Three years after the release of his album “Noonday Dream,” British indie folk singer Ben Howard published a new single package entitled “Crowhurst’s Meme.” The package features the singles “What a Day,” “What a Day-Edit” and “Crowhurst’s Meme.”
Now, to promote the new singles, Howard deleted all his pre-2021 posts from Instagram, and dedicated the majority of his feed to promote the package.
To me, this “Instagram cleansing” was Howard’s message to fans that this is a new era for the singer and that he may be experimenting with new styles. If this was Howard’s intention, he certainly would not be the first artist to do so.
In 2019, Dua Lipa deleted all of her Instagram posts to show that she was embarking on a “fresh start” prior to releasing her single “Don’t Start Now. Iconic artists like Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, A$AP Rocky, and Zayn Malik have also deleted all of their Instagram posts in the past to show fans that they were on the verge of releasing new content.
John Brandon, of inc.com, detailed the process of purging one’s social media footprint as a “cathartic” release from the past when he wrote about why he believed Taylor Swift deleted all of her instagram posts in 2017. In other words – Swift was embarking on the same fresh start that Dua Lipa spoke about and that Howard may currently be experiencing.
Artists employ this drastic, yet popular tactic so that fans will talk about them and wonder why they deleted all of their posts. Once the artist has their audience’s attention, they can release their new work. The music will receive more streams than it would have if people weren’t already curious.
Howard has not explicitly explained why he changed his Instagram feed so drastically, so for right now, all fans can do is speculate. The British singer may have been signaling a new beginning, which is signified by Howard releasing singles rather than following his usual pattern of releasing EPs or albums, realized that this formerly subtle tactic generates attention or might have had another idea entirely.
I do know that if the singer wanted to garner attention for his new music, I can personally attest that it worked. Not only did I listen to his new songs, but I am speculating and speaking about his Instagram – which draws audiences to both Howard’s music and social media.