Social mania; everything for a like
by Irma de Jong
How far do we allow social media to determine our lives, or, even taking over? In this article, we dive into the world of the likes, the ones that make a living out of Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and we research which classical music artists walk forefront.
It’s not about what you like, but who likes you
Recently, I read about the Rue Crémieux in Paris. Now, please do the inhabitants a favour and don’t run off to visit that area. The houses in the narrow Rue Crémieux, near the Place de la Bastille, got a good makeover about twenty years ago and the homeowners gave their homes a pastel touch. In the years that followed, the street grew into a popular ‘photo opportunity’. Not only ‘ordinary’ tourists, but also bloggers and other influencers come to the street, to make selfies which they share on social media.
According to one of the house owners, Instagramming tourists often behave luridly. “They do not care about our privacy. They do everything for their likes ”
Other modern phenomena are parents social medializing their kids. The American top models Ava and Leah are barely eight years old, but with their 1.1 million followers on Instagram, the twins give much older colleagues a hard time. The two are already called the most beautiful girls in the world. The identical twins were only seven years old when their mother created an Instagram page under the name Clementstwins. “In six months my girls already had 150,000 followers,” she proudly recalls. (source Ad.nl)
What about social mania and classical musicians?
Ever heard about ThatViolaKid? I had not, to be honest. His real name is Drewe Alexander Forde, he studied at Juilliard and Mercer University, has 120K followers on Instagram, 30K on YouTube, and “only” 5.5K on FB. He calls himself an “acclaimed expert in classical music’s social media and brand building” and social media content creator. Let’s have a look.
Another Instagram hit is Esther Abrami, violinist and model according to her FB musician page with 50k followers; 176K followers on Instagram, and 45k on YT. “Described as a ‘rising star’ by Strings Magazine and as a ‘glamorous and influential star’ by Pianist Magazine, French violinist Esther Abrami has performed in world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall in New-York, the Wiener Konzerthaus and Leeds Town Hall.” (source her FB musician page).
Social Media Stars
A big hit on social media is Twoset Violin, founded in 2014 by Australian duo Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, and the absolute top 1 social mania winners! With 987K followers on FB, 268.7K on Instagram, and 988.8K subscribers on YT, they dominate all others, including many of the famous names within the classical music scene. Their total views on social media have gone over 300 million.
What about established musicians of different generations?
I compared the numbers with a couple of famous classical musicians, like Lang Lang; 498K FB – 239K Instagram and 56,9K YT or Daniel Barenboim 166k FB – 83,6K Instagram and 56,5K YT or Anne Sophie Mutter 185K FB – 25K Instagram, and I come to conclude that the digital era has taken over the popularity of great artists. It’s about authenticity on social media and where Twoset violin and TheViolaKid manage their accounts themselves, many famous musicians are taken care of by their management or record label, something that millennials will recognize right away.
Social Media Life and Live Performing
Then how does this relates to performing on stage? Some influencers only exist from social media existence. Others have an active performance life as well. At the end of 2016, the Twoset duo gave up their positions in the Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras to become social media stars. Their mission is “Making classical music relevant to the modern generation through fun, humour and simplicity.” (Source Twoset Violin website).
Watch here the promo they created for their first world tour that ends this month in the US. A Tour they crowdfunded themselves with nonstop playing and sleeping on the streets of Sydney until they hit their goal of $50,000—which they achieved in just 5 days! At the end of March 2019, they will have performed more than 28 concerts in Europe and the USA, all of them mostly sold out.
To conclude: if you like what you do, and others like it even more, you can become as famous as you want on social media and beyond. It is for sure a different generation that sets the tone!
Next time I talk to famous pianist Boris Berezovsky and his daughter Evelyn about the influence of social media on their career.
Stay social mania tuned!
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