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DJ Marshmallow's Rise To Fame And Changing Persona

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Many people now confirm that Marshmello is Dj/Producer Dotcom. Doctom (Chris Comstock) has been on the music scene for a few years. After seizing the opportunity of becoming a masked DJ, such as Deadmau5 and Daft Punk, Marshmello has become extremely popular at a tremendous rate. Yes it is gimmicky, but can be very effective.

Most recently this past weekend at EDC Las Vegas, the Binches DJ group consisting of Dotcom, Ookay, Kayzo, and Yultron brought out Marshmello during their set. This was a pretty funny joke played by Dotcom to troll his fans that know that he is Marshmello.

His debut album Joytime had some great unique sounding tracks. It was a successful summer EDM album filled with fun tracks such as “know me”, “Summer”, “Home”, and “Keep it Mello”. Of course “Alone” was his breakthrough hit that was all over the radio. As those songs were gaining the attention of not only the average edm listener but music fans in general, a change in genre was upcoming for him.

Most recently we have lost Marshmello as an edm producer to the pop and rap community. It’s sad to see an up and coming talent conform to mainstream fame. Silence was a mainstream radio hit that I still very much enjoyed and it had it’s edm elements. Once he released the underwhelming disappointment of Wolves with Selena Gomez I was worried he was heading into that direction.

He then ventured into rap by providing uninspired lazy beats to songs “Spotlight”, “Danger”, And “Everyday”. The productions on his hit rap singles don’t even feel as if a big time producer was even near the project. It feels like a simple rap beat was produced like always for these rappers and Marshmello’s presence is unknown.

Then out of nowhere he releases “Fly” which was a refreshing callback to his old tunes that had an infectious melody that kept the beat going. I’m shocked “fly” didn’t grab more attention from edm fans and become a hit. I have been blasting this song from it’s release to today

But he has stayed in the pop area and man that is frustrating; the pop songs aren’t even enjoyable to listen to.

I have seen Marshmello twice live, once At Bonnaroo in 2017 and at Ultra Music Festival 2018.  The difference in sets from Roo to Ultra were pretty eye opening and made sense in terms of where his career has gone too. The Bonnaroo set was full of Joytime esque songs, showcasing his unique future bass and trap sound.  It was easy to tell his venture into rap/pop was coming due to the amount of pop and rap songs songs that started to dominate halfway through the set. A telling sign was how he ended his set with a rap mash up featuring Migos and Lil Uzi Vert.

Fast forward almost a year later at Ultra and Marshmello’s set is packed with pop remix and pop remix not mixing together fluently. Some songs that come to mind are “Mr. Brightside” remix by two friends and “Reload” by Sebastian Ingrosso. Both of these songs were featured in the set but were used extremely poorly. Neither included the original melodies that made the songs great and “Reload” was only an acappella that was lazily mixed into alone. The standout part of the Ultra set was Will Smith coming out to perform his hit track “Miami” with Marshmello out of all producers. It was one of the biggest surprises of the weekend.

Overall both sets started out promising only to fall flat by compromising by the middle with pop songs or rap track after rap track. That is a successful method to kill the vibe at an electronic festival for true fans.

On top of that 75% of the setlist was rap songs that were either the original track or a trap remix that mixed painfully into a pop acappella that did not fit well. I thought it was a poor idea to book Marshmello at such a primetime spot on the Ultra Main stage for a showcase of rap and pop remixes. His mixing proved to be poorly orchestrated and drops did not deliver well. He has seemed to sacrifice good mixing for the sake of incorporating pop songs into his sets. I still can’t figure out why he would choose to end his set with “Lick it” by valentine khan. Nothing against the song itself but what the hell? No classic Joytime song? Or a Marshmello hit? He just decides to end the set with a plain trap song. I could read the crowd while being in the middle of it; it was a vibe killer and a poor end to a main stage primetime set.

Marshmello has only been around since early 2015. We can expect his music to evolve and take shape as his career progresses. It’s sad to see an artist become so hungry for the spotlight, that he would abandon a creative project and sound to having his name appear on pop singles and rap tracks. One can hope for a return to form since Marshmello has recently announced Joytime II, lets just hope he stays true to the original Joytime.

- Lizza

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