Like The Stay Puft Man Before Him, Marshmello Just Keeps Getting Bigger

Who is aware of what number of centuries the fortune below the jap slope of Mount Davidson went untapped earlier than the Grosh brothers occurred upon it. The Pennsylvanian preacher’s sons had turn out to be seasoned prospectors in the course of the gold rush years of the mid-19th century, and that have served them nicely in Nevada’s Virginia Range southeast of Reno, the place in 1857 they realized the blackish materials their friends have been discarding was a part of a big deposit of silver ore. Unfortunately, they by no means cashed in on their “monster ledge”; each brothers have been useless earlier than the top of the 12 months. First, a decide via the foot resulted in Hosea Grosh’s demise on account of an infection. Then, on the way in which to California to boost funds for excavating his declare, Ethan Grosh died on account of issues from extreme frostbite.

When Ethan departed for California, he left his bonanza below the care of an illiterate loudmouth from Ontario who’d earned the nickname “Old Pancake” as a result of he was too lazy to bake bread. Upon Ethan’s dying, Pancake –
whose Christian identify was Henry T. Comstock — claimed their land as his personal and started staking claims to different property within the area. He needed to work quick to maintain tempo with different miners who have been studying simply how a lot gold and silver was in them there hills.

Although a handful of prospectors staked claims within the space, the deposit grew to become referred to as the Comstock Lode, allegedly as a result of Comstock was “an assertive braggart.” In 1859 Comstock offered off his varied properties within the area for lower than $20,000 — a major sum, however far lower than the thousands and thousands they have been value. Comstock was uneducated and presumably suffered from psychological sickness, and the companies he began together with his income failed miserably. He additionally purchased himself a Mormon spouse(!), however she ran away. After just a few extra years of unsuccessful prospecting, Comstock shot himself useless in Montana in 1870.


I don’t know if Chris Comstock is said to Henry Comstock, however I do know he didn’t repeat Old Pancake’s errors. This man discovered himself sitting on a mom lode, too, however relatively than squandering it, he parlayed it into untold riches.

If you realize Chris Comstock in any respect, you realize him as Marshmello, a DJ/producer who performs sporting a big white masks that appears one thing just like the Stay Puft man as re-imagined by a mischievous cartoonist. It could be an understatement to say issues are going nicely for him. When Forbes launched its annual record of the world’s highest-paid DJs final summer season, he completed eighth with a whopping $21 million grossed throughout a 12-month span from June 2016 to June 2017, edging out extra established names like Zedd and Martin Garrix and much outpacing Deadmau5, his forebear within the artwork of donning cartoonish headwear whereas urgent play on cartoonish music. Not dangerous for an artist who launched his profession lower than three years in the past.

To make clear, Marshmello first launched music in 2015, however Comstock was posting songs on SoundCloud for at the least a 12 months prior. Under the identify Dotcom, he secured illustration from Moe Shalizi, supervisor for profitable EDM artists together with Jauz, Slushii, and Ookay, and collaborated with massive names like Borgore and Yultron. Despite these business cosigns, Dotcom’s profession wasn’t precisely popping, so he began sporting a large marshmallow masks and pulled off probably the most profitable metamorphosis since Tity Boi grew to become 2 Chainz. Except on this case he was not simply rebranding, he was adopting a secret identification.

Marshmello appeared like a genius satire at first. At a time when EDM had turn out to be a parody of itself, right here was a dude willfully pushing its most obnoxious facets to their extremes: the goofy misspelled DJ identify, the ridiculous helmet, the mindlessly simplistic high-fructose manufacturing. His remix of Jack Ü’s “Where Are U Now” robbed Diplo and Skrillex’s lithe manufacturing of its nuance, changing it with boilerplate sugar-rush trap-rave. His 2016 debut album Joytime ostensibly consists of 10 separate tracks, however experiencing it in actual time is like unspooling a Fruit Roll-Up that retains going for miles.

