Vital statistics: Over two million views for “Without You” on YouTube, over 2 million plays for it on Soundcloud.
When the video for the absolutely stunning “Without You”, first came to our attention back in April we, and everybody else, had about a million questions. Who was this durag and Fubu wearing, ghostly white R&B singer with the voice of an angel from Minnesota named Spooky Black? Was this supposed to be a joke? Could that really be his voice? These were all valid questions that made an amazing song that much more interesting and as we learned more about him we got some answers. Yes, that was is his real voice and no it was no joke.
In the coming months, Spooky Black started to move past “Without You.” In August he released his Leaving EP, giving us more of the hauntingly beautiful voice and spacey sounds that got us hooked in the first place. He then linked up with Allan Kingdom to form the group the stand4rd with Bobby Raps and Psymun. The group had a strong fall, headling a New York show at SOB’s and releasing their experimental self-titled debut. Along the way, Spooky Black and the stand4rd jump started their own movement sans radio, co-signs, or a major label. Just look at the DJ-Khaled-featuring promo for their album. It feels like a bunch of goofy teenagers made it without any of the formulaic cliches we’ve come to expect from the music industry.
In terms of predicting Spooky’s future success it’s helpful to look at Yung Lean, another young white kid who came out of an area seemingly far removed from hip-hop to take the Internet by storm. Is Yung Lean going to become a superstar? Probably not. But he has gained a rabid fanbase. While it’s similarly unlikely that Spooky Black becomes an R&B mainstay, he may have already created a fan base, which is what a musician really needs. The good news is, he recently changed his name from Spooky Black to the less offensive, Corbin.