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Shrouded in secrecy and theatrical flair, WesGhost is a purveyor of relatable, 2000s-style pop-punk aimed at young audiences who feel out of step with the in crowd. With a novel distribution approach that at one point integrated Web3 and blockchain technology, WesGhost has racked up millions of streams on early releases like “Sleepwalking,” “Cursed,” and “Teeth.” The musician behind WesGhost (who appears in videos and publicity material in a white knit ski mask) has yet to identify himself, although he has stated in interviews that he grew up in a mixed-race family in the Midwest. An avid musician who’d learned guitar and keyboards by his teens, he was inspired to pursue music after an emotional reaction to Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” WesGhost’s style, however, owes less to Coldplay’s mannered alt-rock and more to the short, energetic bursts of pop-punk that dominated modern rock radio at the turn of the 21st century. WesGhost’s lyrics are meant to speak to younger listeners who feel similarly frustrated and ostracized, and he sought them out in online communities — not just traditional social media but in Web3 spaces as well. He became interested in the NFT community and eventually hit on the idea of releasing music through the blockchain, including his self-released debut single, 2023’s “Sleepwalking.” His online savvy gained attention, and by the end of the year, additional singles like “Faceless,” “Withdrawals,” and “Cursed” — his most-streamed song to date — were all released through a partnership with Columbia Records. In 2024, WesGhost released the singles “Facetime” and “Teeth” — the latter a collaboration with Diggy Graves — and further extended his entrepreneurial spirit, collaborating with designers on merchandise he solicited through the messaging app Discord and releasing branded digital products on the long-running online game platform Roblox. ~ Mike Duquette