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Mars Argo’s Return to Music

Singer and YouTube phenomenon Mars Argo makes the internet less boring.

By Entertainment, Featured

A drawing of singer Mars Argo wearing a fuffy hat and fairy wings holding a shotgun in a threatening way.

Illustration by Shijing Li.

Who is Mars Argo? Or maybe the question is what is Mars Argo? Mars Argo was a YouTube experiment made by two artists looking to make videos and music, and somewhere in all the video series and albums, Mars Argo became a lost media mystery turned lawsuit that would now become completely sensationalized 10 years after its creation.

In 2009 actress Brittany Sheets met with videographer, Corey Mixter, to act in a video for hisYouTube channel he was running by the name of digitalfuntown. Mixter uses the stage name Titanic Sinclair. Sometime after this initial interaction, Sheets and Mixter worked together to create a fictional character named Mars Argo for their co-run YouTube channel grocerybagdottv, for which they also made a website.

Between this YouTube channel and website, Sheets and Mixter would create a very specific brand for themselves. Their video series, initially called “video blog,” and later changed to “computer show,” was what helped them gain popularity, and it became their trademark, which helped them launch a music career.

On the gorcerybagdottv YouTube channel, there were a plethora of strange or somewhat creepy videos ranging from music videos to scripted skits that were meant to imitate the style of unscripted vlogs. The best example of the “computer show” would be “delete your facebook,” released in 2014, which was their most successful video. Apart from the “computer show,” the channel would also upload the occasional music video, such as the “Using You,” song released in 2011 and video released 2014, which was unlike their normal videos and acted no differently than an average music video from 2014. Besides those two staples in the YouTube channel’s main catalog, there were also videos that broke the format, like “our first date,” which  felt more like short films.

In their YouTube channel, Mars Argo was treated as a concept rather than a person, a concept loosely based around the idea of a trapped pop star slowly losing all bodily autonomy. In the first “computer show” videos released in 2009, Mars acted like a fairly normal, yet overwhelmingly odd girl who would interact with Titanic in a fun or silly way. As the videos went on, Mars  was still being silly, but no longer telling the jokes. She was now the punchline. Mars’ evolution is best captured in this fan-made compilation that puts together a scene from every single “computer show.” By 2014, Mars Argo was almost a completely different idea from what she was in 2009.

Titanic Sinclair, on the other hand, was very hard to categorize, partially because he existed online both before and after his time with Mars. Mixter was a video maker both on YouTube and Myspace when he first met Sheets and then continued to create videos and music with her.

Outside of their videos, Mars and Titanic were a real-life band under the name Mars Argo that released music and toured publicly. Though it’s unclear whether the entire YouTube channel’s purpose was to promote their music or if music was something they decided to pursue alongside making videos together.

Their music became the main focus in their final years working together. It’s important to note that Sheets and Mixter were in a romantic relationship that started some time in 2009.

Because of their strange demeanor on camera, there were constant rumors that both Mars and Titanic were robots, or at least somewhat automated. There were also constant conversations within their fandom about whether or not they were performance artists or just strange people who acted weird on and off camera.

Sometime in March of 2015, the entire catalog of videos on grocerybagdottv was wiped, aside from two music videos, their biggest hit, “Using You,” and their second most popular song, “Runaway Runaway.” The breakup didn’t come out of nowhere; the real-life couple of Sheets and Mixter had broken up in 2014 and only had one public appearance together performing as a band at a music festival. In spite of a quick return attempt with “delete Your Facebook” in December of 2014, they never recovered either as a band or as a video-making duo.

After their break-up Mixter continued to work on videos on a secondary project he had already started. In 2013 Mixter directed a number of videos for Poppy, a small indie rock singer who wanted to create videos similar to the “computer show” videos made by Mixter and Sheets. This short collection of videos turned into a long-term working relationship between Mixter and Poppy.

From 2015 to 2020, Mixter was heavily involved with everything Poppy. He was both the director of Poppy’s videos, as well as a co-writer of the music released under her name. This became a very big deal among Mars Argo fans who were extremely upset about the disappearance of Mars and the appearance of Poppy, who seemed to be some sort of replacement for her. Poppy’s videos were very similar in idea to Mars’, touching on the same ideas but to a heightened extent.

The similarities between the two characters were undeniable, and Titanic’s presence in both underlined the similarity. One of the only differences between Poppy’s videos and Mars’ was the role Titanic played. Titanic was a part of Mars’ band and was in every music video with Mars.  He was absent from all of Poppy’s music videos, and he did not tour with Poppy despite his inclusion in the production of her music.

In 2018, Sheets and Mixter’s relationship took a legal turn. Sheets filed a lawsuit against Mixter and Poppy (legal name Moriah Rose Pereira) for copyright infringement, stalking, and both emotional and physical abuse. Sheets alleged that Mixter had stolen the idea of Mars Argo and rebranded it for another musician, i.e. Poppy. She also claimed that Mixter had stalked her after their breakup, and during their relationship had threatened her multiple times, as well as thrown physical objects at her during a fight.

This lawsuit was dropped and settled out of court, but not before Poppy responded to Sheets’ claims calling the lawsuit “frivolous” and a “desperate grab for fame.” The out-of-court settlement entitled Sheets to the full rights to Mars Argo, both musically and as a brand.

After the lawsuit, Mars returned to social media, mainly her Tumblr, to announce an imminent return in 2021, and in 2022 she dropped a new single, “Angry.” The song was met with extremely positive fan reaction in social media.

On March 15 2023, Argo released another song after teasing new content on her Tumblr by posting a cryptic message with the line “the internet is boring,” a quote from  “delete your facebook,” the very last “computer show,” alongside the date 3.15.23. On that day, it was revealed that the message was referring to a new single. Her new single, “I Can Only Be Me,” is her first in nearly a year, and it starts with the lyrics “Try to take my identity, and I’ll just create a new one.”

Through the years, Mars Argo, or Brittany Sheets, went from being a girl online to a character to a girl again, and almost none of it was her choice. She had to fight for her own creation in a lawsuit after her material was copied by Titanic and Poppy. Mars had to fight to even keep the name Mars, and now she gets to release her music freely, under her own LLC. Mars can only be herself now, and now she finally gets to.

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