We don't live in the age of too much information. We passed by "too much" about ten years ago. We live in an age of an almost unbearable amount information, a tidal wave of multimedia that has drowned us, and we're now so deep under the surface we don't even realize we're underwater anymore. You wake up and before you even get out of bed you've grabbed a cell phone and read about the minutae of thousands of strangers lives. It's a level of connectiveness that's so surreal it's become normal. If it's not cataloged on the internet, it didn't happen. If it's not digitally real, it's not real.
And of course that flood of information extends to music. We literally know what the world's biggest stars had for dinner last night, and even by the time a relatively unknown artist catches the public's eye they're already dragging a mountain of tweets, Facebook updates, IG posts, Vines, texts, YouTube videos, mixtapes, EPs and albums behind them. There's really no such thing as a new artist anymore, only an artist you haven't Googled yet.
Not Allan Rayman.
Aside from whatever clues we can glean from his music, there's really not much to publicly know about Allan Rayman. To the best of my knowledge he's never been interviewed. His Twitter is merely scaffolding, the same goes for his Facebook. His site is minimalistic, he's often haunted by women in masks in photos and Google doesn't lend much help. Even his appearances in his own videos often feel more like cameos.
I pressed Allan for an interview, an hour on the phone I could use to bring all of these enigmas into the open, but no luck. For reasons I can only guess at, for now he just isn't willing to emerge from the digital shadows. But via email I did manage to extract some glimmer of information from him, so here's what I now know about music's new mystery man.
Allan Rayman is a simple man. He doesn't believe in fate, but he does believe in a calling. Music is his calling. He fears love like the common man fears death and believes that love is death. He's from Toronto (aka the North, aka 512). He makes music because music is therapy, because it's in his bloodline. All he really wants is happiness. Good company. Warm food. Wine. Earned comfort.
That's it. But all of that obscuring isn't so much a smokescreen as it is a deflection, an insistence that everything we really need to know can be found in his music. So here's what else I know about Allan Rayman. His Indrid Cold EP, released last year, was a work that announced the arrival of a new songwriter in our midst, but he really seemed to find himself later in the year with releases like "Beverly," "Interlude" and "Graceland." On those songs he sounds more unafraid than ever of silence, of subtly, and the work is more captivating for it. Guitars are taking center stage, his voice has become almost blues-tinged. It's great.
This isn't the music of a man making songs, this is the music of a man making music. Whatever that almost supernatural, intangible ability music has to evoke true emotion from sound, Allan's moving closer to its source. And that's why he's a DJBooth Top Prospect. Not because we can tell by his Twitter following that he's the next big thing, not because he's building some personal brand, but because his music is becoming impossible to ignore. And we expect that to be the case.
On one level we don't know anything about Allan Rayman, but at the same time thanks to his music we know everything about him, or at least the everythings he wants to reveal. And that's exactly how he wants it.
[By Nathan S., the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. He also occasionally talks in podcast form and appears on RevoltTV. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]