Exclusive: Meet Crypto-Pop Artist Aidan Shamray

Exclusive: Meet Crypto-Pop Artist Aidan Shamray

We don't know who Aidan Shamray is, but we're listening.

We don't know who Aidan Shamray is, but we're listening.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Not so long ago, pop stars were expected to trade a pound of flesh for their public’s adoration. Anything from the sanctity of Britney’s virginity to the color of Michael Jackson’s skin could be pulled apart and rearranged with anatomical precision in exchange for fame and fortune—an only-fair tradeoff that, in the end, would literally and figuratively reduce some of these larger-than-life idols to their shadow-selves.

Thankfully, with the decline of TMZ and an increasingly woke public, our appetite for these visceral public meltdowns seems to have died out. And since the rise of artists like Lana Del Rey and Poppy, fashioning oneself as a crypto-pop star has proven effective as both a self-preservation strategy and a creative direction.

This seems to be the path of Aidan Shamray. His debut single “Where I can Breathe” launches exclusively on V today, a task complicated by the fact that we still have no clue who or what Shamray is. Described as an “industry plant” with “queer undertones,” Shamray seems to evade comprehension even in his own one-paragraph press release, which implies that Shamray may or may not have a physical form: “Aidan Shamray comes packaged with color, air, and emotion,” it explains. A blurb from industry “cosigner” Diplo offers this insight: "Sex No Wave…says Diplo of Aidan Shamray.

Like this write-up, Shamray’s debut song and video reveals the ghostly contours of a pop star more than it introduces a fully embodied artist. Stirring with course synths and slow-building, breathy pathos, the track is accompanied by a video of (presumably) Shamray in grainy silhouette. It's the catchiest void you'll enter all week.

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