The Masked Singer Talks Vine Success, Clues to His Identity, Taking the Mask Off + More
The Masked Singer has become a hugely popular personality on Vine. His six-second clips are fun to watch, but the real mystique came into the fold once the anonymous musician revealed he had won two MTV Moonmen at the VMAs and had released a double-platinum record.
Many guesses have been made as to the Masked Singer's identity, but it seems like no correct answers have been discovered. How could the identity of a musician with a double-platinum record and two MTV Video Music Awards remain a mystery? We spoke to the man himself to learn more about his masked persona and whose face lies behind the creepy luchador clown mask.
Could you tell me a little bit about your background in music? What instruments did you grow up playing?
Yeah, man. I play guitar, a little bit of piano. I have been doing rock / alternative music and a little bit of punk stuff. I've been playing for a while and just having fun with it. It always fun playing music; all styles.
Yeah, that shows in your Vines for sure. Speaking of which, I was scrolling down looking at all of your Vines and your first Vine video was playing 'Too Late to Apologize' by OneRepublic. Why did you choose that song to start out with?
You know what's funny, man? It just started out as a joke. On Vine, there is a lot of people using their looks to get likes and reVines. You've got people lip-synching and trying to look pretty in their Vines while doing stuff. I got the most ridiculous mask I could find to try to do something completely opposite. I never expected the response that it would get and I think the first hour it got a couple thousand likes. The next day, it jumped up to a couple thousand followers. It was like, 'Holy s--t, I am on to something,' with just something I was having fun with.
OneRepublic was just something I thought, 'What could I make work in six seconds?' That's the challenge on Vine, trying to make something work in six seconds. It came together and whether the Vine sounds like s--t or it sounds good, 99 percent of the time I try to do it in one take and just put it up there and see what happens. If they like it, that's great. If they hate it, that's great. I just go with it because I am having fun with it.
Where the hell did you find that mask?
We were in Mexico, actually, and they're trying to sell a bunch of weird stuff there whether it's some clothes or some t-shirts. And some guy was trying to sell me the mask for $50, then he said $40, then $30, as I was leaving I just said, 'I'll give you ten dollars for it." The guy gave me the mask, I brought it home and it kind of sat in the closet for a while. Like I said, I was just scrolling through Vine and seeing what people were doing and what could I do different and I said, 'Oh, s--t, I have that mask.'
A lot of people have been trying to figure out who you are and you've been giving little clues with the MTV VMAs Moonmen and the double platinum record in the background. What roles have you played in bands in the past?
Vocals and guitar. Lead vocals; I've done some stuff with that and just rhythm guitar.
It seems like you have a bit of an affinity for pop-punk. Have you ever played in a pop-punk band?
I have. Yes, I have. You know, I get a lot of questions about that and the Moonmen. I get people thinking, 'Is it Corey Taylor? Is it David Draiman?' It cracks me up. You know, [Corey is] full of tattoos and I look and sound nothing like them, but I get that a lot. With the Moonman awards, look at this last year's VMAs. You've got Lorde winning best rock act. They give them out to Iggy Azalea and 5 Seconds of Summer, so clearly it's not that hard to get your hands on one. [Laughs]
What's the guess at your identity that made you laugh the hardest?
Actually, I made a Vine a while back with 'Let the Bodies Hit the Floor' from Drowning Pool and a lot of the people on Vine, I guess because they have a younger audience who aren't really familiar with Drowning Pool, were saying that this has got to be him [the late Dave Williams], it sounds so much like him. I really try not to comment that much with anything like that, but people thinking that somebody that has been dead for a while was me was pretty humorous. It's sad that a lot of people that are younger aren't familiar with that.
Limp Bizkit's DJ Lethal recently got one of his Moonmen stolen. Who did you steal the other one from?
[Laughs] I was looking around on the Internet and garage sales and stuff and a couple places. People are hard up for money, so you can find them pretty much anywhere. I don't know who exactly they belong to, but I was able to get my hands on them either through eBay or garage sales.
In your opinion, what is the best band ever to have won two MTV Moonmen and to have recorded a double platinum album?
[Laughs] Oh, wow. I'll throw that back at you with Guns N' Roses. How's that?
I guess that's a good answer. [Laughs] In your videos, have you ever covered one of your own songs?
Okay, fair enough. Have you ever worn any of your own band shirts in a video?
I don't think so. No, I don't think that I have.
You get a lot of requests from people to do these clips. Are there any songs that you will never cover no matter how many people ask for it?
I swore that I would never cover 'Fancy' by Iggy Azalea, but I had fun, actually. I put together one that is completely making fun of it and I had a lot of people say that it sounds nothing like the actual song and of course it didn't, because I was having fun with it. Stuff like that, I don't really care to do it, but if I can put my own spin to it and if it's going to be fun then I'll go ahead and do it. Whether if it sucks or it's great, I will have fun with it.
Where do you see the future of the Masked Singer going?
Well, it's something I never really put a lot of thought into. Like I said, it started out just for fun. I've been in the studio since the beginning of the year and working. I got a couple of buddies together to do something different. Everyone's schedule just kind of fell into place and it worked out and the track sounded great. I've been finishing up a couple of final vocal tracks as well. I'm thinking that we are going to put something out there, probably at the beginning of next year. We will see how it goes. We are doing it independent. We aren't looking for any major label recognition, we just did it for fun. We'll put it out there and see what happens and we'll take it from there.
Have you had much experience with major labels in your life?
I have dealt with a couple of major labels before, yeah.
Do you feel any pressure to unveil your identity or to use the Masked Singer page to get exposure for whatever new project you may be doing?
I think after it passed 100,000 people and then 200,000 people and I just recently hit 500,000. Of course the wheels started turning; thinking that this is a great way to get exposure out there especially doing something independent, whether it's launching a YouTube channel as well as Twitter and Instagram. Getting some excitement around the project and putting something out there for the project; do a couple of videos and do it without the mask or do you do a reveal or do you keep the mask on for fun and keep some of the intrigue and mystery behind it? That's been what I've been thinking recently. We are putting this out there next year, of course [The Masked Singer] is going out to so many people, so of course it would help launch the project.
Will you ever reveal your identity, Masked Singer?
I'm sure sometime early next year that it might be time to take the mask off because I have been wearing it a lot and it doesn't smell too great now. [Laughs] I definitely wouldn't mind taking it off.
Thanks to the Masked Singer for this exclusive interview. We'll be teaming up with the musician for some exclusive videos soon, so look out for those! Be sure to follow him on Vine along with the Masked Singer's newly launched Facebook and Twitter accounts!
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