There’s this song on the radio that you really like. You’ve heard it a couple of times already, but it isn’t until now that you actually wonder who the artist is. You go home and go on the internet and find the artist. You like the way they look. You extend your search to YouTube and find yourself spending hours watching interviews and videos of that artist. You are slowly falling in love and find that you talk about the artist as though he or she is an actual person you know.
I don’t think you choose to become a fan of an artist. I think it is something that grows and then you find yourself into deep and there is no way for you to go back again. Because yes, being a fan can be incredibly rewarding. You enjoy the music and visit new places and make great friends. But there are also downsides. There is jealousy, there will be people who hate your guts and prepare for a lot of drama. That is also the fandom world for you. And although I am not as involved in the whole fan scene at the moment, I don’t regret ever having been a part of it. It has brought me many of the good things and many of the bad but I shall never forget the experiences I’ve had in my fanatic years.
There are two artists I really consider myself a fan of. I discovered the first artist when I was just 15 years old. I was on my couch, reading a book, when a television show was on and they played a small part of the video. I was instantly intrigued by the song. I put my book away and paid full attention to the show now. The artist turned out to be incredibly funny and cool and I identified myself with him. At the time I got bullied a lot and he basically defied all the bullies and that appealed to me. I wished that I was so brave. After the show had ended, I went upstairs and looked up more songs or news about this artist. I googled, but there were only three pictures available. I did find a fanclub, although it took me two months to be brave enough to join it. It was a good choice. I got sucked into the fandom and made many friends which came in handy when I was old enough to travel to gigs by myself and needed people to hang out with. In the beginning, it felt like it was one big family, even though there were enough fights. It didn’t take long for the artist to become more popular, and I remember seeing him for the first time. It felt as though I was watching a large YouTube video. I couldn’t believe it was real! It was also the moment my concert addiction kicked in. I guess that moment was the moment I realised for the first time how important music was to me. And I was proud to be a fan. At school they would laugh at me for wearing shirts with the name of the artist on it, but I didn’t care. They had no idea what they were missing.
I discovered the second artist through the first. It was 2008 and she had just released a single that was popular on Myspace (yes, it’s that long ago). She did an interview in which she mentioned my first favourite artist, so I went over to Myspace and I listened to her songs. I fell in love with them. Coincidentally, someone on the fanclub of the other artist had started a forum for this artist and I became a member and later on a moderator. I sent the artist some messages via Myspace and she replied! I was insanely happy, remember, I was a 16-year old by then. She released another single which became a massive hit and I managed to see her live once in those early days. I didn’t get to meet her, unlike many of the other fans, but I knew it would happen eventually. I then met her for the first time in 2011, 3 years later, and it felt great! She is one of the biggest popstars on the planet right now and I am still a moderator on her forum.
I am proud that I was there at the beginning of these artists’ careers and that I managed to watch them grow and support them. I have seen many cities I wouldn’t have seen otherwise and I danced and sung on stage in front of thousands of people as well. I still go see their shows as often as I can and I’m still in touch with the friends I’ve made through their shows and fanclubs.
Now tell me, how did you become a fan of your favourite artist? And do you enjoy the fan life? Let me know in the comments!