Analog Suicide

Behind the world of I SPEAK MACHINE with Tara Busch & Maf Lewis


iamamiwhoami – by Maf Lewis

Who is iamamiwhoami? Well, I don’t care, but I think I know. Whoever it is, they’re fantastic on so many levels. First and most importantly, I’ll mention the creative – a superbly original and beautifully dark visual and audio piece. I’m extremely jealous I’m not part of it.

I saw the first video on December 7th (the link is no longer available due to copyright claim by Molly Nolte, whoever that is) and thought, as many people did, that it was a return to form for Goldfrapp. We were sent it at 12.13 am. I was watching QI from the BBC iPlayer on my laptop and heard a new email ping in the background. I clicked on the Youtube link and was kind of spooked out and immediately intrigued. I searched and found nothing relative to the name, video title, email address or IP. I was totally excited as from my point of view, this was a perfect meme. It had already commanded about 30 minutes of my time and plenty more in the next few days.

Secondly, you have the intrigue of who it is. This is obviously the major part of the meme and is very successful. You only have to do a quick search to see thousands of people discussing this on various forums and social networks all leading back to the Youtube channel. Currently on the latest Youtube installment, there’s a handful of comments an hour, and plenty of arguments. Here is one of my favorites:

whatthehellisthiz (3 hours ago) for christ’s sake! it’s not little boots! she doesn’t have anything new coming out! she’s coming to the united states soon to promote her debut album, which sounds and is NOTHING like this. research before you spout off

kris120890 (2 hours ago) Wtf are you talking about you stupid moron. How does her going to the united states prove its not her. Why can’t you get over your own stupidity.

whatthehellisthiz (1 hour ago) READ! she’s promoting her debut album in the united states which came out last year in june and sounds nothing like this! my god you have no sense of logic.

kris120890 (1 hour ago) Coming from you thats funny. Somehow releasing an album in one place means that they can’t release another album in another place. Even if it isn’t her you can’t help but come the most stupid reasoning

whatthehellisthiz (1 hour ago) please stop embarrassing yourself. you obviously have no idea how the industry works.

This is viral marketing at its best; everybody wins. We get some great entertainment and they get some publicity. Having spent the last month running online Super Bowl campaigns for automotive and electronic manufacturers, I know what mainstream advertising agencies think ‘viral marketing’ is. Well, of course they haven’t got much of a clue. Viral marketing is all about the meme, a parcel of information that is naturally passed on from one person to another by choice. In order for people to pass on a meme, they need to be paid (usually) in the form of entertainment, and iamamiwhoami pays very well indeed.

Of course, when I say I don’t care who it is, I really mean that I don’t mind. I’m actually dying to know. For me, it’s brilliant if it’s a new up and coming act or a major star. So far, the favorite is Christina Aguilera, followed closely by Lady GaGa. Other names dropped in the hat are Fever Ray, Little boots, Bjork, Goldfrapp, Golden Filter and a couple of emails asking if it’s Tara ;). This is mainly based on the girls face in the video. If it is a major star, then we may finally have some incredible mainstream art instead of the desperate recycled trite that these acts have been squeezing out over past few years. If it is Christina, she’s finally become a real artist, a significant graduation from being a star. I’ll take my hat off to her for creating this (and all the others involved) and to RCA/Sony for letting an artist release this kind of material and in this way.

I have some serious doubts that it’s Christina or any of these. I’m pretty confident that it’s an up and coming act and that maybe the girl in the video is not the star, but part of the performance. I’m really excited to see what they’ll produce. I just hope that the first release is as good as I imagine and that their second is not yet another rehash of disco 70’s hits or 80’s synth pop, or whatever the silly current trend is. Roll on iamamiwhoami! I’m rooting for you whoever you are.


  1. After bumping into you earlier and hearing about this, I was intrigued. I checked it out.

    Thought the usual domain registration searches etc would be fruitless so went straight for "identifying traits". Found plenty of theories online, and the really strong ones (based mainly on teeth!) seem to be Xtina and Little Boots. Both have the slightly crooked bottom teeth that the lead in the video has.

    Or, as you rightly point out, the front woman could be a complete red herring.

    Either way, the fact that it’s commanded the time of two marketing nerds like us, it’s clearly a brilliant campaign. I’m just surprised it hasn’t crossed my path already and that I had to wait for you to return to Blighty to tell me about it!


    Comment by Neil Cocker on February 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm

  2. "Either way, the fact that it’s commanded the time of two marketing nerds like us, it’s clearly a brilliant campaign." – Exactly. You may or may not like it, but many people are investing significant time in it.

    I’ve always been intrigued with ‘viral marketing’, from back in the 90’s when we conned the Daily Star and Wales on Sunday into publishing stories about a lost cat (Dave) that was the apparent star of the an indie movie we had produced:) – when I see a great campaign, it makes me very happy that there are ways we learn about new art beyond the Guardian and New York Times (love them that I do).

    Comment by Maf Lewis on February 13, 2010 at 10:09 pm

  3. Not to mention the time we convinced about 30 local newspapers around the UK to print full page articles about Baby Elephant by convincing them that the boys used to go the their local school and had now hit the big time…


    Comment by Neil Cocker on February 14, 2010 at 2:14 pm

  4. Comment by hatathli on February 22, 2010 at 7:09 am

  5. In the latest video the girl looks ALOT like Lily Cole. The big eyes, tiny mouth and face shape are all a match. Maybe she’s just acting in these clips, and not the singer?

    Comment by jeff on March 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

  6. Comment by mandrake on March 8, 2010 at 10:41 pm

  7. iamamiwhoami = uararuwhoaru = Unknown ARtist ARtist Unknown WHO ARe U

    Comment by Omnesion on March 13, 2010 at 12:15 am

  8. Anybody wondering who the director of this video is? One look at it and it screams Skandinavia – Canada maybe – but probably Skand. Looking at the filmmaking, this has a very Jonsi & Alex look to it – worth looking into where this was filmed – anybody know about northern european foliage!? one look through Christina Aguilera’s files will let you know if she took a 2 week trip to Oslo lately…

    Comment by Geoff Brennan on March 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm

  9. I still think it’s Jonna Lee. But that’s just me.

    Comment by Devin on March 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm

  10. Have you seen this iamamiwhoami-MASHIUP already? No idea who did this and why they did this, but it’s damn COOL and amazingly well done:

    Comment by Petrj on April 23, 2010 at 8:41 am

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