Ethereal Awakening

Published on 08/15/2023

A galaxy of cellphones broadcasting Sonic King’s concert projected the LA amphitheater like a global stage in space for all of humanity. Sonic King paused after dropping his latest hit, building up his energy.

“Whaaaaaat’s next?” he asked his raving fans.

“Fadin’ Hustle!” “Fadin’ Hustle!!!” shouted out his fans.

Boom Boom Boom bass kicked in. Sonic King spun out lyrics in sync with the snare, while stage dancers became one with dazzling neon beams. Waves of short videos and bright snaps raced across social media for the next week, stretching out the 3 hour show into an infinite ethereal happening. But Sonic King didn’t notice, as if he was on another planet because he just didn’t care for socials.

His jet landed smoothly on baking Memphis tarmac the following weekend. One of Sonic King oldest friends, Echo Nova, couldn’t wait to go to the show. Still hustlin’ and strugglin’ Echo Nova couldn’t afford travel to LA, this Memphis show was his first chance to see Sonic King live.

“Welcome to Memphis!” Echo Nova texted Sonic King.

Sonic King responded courteously, “Enjoy the show tomorrow brother :slight_smile:”, but they were no longer close friends like back in the day. Echo Nova didn’t have the greatest seat that night, but even from the rear section the performance transported him to a higher plane. Choreographed lights and dancers synchronized into the beats distorting senses as if he was hearing neon flashes and seeing bass lines. An idea for a new song of his own emerged in his mind like a new star in the galaxy. Despite being in the back, or maybe because of his distance from the stage, Echo Nova captured scenes of the show with a panoramic orbital perspective. Echo Nova couldn’t sleep when he got home that night. He stayed up, mixing a slideshow video of his concert snaps and a classic Sonic King track from before he was famous. Echo Nova posted the reel on InstaGram, tagging Sonic King, and crashed out.

When he awoke the next morning, he was surprised to see way more likes and comments than his typical posts. But he was not surprised to see that Sonic King didn’t notice at all. Sonic King didn’t like or comment, didn’t re-post or share. Echo Nova leaned back, eyes dulled as he stared out the window over the horizon.

“Yo bro, the whole city loved your show last night“ Echo Nova texted Sonic King.

“It’s blowin up on IG” he sent a second text, and headed out for the day.

Sonic King never cared for social media, Fake hustlers he would always think to himself. But business is business, and music is business, so he had his accounts across all platforms managed by his promo team. Despite his disdain for it, messages from Echo Nova’s prompted Sonic King to check out the post himself, for old time’s sake. And he was still only half-awake.

That’s dope he thought. The room blurred and re-focused again through his flickering eyelids. He gave a like with some mindless comment to the post, and re-posted as well. For my homie he said to himself as clunked his phone down and drifted off.

Echo Nova’s post really went viral after that. A few days later, Echo Nova decided to try and keep the momentum. Sonic King was already in New York by then.

“Thanks for the repost!” Echo Nova texted, “I picked up tons of new followers”

“Your post was dope” Sonic King replied, “Old school vibe takes me back”

“We should collab more, why don’t you come to one of my shows?” Echo Nova asked, but Sonic King didn’t respond. Echo Nova posted more frequently on InstaGram. He posted a lot more videos than he was doing before. Live captures from his local gigs were the most popular reels on his feed. He wasn’t sure if InstaGram was the reason, but he got a lot more gigs over that summer than last year.

Sonic King still didn’t come to any of Echo Nova shows. But he did support Echo Nova on InstaGram, liking and commenting a few posts here and there. Echo Nova performed a cover of that classic Sonic King track at a gig where he was headlining in a local bar. The smaller bar room reverberated old school beats, bottles on the back wall clinking from the buzz. Locals crowded in from the streets outside, pulled by gravitation of music. The bar emptied out like a cool starless night after his set. But Echo Nova was more electric than ever, posting shots from the show in a frenzy. His favorite pic was a lucky snap of him mid-air, mid-chorus, as if the audience launched him to space.

“Woah” he said out loud to himself, before he could finish posting his last pic Sonic King was commenting on the show And he re-posted the shot of Echo Nova mid-air, with a comment “Back in the day, we could fly”

This post went viral too, Sonic King fans were taking notice of Echo Nova. Echo Nova got more new followers that week than the entire year before. And more fans too, his streaming counts exploded. Sonic King wouldn’t admit it yet, but he was starting to enjoy social media.

Huh? How’d Echo Nova get to this from nuthin’? he wondered. A year ago, Sonic King would not have even noticed since he never paid mind to social media before. But now he was keen to capitalize the opportunity.

“Why don’t you come to my show in LA next week” Sonic King texted Echo Nova.

“I’d love to, but don’t have the spare change for it right now” Echo Nova replied.

“Don’t sweat it, it’s on me bro. My manager will send your itinerary tomorrow” Sonic King texted back.

Woah, sweeeeet Echo Nova said to himself, reflecting out the window over the whirlwind of the past few weeks.

Echo Nova landed on a surprisingly cool Thursday for LA. Sonic King wasn’t able to meet him at the airport, they would catch up at the after party tomorrow night. After settling into his hotel room, Echo Nova took some pics from his 12th floor view. Planes descending into LAX shimmered in front of the setting sun. He lowered his phone slowly, inspiration for a new song taking hold of his mind. After scribbling out rough lyrics on the hotel logo scratchpad in his room he went back through his skyline pics. Perfect he thought as he posted to InstaGram, proud to share his adventure with the world before drifting off to sleep.

The Sonic King concert kicked off to fireworks and bass competing for decibels. Echo Nova studied the choreography of lights projecting stage dancers seemingly into the sky, flush with new inspirations for his own performances. The after party was a symphony of chaos, Echo Nova couldn’t find Sonic King for over an hour. Then the room seemed to stand still when Sonic King appeared, and they hugged and jumped into conversation like brothers.

“Have another shot” said Sonic King, “It’s only the best for my parties” Echo Nova smiled without saying that he was already on his third.

“Thanks for bringing me out, loved the show” said Echo Nova.

“Pleasure is mine. Let me introduce to some of my LA producers here. I told them you’re the one who gave my IG a boost this summer” said Sonic King. Echo Nova shook hands and exchanged numbers, getting on with his new friends as if they were old bandmates. As the evening closed out, Echo Nova thanked Sonic King again and hit LAX for his red eye home.

Sonic King was on InstaGram for most of the next day. He did his first InstaGram live stream, serving up classics by request and answering questions from fans. Looking out his window after the live stream that evening, stars appeared closer as if he was encircled in a constellation of gratitude.

Echo Nova’s local popularity continued to soar. In between his gigs he was a content machine. The more he posted the more his fans craved more pics and videos, with flurries of likes, comments, and re-posts. LA connections started to kick-in, Echo Nova got the headline spot in the biggest festival of the summer, with a professional team to capture photos and vids for his socials.

He followed Sonic King online too, more closely now than ever. He admired Sonic King’ creativity, Boy’s really lettin’ it shine now he thought, enthralled by the latest reel which he re-posted for tons more likes from his own fans as well. Sonic King appreciated Echo Nova’s support more deeply, he did a cover of Echo Nova’s latest hit at his NY show that fall, followed by shout-outs across InstaGram. And he kept up his support for Echo Nova, liking and commenting here and there over the years. Sometimes Echo Nova would struggle a bit as his popularity temporarily dropped or when he had trouble thinking up his next big hit. Seeing the comments from Sonic King on his posts and knowing that he wasn’t alone motivated him to push through.

Sonic King realized the “social” in social media is all about people, like his fans and his friends, and the connections between us makes it real.

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