The 'digital backstage': Why are known Canadian musicians using Tinder? - InfoNews

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The 'digital backstage': Why are known Canadian musicians using Tinder?

Jordan Miller, second right, stands with her "The Beaches" as they arrive at the Juno Awards in Vancouver, Sunday, March, 25, 2018. The closest singer and guitarist Jordan Miller gets to courtship these days is mingling with fellow singletons on Tinder while she tours North America. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
April 05, 2018 - 8:01 AM

TORONTO - The closest singer and guitarist Jordan Miller gets to courtship these days is mingling with fellow singletons on Tinder while she tours North America.

As a member of Juno Award-winning rock band the Beaches, the 21-year-old says the popular dating app helps keep her connected — even if some users might recognize her as a public figure.

"When you're a musician you're travelling around a lot. You don't really have the opportunity to go to a local bar all the time and meet people organically," she says.

"You sort of have to get your kicks online."

It's a perspective shared by fellow Toronto singer Anne Douris, who performs under the pseudonym Bossie. She dabbles in Tinder dating and signed up for the free account using photos that downplayed her music career.

But as she readies her debut pop album for release this month, she's given her virtual social life closer scrutiny.

Douris says while "the odd person" has recognized her face, she hasn't encountered dates who seem preoccupied with her stage persona.

"It comes up from time to time, but I don't really worry about it as a thing that could disturb my career," she says.

"Generally at this point (there) hasn't been anything that's freaked me out."

Those experiences could turn Douris off Tinder completely if they happen, but for now she's comfortable swiping through contenders in her area looking for a match.

One question that lingers for musicians is what Tinder means beyond their mobile phones. Potentially, conversations could look embarrassing years from now, if they're published by a stranger.

There's also a chance their profiles could be posted and mocked on social media or the subject of a number of websites that highlight celebrity dating accounts. At least one blog has posted rock musician Tinder profiles alongside gossip about sexual encounters.

Celebrity dating app Raya was launched in response to those concerns, though its VIP-only design hasn't necessarily swayed every musician away from its mainstream competitor.

Earlier this year, Tinder drew attention for how Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard appeared to use the app for hookups.

A 24-year-old Ottawa fan alleged to the CBC that he used Tinder's messaging platform to arrange a meeting at a Toronto hotel where she said she was sexually assaulted. Hoggard's lawyer Brian Shiller has described the encounter as one where the two "made a mutual plan to get together to have sex and they did just that.''

Jooyoung Lee, a sociologist at the University of Toronto, says he believes the convenience factor is Tinder's greatest appeal to some in the music industry.

"It's a digital backstage," he says. "It allows male musicians to have access to young women who may be sexually interested in a person because of their celebrity."

"We've long heard stories in the '80s with rock stars having groups shuttled into their party vans and backstage areas where all kinds of stuff happens. Now we have an app that sort of facilitates that."

Music publicist Eric Alper doesn't necessarily agree with assumptions that musicians generally use Tinder for sex. He says after talking to a number of prominent Canadian artists, he's found that many are hoping to find life partners on the app rather than just casual hookups.

"Artists tell me that gets boring after a while," he says.

"If you're famous, you rarely get outside your hotel room. And if you're not famous it can be a very lonely existence going from the hotel to the car... and onto the next city."

Toronto pop singer Raffaela Weyman, who performs under the name Ralph, stands behind Tinder's success rate. Over the past few years she estimates going on 15 to 17 dates using Tinder before she met her boyfriend through the app last year.

"It's 2018, we have all this media and advanced apps on our hands — let's friggin' utilize them," she says, pointing to how difficult it is to find a good partner in isolated corners of the community.

"You go to the same bars, you go to the same parties. Everyone's dating everyone, everyone's slept with everyone else... When you date in a small pool, you start forgetting about the things you're looking for."

She says Tinder helped her meet people beyond her comfort zone, eventually matching her with a guy who lived just down the road. Since last year, her music has grown in popularity and boosted the number of strangers who recognize her. She supposes that might've changed her perspective on using Tinder today, if she were still single.

Relationship columnist Jen Kirsch is surprised by how many Canadian musicians willingly throw themselves into the Tinder pool using their real names and recognizable photos. She suggests musicians consider that some might swipe right on their profiles only because they like the idea of meeting a public figure.

"If you're a notable personality... and it seems like you're having an intimate connection with another person on Tinder," she says, "chances are they're showing their few closest friends."

Tiffany Mondesir can vouch for feeling a thrill in spotting a celebrity on Tinder. Some time ago, she came across a popular Canadian DJ who she instantly recognized. His profile was linked to an official Instagram account and everything appeared to check out — so she did what many people would.

"I screen-shotted it and sent it to my friend," she said. "I was like, 'Um, look at this profile I stumbled onto.'"

Kirsch says hearing experiences like that hasn't stopped her musician friends from using Tinder to hook up or hang out.

"It seems weird and bizarre to us common folk that someone who's a celebrity, and seems to have people throwing themselves at them, would use Tinder but... it's easy."

Follow @dfriend on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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