Pop’s Satire on Pop: Who is Poppy?


Evan Hecht, Staff Writer

On November 4th 2014, a girl named Poppy posted her first video to YouTube titled “Poppy Eats Cotton Candy”—a one minute and twenty-two-second video of her eating cotton candy. From then on, Poppy has solidified her place in pop culture. She went on to make more cryptic videos, such as “I’m Poppy”—a ten-minute video of her repeating the phrase, “I’m Poppy.” Another video is “Charlotte Interviews Poppy,” a video of Poppy being interviewed by a mannequin named Charlotte.

Her music career started when she released her first single, “Lowlife.” This sparked controversy because of her depiction of the satanic figure, Baphomet. From then on, her cult following began. For the past two years, Poppy has been releasing more and more cryptic videos. Whether it’s her talking to a potted plant, or 51 seconds of her blinking with closed captions saying in Danish “I’m going to tell you everything soon,” she’s done it all.  Alongside her cryptic YouTube videos, she’s released music, with her EP entitled Bubblebath released in 2015 and, more recently, an LP titled Poppy.Computer. She’s amassed a cult-like following in these two years of her career, so much so that she calls her fans “the cult of poppy.” She even pokes fun at her following in her song, “My Style,” singing “bath salts, start a cult, I’m so adult.”

With the rise of Poppy, many questions have been posed about her persona. People wonder if it’s all an act, if it’s a marketing scheme, or if she is actually like this. Poppy’s creative mastermind, Titanic Sinclair, has been the producer of many of these satirical artists, such as Mars Argo. Following a similar format, Sinclair uses the same ideas he embedded into Argo as he does on Poppy. Poppy is a big proponent of the internet, as Argo was, causing many people to question Sinclair’s formula. So what exactly is Sinclair trying to achieve through Poppy? Are his goals similar to what he had planned for Argo? The conclusion is that Poppy, and by extension Poppy.Computer, is a commentary on what it means to be a pop star. The constant adoration towards fans, interviews with mindless beings, and even the fact Poppy is a pop artist— all comment on what a modern day celebrity is. 

Poppy and Sinclair at The Streamy Awards, photo courtesy of gettyimages

On the 11th and final track of Poppy.Computer, there’s a song called “Pop Music,” which comments on certain things we see every day in pop music. With lyrics such as, “It saved me, I know it can save you, that sounds dumb but trust me it’s been proved,” we see fans touching on the idea of saying a certain artist’s music saved their life. “Pop is when you hear a song and cannot help but sing along, it’s when you hate it but still appreciate it,” Poppy says about the disdain many people feel towards pop. “Somebody told me I should follow where the money goes.” She speaks about how pop itself is an industry for money and not for producing talent. It’s hard to answer if we will ever find out the story behind Poppy, or even if we’ll get a sophomore album. What we do know is that Poppy has made her mark in her world of talking mannequins and potted plants.