MARC REBILLET IS STANDING in a mostly empty living room with a huge grin on his face. Wearing nothing but a bronze-colored silk robe and a pair of black-and-white boxer briefs, he holds a microphone in his left hand. Headphones are clamped to his ears, and his right hand hovers over a keyboard. The caller on the line wants a song about “getting it on with a big-booty Black girl.” Rebillet pauses, never losing his smirk. “I could get blasted for this,” he says, laughing. For the next 12 minutes and five seconds, Rebillet, his keyboard, and a loop machine (he’s known around the internet as Loop Daddy) oblige the caller with a bedroom groove featuring a bass line straight from an ’80s R&B quiet-storm playlist. The chat box lights up. Everyone wants to “work that ass for Daddy.”
Since 2016, Rebillet (pronounced RUB-EE-yay) has been live streaming completely improvised musical performances on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and sometimes Twitch to millions of viewers. His first taste of virality came in 2007. Rebillet, then an energetic 18-yearold, was the first person in line at an AT&T store in Dallas to buy an iPhone, and he hammed it up for the camera when a woman bought his spot for $800. The video racked up 4 million views. He quit college the following year to start a music career. Rebillet was a classically trained pianist, and he would eventually work with private teachers to learn about sound engineering, mixing, and jazz theory. But he had no plan for how to bring his music to larger audiences. “I’ve never been good at strategy, you know? It was all just shots in the dark,” Rebillet, now 32, says, shrugging in the living room of his chic Manhattan apartment.
When he started building a fandom a decade later, it wasn’t just through a screen. People pay to see Rebillet live and in person. In the pandemic year alone, after national restrictions eased, he performed a sold-out drive-in tour. Now, he is returning to live shows across the U.S. with another tour, called “Third Dose,” and at festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. During his sets, he often displays a phone number onscreen and takes suggestions from his audience, but he never knows what kind of music he’ll create that day. The results range from EDM to ’70s funk to mournful piano solos. Along with the essential equipment— keyboard, loop machine, laptop, the occasional handheld percussion instrument, and plenty of beverages by his side— Rebillet pairs smooth vocals with a porn star–meets–stand-up comedian vibe. Most of his lyrics come from whatever’s in his head that day. Viewers request songs about just about anything: sobriety, quarantine hookups, long-distance friendships. His fans range from bros who want him to make up songs about breasts and weed to women who need encouragement about finding a new job to celebrities like Ice-T and Erykah Badu, who joined him on stage during one of his drive-in-tour stops in Fort Worth, Texas.
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