To quote one critic, “The music was aggressively dumb — corn-syrup synth lines atop same mid-tempo, almost-trap-music lurch the Chainsmokers took to the top of the charts, minus even a perfunctory stab at songwriting.” Adding to the unpleasantness have been his vocals, a pinched, snotty whine of emo and pop-punk classic. So not solely was he embodying the worst of Electric Daisy Carnival, he was crossbreeding it with the worst of Warped Tour. If this combination sounds as grotesquely unappealing as a Donald Trump presidential marketing campaign, nicely, you bear in mind how that turned out.

Alas, shamelessly hammering on the general public’s basest impulses works fairly nicely once you’ve acquired an attention-grabbing shtick. In Marshmello’s case, that meant turning into a residing cartoon character. Forget Donald Trump; assume Waldo from Black Mirror. “The brand is so recognizable that you just need to see Marshmello one time,” supervisor Shalizi advised Forbes final 12 months whereas touting Marshmello’s recognition amongst youngsters aged 6 to 11.

Anonymity was an enormous a part of the attract, too, skinny although the pretense of thriller might have been. Maybe it’s as a result of I’m exploring this topic retrospectively now that Marshmello is turning into a pop music powerhouse — extra on that momentarily — however everybody appeared to know all alongside Comstock was behind the masks as a result of nobody round him stored the key very nicely, Comstock included. Still, the secrecy was one other component to mess around with; in an impressive troll transfer, Marshmello eliminated his masks at 2016’s Electric Daisy Carnival solely to disclose international celebrity Tiësto (who, to be clear, is just not Marshmello).

This might need all began as a prank, however the actual joke is how wildly profitable Marshmello has turn out to be and the way significantly the music business has taken him. Admittedly, he had a variety of assist. From the start, high-profile DJs shared his tracks on SoundCloud and social media. Most distinguished amongst them was Skrillex, who additionally took a name from Comstock throughout an interview with Katie Couric and turned it right into a Marshmello promo op. There was additionally the aforementioned Tiësto stunt. Everyone in EDM appeared to be not simply in on it however gleefully perpetuating it — or at the least everybody apart from Deadmau5, the infamous crank from whom Marshmello lifted the helmet gimmick and who Comstock seemingly loves to impress.

By Coachella final spring, Marshmello had the EDM-centric Sahara Tent jam-packed — even reverse Kendrick Lamar’s triumphant post-DAMN. coronation, even at a time when EDM had ceded a lot of its pageant dominance to hip-hop. He was flourishing far past most of the artists he was ostensibly sending up, having leveraged his business connections, pandering music, and so-dumb-it’s-brilliant branding ploy into EDM superstardom. Old Pancake certainly would’ve authorized of such enterprising spirit.


Now comes the subsequent section of Marshmello’s world-domination marketing campaign. With EDM’s mainstream affect additional giving strategy to hip-hop and different strains of worldwide dance music, Comstock has moved on to the realm the place savvy survivors from his scene discover perpetual life: taming that neon untz-untz sound into lite-EDM pop music.

Yes, like Skrillex, Diplo, Zedd, and people aforementioned Chainsmokers — like every Vegas mainstay clever sufficient to worm their manner into the pop ecosystem — Marshmello has transitioned to creating pop hits. At a time when celebrity producers are more and more claiming artist credit, it’s a worthwhile enterprise to be in, to not point out the expanded model consciousness that comes with having your identify throughout top-40 radio. In this context, Marshmello’s getup isn’t any much less absurd, however his music is much much less objectionable. That’s largely as a result of in crossing over Comstock has revealed that the Marshmello sound was as a lot of a dressing up because the helmet.

Perhaps it’s simply an extension of the craven opportunism that yielded the Marshmello persona within the first place, however dude has confirmed greater than able to adapting to totally different sonic environments. On the Migos collab “Danger,” he delivered a convincing facsimile of cinematic Atlanta lure music. On “FRIENDS,” his model new tune with pop striver Anne-Marie (billed as your *OFFICIAL FRIENDZONE ANTHEM*), he efficiently evoked Y2K-era diva-pop strut, infusing it with acoustic guitar and walloping West Coast hip-hop bounce. Streaming hit “Silence” utilized EDM thrives to younger Frank Ocean disciple Khalid’s pan-genre soul music with an artfulness nowhere to be discovered on Marshmello’s solo work, undergirding the singer’s heat, weathered vocals with deftly managed synthesizer surge. “Spotlight,” the music Marshmello made with the late Lil Peep, is equally understated and melancholy in a manner Comstock by no means allowed Marshmello to be. (Even when moaning, “I’m so alone/ Nothing feels like home,” he gave the impression of he was joking.)

