The lines between forms of entertainment are more blurred than ever. It isn’t uncommon to see musicians trying to break into the world of acting, or actors attempting to become the next big musical sensation. As social media continues to redefine what people can and can’t do in their chosen fields, one particular group of individuals are primed for a particular breakout: gamers.
The world of music and gaming is already intertwined in ways we haven’t seen before. Not only is music in games being taken more seriously, gamers themselves are beginning to look to music as another viable form of entertaining their audience. Certain renowned artists are even looking to gaming as a release, like superstar DJ Deadmau5, who is not only a rabid fan of video games, but also takes to Twitch to play and connect with his audience in a way that is not often attainable through any other means.
Deadmau5 isn’t the only online celebrity to try and break into the gaming space, or use the gaming space to try and break into the world of music. On other platforms such as YouTube, entertainers who rose through the ranks by gaming have learned that there is an entirely untapped market in the form of music, and some are choosing to take advantage of it early.
Take YouTube star KSI, for example. While he has taken his career well beyond gaming (even dabbling in the sport of boxing), his roots are very much founded in gaming. After breaking into the online celebrity scene thanks to his gaming on YouTube, he used that fame and love of music to begin a rapping career that has gone on to spawn countless sold out tours and an EP that made it to #14 on Billboard's Rap Charts. Even the biggest stars like PewDiePie, have dabbled in the music realm, although moreso as a joke than an actual attempt at a true career path.
Outside of those two stars, it isn’t exactly tough to find more people who began their careers in one field before moving into the music world. Evan Fong, better known as VanossGaming, broke into YouTube by sharing various clips of him playing whatever the most popular game of the time was. In 2017, he began his foray into music, releasing various remixes of songs under the name Rynx. Since then, Fong has continued to release various singles, and has begun to collaborate with other artists in the music field, including R&B duo THEY.
When you think about it, it isn’t too hard to understand why these influencers would choose music as a primary way of growing their brands. Everyone loves music, and if you’re someone with a large enough following already, getting your name out into the mainstream isn’t as hard as it might be for an artist who is struggling to come into fame. Couple that with the fact that the lifestyle often portrayed by musical artists - riches, high-end cars and clothes, etc - is so enticing to anyone, that it isn’t really surprising to see these creators making the leap into the music industry.
Still, making the leap from generally famous online persona to full-fledged music superstar is a legitimately tough one, and so far it’s only been done by a handful of people. Even though these people have greater access than any normal person, they still needed the talent and ability to get through to an audience. While the gaming scene continues to explode and offer its celebrities more and more opportunities, the world of music is already established, and with it comes its own elite access into the entertainment industry, for better or worse.
Of course, only time will tell whether or not these types of crossovers can work. Musicians such as Deadmau5 haven’t exactly blown up on Twitch, and stars like KSI or Rynx have yet to truly break out into the world of mainstream music despite their large audiences. Perhaps once a few of these celebrities can have their songs chart highly on Billboard or make it successfully onto the radio, then a true discussion can take place. In the meantime, expect to see your favorite gamers or YouTubers continue to delve into the music, and let’s just hope for their sakes that it’s good music.