I know I signed off the blog for the year, but my imagination has been captured by a fascinating struggle which is taking place this weekend around the UK Pop Singles Chart. Specifically, I am excited by 22 year old Alex Day, who is gaining ground and British bookies give him a 1 in 16 chance of winning the competition, despite the fact that he has no record deals and has built his following entirely through his deft use of YouTube, Twitter, and other social media.
His catchy pop song, "Forever Yours," was released December 3 and his video, which playfully pairs a love song with images from superhero comics and zombie movies, has already been seen more than a million times. To win, he will need to best Justien Beber and Mariah Carey (not to mention the recent winner of the British X-Factor).
But, Day's certainly bringing on the grassroots support. Here's what he shared with me via a recent email: "'Forever Yours' is on sale as from today, became the second-highest trending topic on Twitter worldwide within eight minutes, and is so far sitting at number 96 on the UK iTunes Chart and rising about twenty places every time I refresh." This seems like a classic example of spreadability in action!
Apart from trying to turn the British pop world on its head, Day has been a key figure behind the growth of "Time Lord Rock," music inspired by Doctor Who, which has emerged as a grassroots movement in the spirit of the Wizard Rock associated with Harry Potter fandom. As a Time Lord Rocker, Day runs a website, Chameleon Circuit, which features such songs as "Blink" and "Exterminate Regenerate."
Check it out and if you feel so inclined, do what you can to help him beat Justin Bieber. Whatever happens, this is a fascinating example of how grassroots media and participatory culture is starting to impact the operations of the commercial mainstream.
This story came to me from Andrew Slack from the Harry Potter Alliance.