For so many years, my online presence has been represented by the name @andrewvle. This is my real name (My middle name is Van). I love my name and I had many reservations of changing my social handles. Ultimately, I felt like letting go of it was the right thing to do.
Earlier this year, I released solo music for the first time under the name MR. RE. It started as a joke, honestly; the name, not the music. In college, a few of my friends would sometimes call me “Mistah Reee” as a joke. Obvious racial implications there, and they meant no harm by it, and I took no offense—in fact, I kind of loved it. I noticed the sonic similarities of their nickname to the word “Mystery.” I always felt like I’d use the name if I ever wanted to make solo music. So I did.
The choice to take this moniker to the rest of my “brand,” so to speak, was a difficult one. I just didn’t feel the need to create separate social accounts just for my music. I didn’t want to create two identities. Ultimately, it’s me doing all these things. I am not the type of person to say “I’m a graphic designer” or “I’m a photographer” or “I’m a musician” etc. It’s always been, “I’m a person, and I do things.” There’s certain stereotypes and connotations that comes with job titles and labels, and I don’t like being put in a box.
There’s a big societal pressure to be good at one thing, or to have “one true calling” in life, and while that may ring true to many people, that idea has never resonated with me. I’ve always taken a keen interest to many things at once, and I like being good at many things. For me, there is far too much life has to offer to only have one passion.
With the release of my music project as MR. RE, I thought it was time to shift my whole brand and online presence to the name. It’s a moniker that’s rooted from my real name, doesn’t take myself too seriously, and is pronounced “Mystery,” which is exactly what my identity is, as it’s constantly changing, and perhaps doesn’t really matter.