After the recent attacks in Paris and public backlash against his moniker, the Los Angeles based producer Kill Paris is to change his stage name.
In a Facebook post yesterday (Saturday 14th) Kill Paris – real name Corey Baker – explained that his name is no longer appropriate given recent events. The original name, which he chose at 16, was sourced from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet – as Juliet’s rich suitor was named Paris. Baker explained that the connotations of the name invoked a “satire against a side of life that that tries to hold creativity and love down.” In light of the Paris attacks, Baker believes his pseudonym is now inappropriate, especially given the number of people who have yet to discover his music and that in order to move forward, out of respect and as an artist, a rebranding is necessary:
“From the beginning, it has always stood for sharing and focusing on the good and positive things in life, instead of magnifying and supporting the negatives in life (…) I do not want people to get the wrong idea about me and my music just because I’ve gone under a particular pseudonym.”
His new name will be Chill Harris, a simple change but a significant one. This is a tragedy of a very different kind, but a tragedy nonetheless. The public outrage that Kill Paris, a musician, received from some individuals against his name on social media was disgusting. Taken out of context and assimilated into something it’s not, the name was symbolised as a support of the attacks, exemplifying the illogical and savagely opinionated act of online shaming and finger-pointing that grows like a disease whenever a terrorist attack shakes the West.
I write about music and this is what I’m going to stick to. If I was to use my privilege as a writer to express my opinion on Friday’s events, then this whole dialogue would be reduced to the recycling of emotions that we have seen, all so clearly, on social media this weekend.
But I am writing about music.
This week the one medium with the power to universally bind us together has been attacked.
When the gaze of terror moves towards our rock concerts as a target of extremism then we must seriously reevaluate the world we are living in.The plight of Kill Paris may seem like an unlikely coincidence, but it highlights the adverse effects that events in the city of Paris have had on the music community.
It goes without saying that a musician’s name change is a mere footnote in the story of the Parisian tragedy, but my argument is that it is a footnote nonetheless.
This weekend, our freedom to enjoy an expression of culture that is universal and shared throughout the world was threatened.
You can read the Kill Paris post in it’s entirety on his Facebook page.