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Beck

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Biography

The Artist name Beck can refer to two artists;

1) Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell, July 8, 1970) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Beck’s music is known for its pop-junk culture collage of musical styles, ironic lyrics, samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and heady sound effects.

Beck was born in Los Angeles, California, to David Campbell (a musician and son of a Presbyterian minister) and Bibbe Hansen (a former dancer for The Velvet Underground, founding member of the satirical band Black Fag, and visual artist). When his parents separated, Beck stayed with his mother and brother in Los Angeles, where he was influenced by that city’s diverse musical offerings—everything from hip-hop to latin music—and his mother’s art scene – all of which would later reappear in his recorded and published work.

Although Beck’s work defies easy description, his eclecticism and genre experiments have sparked comparisons with Prince, though Beck was undoubtedly a less prolific artist, and drew on an absurdist, free-flowing lyrical style totally original when first exposed to mainstream audiences (indeed, some critics labeled him and his breakthrough single Loser as novelties - see below). Despite this individualism, Beck’s music was very much a product of the 90s and the media age in general, with hip hop, indie/underground rock, electronic music and genre-benders like the Beastie Boys as notable touchstones; in addition, some critics could not resist likening his head-spinning lyrical aesthetic to a post-modern Bob Dylan sensibility.

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