Why the Hottest Music Movement Right Now Is Being Spearheaded By Anonymous Producers

by Abby Schreiber
Deejay Deer album art for "Natur." (Photo via Numbers)

Like a page from the Brothers Grimm, Deejay Deer's bio reads that the producer "was born and raised in the Bavarian wilderness and is to our knowledge the first forest dwelling animal to use the prefix 'Deejay.'" Deer emerged in September, part of a wavelet of anonymous producers who grow their fanbase -- and mystique -- by pumping out genre-bending dance tracks and cryptic imagery in lieu of press photos. Deer's labelmate SOPHIE (both are on the Glaswegian imprint Numbers) hit No. 2 on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart back in July with his serotonin-surging track "Lemonade"; GFOTY (Girlfriend of the Year) and the Lipgloss Twins are on PC Music, an upstart London label whose roster is spearheading a new sound influenced by the cutesy Japanese subculture kawaii. The light, fizzy output of these producers serves as an antidote to the bass-heavy style dominating popular electronic music, and their low profiles stand in sharp contrast to EDM's godlike superstars, whose personas can overshadow their work. As SOPHIE puts it, "Biographical details are quite boring. I'm more interested in music being about ideas rather than idols."

SOPHIE imagery. (Photo by Masha Mel)

The producer, who's occasionally been seen DJing but has also confirmed that he's used drag queens and other confederates as stand-ins during his sets, distinguishes his, Deejay Deer's, and the PC Music crew's anonymity from that of their predecessors like Daft Punk or the Gorillaz who teased their audiences with metallic helmets or animated avatars. SOPHIE has no interest in elaborate disguises. "Wearing masks presumes that people are interested in what your face looks like," he says. "I suppose what I am saying is nobody cares what you look like. They care about what you create." He continues, "It's like fashion really -- you like the shoes. The brand communicates itself through advertisements. You don't need to see a picture of the person who made them. You just buy them."

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