Spoke plans on making minimal live appearances with a custom DJ mask on in the future, but for now you’ll only be hearing from him through his yearly album releases.
“I never actually planned to finish [my debut album] or become a professional musician; it was more like a time waster to see if I could get it done and finish it. And I did finish it. So I’m thinking I could probably keep doing this until I get it right.”
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