Artist stage names run the gamut from run-of-the-mill to sublimely poetic to utterly ridiculous, but all serve useful purposes — they stick in audience’s memories and empower or inspire artists to create in different ways.
The article from the Disc Makers Blog, titled “The creative power of a stage name,” written by Michael Gallant, explores the significance and impact of stage names in the music industry. Here’s a summary of the key points:
- Pseudonyms in Music: Many successful musicians across various genres use stage names. Examples include St. Vincent (Anne Erin Clark), Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz), Timbaland (Timothy Zachery Mosley), Luke Bryan (Thomas Luther Bryan), Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman), Megan Thee Stallion (Megan Jovon Ruth Pete), and Lana Del Ray (Elizabeth Woolridge Grant).
- Sources for Stage Names: Stage names can originate from various sources, including childhood nicknames, technology (like rap-name generators), history, science, religion, and popular culture. These names often have unique stories behind them.
- Choosing a Distinctive Name: The article advises choosing a stage name that stands out and resonates with the artist. It could be shocking, funny, closely related to the music genre, or a complete non-sequitur.
- Liberation through Stage Names: Adopting a stage name can empower artists and enable them to embrace new personas. For instance, Stefani Germanotta feels empowered as Lady Gaga, which allows her to overcome the pressures of fame.
- Experimentation: Artists are encouraged to experiment with different pseudonyms until they find one that resonates with them and their music.
The article emphasizes that a well-chosen stage name can be a powerful tool for artists, helping them to create a memorable identity and explore new creative avenues.