International Pop Sensation Lord J shares his views on what it is like being an anonymous pop star
We live in a world where most people believe that the illusion of attaining intense fame makes people happy. But is being famous equivalent to happiness? Many might believe this is true. Being an anonymous pop singer, I have learnt that being appreciated for your talent and not your upbringing or social background has a different kind of satisfaction altogether.
I began singing in my teen years in early 2000’s, but it was only when I released my first single, ‘Beside Me’ in 2016 that I realised that music had unveiled a whole new side of my life. Coming from a relatively lower-class family in India, I was completely overwhelmed wondering what the audience response will be. Therefore, choosing to be anonymous was like a social safety mechanism that shielded me and my family if any negative reactions came up.
Another important motivating factor behind choosing to remain anonymous was because I wanted my voice to be heard without discrimination or judgement over which place I belonged to or what my caste was.
Being a public figure can be very daunting on your life, with constantly trying to match up with people’s high expectations. The world of social media has benchmarked success with the number of followers, likes or views on their favourite celebrity’s media content. Some bands like Daft Punk have also tried to hide their real identities to avoid complications in their private life and to emphasise on their music rather than their personalities.
Moreover, as they say, there is power in anonymity, because people love secrets, and being anonymous is a very attractive pull factor.
Of course, there are times when I feel that so many people who have crossed paths with my life might feel proud of my achievements if I reveal my real identity, and their appreciation will mean the world to me.
Another big drawback in remaining anonymous has been seeking collaboration opportunities. Being an independent artist, it limits my contacts to only those who have heard my music. In today’s age, the lack of steady income is one of the most prevalent disadvantages for a professional singer.
I have been an anonymous public figure for the last two years, and there has been a constant fear about my real identity being leaked. I must confess it has been a bit tedious having to explain why anonymity is so important to everyone who I have to work with.
If I have to summarise, I would say anonymity mainly gives me a sense of social security; it gives me confidence that the audience genuinely appreciates my talent and does not judge me over my social upbringing. On the downside I feel limited in terms of building credible business contacts. It creates fear in my mind about being exposed publicly, and I feel missed out from getting comments from my childhood friends and mentors.
But above all, I would like to use this platform to inspire others to pursue their passion, without judgement over what their social background has been.