The Internet is a seemingly never-ending place. No matter what you’re looking for or what you’re creating, there will always be some sort of niche you’ll fit yourself into. This has been the same for artists or YouTube personalities- each creator finds their genre, no matter how obscure.
However, the rise of a YouTube creator known as ThatPoppy brought many to question the true nature and inclusivity of the Internet.
In 2015, Poppy released her first YouTube video in collaboration with director Titanic Sinclair. The video, titled Poppy Eats Cotton Candy went exactly how it sounds. Framed by a stiff white backdrop, the bleach blonde picked away at the pale pink fluff, only shifting her gaze to the camera to stick her tongue out after she had finished.
This was only the beginning of what would become one of the Internet’s biggest mysteries- What is Poppy? With each video came another flurry of questions, some of the most viewed being I’m Poppy (which was simply multiple shots of the singer repeating the phrase “I’m Poppy” for ten minutes), am I okay? and I am Not in a Cult. She rarely ever agreed to interviews, and even when she did, the singer never broke character, referring to herself only in the third person and maintaining an unsettlingly sweet, monotone persona.. Her former self had been wiped from the Internet, leaving little trace of the brunette from Nashville, known as Moriah Pereira.
Poppy released her first single in 2017. I’m Poppy has an infectiously catchy, hyperpop sound- it set the precedent for her first album which followed the next year. Poppy.Computer is dripping in pastels, each song fitting into Poppy’s artificial internet-personality theme. While the album was pretty much completely bright, techno-esque, and fun, there was a hint of grunge slipped into the fourth track, My Microphone.
This rock sound followed Poppy into her next release, Am I a Girl?, which came later in the same year. The album took a darker turn, with many tracks making comments on the nature of fame and the music industry, while retaining the same robotic-pop noise.
This was Poppy’s final release in cohorts with director Titanic Sinclair. It had come to light that the two had been involved, and their relationship had turned toxic. After much speculation and digging by fans, Poppy finally released a statement in late December of last year. She confirmed that Sinclair had in fact been manipulative and emotionally abusive in the past, but she had stayed by his side for so long as she believed he was “misunderstood” by most.
Poppy’s true first album as her own artist was released in January of this year. I Disagree is Poppy’s detachment from her former persona- if she was previously perceived to be a robot, one could describe this album as her statement of sentience. “I disagree” can be interpreted as a frightening thing for a robot to say. This album is violent- a heavy metal sound occasionally mixed with her signature smooth techno-pop noise. Poppy’s voice, typically light and monotone for the better part of her career, comes through with a new sense of emotion that is heard little if at all in her previous music.
Watching Poppy grow for the past five years has been an incredible experience for long-term fans, as well as anyone else who’s taken the time to learn her story. The singer has redefined herself in darker colors, and we’re loving her new sound.