As an artist you want to get your music out there even if you’re against marketing/capitalism. You want people to hear and dig what you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this here blog.
Do you stop and think about how you discover new music and why you choose to check out something new?
1. The Filters/Taste-makers (the Pitchforks of the world)
There’s no doubt about it… If you’re featured in Pitchfork with a decent review, you have instant cred amongst the music elitists of the world. If you check out the act, you know you’re going to get something good, or at least you think it’s good because Pitchfork says so.
Pitchfork has built its name on exposing good new indie music and people listen. They take the abundance of indie music out there, filter out what they think is good, and then music heads around the world know what to listen to. If you trust Pitchfork, you don’t have to go out of your way to scour the net to find something you like.
2. In-the-Know Music Friends
I personally don’t keep tabs on what’s new in indie music, but I have friends who do. Some of them curate mix tapes and I discover new artists that I dig or hear them because they’ve talked about the artist/played it when I was there. They are the filter for me because I don’t care enough to check out Pitchfork on a daily basis. I talk to these people on a regular basis and I’ll trust them enough to check out the new tunes.
3. The Tastes of Artists You Already Like
If you love an artist, you’ll want to know what influences them or what they are into. I remember back in high-school when I was a dedicated Blink 182 fan, I scoured for interviews with the band. In more than one interview, they promoted this band they were in love with- Jimmy Eat World. I had to go check them out and I bet a whole bunch of other Blink fans checked them out too. A couple years later, Jimmy Eat World blew up! To this day, I credit the rise of Jimmy Eat World to Blink 182.
4. Similar Artists
Somewhat similar to the above scenario, but not based on the opinions/influences of the artist but who else sounds similar to them. This search has been refined in today’s world with YouTube (related videos), Itunes (Genius), Grooveshark (similar artists), etc… You like a sound and naturally-you want to hear others with a similar sound. It’s not exactly a third party telling you what’s good, but liking the third party enough to see if there are other similar third parties around.
As an artist, I think it’s important to think about how you discover new music as it will give you a foundation to help promote your music.
What are some of your new music discoveries and how did you discover them?
My Favorite New Discoveries:
Thundercat (credit Voyno who heard about this guy through Pitchfork)
Nosaj Thing ( Credit: YouTube related videos)
Sphongle ( Credit: These Hands: a talented musician friend)
The Naked and Famous (Credit Dejong’s mix tape and girl I was into)