Social Sounds: The Music Accounts Taking OSU Instagram By Storm

Lauren Hoffman


The phenomenon of musician fan accounts have been around as long as the internet. When people relate to music they want to pay homage to those who have created it, whether it be the Tumblr blogs of the mid-2010s or the K-Pop Twitter takeovers every few weeks. Whether it’s the lyrics, the charisma, or simply the culture of fandom, you can find a fan account in almost every corner of the internet. I myself am no stranger to this: many of you aren’t either.

What I was a stranger to was the way that campus culture can play a big role in how we view these accounts and the music associated with them. Scrolling through Instagram, I kept finding joke accounts, all with the same theme. Take an artist, put them on OSU campus, and connect it to student life. It’s simple, and OSU is nowhere near the first campus to have these accounts, but users like @swiftiesofosu and @osudrainers have seen surges of fans flooding their DMs with comments, jokes and new ideas. What is it about these accounts, and these communities, that brings thousands of students to their pages? I was thrilled to sit down with the owners of these accounts to discuss.

@swiftiesofosu on Instagram boasts an 1,100 follower count, starting just a few months ago. I sat down with Admin 1, who prefers to keep her anonymity. She recalls meeting a few fellow fans of Taylor Swift at a concert, and talking about how fun it would be to make an account similar to others she’d seen. “We love @harriesofosu”, a Harry Styles parody account, “and we thought, what the hell, just go for it”. The beginning of @swifties was anything but easy: for a long time all three admins were concerned about the longevity of the project. However, Taylor Swift’s album rereleases throughout late 2021 drew people to the page at lightning speed. On the day of Swift’s Red album rerelease, she remembers the account “got 100 followers an hour, it was crazy”. With that, their integral community was formed. I talked with her about how many people DMing the accounts are return customers, and she’s made a lot of friends that she may never have met before. If you were to take a look in the comment section all you will find are positive thoughts and jokes about the singer and events on campus. Admin 1 compares this to the reception of Taylor offline. Taylor Swift has been a target of major criticism from a lot of music lovers for a long time, primarily for her feminine and innocent approach to topics in her younger years. Admin 1 says in her experience, she hears a lot of unwarranted hate for the singer based only on her gender. “In real life, I see it all around,” she says. “In the real world I just try to keep my mouth shut because I know it’ll never change”. @swifties may be for fun, but for many fans of the singer it acts as refuge from some of that hate, and highlights a campus community with a love for Taylor’s art.

Later I got coffee with the Admin for @osudrainers, who also wishes to remain anonymous. Their situation is very similar, yet entirely unique to their community. The genre of drain is, in Admin’s words, “the future meets medieval meets, like, thirty pints of codeine cough syrup”. Its genre stems from Draingang, a Swedish rap collective founded in the early 2010s. The music is loud, mechanical, sparkly, and, as you probably guessed, very niche. Yet, despite its barriers to casual listening, the account has amassed 150 followers with only 3 posts in 3 months. Admin points out that “[they] get a lot of people visiting my page from the @osuaffirmations story”, another OSU parody account with around 7,000 followers at the time of writing. The online community at OSU, Admin says, is really interested in their special brand of parody account. “Some of them know who, say, Bladee is, but a lot of them do not”, they say. “I fill a very specific niche. To my knowledge I am the only Draingang-related college-related account”. The niche that they are filling is one that they thought bigger than ever before: they have been shocked at the amount of fans coming to their page. “There’s so many more drainers than I thought there would be”, they remark. With Draingang’s digital sound, we both agreed that it was always bound to have a large online community. Admin has been a fan since 2019 and can recall the pull and push of fans over time. “Because how vast their sound is over the years, there is a lot of division [in the online community]. Overall, though, more people know each other. Everybody’s drained!” Outside of the direct community, drain has found massive success on video-based platforms like TikTok and Twitter. Admin attributes this to the fact that taking this music and cutting it down makes it more accessible to audiences who may not have seen the appeal previously. Additionally, they comment that “there’s a whole Twitter account for goofy Draingang lyrics”, and a lot of the community thrives on the joke aspect of this music. All in all, though, they note that the community both on- and off-campus is strong. “[Admin gets] a lot of DMs from people wanting to hang out” that they may never have met otherwise. Even in a community this small, @osudrainers has managed to cultivate its own space on OSU’s virtual campus.

The last question I had for both accounts was about the longevity of their account. How long, I wonder, can a trend community like this really last? @osudrainers has a lot of hope for their account: “I don’t think Draingang has a clock on it. All of the guys have evolved so much stylistically since they started”. @swifties shares the same sentiment: “She gives us hope”, Admin 1 says. “We get 30 DMs a day about our stories”, even months after starting. As long as these communities continue to thrive on the internet, and around OSU’s campus, I have hope that these student-run music accounts will have life.

@swiftiesofosu and @osudrainers would like to say a big thank you to all of their followers, fans and fellow admins. You can find both of them by their tags on Instagram.