There is no doubt that musicians and musical artists always strive to break the mold. Whether it is through venturing into new musical territory, focusing on a unique sound, or building a distinctive identity and image, a major asset for any musician is the ability to stand out in a sea of artists. For pop star Viktoria Modesta, standing out in a mix of artists is hardly an issue, but not because of the usual reasons; Modesta is the world’s first amputee pop star.

 

From a young age, Modesta suffered from health problems and underwent 15 surgeries before age 12. She was finally faced with the decision to amputate her left leg at the age of 20. Determined not to let her health issues hold her back, Modesta went ahead with the amputation and has since kept her sights on her goals and continued pushing forward.

 

Now, having set her sights on the music scene, Modesta has generated quite a buzz around the music video for her track, “Prototype,” which has gone viral on the internet.

 

All it takes is one look at the video to see that her identity as an amputee is one which Modesta not only rocks with the kind of confidence any woman or musical artist would envy, but one which also places her apart from any other musician in the industry.

 

Modesta's avante-garde prosthetics make her amputation even more of a focal point for her audiences, who have called her a true "bionic woman" (dailymail.co.uk)

Modesta’s avante-garde prosthetics make her amputation even more of a focal point for her audiences, who have called her a true “bionic woman” (dailymail.co.uk)

Importantly, it is also an identity which gives Modesta a powerful opportunity to transform the way audiences around the world think about disability. Rather than equating something like an amputation with weakness and an inability to live to live life to the fullest, Modesta makes her condition appear powerful and sexy. She redefines “disability” as being anything but an actual disability.

 

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see the way in which Modesta’s image within the music industry transforms. It is natural that as she rises onto the music scene, her identity will be tied to her amputation and prosthetic leg.

 

However, in the entertainment industry, branding is everything. As she continues to grow and develop within her career, she will continue to brand herself from here on out, both in terms of her image and her music.

 

For Modesta, the strongest PR plan would be one which certainly allows audiences to buzz about the new “amputee pop star” on the music scene for the time being but which also plans ahead to the point at which this identity no longer has the present-day shock factor. At that point, it will be essential to build a substantial musical presence and image which will allow her to continue to flourish within the industry, not necessarily instead of her identity as an amputee pop star, but in addition to it.

 

How do you think Viktoria Modesta is changing the music scene while transforming how we think of disability? How do you think her image will continue to evolve moving forward? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi