Professionals, that is.
It seems that “amateur” singing sensation Marié Digby, whose YouTube performances have logged her millions of hits and airplay on MTV and numerous radio stations, is a big fat fraud.
Today’s Wall Street Journal, in a very nice piece of investigative journalism by Ethan Smith and Peter Lattman, uncovers the fact that Digby has been under contract with Hollywood Records since 2005, and that the record label was instrumental in selecting and recording her YouTube appearances.
It was, to give credit where it’s due, a clever approach. Digby, an exotic looking acoustic singer of Irish and Japanese heritage, is shot in her bedroom, strumming on her guitar, as if she were just some girl next door whose boyfriend put video of her up on the internet. Her MySpace music site had a great big “none” next to “Record Label” until the Journal outed her. (Though, as Messrs. Smith and Lattman point out, it’s now only reads “Major.”)
I’ve pointed out on here time and again that there’s not really a whole lot of “user” or “consumer” generated content out there. Most entrants in “make your own commercial” contests are wannabe directors/actors/creatives in search of an agent or a job.
Digby and Hollywood Records are only guilty of taking it to the next level, of using our constant craving for the “next next thing*” to launch her career. Digby is ideally suited to this sort of scam, since her shtick is all about a stripped down, no-frills approach that sounds like, well, like a girl in her bedroom playing for her friends.
They just bottled it and put it on YouTube.
*Props to Michael Lewis for that phrase.