Comstock’s largest look up to now is “Wolves,” a music he produced for Selena Gomez late final 12 months and carried out together with her on the Billboard Music Awards. “Wolves,” which topped out at #20 on the Hot 100, is a masterclass within the genre-composite sound that guidelines pop radio as of late, a lab-engineered merger of many types you may encounter at a pageant. It begins with brooding high-register guitar riff then brings in Gomez’s sweetly easy pop vocals over an ominous minor-key burble. Eventually it intensifies towards a rock-inspired bridge and crests right into a wordless refrain constructed from muted EDM ripples and ghostly vocal manipulations. As a pop single circa now, it’s textbook — not trendy by any metric however most undoubtedly in type.

“Wolves” is a little bit of a sledgehammer in comparison with the hip, minimalist manufacturing type Gomez has favored lately; usually she whispers and coos her hooks, not shout them from the mountaintops. But that refrain bangs, man, and the entire affair is remarkably delicate by Marshmello’s requirements. Does it imply Comstock is growing extra refined style as he goes alongside? One take heed to his current Slushii collab “There x2″ will dispel any such notions. But it does make me marvel at Marshmello’s openly populist Midas contact — his capacity to show all the pieces he touches into, not gold precisely, however one thing extraordinarily profitable.


Justin Timberlake’s Man Of The Woods could also be a essential flop that has did not generate the type of zeitgeist-grabbing hits he’s used to, however it nonetheless loved a a lot good debut week on the Billboard 200 album chart. With 293,000 equal album models and 242,000 in conventional album gross sales, Timberlake simply enters at #1.

Per Billboard, Man Of The Woods is his fourth #1 album following FutureSex/LoveSounds and each volumes of The 20/20 Experience. (His 2002 solo debut Justified topped out at #2 although notably offered 439,000 copies in its first week.) It’s additionally the most important debut week since Reputation, and the most important vinyl debut week since LCD Soundsystem’s American Dream, with 16,000 vinyl copies offered. It’s the second largest vinyl gross sales week since Nielsen adopted its SoundScan monitoring system in 1991, bested solely by Jack White’s Lazaretto.

Migos’ Culture II falls to #2 with 88,000 models, and the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman slides to #three with 81,000. Next up is a sequence of titles which have lingered within the prime 10 perpetually: Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (#four), Bruno Mars’ 24Okay Magic (#5), Post Malone’s Stoney (#6), and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. (#7). Camila Cabello’s Camila falls to #eight, whereas Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2 rises to #9. And closing out the highest 10 is the Now 65 compilation with 25,000 models, all by way of conventional gross sales.

Over on the Hot 100, Drake holds onto #1 for a 3rd straight week with “God’s Plan.” Per Billboard, it turns into the primary music to document 75 million US streams in three consecutive weeks. Its three weeks characterize the fourth, fifth, and sixth greatest streaming weeks for any monitor, topped solely by two large weeks by Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” in 2013 and one by Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” final summer season. “God’s Plan” is nice, however is it actually that good? Given what we learn about Drake’s outsized streaming numbers at Apple Music, perhaps this has one thing to do with Apple’s rising market share over Spotify?

The remainder of the highest 5 can be stationary: Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s “Finesse,” Camila Cabello and Young Thug’s “Havana,” and Post Malone and 21 Savage’s “Rockstar.” At a brand new #6 excessive is Dua Lipa’s “New Rules,” and debuting at #7 is the Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar’s “Pray For Me.” It’s the seventh top-10 hit for Abel Tesfaye and the sixth for Kendrick. It’s additionally the primary Weeknd monitor to premiere within the prime 10.

