Artemas: who is the most listened to troll in the world

Artemas: who is the most listened to troll in the world

The story is this. A guy called Artemas, about whom little or nothing is known (there are only a couple of interviews available), climbs the world charts with a song called “I like the way you kiss me”, exploded on TikTok and stable from two weeks to first place on Spotify's Weekly Top Songs Global (the ranking of the most listened to songs globally on the platform), which however it seems to be sung by a womanso much so that if you didn't look for information on the artist in question you would be led to believe that Artemas is the girl with platinum blonde hair and a wild look photographed on the cover of the song.

So far, no mystery (and nothing new): the rumor has been .pitchedor altered through software, so that it sounds like this, just like Artemas' previous hit, “If you think I'm pretty”, 153 million streams on Spotify from January to today. There is a “but”.

While “I like the way you kiss me” by Artemas continues its run unabated – in the last seven days alone it has totaled 62 million plays worldwidemore than “We can't be Friends” by Ariana Grande, “Greedy” by Tate McRae, “Cruel summer” by Taylor Swift – a girl claims on TikTok that the voice is hers. And she says she's not just any girl, but she'sArtemas' ex-girlfriendThat she accused the singer of abusing her and even making her addicted to methamphetamine and other hard drugs. She claimed to be able to prove everything and in the meantime she shared some audio notes that would testify to her involvement in the song: “I'm not looking for publicity, but I just want the credits for the songs”, she said. Truth? Controversial publicity stunt? While waiting for further developments in the story, “I like the way you kiss me”, released last March 26, is approaching its peak 250 million streams on Spotify: it's the hit of the moment, which has officially left the TikTok bubble to expand everywhere.

It certainly wouldn't be Artemas' first move of its kind. Last September the singer, full name Artemas Diamandisborn in 1999, half English and half Cypriot origins, anonymously circulated the preview of a track on TikTok, making people believe it was a snippet of a Drake song, a probable preview of the record-breaking rapper's new album, thus sending the platform into a tailspin and creating a real communication short circuit. Too bad it was actually a snippet of his new single, “Across my heart”: he revealed only on the eve of the release that he was behind the bizarre idea, eager to “force” people to listen to his new piece.

Result: .“Across my heart” exceeded one million streams in a few days and was the first Artemas piece to achieve the feat. The choice not to appear on the covers of his singles is also part of this strategy. On the one for “If u think I'm pretty” there is a girl in bikinis and heels who has her head covered by a motorbike helmet, photographed under a porch. On the one for “I like the way you kiss me” there is instead a girl with platinum blonde hair leaning against a wall, her arms wrapped around her knees and her disturbing expression, reminiscent of a horror film.

Artemas grew up in a village in Oxfordshire, the same county where the climb of the Radiohead to the rock scene. Except that he didn't start writing songs inspired by Thom Yorke and his associates, but by Kurt Cobain. Thanks to “Montage of heck”, Brett Morgen's acclaimed 2015 documentary, which opened the doors of the (anti) grunge hero to him when he was 16: “At the time I was looking for an identity. I'm attracted to people who aren't necessarily trying to paint a pretty picture of themselves. Frank Ocean, Amy Winehouse and The Weeknd come to mind – he told Office Magazine, in one of the very few interviews granted so far –

I feel really comfortable doing the same in my music”. His team includes producers and musicians such as Kevin White (already alongside Anne-Marie, Little Mix and G-Eazy), Toby Daintree and Two Inch Punch (Rex Orange County, Kali Uchis and Years and Years). His productions mix alt pop, electronic, indie and SoundCloud rap (the songs last just over two minutes): “How are the pieces born? I literally sit in front of a keyboard or a guitar and then try to bring a song to life. I try not to be too clinical with what I'm trying to write and just say whatever. It's a really interesting process.”

Starting as an independent, Artemas immediately attracted the attention and interest of the majors, signing for Warner: “I feel like I'm tapping into something beyond myself.” It matters on Spotify 45 million monthly listeners and in the meantime he fills the clubs of the European capitals with the tour that has just started from Rotterdam (no stop in Italy). Also in the lineup “I'm sorry”, the first song he released, two years ago, when the top of the Spotify world charts was a dream that seemed unachievable: “I wrote it one night after going out with some old friends I hadn't seen in years. It's one of my most personal songs, a reflection on the years I spent making music in my bedroom. It's a tribute to the people who stick by you when they have every reason not to”.