From Iceland — Manufacturing Content: The morally bankrupt economy of modern Icelandic hype

Manufacturing Content: The morally bankrupt economy of modern Icelandic hype

Published May 26, 2023

Manufacturing Content: The morally bankrupt economy of modern Icelandic hype
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Supplied by Alda Music

Prettyboitjokkó, PATRi!K or Patrik Atlason, is Iceland’s newest pop star manufactured by joint patriarchal forces in a corporate handshake with a mainstream media hungry for freaks and clicks. His first single, conveniently also titled “prettyboitjokkó”, was released March 3 and it’s the kind of basic bitch autotune-pop with a hiccuping house-beat and a catchy chorus that you can’t get out of your head – even though you hate it.

He’s the inevitable result of the bottomless surface worshipping in modern day Instagram influencer culture, taken to its logical extreme.

In interviews, he stresses the utmost importance for boys to look fine, to be “drippin’,” and that anybody can be a “prettyboitjokkó.” But to be that you have to smell good and to smell good you have to wear a cologne that costs a lot of money (Tommy Hilfiger is not expensive enough). Patrik has a lot of money that flows on his social media pages. He wears expensive high fashion brands and drives a blue Porsche, but wishes he could have gotten a pink one (poor little PBT!). All of his riches seem to derive from the fact that he is an heir to a KFC/Candy empire – a fact that he flaunts like it’s something he’s earned. With only one single out he had about six tidbits and mini-interviews on Vísir, all addressing him like he’s already a bona fide pop star.

Prettyboitjokkó, PATRi!K, Patrik Atlason

Supplied by Alda Music

His manager is Birgitta Líf, also an heiress (in her case to the World Class gym empire), and her father and Patrik’s grandfather both showed up signing a supposed management contract in a ridiculously staged video posted to PBT’s Instagram – that of course instantaneously became news on Vísir. Soon we were bombarded with advertisements for prettyboitjokkó chocolate bars, a World Class sponsored video, an appearance in Vikan and a warm-up gig for the Valur-Tindastóll basketball playoffs game. His five song album PBT hit streaming services on May 5, and it’s more of the grinding autotuned idiocy of single (that also appears here).

We now seem to have a whole generation on our hands that has never heard of the term “sell out”, and for which the concept behind it doesn’t even register as a bad thing.

It’s as if somebody set out with the goal of making music even dumber than ClubDub – and succeeding. It’s enough to look at titles like “Hot in the Club,” “All the Girls,” and “Gugguvaktin” to tell as much. PATRi!K is the product (literally) of a society where the barriers between art, content, marketing and commerce have evaporated to the point of being indistinguishable. He’s the inevitable result of the bottomless surface worshipping in modern day Instagram influencer culture, taken to its logical extreme.

One thing I find a bit charming is his revival of the slang tjokkó from around the turn of the century (pronounced “chocko,” invoking chocolate to reference a tan). But that also reminded me of the millennium figure which is his closest ancestor, Gillzenegger, whose EXIT-themed birthday party PBT just happened to perform in last weekend. We now seem to have a whole generation on our hands that has never heard of the term “sell out”, and for which the concept behind it doesn’t even register as a bad thing. Where everything is for sale all the time. It’s all just vibes and “stemming.”


 

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