While Lady Gaga courts her Little Monsters, Island Def Jam's Kerli is busy nurturing her own community of followers christened Moon Children. And with them in tow, Kerli recently landed atop Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart with her first No. 1 single in the United States: "Army of Love."
Video: "Army of Love," Kerli
Initially established as a support system for teenagers, Kerli's Moon Children concept has since evolved into a creative community centered on being the best you can be. Its followers sport Kerli's signature moon marks: a row of three dots on the face symbolizing integrity, love and unity.
"You don't have to be a Kerli fan to be a Moon Child and you don't have to be a Moon Child to be a Kerli fan," Estonia native Kerli says. "You just have to make the best of what you have and have compassion for yourself and for others always."
Her Moon Children movement also spawned Kerli's self-termed "bubble Goth" style of music and fashion. Juxtaposing fantasy and reality, bubble Goth is all about self-expression and having fun. "It's about mixing together all the flavors that don't really go together," Kerli says. "It's a fairy with a bullet belt, a Lolita with a latex garter."
"Army of Love" is the first track from Kerli's sophomore Island Def Jam album. The still-untitled set, slated for release in summer or early fall, is the follow-up to Kerli's 2008 debut, "Love Is Dead." That album has sold 67,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
On the new set, Kerli again focuses on the theme of struggle. "My response to struggle on 'Love Is Dead' was, 'Oh, it's completely taking over everything,' " Kerli says. "My response to struggle on this new album is: 'This is going to make me beautiful.'" She adds that the project will be a fusion of pop, rave, dance and darker concepts.
In the meantime, Moon Children and others can expect more club records and upcoming club appearances by Kerli as Island Def Jam explores, as label president/COO Steve Bartels says, other "opportunities in all areas to allow her to truly shine."