It’s Monday, the seventh of September. While the rest of the United States relishes in the lazy morning slumber of Labor Day, Marc Rebillet starts a YouTube livestream recording a bongo loop in nothing but boxer briefs. Rebillet — pronounced Rub-E-A — has amassed a cult following thanks in part to these marathons of quirky, completely improvised songs. Also known by his self-dubbed alias Loopdaddy, Rebillet is far from a one-trick pony. His YouTube catalogue of songs seemingly conjured out of thin air is extensive, and he has multiple full length albums on streaming services. Musically, Rebillet draws from funk, neo-soul and hip-hop, creating a tapestry of sound as skillful as it is goofy. Rebillet’s minimalistic sound and setup represent today’s myriad of musical niches, and encourages his audience to find their own.
Rebillet’s home setup isn’t exactly robust. Essentially, he uses a keyboard, a looper and a microphone, along with the occasional shaker egg or hand drum or whatever else he’s feeling on that particular day. During his live streams, he’ll often have listeners call in and request a song topic, which is the only perceivable form of structure during the multiple hours he’s live online. For his shorter videos, he’ll jam freely or build a semi-structured song in the moment. The first couple times you listen, Rebillet’s sound takes you by surprise. He builds songs from the ground up, starting with a few sound effects or some recorded clapping. He continues to layer, all filmed on the spot, until he’s serenading his viewers over a deeply textured, catchy soundscape. Rebillet draws in his avid viewers with the sheer intimacy one feels with a song after watching him construct it live, track by track. Whether he’s wailing over a soulful organ melody or spitting game over a seductive funk baseline, Rebillet connects with his audience in a unique way few contemporary musicians can lay claim to.
Rebillet exhibits a seemingly endless catalogue of musical inspiration, and his expansive taste is evident in his own music. It’s not easy to find an adequate comparison, as in many ways Loopdaddy is the first of his kind. One act that readily comes to mind is Ween, the delirious 90s alternative rock duo out of New Hope, Pa. While Marc Rebillet and Ween come from completely different eras of music and are technologically different in their execution, there is much common ground between the two. Both utilize elements from all across the musical spectrum. Both seem like a novelty at first glance but actually possess prodigious talent upon further review. And both are completely free-spirited, never batting an eye to what people think about them. Listening to Marc Rebillet or Ween, you can hear the sheer ardor for music they both display so gleefully. It’s these kinds of artists, the ones not motivated by a record label check but by a fervent desire to create, that keeps passion alive in music.
Despite garnering just over 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and about the same number of views per video on YouTube, Rebillet is well respected among his musical peers.
Loopdaddy appears on other YouTube music shows such as hip-hop producer Kenny Beats’ “The Cave” and on music critic Anthony Fantano’s popular channel. Rebillet’s willingness to collaborate, not just with other respected figures in the music world but with his fans and viewers, demonstrates his unconditional love for music. For an artist with such a distinctive skill set and style, his ability to adapt and mesh with every kind of musician and personality is making him an increasingly sought after commodity in the internet era of music.
Rebillet’s music is randomness and improvisation at it’s finest. Just when you think you’ve got him figured out, he’ll come up with something wildly unpredictable. This element of serendipity keeps viewers coming back, which is an important component of being an internet sensation. Rebillet and artists like him need tactics to simultaneously attract and retain the interest of fans. He is successful in that he constantly keeps his content fresh, but also stays true to his identity and underlying ideology. Across his wide array of performances, livestreams and song videos, Rebillet’s minimalist tendencies are what define his musical personality. From his clothes and decor to his equipment and production, Rebillet oozes unadorned swagger. He’ll record in a bare room wearing nothing but a robe, and yet his style and charisma couldn’t be more pronounced. He’ll use just a laptop, a keyboard and a looper, and yet he’ll achieve a skillfully professional sound. These stylistic choices serve not only as key ingredients of Rebillet’s persona, but as a way to get a larger message across. Rebillet’s minimalist style is a way of spreading his musical passion, emphasizing how little one needs to do what they love.
In this highly volatile digital era of music, it’s impossible to know who will last and who will fade away into internet purgatory. Thus, we cannot predict how Loopdaddy will be remembered amongst a deep class of internet music stars. Despite how he is remembered, Rebillet’s impact on music will be felt for decades to come. His giddy style of genre blending brings together fans from all realms of music. With a solid catalog of music on streaming services supplementing a vast YouTube library, Rebillet’s mastery of multiple media platforms is a blueprint for aspiring internet musicians. Loopdaddy isn’t just an online presence, however. When the coronavirus pandemic struck the nation and other artists hunkered down, Rebillet geared up to go on tour — a drive-in tour, that is. This innovative solution to live performances in compliance with social distancing guidelines further cemented Rebillet’s status as a premier avant-garde musician. At one of the aforementioned drive-in shows in Ft. Worth, Texas, Erykah Badu surprised Rebillet and the audience with an impromptu appearance. Rebillet has clearly garnered a sizable amount of respect in the musical world. Will Loopdaddy be taught in a future music history class? Well, that remains to be seen, but the current music history curriculum trajectory suggests not. But despite a lack of national recognition, Marc Rebillet’s dynamic music and personality deserve a great deal of respect from listeners and artists of every variety.