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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The new artist ROLE MODEL

Tucker Pillsbury, better known by his stage name ROLE MODEL, is the up-and-coming pop singer that encapsulates the moody thoughts of Generation Z in his catchy lyrics and his upbeat, dance-worthy beats. Pillsbury has the ‘boy next door’ vibe with his relaxed style and easy smile, yet the lyrics in some of his songs indicate an unhappy side to his personality. We see more into this unhappy side with his 2019 hit song, “minimal,” which conveys a pessimistic outlook on young love. The song begins forlornly:  “Boys don’t cry, they’re happy all the time / Girls get by, act like they got it fine / We’re so sad, all my friends and I… There’s too much going on / I wish the world would end.” 

ROLE MODEL’s honesty about depression makes his music relatable to a lot of his fanbase, who are generally all under 25 years old. Also, he understands what it’s like to be a part of Gen Z, being a 23-year-old himself.  His most popular song at the moment, according to Spotify, is “blind,” which I find so catchy that I’ve played it on repeat for the past two months. “blind” is incredibly relatable to young people today because it is about having a crush on someone who you’ve only seen on social media, and imagining how great they are even though you don’t know them. “You’ve got the gold hoops, Prada fit / I’m in love with all of it.” Pillsbury sings. “I’d like to think that we’re the same, I don’t even know your name / All I’m really tryin’ to say is / I’ve never seen something quite like you!” Especially in the age of COVID-19, many young people can relate to experiencing crushes, dating, and love over the internet rather than in-person. 

As for his success, ROLE MODEL is doing very well at the moment, with over two million monthly listeners on Spotify and a new EP scheduled to arrive on Oct. 21. And yet, Pillsbury is a relatively new artist. His first EP, titled ARIZONA IN THE SUMMER was released in 2017. Since then, Pillsbury has released twelve singles, one cover (of Miley Cyrus’s The Climb), and a second EP, “oh, how perfect,” in 2019. In classic Gen-Z muted style, every one of Pillsbury’s song titles are written in all lowercase. Pillsbury started out rapping, but eventually started singing and realized he was better suited to pop. His musical style is funky and filled with soft beats, and his voice is golden and occasionally raspy. 

Out of all the moody young pop singers of today, what makes ROLE MODEL is his lyrics that reflect how many of us young people feel inside during such a chaotic age: struggling to capture the freedom and happiness of youth while the world seems to crumble around us. “We should be dancing in the sun / It’s hard when everything is numb.” In “hello!”, he sings: “I’d like to try and feel okay / So if I call what would you say?” In many of his songs, RM seems to be yearning for someone to care about him, help him through his struggles with mental health and his youthful troubles. He is honest in his work, and his honesty translates to the listener, making the listening experience emotional as well as pleasurable. All good music needs emotion, and that is what ROLE MODEL’s songs are full of it. You can find his music on most streaming platforms under ROLE MODEL.