February 6, 2018

3 Ideas For Gorillaz To Get Back In The Mainstream

This title shouldn’t come across as any sort of insult. Gorillaz still have a large, widespread fan base, and a devoted following never leaves a band. Plus, with a new album coming this year, there will (hopefully) be a whole new wave of publicity to go along with it. Nevertheless, it’s fair to say the group doesn’t quite get the international attention or general radio play it did back in the “Clint Eastwood” days. This will probably only change if the group strikes another hit (which we all know Damon Albarn is capable of doing). But just for fun, we have a few ideas for how Gorillaz can start generating some more attention again.

Go Political (With A Major Video)

Not every band wants to get political, or is even comfortable doing so. Gorillaz might not necessarily go this route, and in some ways that would be commendable. One could argue that opting to dive into politics is sort of an easy way to score points, particularly in today’s incredibly polarized environment. Both in the U.S. and in Western Europe, politics have been a little turbulent for the last few years, and a song that makes a political statement is nicely situated to make a splash.

Even if it might be considered pandering however, this isn’t a bad idea specifically where publicity is concerned. Consider the recent example of U2’s “Get Out Of Your Own Way,” a politically charged tune that earned itself a Rolling Stone feature because of the quality and impact of its music video. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the video is incredibly creative (the band employed an Israeli graffiti group to design a stop-motion animation video) – but it’s also because of the tone of the song. Now, U2 is always going to get attention for something like this, because the band is known for political activism. But it’s hard to imagine a group like Gorillaz putting out a similarly sharp social critique with a great video wouldn’t generate a lot of attention.

Get Into Gaming

The link between major artists and video games definitely seems to have gotten more noticeable in recent years. In fact, sometimes even deceased artists are getting mainstream popularity boosts via gaming. Case in point, a digital slot machine based on Jimi Hendrix and some of his hit songs is a fan favourite among innumerable similar games with different themes. Much of that probably comes down to people who happen to be Hendrix fans – but no doubt some of the player base consists of gamers who simply liked what they bumped into. This is just one example, but given that Hendrix has been gone for so long and his brand of music isn’t exactly at the top of the charts today, it’s probably the most impressive.

And wouldn’t Gorillaz be the perfect group to go into gaming? It’s already referred to as a “virtual band” and comes with its own animated characters (and to some extent personae). The group could easily lend its material for a game like the Jimi Hendrix one, or else work with a developer to put out a new and original mobile game (something the world famous DJ Steve Aoki did just recently). A Gorillaz game done right, and featuring a blend of old and new music, would definitely get people talking again.

Snag A Guest Rapper

For this one we really don’t need to go into too much detail, because the idea speaks for itself. A guest rapper can make a single these days, and it’s hard to imagine there wouldn’t be a line of popular artists willing to work with Gorillaz. Crossover material like this has become an incredibly valuable tool for artists, and in this case it would give a rapper a fun new sound to try out and give Gorillaz a (relatively) easy way to top the charts. It’s a win-win that the group really ought to try.


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