A newly released single "Davy Jones" has propelled its creator, Robert Palomo, from completely total obscurity to mostly total obscurity in a matter of days.
"It's not supposed to work like that!" moaned Tatako Yamamoto, head of Sony Music's Quash Indies division. But fans of the sea shanty, the working songs of British and American sailors during the age of sail, have expressed other ideas.
Jessica Hawkesbaite, a well-known barmaid and madam whose emporium on the docks in the port of Bristol, England, is a popular retreat with tramp freighter crews, tweeted: "So buzzy & froody!! Shocked it's Indie. Can't stop listening. 10/10!!!"
That anyone in this day and age is still creating music in the barnacle-encrusted genre, and that a song has achieved at least 100% penetration in it's industry-analyzed market niche, whose numbers music industry marketing weasels... sorry, analysts... generally estimate to be no more than 8 or 9 worldwide, is what has thrown the mainstream music industry into shock.
Trevor Buhmgrabner, an A&R executive at Shillboard Productions in L.A. - who would sell his grandmother into slavery for such numbers - was overheard to snort over the top of a large dry tequila martini, "It's just so, so last century, dude... well, no, the century before that... I think... no wait... I mean... oh f***ing hell, man, when was the last time anybody actually wrote this kind of sh**?"
Perhaps some of the near-infinite improbability is spawned into the cosmos by Palomo's personal situation. He's an American of Hispanic descent ("born in Ohio with a state-certified birth-certificate to prove it, Donald, you fat pendejo!"), with a soft spot for the oft-maligned banjo, who has lived for 2 decades in Saint-Petersburg, Russia ("the butt-end of the Baltic", as he puts it), where he now writes and records salt-flavored "new old sea songs", for fun and, until now, no profit whatsoever. Has "Davy Jones" - his new ode to the King of the Deep - changed that aspect of things?
Palomo declined to give specifics about how much he has taken in from the single's umpteen gazillions of plays on Spotify alone. "I hear it's doing amazing, but I don't know first-hand because Spotify blocks all 'worldwide' web traffic from the country where I live," he said. "But I wouldn't be surprised if it racks up double-digits in the cents column of the ol' ledger inside of a couple of years if this keeps up."
Be the financials what they may, the reaction of mainstream music industry executives was well summed up by Keith Pritchards, CEO of DooDemHitz, Inc. - a Nashville think tank and record label.
"The fact that he did it all without belly-fat and toenail fungus ads is forcing everyone in this business to re-evaluate our strategy," he said. "Listen... I gotta go. Hey, yer beautiful, really. Don't call me... I'll call you, OK?"
In addition to its alleged presence on Spotify, the digital single "Davy Jones" by Robert Palomo is available on CD Baby, iTunes, Bandcamp, and, because there was no way to prevent it, Amazon.