This 22-year-old influencer runs one of the best-known Instagram feeds in the UK. He told us how he cut deals with Uber and Sony Music.
Anthony 'Antz' Robb has gained millions of followers on social media for his razor-sharp mix of memes, music, and viral video clips. The global influencer market is currently valued at around $8 billion, a figure that looks set to rise over the next few years. Imjustbait, launched in 2014, outranks some of the best known influencers in the UK online, which has led to Robb signing promo deals with the likes of Uber and ride-hailing rival Kapten. Robb, 22, told Business Insider about his plans to launch a music festival in Barcelona this summer, a new record label backed by Sony Music, and a host of online TV shows. Click here for more BI Prime stories.
Back in 2012, Anthony Robb couldn't afford a smartphone. Raised by a single father on a conveyor belt of grimy west London council estates, Robb knew money was in short supply, and that owning a phone with a camera attached was "not a priority." But when friends introduced him to Instagram, which had just been acquired by Facebook for a hefty $1 billion, Robb very quickly realised he wanted a piece of the action. "I saw all these accounts and how many followers, likes, and comments they were getting," he told Business Insider. "I was fascinated ... Very quickly, I was like: 'I could do that.'" He recalls one friend quickly batting away the idea, laughing: "How're you gonna do that mate? You ain't even got a phone." Almost a decade later, the global influencer market is valued at around $8 billion, a figure set to rise over the next few years – and Anthony "Antz" Robb, now 22, is the voice behind one of the best known Instagram accounts in the UK: Imjustbait.
A hodgepodge of music, memes, and offbeat viral videos, Imjustbait keeps a finger on the pulse of urban British culture, mixing the silly with the serious: sobering reports of racial abuse and rising knife crime are seamlessly mixed with music videos and viral clips from "Love Island" and "Eastenders." At 3.7 million followers, the page outranks other British influencers like Joe Wicks, the fitness guru better known as the "Body Coach," and TV personality Alexa Chung. After setting the page up in 2014, Robb says he "worked day and night" to boost his follower count, quickly garnering a reputation among his peers as "that bait [meaning blatant or obvious] kid off Instagram." He said: "It's literally just me. From day one, nobody else has ever even had the password."
The page's success soon got him noticed. First, Uber approached him about a promotional deal, gaining him a commission on every follower using his unique code. And as his reach continued to grow, he started word of his influence on the world of music – news that spurred him to set up his own record label. "I would feature clips from underground artists on the page, then next thing I'm hearing is they've been signed," Robb said. "I won't name names but I've heard stories of A&R guys going into meetings, literally saying: 'Imjustbait just posted these guys, we have to sign them.'" On the advice of his manager, Robb sought investment from Sony Music, who backed his new label, "We Are BLK,"18 months ago. He has now signed seven urban artists and plans to showcase their talent, alongside established acts like Krept & Konan and Dappy, at his Summer Crush festival in Barcelona this summer. Robb laughs: "I just wanted to stop being the middleman and actually do something myself ... Why should I be doing all the hard work for them?"
Beyond the world of music, he expresses an interest in journalism and reality TV. Imjustbait's sister Instagram feed, Imjustnews, has gained 667,000 followers since launching in 2018, resharing the latest headlines to keep them abreast of current affairs. "That one's going well," Robb says. "I'd like to have someone come in and write original stories for it one day." Meanwhile on YouTube, Robb says his Imjustbait channel will soon host a slew of original shows, including "Love Locked Down," a Love Island-style reality contest set inside a prison. "We've got some big plans man, I'm excited to see what people think." After six years of work, Robb admits it feels strange to have positioned himself as a focal point of the culture he loved while growing up. "A lot of people I know from back in the day can't really believe what's happening," he says. "What can I say? It's a madness." Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Watch Google reveal the new Nest Mini, which is an updated Home Mini
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'Stupid Love,' supposedly an upcoming Lady Gaga track, went viral after her fans circulated the 'leaked' song
Lady Gaga, who last year won an Oscar for her work on the "A Star is...Lady Gaga, who last year won an Oscar for her work on the "A Star is Born" soundtrack, has not released an album since 2016's "Joanne." Her most dedicated fans, known as Little Monsters, think they've discovered her next hit song called "Stupid Love," which leaked and went viral on Twitter earlier this week. While Gaga hasn't confirmed any details about the song, a tweet she sent on Wednesday has some wondering if she's confirmed the track. Gaga's fans say the new song is a return to form for Gaga, whose 2016 album "Joanne" featured a more stripped-back sound. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Lady Gaga fans are ready for new music. So much so that, despite no news from Gaga on a tentative date or name for any upcoming single or album, Twitter lit up on Tuesday when a supposedly unreleased Gaga track called "Stupid Love" leaked online. Both Gaga and the song trended worldwide on Twitter on Tuesday as the song began circulating, mostly sent from fan to fan via DM. Several low-quality snippets of the song had also been unearthed in the days prior, too. While there's no confirmation that the song is even by Lady Gaga, the pop superstar did take to Twitter to make a snarky comment that appeared to reference the song and supposed leak. can y’all stop pic.twitter.com/1jvZLdY6jV — Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 23, 2020 Fans have been waiting for a new album since 2016 with increasing impatience It's no surprise that Gaga, whose most recent work was in the movie "A Star Is Born," has fans itching for new anthems. It's been more than three years since she released 2016's "Joanne." The album was a departure