Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 August 2019
The photographic selfie that bulks so large in popular digital culture has given rise to a musical equivalent, in which a facial image is analysed into a set of features used to generate a sonic output – the musical selfie. Michel Foucault coined the phrase ‘technologies of the self’, and Tia DeNora applied it to music, but the musical selfie reveals a different conception of selfhood that relates to many other aspects of digital culture – a conception that is both performative and intimately linked to technology. This chapter explores the musical selfie from three perspectives, in each case a digital form that is linked to a key technological platform and a key practice. These are: the playlist, linked to Spotify and the practice of curation; headphone listening, linked to Beats by Dre and enclosure; and the self-produced video, linked to YouTube and broadcasting. Seen in this light, digital selfhood (or selfiehood) is generated in relation to other selves and through shared activities, and closely linked to such fundamental features of digital culture as self-quantification, algocracy and surveillance.