Only three years ago, Marshmello was just releasing his first originals on Soundcloud. Now, he’d made $44 million over the past two years, flies private, has a helmet worth $55,000, and is on the cover of the Forbes 30 Under 30 issue. Marshmello is an anomaly in music, rising faster and with more force than any other artist in recent memory. But, to say that it was all just “right time, right place” isn’t doing justice to the genius of the Marshmello brand.

“For us it was, how do you create a brand that is accessible to everybody, that everyone can be and relate to?” says Marshmello’s manager, Moe Shalizi, who also landed on the new 30 Under 30 list. “The concept we had in mind with Mello was, How do you create a universal character?”

The mask certainly affords Marshmello a certain degree of anonymity and universality, despite his identity being officially revealed as Chris Comstock, fka Dotcom. Marshmello has yet to make any public acknowledgement of his identity, and he doesn’t need to. He’s been portrayed by anyone from Shawn Mendes, to Will Ferrell, to Tiësto, and they are all at the same time both Marshmello and not Marshmello.

Shalizi claims that Marshmello is on track to make $50 million next year, and it’s entirely believable. Between his six-figure fees at clubs and festivals, to his side ventures in “Cooking with Mello” and his weekly gaming videos with Twitch superstars, he has more sources of revenue than he can count.

“We always talk about taking Marshmello public one day,” says Shalizi, referring to turning the DJ’s business into a publicly traded company. “He can do anything.”


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