When you listen to the trap beats of Marshmello, you instantly think of his iconic cartoon helmet, with its trippy eyes and happy smile.
But who is the man behind the mask? After much speculation, it wasn’t until 2017 that we finally found out, thanks to none other than Forbes. We’ll give you his true identity at the end, but before we do, let’s take a look back at the DJ’s rise to fame, identity theories and unique artistry.
Rise to Fame
Marshmello posted his first original song on SoundCloud, as electronic artists new to the scene often do. As he posted more and more, he received recognition from big artists like Skrillex. Marshmello’s lighthearted and almost pop like trap music became an overnight sensation. He started doing remixes for Skrillex, Diplo and Zedd, so naturally people started wondering: who is this newbie, being recognized by these big time artists?
Who is Marshmello?
There’s been a lot of speculation around this question, and the first theory of him being Skrillex was quickly squashed. Then, it became Deadmau5, but that was never the case. Marshmello only got inspiration for his own look from the masked artist. Marshmello’s played a few pranks on us, like that time Tiesto pretended to reveal himself as Marshmello during his performance at EDC Las Vegas and the crowd went into a frenzy. After all this trolling, we think we deserve to know the real answer.
The Alter Ego
People started wondering if Marshmello was Chris Comstock, otherwise known as Dotcom. There was a lot of evidence suggesting this: Skrillex rang up Marshmello in an interview with none other than Katie Couric, and we saw that his name was saved as “Chris Marshmello” in his phone. Great job being sneaky, Skrillex. Dotcom also initially gave a lot of support to Marshmello on social media. Oh, and Marshmello and Dotcom have the same tattoo, same music style and same manager. So now it feels like we always knew the truth: how else could a newbie get support from such high profile artists? Well, of course Marshmello was already an established DJ himself. Thanks to Forbes, we now feel we have total confirmation on this. Forbes published an article confirming Christopher Comstock was the person behind the Marshmello brand, citing proof such as his legal name linking up with Marshmello in searches of music royalty manager BMI’s database. They also revealed that the Marshmello Creative company was formed in August 2015 under the name Christopher Comstock in Delaware. Plus, it was also confirmed to Forbes by industry insiders that yes, “it’s absolutely the same guy”. So, this is pretty much considered final proof in the music world that Christopher Comstock became Dotcom who became Marshmello.
Marshmello’s musical style includes synth and bass-heavy electronic dance music. He was inspired by other masked DJs like Deadmau5 and Daft Punk, and despite his anonymity, he rose to international fame in 2015 after he released his singles online, including remixes of Zedd’s songs. He drew a lot of inspiration from Deadmau5 specifically: both use an alternate spelling for their stage name (“marshmallow” and “dead mouse,” get it?) and wear a mascot head of their brand. We wonder how Deadmau5 feels about all this.
The Mask Now
Marshmello still won’t talk about his identity with the public to this day, and it’s proven to be one of the most successful marketing tools in contemporary music. His music video for “Alone” reached almost 140 million views on YouTube. He sells out shows and makes hit songs, like “Wolves” featuring Selena Gomez, which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. Pretty big deal, right? Marshmello continues to make music to this day and is an avid YouTuber, publishing gaming and cooking videos for his two series “Gaming with Marshmello” and “Cooking with Marshmello”. He’s even released a documentary on YouTube with his manager, which focuses on how the Marshmello brand came to be. Marshmello’s taken dance music to a whole new level, just two years after he came out with his very first song. It’s safe to say we’ll be seeing that white bucket helmet around for a while. We’ll end with some of Marshmello’s best Twitter moments, like when he jokingly said that “My name is Chris...short for Christmas came early”. He’s also tweeted "I don't take my helmet off because I don't want or need fame. I'm genuinely trying to create something positive for people to connect with.” We love you, Chris/Dotcom/Marshmello.
Clearly, Marshmello’s followers will keep dancing, regardless of who he truly is.