Pop artist Ben Schuller delves into the dubious side of social media on his new music video, “Engagement Party,” caricaturing people’s fascination with online popularity.
Speaking to the song’s inspiration, Ben says, “I started realizing how much ‘engagement’ mattered to everything I did. From YouTube videos to Instagram posts, I was constantly obsessing over it. The message of the song can be aimed at our generation as a whole, but really, it’s targeted at myself. It’s crazy how much we care about what strangers think of what we post online.”
Ben knows whereof he speaks, since his own career began online with piano/vocals covers of radio’s hit songs, followed by relocating to Nashville, followed by implementing a YouTube channel, entitled NerdOut, churning out music videos and garnering 101,000 subscribers, along with more than 500 million views.
“Engagement Party” is the third single from Ben’s album, New Roaring 20s. A concept album, New Roaring 20’s examines “the unique and often tragic social identity of our generation, while at the same time giving a deeply personal account of my own mental health struggles as an artist in the age of the Internet.”
“Engagement Party’s” title denotes twofold interpretation: first, an engagement party for a couple’s forthcoming wedding, and second, everyone’s fixation on social media platforms and their attendant ‘likes,’ ‘shares,’ and ‘followers’ – a type of narcissism heretofore undiscovered.
The music video, chock-full of droll visual contrivances, comes closer to actuality than most would care to acknowledge, presenting an eccentric vision of real life, where people gather, yet no conversations take place because everyone is ensconced in their phones, cruising Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to see how they’re doing in the realm of popularity, which has become an abstract form of competition.
Even the affianced pair is only concerned with sustaining their venerated virtual adoration, an ephemeral fame accrued from total strangers, underscored by their ‘verified’ badges which they smugly wear.
Riding on emerging trembling synths, “Engagement Party” segues into a yummy pop melody, rife with low-slung percolating colors and rippling textures. A fat bassline and finessed percussion give the tune an alluring rolling tempo. Ben’s affluent, deluxe tones infuse the lyrics with smooth flavors, investing the song with oozing tropical-lite savors.
Skillfully wrought, “Engagement Party” engages listeners in scintillating creamy pop aromas, capped by the lush voice of Ben Schuller.