Those of us who are fans of a certain pop, rock or DJ star probably do some or all of the following: follow them on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook and check in on them sporadically. If you had to give the relationship a status it would be “open.” We understand and can appreciate the time and money-saving direct artist-to-fan relationship that social media facilitates, sweeping aside traditional media for much of the time. Forget the press conference and just tweet us the link, right? Perhaps you are also signed up to a newsletter and gig email alerts so you know when they are coming to your town. Not so you can stalk them and hang outside their hotel room, but so you can buy a ticket to their show to actually enjoy, you know, the music? So far, so fairly normal.
As we are all well aware though, there exists another breed of music fan who take their fandom seriously. Like, really seriously. For these superfans, their idols have become like one of their real-life “friends,” because they see them in their newsfeed every day and can comment on their daily activity along with thousands of others. It doesn’t matter that they get no direct response back, the constant stream of updates and “I love you’s” makes them feel as if they are genuinely in a conversation with their idol. Nestled in their newsfeed between a picture of what one friend had for lunch and another friend’s new trainers will be a picture of say prolific social media star such as Rihanna rolling a joint, or Chris Brown showing off his latest puppy. It’s easy to see how for some superfans, the lines between what’s real and what’s reality could become blurred and how an appreciation for someone could gradually morph into an obsession or an addiction. Especially when you consider the sheer amount of content that is already made available to the superfan by said pop star.
If you thought we were already at saturation point when it comes to just how much news, pictures, status updates, selfies, mini-series, YouTube channels, documentaries, movies, magazines and so on from one person that we can all handle, you would be totally right. But sadly you’re also wrong, because Chris Brown begs to differ. Apparently all of the above just isn’t enough (after all he does have over 12 million followers on Twitter), so he has launched his own Chris Brown Channel, also available as an iPhone app, meaning he can be with his fans constantly. That would be really cool right? Because nothing screams cool (or is that “worship me”?), more than your own channel.
Now before you all rush away to download this magical thing, let me fill you in a little bit more on what you can expect once you enter “Chris Brown World” aka “Breezy 24/7.” Firstly, the desktop version looks rather like a Pinterest page, which allows you to endlessly scroll down for more and more and more Chris-content in all sorts of various forms, whether video, a photo, or a piece of text (author: uncertain). Note to superfans: Chris has his shirt off for 75% of the time. You can expect sepia-tinted webcasts of Chris in front of his piano (because you know, he is actually a misunderstood Mozart). You can delight at pictures of his new puppies (because who doesn’t like puppies? Although if he wants to really be on the safe side, he should buy some LOLcats too, watch this space). You can watch him smoking a spliff (*imagined Chris Brown voice*: Because I’m Breezy! I’m crazy yo! I’m real! You gotta problem with that? You wanna take it outside bro? No just kidding, I’m a nice guy. You wanna see my puppy?).
Once you download the iPhone app it says, “Chris Brown would like to send you Push Notifications.” Sinister. Just say no. Maybe say, “Please don’t push me either.” Of course the superfans will all say yes, because then that will feel like Chris is actually talking to them 346,578 times a day. Oh and if you’re lucky, he might even pick up the phone, and make a REAL-LIFE phone call to you (for the superfans reading this: real-life as in not Internet-life where he doesn’t know your name or anything about you). You then have to sign up using your Facebook or Twitter plus you have to enter your email and allow “Chris Brown” access to your friends lists, too. So the app is “free” but you pay for it with your soul. I mean, your data.
Upon downloading and opening the iPhone app, the first feature you currently see is a video called “The Hot List” where viewers are told by an American woman what is hot in the world of Chris Brown (wait, isn’t it meant to be Chris telling us this? Didn’t he have time to do a voiceover? Doesn’t he love us?). This week “The Hot List”’s theme is ‘Fast and Furious’ (surely not because there is hype around a film of that name right now), where they give you, the lucky Channel subscriber, a Top 5 of Chris’s favorite cars (or whips as he sometimes calls them. Team Breezy!). In this list you will learn incredibly valuable information that will almost definitely inform your next car purchase such as: his mom Joyce drives a Range Rover Sport. Don’t you just feel so much wiser now? All warm inside? So close to Chris? I certainly do. Sigh.
Before we all go totally crazy and tell all our friends about this amazing app (oh shit wait, I think he has already told all my Twitter friends), let’s just remember how different the world looked only 4 months ago. After his alleged brawl with Frank Ocean and public opinion of him fading fast, Chris changed his Instagram feed from public to private, effectively cutting himself off from 2 million superfans (who obviously all needed counseling after hearing this news). This was his parting message: “Social media takes away the essence of why we are even special or icons,” Brown wrote. “So with that, I’m detaching myself from that world.”
Let that sink in for a second. Now let’s go download this app! Team Breezy!
This article was done by Liz McGrath for Highsnobiety.com.