Another new top-10 entry is Migos’ “Stir Fry,” rising to a brand new #eight peak. Then comes one more new top-10 hit, Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line’s “Meant To Be,” newly peaking at #9. It’s Rexha’s third top-10 single following David Guetta’s “Hey Mama” and G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself & I”” and the second for Florida Georgia Line after the Nelly collaboration “Cruise.” Rounding out the highest 10 is Halsey’s “Bad At Love.”


Calvin Harris – “Nuh Ready Nuh Ready” (Feat. Social gatheringNextDoor)
After listening to Calvin’s satisfactory Major Lazer impression, I’m nuh prepared for the Funk Wave Bounces period to be over.

Khalid & Normani – “Love Lies”
It’s doable that Khalid by no means turns down a suggestion to collaborate, however it’s additionally doable he will get so many affords that make good sense. “Love Lies” is working in his favor in addition to Normani Kordei’s. The Fifth Harmony member’s first solo monitor advantages from the identical conservative-but-stylish pop-R&B vibes Khalid conjured on his personal American Teen album; in the meantime Khalid will get one more potential hit with the heightened consideration that comes with Fifth Harmony’s voracious following. The music itself is merely OK, however it may show to be the identical type of launchpad for Normani that the Shawn Mendes collab “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was for Camila Cabello.

PRETTYMUCH – “10,000 Hours”
The boy-band wars are heating up! Why Don’t We not too long ago got here via with the obnoxious however commercially potent Ed Sheeran-penned “Trust Fund Baby.” Now their rivals PRETTYMUCH are out right here constructing a powerhouse single out of a Boyz II Men pattern. Heavy artillery from either side; hopefully we will survive the approaching .

Whethan & Dua Lipa – “High”
This is an honest showcase for Dua Lipa’s vocal prowess, however it doesn’t gleam like her greatest work.

Noah Kahan & Julia Michaels – “Hurt Somebody”
I’m unhappy to see Julia Michaels tainting her model like this.


  • “The next record that I’m making is not a pop album,” says Ed Sheeran. [Billboard]
  • In a behind-the-scenes clip from her “End Game” video, Taylor Swift reveals how her dancers have been made to maneuver to a click on monitor, versus the precise music, so the crew wouldn’t hear (or leak) the audio earlier than Reputation was out. [NME]
  • Michelle Branch and the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney predict their first little one. [NME]
  • Lana Del Rey is outwardly engaged on a Broadway musical. [Broadway World]
  • NBA participant and aspiring rapper Lonzo Ball carried out “Bad And Boujee” on Lip Sync Battle. [Billboard]
  • And Lonzo’s dad LaVar did “Hate Me Now.” [YouTube]
  • Shawn Mendes says a brand new album is coming quickly. [Idolator]
  • Camila Cabello teased a video for “Never Be The Same.” [Instagram]
  • Cabello additionally introduced her Never Be The Same Tour. [Variety]
  • Here are photographs of Pharrell, Chris Martin, Bruno Mars, Pink, Sia, Haim, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, Diddy, St. Vincent, the Weekend, and one million different celebrities going to Ellen DeGeneres’ celebration. [Daily Mail]
  • In semi-related information, Dua Lipa introduced “New Rules” to Ellen. [YouTube]
  • Britney Spears will acquired this 12 months’s GLAAD Vanguard Award for selling equality and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals. [Reuters]
  • Portugal. The Man’s tour bus caught fireplace earlier than their present at Iowa Memorial Union on Tuesday, however nobody was injured. [Press Citizen]
  • Ellie Goulding launched a shock cowl of Don McLean’s “Vincent” for Valentine’s Day. [Spotify]
  • Meanwhile Nick Jonas lined the Beatles on Instagram. [Instagram]
  • The New York Times reviews that Cardi B received New York Fashion Week. Congrats Cardi! [NYT]
  • Here’s breakout determine skating star Adam Rippon singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” [EW]
  • Rita Ora has joined the forged of Detective Pikachu. [THR]