from the pop of Mother Monster's heyday. "Joanne," the album, peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 album-ranking chart. The album's lead song "Perfect Illusion" peaked at number two on the Hot 100, though it dropped off after just five weeks, a far cry from 2011's "Born This Way," which peaked at number one and spent 26 weeks on the chart. "Joanne" in and of itself served as a career reset for Gaga, whose 2014 "Artpop" album was chock full of in-your-face EDM music and over-the-top lyrics like "I'm blonde, I'm skinny, I'm rich, and I'm a little bit of a b----." While "Joanne" wasn't exactly a major commercial hit — particularly with Gaga's own "Little Monsters," many of whom missed her bold fashion looks and built-for-the-dance floor sound — it likely helped to usher in her Oscar-nominated role in "A Star is Born." The album marked the first time Gaga collaborated with producer Mark Ronson, who would go on to produce the Oscar-winning "Shallow" from the Bradley Cooper-directed film. It also received praise from critics. Rolling Stone called it her "best album in five years." "Million Reasons," the second single from Joanne, peaked at number one and spent 22 weeks on the Hot 100, which was closer to the successes of her past hits, though not quite. Gaga, Cooper, and Ronson's "Shallow" also peaked at number one and spent 57 weeks on the chart. A legion of Gaga 'stans' are on the lookout for Gaga's next huge hit It's hard to find anyone more versed in all things Gaga than one of the seemingly thousands of fan accounts that exist in her honor on Twitter. They've known a new Gaga album was in the works since at least 2017. Anthony, a 20-year-old from Sydney, Australia, who runs a Lady Gaga fan account on Twitter, said Gaga and her Artpop collaborator Paul Blair (DJ White Shadow) began teasing new music that year. She reportedly scrapped that work, which Blair had teased at the time as "Artpop's little sister" (Blair would later collaborate on some of the songs in "A Star is Born"). "10 million records plus some. #loyalty #loyalty #loyalty" - DJWS on Instagram in the studio with Lady Gaga tonight 💥 pic.twitter.com/8M9Pjkno31 — Anthony | Lady Gaga News (@antpats2) October 19, 2017 There have also been theories that Mother Monster leaked "Stupid Love" herself, which wouldn't be the first time Gaga fans peddled such ideas. Before the release of "Artpop" in 2014, a person named Boris logged into SoundCloud and leaked what is believed to be an early demo version "Artpop" track "Aura." Some fans have even claimed Gaga told them later she had been behind the 2014 leak of "Aura," though there isn't any hard evidence she was the source of the "Aura" leak, both Anthony and Matteo told Insider. "While some fans think the Stupid Love leak is an Aura 2.0 situation, the circumstances are different," Anthony told Insider. "The Aura leak happened so fast and there was hardly any knowledge of the song's existence before it surfaced online." Anthony, who opened his fan account in 2012, said he didn't believe Gaga would have shared low-quality records across various online forums. "She would have dropped the link to the full song and disappeared," said Anthony, who added that waiting for Gaga's upcoming album has been "frustrating and exciting." "I feel like I really have seen it all over the last 10 or so years, and it feels crazy to look back on it all. I still remember the Aura leak like yesterday, and how crazy everyone reacted to it. A night that no fan will forget, that's for sure!" Gaga may have revealed 'Stupid Love' months before the leak Back in October, eagle-eyed Little Monsters noticed an iPod in the corner of a photo that the "Bad Romance" singer posted to Instagram. The song she was listening to? "STUPID LOVE." The move, which hardly seemed like an accident, reminded some of her fans that rumors of such a song had previously circulated in Gaga fan circles. A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on Oct 29, 2019 at 7:09pm PDT There have been other clues, too. Fans on Twitter claimed to have found code on Lady Gaga's own website that referenced "Stupid Love," though they later noted it had been deleted once they called it to attention. UPDATE: Lady Gaga’a team replace all ocurrences of “Stupid Love” with “SJSJDJDNDJDU” in the source code of her web page. pic.twitter.com/cIbVWDSAD3 — Gaga Now 👾 (@ladygaganownet) January 21, 2020 Whether 'Stupid Love' is by Gaga or not, it's spreading like wildfire After the supposed leak from Tuesday, many Gaga fans now have the song downloaded to their own devices. While links and clips shared to Twitter were almost instantly taken down after requests by the copyright holder, nothing could stop the "Stupid Love" spread in the DMs of stans, 24-year-old Matteo (who runs @ladygaganownet, a Twitter account with nearly 240,000 followers from Rome) told Insider. The song, after all, is what Gaga fans have been begging for. "The song has that retro dance-sound from 'Born This Way' that everyone loved, so it was kinda obvious for us that it'd be an instant hit," Matteo said. "We're all craving for new pop music from her. Gaga took a more profound and personal direction with her latest album 'Joanne,' but many fans are still craving simpler and more dance music from her." HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYTTTT!!!!!! @ladygaga 🥵💕👾👽👅⭐️💦🍋💚 A post shared by BloodPop® 👁👅👁 (@bloodpop) on Mar 28, 2019 at 12:09pm PDT on Mar 28, 2019 at 12:09pm PDT Interscope Records, which represents Lady Gaga, did not respond to a request for comment. Regardless of whatever happens with "Stupid Love," it's clear that fans are hungry for new music from the hitmaker. And despite the fact that her last two releases — "Joanne" and "Artpop" — didn't quite live up to the successes of her first three — "The Fame," "The Fame Monster," and "Born This Way" — 2018's "A Star is Born" proved that the 33-year-old still has what it takes to make a hit. Read more: What 25 musicians looked like at their first Grammys awards Lady Gaga told Oprah she takes an antipsychotic, and without it she would 'spiral very frequently' Lady Gaga is the artist of the decade There are only 33 songs in history that have been certified diamond — here they all are Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Taylor Swift is the world's highest-paid celebrity. Here's how she makes and spends her $360 million.
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