Who In The World Is “Love At First Sound”?
Running a blog means I spend hours a day scouring the internet in search of new hip hop talent from Chicago and I am often pleasantly surprised by what I find, but no artist has caught my attention like Love At First Sound. Cloaked in mystery and flashes of musical brilliance, it has been fascinating trying to learn more about this low-key artist and it’s obvious 4th Shore Hip Hop isn’t the only publication/person whose interest has been piqued. After some preliminary research, I found out there were a handful of influencers who were following his Twitter account. This is where things got very interesting for me.
Most new artists aren’t very well-connected. It takes time to build relationships with other artists, blogs, and concert venues, and industry insiders but Love At First Sound seems to have the networking figured out. While his Twitter account has a minuscule amount of 76 followers at the time of writing this, a good portion of those followers are important people in the music business. The short list includes Lupe Fiasco, Musiq Soulchild, Audiomack, Alex Asch, ELEVATOR, curators from Complex and Pigeons & Planes, plus a host of other well connected individuals. The question is why? And how? After discovering this curiosity, I decided to dig a little deeper.
As I began my search for answers regarding this unheard of Chicago artist, one thing became apparent: Love At First Sound makes some dope music. With a modern take on the classic early ’00s Kanye West sound (think Late Registration & College Dropout), I found myself listening to his songs repeatedly and introducing them to friends of mine. Flush with personal lyrics, melancholy production, excellent songwriting and an amiable presence on the mic, I was impressed with his music to say the least. Even though I became enthralled with the sound and his perplexing online presence, the numbers for his songs weren’t big, only a couple thousand for each. With only three official tracks to his name, Love At First Sound became even more mysterious… and then I received my first (and second) message on SoundCloud about his music.
This is where I went from curious to attentive. Why was I getting messages from seemingly random (possibly fake) people about this guy’s music? It’s very rare that fans will reach out to us about individual artists, and two unknown people messaging about the same artist within a week of each other was almost unheard of. Something was definitely up and I replied to both messages but neither sender ever responded back. It was time to do some more research. This time I went to Reddit in search of more information and found posts that were somewhat bewildering. Under the username anderson_paak, someone, presumably Love At First Sound himself, had posted his songs dozens of times to different Reddit communities. His songs were posted in communities specifically geared towards Kanye West, Chance The Rapper, Frank Ocean, Eminem and more. Many posts contained a comment about how this was the wrong place to promote a new artist. For the first time during this series of events Love At First Sound appeared somewhat like a struggle rapper. But why?
The juxtaposition of an artist who is followed by some of the most influential people in the industry, who also posts their music rabidly to fan forums, is captivating. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and I’m still looking for answers. How exactly did he get connected with these industry insiders? Why does he only have a handful of followers across every social media network? Even his SoundCloud has under 200 followers at this moment. Why is he trying to hide in plain sight? It feels like the mystery is part of his brand at this point. Does he have big plans? If so what are they? While he only has three songs out right now, all of them show creative talent that has the potential to take him big places.
If I had to guess, I would say Love At First Sound will be a much more recognized name in the next few years. If you want to be ahead of the curve, it doesn’t get much more fresh than this and with all the big names that follow him, he must have something special brewing. I’ll be interested to discover some more answers to my questions as this Chicago artist enacts his master plan and honestly, I expect something extraordinary.