First of all, let’s just address the elephant in the room. Us millennials don’t exactly have a sparkling reputation when it comes to our taste in music. Yesterday Joji was my everything, tomorrow I’ll probably find another artist that satiates some other part of my undiscovered music cravings – and the cycle continues.
So what is the one take-away from what I’ve just said?
Music moves fast, but millennial listeners move on faster.
How we find new music to rant and rave about might have something to do with our quick-fix mentality (that I wholeheartedly agree with and represent with pride), and is probably one of the best-kept secrets out there. We made Doja Cat famous, we used the life out of TikTok, and our streaks remain undefeated. That being said, I really do think it’s important to address why we like what we do, and how we find what we like.
While we’re all aware of how Spotify’s curation algorithm works, we don’t actually discover new artists from Spotify. Spotify tends to curate daily mixes based on genres, sounds, and even audio quality (right??). Thing is, we’re not looking for songs that sound similar. We’re looking for sounds that make us feel different. What we do use Spotify for, is creating our own playlists and sharing them with our friends, and likewise. Once we’ve zeroed in on our favorite song for the week, that goes onto our playlists. There is very rarely a time when I’ve found a new artist from Spotify alone. Which brings me to my next point.
Social Media Platforms like Instagram and Facebook
Social media, in general, is a place where we tend to find most of our new music. We have friends who have similar tastes in music who share their favorite songs from Spotify to their Instagram Story from-time-to-time. We have pages dedicated to new music and musicians we like to listen to or have on our phones, fan-pages are one way of referring to these. So we’re either kept up to date by our favorite artists, or by following what our friends follow. Of course, this does not mean that I would, with a hundred percent guarantee, like everything my friends like, but it sure does keep me informed.
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Fan Pages and Fan Engagement
One of the most important parts about finding new music that you like, and going on to listen to some more stuff this new artist has out already, is to feel like you are (in some shape or form) connected to the artist. A lot of this has to do with how an artist interacts with their fans. While I do like my fair share of Billie Eilish’s vague Instagram Stories, I’m not drawn to her next release. There is, essentially, no connection in my brain that makes me want to listen to her newest single just because an IG Story she posted prompted me to do so. On the other hand, we have Linkin Park, a global rock sensation, who continues to have a fierce fan-base, mainly because the band continued to hold their fans above nothing or no one. If current-day mainstream artists were to follow in this legendary group’s footsteps, I’d be the first to sign up. And I wasn’t even around when some of their greatest hits came to be!
Follow The Right YouTube Channels
YouTube is nothing short of a goldmine when it comes to discovering entertainment (of literally all forms). I spend almost an equal amount of time on YouTube as I do on Netflix, and my YouTube feed is carefully curated (by yours truly) exactly to my liking. A lot of that is music reviews, music news, even comical YouTube channels. If my favorite parody/review YouTuber does a video on a new song, I’ve been alerted. So it makes a lot of sense to start using YouTube for discovery (not just life hacks) knowing to the fact that the channels I’ve listed below have carefully and consistently uploaded content that has broadened my music sensibilities, while some of them are just for fun but great for discovery.
Subscribe to Anthony Fantano on YouTube
Subscribe to Todd in the Shadows on YouTube
Subscribe to Dead End Hip Hop on YouTube
Subscribe to Music Video Sins on YouTube
Subscribe To Vice on YouTube
So To Summarize
I’ve listed down some of the ways I found new music that I’ve genuinely liked. That being said there is no right approach to discovering new music. If you’re like me and need a song for every second of the day, you probably have a database of new music that you’re proud of having discovered.
We will be compiling playlists for our readers very soon, intending to bring new, underrated, and absolutely deserving music to the spotlight. Watch this space to find your next music discovery fix!