Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Seeking Out Music

I'm not the biggest fan of most mass-popularized commercial music (and no, I'm not one of those people that hate anything mainstream, I give credit where credit is due whether music is commercial or underground. I will write more on this topic another time). I also get bored of my music library quite fast, especially because I pretty much keep every single song I've liked since grade 6. Since I don't really like listening to anything on the radio or on TV, I've gotten pretty creative with the ways I get new music to listen to.

  • When I first started getting into hip-hop, I really wanted to find new music but I didn't really know where to start without reading an entire anthology on hip-hop's greatest and their history. So I found a friend who was already familiar with the genre, and he generously offered to share some of his music library with me and gave me a huge chunk of songs with some of hip-hop's greatest. He had so many albums -- from Common, Talib,  ATCQ, Mos, Nas... to collection albums of notable songs in hip-hop. I put all of these songs into my iPod and my iTunes and slowly over time, I listened to most of them and remembered which ones I liked. I still owe my friend big time for that one, thanks @OT_Productions :)
  • Another thing I do is listen to mixes by DJ's who had interesting song choices, and who highlighted songs that were not that well-known or not in the mainstream. One such DJ I really enjoyed listening to was @RONEJAXX because he would choose smooth and chill oldskool R&B tracks. Some of them were not that well known, and some of them I didn't listen to in 10 years. He's definetly the DJ to listen to if you want R&B smooth grooves. A great site to find DJ mixes is MixCloud, where you can choose DJ mixes and sets by genre/tags.
  • YouTube is another great source for finding music. A lot of people curate playlists with a specific theme that you can listen to. So let's say I want to find new music by different female rappers that I might not have heard of before, I would do a YouTube search for "female rappers" or a name of a female rapper, and will find that at the bottom of the search results, there will be playlists that might show you what you are looking for. Bahamadia or Jean Grae might be included in playlists such as "My Favorite Hip Hop" or "Female Rappers". Then you can just click on the Female MC's playlist and play everything there until you find stuff that you like. One playlist I'm exploring these days is called Eargasm, you can listen to it here.
  • Music blogs around the world give you access to music that you probably would never stumble upon. I follow a few music blogs that always give good recommendations. I've found random and great music on these kind of blogs; from interesting covers, to great live performances by artists, to just new stuff you never heard of before. It's even more interesting when you follow a blog that focuses on the music scene of another country (this is especially true for hip-hop which has a community, no doubt, in every corner of the globe). One blog that I really enjoy following is Soul11Music, they always recommend nice soulful tracks and R&B joints.
So that's how I find most of my music, really. Of course there are other useful ways like asking friends, listening to something someone recommended on their Twitter or Facebook page, or looking up the source of a sample. However, I find the ways I listed above to be more proactive in finding new music rather than letting it just come to you. Like I said, I get bored really fast with my music library so I have to actively go search for music!

I would love to hear how you find new and interesting music, so share your thoughts in the comments or on my Twitter page.

I'll leave you a song that I randomly found on Youtube the other day. Levitation (Ver 2.0) by Grooveman Spot which has some English rap and rap from a foreign language, I'm not really sure which. The beat is sooo relaxing!

No comments:

Post a Comment