Would you rather have the fame and fortune, but have everyone know your face? Or would you rather be able to go unnoticed in public but have your reach not be as powerful? Some would like to have their cake and eat it too.
After the Grammy Awards on February 10th, RCA's artist, H.E.R., was able to come away with two awards out of five nominations and had a stunning performance of her song, "Hard Place". The tweets began to buzz and the Google searches began to rise, who is this 21-year old phenom?
As many surfed the web, they discovered more behind the subtle disguise.
Gabriella "Gabi" Wilson, also known as H.E.R., typically rocks on a nice pair of shades and keeps her long hair down in front of her ears. She keeps this inconspicuous persona since her 2016 rebrand following the release of her debut EP as H.E.R. Her new alias stands for Having Everything Revealed.
“I just only ever wanted to be known for the music I was making.” H.E.R.
How does one balance your desire to have the world hear your voice and music, but still maintain solitude or freedom to privacy? We've all seen how fame can tear celebrities livelihoods apart.
What H.E.R. is doing is respectable, and many other artists have experimented with pursuing a covert persona. It's somewhat like having a "character" one might say, just for the public to know and receive. However, the real-life person behind it all now has the power to control the messages being heard and seen.
She is, of course, not the first act to take on a faceless alias. Here's to name a few notable artists: Christopher Comstock (Marshmello), MF DOOM, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (Daft Punk), Sia Furler (Sia), Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5), and the members of The Gorillaz.
Daft Punk has worn robot costumes for the majority of their career, styling and changing into different masks throughout the years. The electronic dance duo did an interview with Rolling Stones where they explain the joy they get from their anonymity. Thomas Bangalter said then that they’re interested in the line between fiction and reality, creating these fictional personas that exist in real life.
“One thing I like about the masks is that I don’t have people constantly coming up to me and reminding me what I do. It’s nice to be able to forget,” Bangalter says.
I can only imagine walking into maybe a grocery store outside of Paris, with no observable clue allowing me to know whether or not I am standing next to music legends. For them, that is the goal. That is the aim for some of these artists. It's getting to live the sublunary life, having a family, going out to eat, or catching a metro or subway, and not having to deal with the chaos that can come from the other side of your life: your career.
Gabi Wilson is now touring her first ever headline tour, where you can see her perform live. According to Variety, she says that she is 'not hiding' but she just really wants the music to really be what the people recognize and know. She'd rather keep this mysterious profile as much as she can.
Wilson is now a two-time Grammy winner. Maybe it's possible to have the best of both worlds after all.