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Gil Kaufman

What's in a (Band) Name? These Days, Not Many Vowels: Here's Why


Gil Kaufman explains why vowels in artist names have gone the way of the dodo; and it has everything to do with technology.

This article originally appeared on Billboard

It comes before picking a single, shooting a video or plugging in for your first show. Unless you're using a real one like Beyoncé or Justin Bieber, it's the most important first decision any artist can make: picking the perfect name.

After more than half a century of rock and pop acts grabbing all the good ones (and plenty of really bad ones), it's also increasingly harder to find something that has the right stickiness without being too similar to draw legal attention. Especially one that will work (and be available) as a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram handle, but which also stands out in a Spotify playlist (or if you're old school, on a CD label).

That might help explain the suddenly scarce vowel. The absence of A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y's is increasingly noticeable these days. Check out this list of bands who've gone spelling rogue over the past few years: LNDN DRGS, MNEK, BTS, KSHMR, TTS, HXLT, JMSN, DVSN, SWMRS and the truly inscrutable RKCB.

"I look at the younger generation that have been 'electronic' for the majority of their formative years and this is how they speak -- emoticons, leaving out vowels, shortened words -- there's this new language where when you're thinking of a name it's about being really distinctive," explained Brannon Cashion, global president at the brand strategy consultancy Addison Whitney, which helps clients such as Nike, Microsoft and Sony with verbal and visual branding.


Read the full story to hear industry figures thoughts on 'diesemvoweling'. By Gil Kaufman for Billboard

Tags : Billboard