(UPDATED) MTV's O Music Awards will announce their latest nominees on Wednesday, but they've given us an exclusive advance look at the Most Extreme Fan Outreach category. It's a diverse group, ranging from major label stars to lesser knowns with a marketing budget smaller than your weekly Starbucks bill. As Shannon Connolly, MTV Network's VP of Digital Music describes the category: "The gap between artist and fan is getting smaller and smaller with the rise of social media. These artists got even closer to their followers using digital tools - perhaps too close." The O Music Awards Announces "Most Extreme Fan Outreach" Nominees:
2. Dustin Wong: Ex-Ponytail member/solo performer Dustin Wong went all Samuel Taylor Coleridge on us — in that he asked fans to upload their dreams to his SoundCloud page to serve as fodder for new songs in celebration of the release of his most recent solo effort, Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads. The “Say Your Dream, Create a Sound” project yielded some pretty catchy jams, like “Room Full of Lockers and a Party.” Sounds like a pretty rad end-of-school tune if you ask us.
3. Manchester Orchestra: Manchester Orchestra’s single, “Virgin,” is about how the fans have helped the band succeed, so in keeping with that theme, they launched a campaign at the microsite We Built This House that allowed fans to record themselves singing the chorus of the tune. Once the band had enough recordings, it remixed the song with everyone’s voices and released it as a free download. There’s something to put on your resume, folks.
4. Portugal. The Man: Got a burning, itching question for your favorite Alaskan band, Portugal. The Man? Lucky for you, the band often holds “Office Hours” sessions, two-hour periods during which fans can Skype in to chat with lead singer John Gourley and Co. for 15 minutes each. Scratch that – if your question really is “burning” and “itching,” maybe you should visit a different kind of office.
5. Snoop Dogg: Renaissance man Snoop Dogg - actor, rapper, youth football coach - has his hands in as many social sites as he does careers. Twitter, Google+, Chill, Soundtracking, Soundcloud - you name it, he’s on it (and he’s probably using it better than your average social media manager). We’re eagerly awaiting the day when he finally cuts out the middleman and launches his own social network.
6. Taylor Swift YouTube Q&A series: Last summer, Taylor spun her Swifties into a tizzy when she took to YouTube to answer questions submitted by the fan themselves. This isn’t the first time YouTube has hosted a Q&A with a noted individual — Bob Dudley, president and CEO of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, fielded questions after last summer’s massive oil spill, as did White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Neither of them, however, were pitched questions like: “What is the craziest thing you have done for a boy?”
7. Deadmau5 collaborates with fan via Twitter: Deadmau5 was working on a new song based on Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Veldt” and broadcasting the process live on Twitter when he ran into the a quandary – he needed vocals for the track. After he expressed this desire via social media, fan Chris James came to his aid,tweeting over some words and music. Deadmau5 liked James’ work so much that he included them in the track. See, your mom’s advice about “putting yourself out there” wasn’t completely useless.
8. Wayne Coyne collaborates with fans that come to his house: The Flaming Lips have worked with their share of weird and wonderful collaborators over the last few months – Ke$ha, Bon Iver, Neon Indian, etc – but none have been as tenacious as HOTT MT. The LA band drove to Wayne Coyne’s house in Oklahoma this year to wish him a Happy Birthday and gift him with their new record. The crew then filmed a music video with Coyne, who happily let the band into his home. So much for “stranger danger.”
9. Riot In Paris: Brooklyn hip-hop duo Pete and Mercy launched an experiment with creative collective Innovative Thunder called Track Me, whereby fans and interested parties could request to have Riot In Paris write a song based on their tweets. The band tried to post one song every other day, complete with music video. Mundane ramblings never sounded so good.
10. DJ Shadow: DJ Shadow got hip to up-and-coming “Instagram for video” Viddy pretty early,
asking fans to submit footage to be included in a video for one of the tunes off of The Less You Know, The Better. The musician requested that folks take old devices, find new uses for them, and film the results – the vids reflecting the song
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