The commonplace with celebrities on Twitter is that microblogging allows them to share a little bit of their inner lives with the public. You get an insight into who they actually are, rather than a polished press release image.
But this isn’t always true, especially when they use the platform for relentless self-promotion and self-aggrandising retweets.
For musicians, the age of Twitter has instituted a new age of engagement with fans. Which artists are using it well? Here are five of our favourite musical follows.
As a young producer and rapper El-P has a reputation for surliness, but he’s mellowed (a little) in his old age and maintains what must be one of hip-hops most entertaining Twitter feeds.
That being said, a great deal of the entertainment comes from his sardonic, cynical worldview and his snappy retorts, so maybe he hasn’t mellowed out all that much.
The Roots drummer has long has a reputation as a knowledgeable and charming man, but now that he’s on Twitter all that wit and wisdom can be shared with us plebs as well as his music biz friends.
Questlove uses the platform the right way, interacting, sharing interesting links and his own thoughts, and not leaning too hard on boring self-promotion.
that moment of silence….when you don't know you are on a HIGH POWERED CYCLONE AUTO FLUSH toilet when you stand up….on the phone…w her
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) June 26, 2014
Vampire Weekend are a divisive band. Too poppy and posh to be credible? Up to you, although really only people with beards and Jack Daniels t-shirts consider credibility to be important in the world of modern rock music.
Frontman Ezra Koenig’s musings on Twitter, though, would charm even the hardest of hearts.
a hot summer is great time 2 find out who ur real friends are. If someone never wears tank tops, they are def wearing a wire for the Feds
— Ezra Koenig (@arzE) June 21, 2014
I may be allowing some personal preference to slip through my usual iron mask of journalistic objectivity here, because I love The Hold Steady, but Craig Finn is an entertaining follow.
As befits such a garrulous writer, he covers an eclectic range of topics. That being said, UK readers will probably want to urge him to Stop With the Baseball Chat. It’s just cricket for children!
"Tonight I'm not Craig Finn. Tonight I'm Craig FUN!" – me hosting a bachelor party that no one wants to be at.
— Craig Finn (@steadycraig) July 6, 2014
Flying the flag for the UK on this list, the splenetic Haines took to Twitter happily, presumably because he has roughly three hundred opinions a day and isn’t always able to share them with people in real life.
If you want an excoriating look at the British music scene, politics and popular culture, the Auteurs founder is your man.
Mojo mag has almost ruined rock. Dreary prose, old men endlessy picking at the scab of Beatles/Dylan/Clash. Mojo mag is the Foxtons of Rock.
— luke haines (@LukeHaines_News) July 17, 2014
An honourable mention should go to neo-soul legend Erykah Badu (who at the time of writing has spent the last two days winding up a punter foolish enough to have a go at her) and Prince, obviously.