Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 October 2020

Abu Dhabi F1: Five things you need to know about EDM star Marshmello

The feuds, the elevation to stardom and what to expect from his set

Marshmello at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival at Park City Live in Utah. Getty 
Marshmello at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival at Park City Live in Utah. Getty 

With Marshmello performing the first of four after race concerts at Yas Island’s du Arena on Thursday night, we take a look at the young artist's rise from online obscurity to massive festival headliner.

And, of course, his feud with fellow-fan-of-headgear, veteran Canadian DJ Deadmau5.

1. He had an insanely fast track to stardom

There was a time when electronic artists had to make a name for themselves by playing the club circuit and constantly producing tracks. Not so for Marshmello, the 27-year-old dropped his first online track Waves on the online platform Soundcloud and never looked back.

Releasing further songs online that year, the quality of his material impressed EDM star Skrillex, who reposted Marshmello's track Find Me on his page. Before long he was snapped up to a management deal, and his resulting album, 2016's Joy Time, debuted at the top 5 of the US dance charts.

2. He is making serious money from touring and music

For an indication of how lucrative the dance music industry is at present, consider this fact: last year Marshmello signed a $60 million deal to perform a two-year residency in the glitzy Kaos Dayclub in Las Vegas.

With $40 million made from shows and music sales over the past 12 months, he landed himself in 87th place in this year's 2019 Celebrity 100 Earnings list by Forbes Magazine.

3. He's performed in the GCC before

Marshmello knows how to work the crowd in the region. His performance tonight at du Arena will not be the first time he has rocked a festival in the Gulf.

Back in June he performed to more than 15,000 people in Saudi Arabia as part of the Jeddah Season Festival, while in 2018 he headlined the second day of the pop music festival, RedfestDXB at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.

With a set list full of his trademark anthemic numbers – including Happier, Friends and Silence – and a blinding light show, there will be plenty for fans to see and hear tonight.

4. He wears a bucket on his head, and Deadmau5 doesn’t like it

Marshmello likes the music to do the talking, hence his choice of stage gear, which often involves wearing an all-white outfit with his signature paint bucket smiling face on his head.

Such a seemingly benign costume did cause one of the EDM world’s more interesting online music spats in 2016 however, with fellow DJ Deadmau5, who wears a more elaborate mask resembling a mouse on stage – accusing him of biting his style and describing his fans as a “brain-dead posse of deaf sheep.”

Marshmello kept it cool and, in response, asked Deadmau5 if "he would be down to play basketballer together? 1 on 1, winner buys dinner." The game has yet to take place.

5. He is in Abu Dhabi with new tunes

Look out for Marshmello's latest song to be featured in his set tonight.

Released earlier this month, Tongue Tied features English singer Yungblud and US rapper Blackbear and comes with an accompanying spooky music video. The song is one of several tracks Marshmello released this year. They include One Thing Right, a collaboration with country music artist Kane Brown and producing the Kelly Clarkson single Broken and Beautiful.

Marshmello performs at du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Doors open from 5pm. To attend the four Yasalam After-Race Concert performances it is necessary to purchase a ticket for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Tickets start from approximately Dh999, and rise in price depending on the hospitality and access. Tickets are available online at www.yasmarinacircuit.com, through the Yas Marina Circuit Call Centre (800 927) or +971 (0) 2 659 9800, as well as through all Etihad Shops and Virgin Megastores, the Yas Central Express stand at Yas Mall and through the YasHUB smartphone app and its Facebook shop: facebook.com/yasmarinacircuit

Updated: November 28, 2019 05:25 PM

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