Manufacturing Celebrity

Great story about how musician Matt Tuozo grappled with frustration trying to get people to listen to his music on MP3.com, AudioGalaxy etc. until he came up with a brilliant idea: Manufacture a hot female persona to “live” behind the music, in the same way that mega-stars like Brittney are manufactured by producers. With the creation of Joy Reid, Matt’s music took off. Same music as before, now with breasts! Joy’s face was generated by morphing images of Jodie Foster and Winona Ryder gathered from FTP servers.

“Joy” made the front page of MP3.com. A thriving fan base developed, and Matt made thousands selling “her” music online, until he could no longer maintain the ruse and had to kill her off in a larger-than-life manner befitting a faux pop icon.

It’s comforting to know that modern publishing tools not only empower the proletariat to make and sell its own music without help from The Man, but to manufacture celebrity itself, cost free. We now not only need to wonder whether a star is popular by virtue of their own talents or by pure marketing muscle, but whether the star even exists at all.

Thanks Michael Bazeley.

Music: The Leaves :: Hey Joe

7 Replies to “Manufacturing Celebrity”

  1. interesting story, surprised it doesn’t happen more often… or maybe it does?! :-)

    Any examples of the Foster-Ryder composite? Google Image Search turned up empty, and Joy Reid’s Audiogalaxy page is dead.

    PS, OT: as a former BeOS experimenter, I recently downloaded your ‘Tale of a BeOS Refugee – From BeOS to OSX’ from 2001 off eDonkey. Will there be/is there an update of it now that you have a few years of OSX experience under your belt?

  2. I wasn’t able to find images of Joy’s face either, although I admit I didn’t look very hard.

    No plans to do an update to the BeOS – Mac OS X article; no time these days, and I’m not the OS junkie I once was. Thanks for your interest though!

  3. > no time these days, and I’m not the OS junkie I

    > once was.

    Raising a kid is a lot more interesting that fiddling endlessly with the computer and the rewards are also better.

    Computers should ultimately become like your “headless mandrake server” featured in one of your article, minimum interactions but working in the background on tedious tasks (indexing, fetching news etc…).

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