rom the electronic undertones creeping into most every genre, to the TikTok sound bites rocketing new songs to fame, to the Discord channels housing crucial word-of-mouth distribution, nothing in music is immune to digitization—not even the artists themselves.
Innovators like virtual influencer, producer, and DJ "8ubbles" are catching the new-age surf miles from the shore by digitizing the entire personality representing their music persona. By reducing the persona behind a song or album to a character icon, we distill the music industry to an underlying truth: mainstream music artists are careful constructions, powered by teams who leverage brand positioning, strategy, amplification, and more to achieve relevance. Music artists are character creations.
Today, I met up with 8ubbles as he floats his way through the music industry one neodigital music video at a time. This trippy bubble entertains nearly 300K TikTok fans by experimenting with elements of deep house, techno, and nightcore.
I set out to learn more about 8ubbles’ blossoming music career, artful bonks, and where he’s drifting next. Enjoy!
Also, thank you Virtual Rags for outfitting me in a virtual garment for this interview.
[Christopher] Hey 8ubbles, nice to meet you! So where are you from?
[8ubbles] YoOooOooooo the Internet, my dog! WAIT WAIT LMAOOOO have you never seen the Internet before??!?! Ohhhh dude, you’re in for a treat!
This is sick! Let's get right to the good stuff—you're an emerging DJ and TikTok star. What's next on your radar right now?
“Emerging DJ”??!? Loooool your boy here has been ripping it actually… over 4 million streams on Spotify alone! My dog, I think we can safely say I have emerged!
I’m heavy on deli vibes. You know… reubens… tuna melts… corned beefs… liverwurst… is what’s hot in music right now. Kids love this stuff! My newest bonker DANGEROUS dropped this summer… and, my dog, get this… I performed at my local deli, the world-famous Canters!!!!! My dog, you gotta see this!
But you know what else is red hot right now? Bees. On most definitely bee-crazy right now… we gotta save ‘em! My next song, HONEY is all about bees.
You should meet Bee Influencer! I absolutely love what you're doing on Youtube. Where do you turn for inspiration when creating new content?
My dog, I just want all my fans to live in my world. Get in my head, poke around, see what’s good in the ol noggin. So like, the fans are always asking me “My dog, why did you make that song? What is music all about?” So your boy here let’s ‘em know with a “Behind the Bonk” for each release.
Noted. You clearly spend your time on interesting corners of the Internet. What's something you think is innovative that we need to hear about?
Ok, I’m not trying to brag or nothing, but like, your boy here is actually ahead of every curve. Like, my dog, I made a cool and dope Satan video called TREMENDOUS PHYSIQUE that dropped on March 24. Guess what? The literal next day Lil Nas X dropped a cool and dope Satan video. My sources (expert!) tell me mine is cooler and doper, by the way.
Check out Tremendous Physique featuring the homies Birthdayy Partyy:
Rad. I know you're a DJ, but what's your bigger vision? What do you want to become? Other than a bubble ahead of every curve, of course.
Everyone keeps telling me “my dog, you’re the new Diplo!”, and that’s dope and cool… but on god, your boy is going to be Oprah. Or Jerry Springer. Either Oprah or Jerry Springer.
See, DJ stuff is mostly at night. Your boy is a morning person now, miss me with anything fewer than 8 hours of sleep! Also, I’m trying to get that daytime money… that syndication money!
SHOW ME THE (JUDGE JUDY) MONEY!
What? Okay well let's talk about your digital experiences... you've released some bangers and some even more interesting videos to go along with them. What's your favorite drop so far, and why?
Hmmm all my records are extremely and very lit—they’re all my children and I love them equally—but I think HAPPY BIRTHDAY 2 U might take the cake lolololol get it??!?! Cake?!?!
For serious, though, how many other artists do you see covering “Happy Birthday”? NONE. They’re all cowards! Your boy, however, is no coward. Not only did I make an absolute banger of a video––about dogs for dogs, my dog––but I also made, and this is true, 1,400 individual celebratory happy birthday videos that you can send the homies for their special day. I’d like to see Diplo or Judge Judy or whatever upload and tag 1,400 videos to their Youtube!
You may be onto something. How do you come up with the storylines for your videos? They're positively absurd.
Listen, my dog, I just write about the absurdity of life. Specifically, my (very cool and also dope) life. By the way, I chronicle this (very cool and also dope) life in comics on my ‘Tube and on Instagram.
Where did you get your start in music, anyways?
Well, your boy used to be famous. I mean, like, TV-famous, not DJ-famous. I was the spokesman for a soap brand, and my dog, the 90’s were sooooooooo lit. But then I got fired, as depicted in the ELECTRIC LIES video and in the comics, so I did DJing. Hard to make a buck doing this, but, you know, it’s chill!
That’s absolutely tragic. I’ll take your word for it, though. So, who's your favorite digital being of the moment?
I heard everyone loves Mark Zuckerberg… I’m going with that!
So, he's a robot? Anyways, why should we care about a bubble DJ over, say, a human DJ?
On god, music got BORING in the last couple years, particularly dance music. It’s just sooooo tiring and soooo cringe to watch other artists pander for likes, making the literal safest content they can to appeal to the widest audience. In contrast, your boy here pushing the envelope, my dog… tryin’ stuff… experimentin’… ya dig?
Honestly, 8ubbles, I don’t understand half of anything you’re saying. Who's your favorite music artist?
Does Oprah do music?
I heard she’s looking for a DJ, actually. Lasty, here’s a question I ask every virtual... who are you, 8ubbles?
Ooooh good question, my dog. I’m actually a DJ! But, like, also a lover! Occasionally a fighter. A partier loool most definitely a that. Oh oh oh oh ohhhh I’m also a dreamer! Yay for dreams!
8ubbles, this has been an absolute journey. I expected nothing less from a virtual bubble DJ. Thank you for your time!
Special thank you to Virtual Rags for outfitting me in a virtual garment for this interview.