Happy Mondaze! As May 23 creeps still nearer, we thought it time for another round of nominees. Today’s pack of innovators? Artists who are using technology and social media to get closer to their fans than ever before.
On June 27, the O Music Awards will return in the form of a cross-country road trip through the American South, during which we’ll be doling out awards, rocking out and breaking a pretty ambitious Guinness World Record: The Most Live Concerts in 24 Hours, Multiple Cities. We’ve enlisted the aid of one intrepid band who will be overseeing the festivities, as well as breaking a world record currently held by Jay-Z. Watch it all from any screen, from the comfort of your own cave.
Find out who the band in question is on May 23, as well as our full list of categories and nominees. At that point, you can start casting your votes!
The meantime, check out our list of fan fanatics below. If your favorite is missing from the fray, don’t fret — you’ll be able to start submitting write-in nominees at OMusicAwards.com on May 23 as well.
1. Bon Jovi: Bon Jovi partnered with group-messaging app GroupMe to make it easier for fans to connect. He then dropped into a chat to the surprise and delight of 10 of his followers, who helped him choose the opening song for that night’s show. Talk about living on a prayer.
2. Dustin Wong: Ex-Ponytail member/solo performer Dustin Wong went all Samuel Taylor Coleridge on us — in that he asked fans to upload their dreams to his SoundCloud page to serve as fodder for new songs in celebration of the release of his most recent solo effort, Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads. The “Say Your Dream, Create a Sound” project yielded some pretty catchy jams, like “Room Full of Lockers and a Party.” Sounds like a pretty rad end-of-school tune if you ask us.
3. Manchester Orchestra: Manchester Orchestra’s single, “Virgin,” is about how the fans have helped the band succeed, so in keeping with that theme, they launched a campaign at the microsite We Built This House that allowed fans to record themselves singing the chorus of the tune. Once the band had enough recordings, it remixed the song with everyone’s voices and released it as a free download. There’s something to put on your resume, folks.
4. Portugal. The Man: Got a burning, itching question for your favorite Alaskan band, Portugal. The Man? Lucky for you, the band often holds “Office Hours” sessions, two-hour periods during which fans can Skype in to chat with lead singer John Gourley and Co. for 15 minutes each. Scratch that – if your question really is “burning” and “itching,” maybe you should visit a different kind of office.
5. Snoop Dogg: Renaissance man Snoop Dogg – actor, rapper, youth football coach – has his hands in as many social sites as he does careers. Twitter, Google+, Chill, Soundtracking, Soundcloud – you name it, he’s on it (and he’s probably using it better than your average social media manager). We’re eagerly awaiting the day when he finally cuts out the middleman and launches his own social network.
6. Taylor Swift: Last summer, Taylor spun her Swifties into a tizzy when she took to YouTube to answer questions submitted by the fan themselves. This isn’t the first time YouTube has hosted a Q&A with a noted individual — Bob Dudley, president and CEO of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, fielded questions after last summer’s massive oil spill, as did White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Neither of them, however, were pitched questions like: “What is the craziest thing you have done for a boy?”
7. Deadmau5: Deadmau5 was working on a new song based on Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Veldt” and broadcasting the process live on Twitter when he ran into the a quandary – he needed vocals for the track. After he expressed this desire via social media, fan Chris James came to his aid, tweeting over some words and music. Deadmau5 liked James’ work so much that he included them in the track. See, your mom’s advice about “putting yourself out there” wasn’t completely useless.
8. Wayne Coyne: The Flaming Lips have worked with their share of weird and wonderful collaborators over the last few months – Ke$ha, Bon Iver, Neon Indian, etc – but none have been as tenacious as HOTT MT. The LA band drove to Wayne Coyne’s house in Oklahoma this year to wish him a Happy Birthday and gift him with their new record. The crew then filmed a music video with Coyne, who happily let the band into his home. So much for “stranger danger.”
9. Riot In Paris: Brooklyn hip-hop duo Pete and Mercy launched an experiment with creative collective Innovative Thunder called Track Me, whereby fans and interested parties could request to have Riot In Paris write a song based on their tweets. The band tried to post one song every other day, complete with music video. Mundane ramblings never sounded so good.
10. DJ Shadow: DJ Shadow got hip to up-and-coming “Instagram for video” Viddy pretty early, asking fans to submit footage to be included in a video for one of the tunes off of The Less You Know, The Better. The musician requested that folks take old devices, find new uses for them, and film the results – the vids reflecting the song title, “Scale It Back.” Based on the tools they were asked to use, we’re guessing a lot of fans chose to deep-six the camcorder.
Image courtesy of Ethan Miller