By Victoria Dean
There’s an obvious formula for a musician to promote their newest releases: Announce the news on all their social media platforms, do a number of interviews and appearances, and constantly spam your followers with reminders.
Unless you’re rapper, Childish Gambino. He did something completely different.
In September, Gambino launched his latest project, Pharos. He organized a 3-day music festival in Joshua Tree, where he would perform his new album and premiere episodes of his new television series, Atlanta, for a limited number of fans. The entire experience was said to be completely incredible. But the attendees are the only ones who really know what it was like.
Before entering the venue, fans were asked to put their phones in a locked case that would prevent them from doing any recording. Gambino’s goal was to have Pharos strictly be an in-person experience, and for absolutely nothing to be released online.
In a lot of ways, this approach to the event had an inverse effect. He wanted there to be no leaks on social media, and it ended up getting a lot of attention on social media because of it. News spread quickly and fans were desperate to find out anything and everything that took place that weekend.
Having Pharos be so exclusive is what had people talking. Gambino used zero media, which worked to get the media’s attention. He didn’t need to congest his fans newsfeeds with constant posts promoting the show or his new music. People’s curiosity and theories of what happened during Pharos was promo in itself. He basically let his fans do all the marketing for him.
This is a perfect example of how things have changed over the last decade or so. A person not using social media is news worthy.