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Marshmello at Lollapalooza Argentina in 2017. (Source: Facebook)
Of course, Marshmello wouldn’t be famous without his music. But the business and brand strategies that he and his manager Moe Shalizi used are a key part of the equation.
Why Marshmello wears a mask:
Shalizi: “It doesn’t matter who’s under this helmet. The ethos of the brand is creating something that doesn’t symbolize one person as an icon, but a movement of people.”
How the mask creates curiosity:
Marshmello: “It’s not every day you see something like Marshmello … You’re like, ‘Wait, what does [he] even do?’ You search and find the music.”
How he’s instantly recognizable, unlike many DJ/producers:
Shalizi: “It’s like Coca-Cola … When you see red and white, what do you think? We created an unforgettable character; a logo, essentially.”
How wearing a mask helps him avoid the spotlight:
Marshmello: “Everybody says, ‘Man, you have it made.’ … [Fame] is such a volatile situation, and it’ll usually change people for the worse. I’m happy not to be in that.”
Why he turned down offers from major labels:
Shalizi: “[The offers] weren’t genuine … It was like, ‘We don’t know if you’re real, but we’re willing to throw sh#t at the wall and see if it sticks.’”
Marshmello: “We bet on ourselves.”