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Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5732-6712 Viñuela Eduardo

Abstract

This article analyzes how mainstream artists respond to the dynamics of online fan communities, developing complex metanarratives that interrelate their songs and music videos with their “personal” activity on social media. Audiences analyze in depth and discuss each release, contributing to its viralization on the internet. However, these strategies need strong narratives that allow convincing developments and transmedia storytelling, and this is where literature becomes a significant source of inspiration. I argue that the assumption (or subversion) of popular literary characters and narratives contributes to a positioning of artists in the music scene and facilitates their “reading” by the audience. To illustrate this process, I analyze the references to Romeo and Juliet by mainstream pop artists in the last decade, paying special attention to Troye Sivan’s debut album Blue Neighborhood (2015), considered a homosexual version of Shakespeare’s drama, and to Halsey’s concept album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (2017), understood as a queer version of the play. Both artists explained their personal reading of Shakespeare’s drama as a way of expressing their own feelings and experiences. These examples of metanarrative storytelling achieved their aim, and millions of fans engaged with both artists, discussing lyrics, photos and music videos related to Romeo and Juliet on social media.

Keywords

transmedia storytelling, Romeo and Juliet, music

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media

References

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First Page

209

Last Page

222

Language

eng

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