MIDI keyboard, bass drum, and computer—the musical weapons of choice—wait silent on the stage. The musician appears. A tasseled mohawk of colored fabrics knocks heavily back and forth as his head moves in time to the pounding drumsticks. Whimsically dreamlike universes of electronic sound envelope the crowd, their eyes full of curiosity. The musician’s face is neon Technicolor, animalistic, cardboard. A mask.
Whether it is imaginary or real, musicians’ identity defines them and the music they create. Slow Magic, an EDM artist, has chosen his masked character as an alter ego to represent himself.
Performing as a completely anonymous musician, Slow Magic has found his musical identity in the colorful, artistic way he presents himself to the public. His music is as uniquely fashioned as his look. He drives heavy drum beats over the top of electronic sounds, and his style of performance incorporates both live and electronic essences. Supported by an element of fantasy and brought to life by his bright cardboard façade, Slow Magic’s unique live shows advance the musical dimension from new perspectives.
In his masked persona, Slow Magic follows those who have used on-stage characters to illuminate their musical careers. One of the first, KISS, carefully crafted their personalities into the painted men for which they are famous, bringing a theatrical element to their music. Bands like GWAR and Insane Clown Posse adopted a similar approach, their outrageous onstage antics only topped by their costumes. The masks of musicians like Buckethead and deadmau5 take over their onstage personas, and their visual identities are now as recognizable as the music they perform.
The musician’s face is neon Technicolor, animalistic, cardboard. A mask.
Others, like Slipknot and Daft Punk have used the masks as a way to climb further inside the music, and their approach is more closely related to Slow Magic’s. These musicians believe that the music can speak for itself more fully without the overwhelming presence of a musician's true identity.
Unlike other artists who have masked alter egos or maintain an offstage persona, Slow Magic has never revealed his name. He believes that the story and the face of an artist distracts from artistic expression.
In an interview with SOUND Online Magazine, Slow Magic says,
“I just wanted it to be about the music instead of it being about my face, or where I lived or any of those things people look at first when someone writes a blog post about them. They focus so much more on the person, which is cool and all, like, “we wanna know who’s behind it,” but sometimes it’s fun just to put the art first and then hide in the shadows, I guess.”
But Slow Magic’s shadows are uniquely vibrant, and they inspire a certain curiosity about the man beneath the mask.