Discovering New Artists and Music: Getting Back to Your Roots

Blog Post #6

This blog is primarily focused on discovering new artists and music. However, at the core this blog is focused on finding enjoyment and fulfillment through listening to music. This means that it is vitally important to not let yourself get so caught up in finding new music that you forget to enjoy the music that you already know and love. Sometimes it is important to go back to your roots and listen to some music you already enjoy, instead of just searching for new music 24/7. This can mean anything from stopping and taking a moment to listen to an artist you have been into lately to taking a trip down memory lane to listen to a favorite artist of yours that you may not have listened in years. If you recently discovered a new artist, you may find it more enjoyable to stay in the moment and listen to that one artist for a while rather than pressing forward to look for new artists and music. If you decide to get back to basics and revisit some old music that you have not listened to for an extended period of time, you may find that this revisit will give you some newfound perspective. Revisiting an old artist might even possibly lead to you discovering some music by them which you had not previously heard. This process creates a cycle resulting in the rediscovery of music you already know as well as new music that has been waiting right in front of you all along.

Sticking with the theme this week, for the featured artist I have decided to revisit one of my personal favorites, Atmosphere. Atmosphere is a hip-hop duo originating from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The duo was formed in 1989 and consists of rapper Sean Daley better know by the stage name Slug and DJ/producer Anthony Davis also known as Ant. Well known for their association with the Rhymesayers record label; since their formation, the group has released eight studio albums and an astounding ten EPs. Their most recent studio album release was in 2014 with Southsiders, but I highly suggest you check out parts of their entire discography both old and new.

Pictured left to right: Ant and Slug

Discovering New Artists and Music: Resources for Success

Blog Post #5

Previously in this blog I mentioned the website Spotify as being one of the invaluable resources that I use on a daily basis to find new artists and music. Spotify is definitely a great resource, but there are many other websites that serve as excellent tools for music discovery as well. Not to mention the plethora of non-web based resources everyone has at their disposal whether they realize it or not. Along with Spotify, some other great websites and services that can be used for music discovery are YouTube, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp. Platforms such as Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud are all mainly used for the purposes of sharing and discovering music, while Bandcamp is primarily used as a way for artists to sell their music. While web resources are great, especially considering the convince factor of them being completely online and accessible anywhere, there are still ways to discover new artists and music offline that are much more personalized. One of your greatest resources when it comes to music discovery is your friends and family members. It might sound cliché, but no website is going to know you better than them. I believe it is important to talk about you musical interests with the people you are close to, thus opening up endless opportunities for musical sharing. Ask your friends for suggestions about new artists to investigate and if you find some new music that you think a friend would enjoy, be sure to send it their way! If a friend sends you some music it is important to always give them an honest opinion of what you thought after listening. An honest opinion is vitally important because your input will help to shape what music your friends send you in the future. Lastly, if a friend sends you some new music, always be sure to return the favor by sending them some back once you have discovered something worthy of sharing.

The featured artist this week is brother duo Hippie Sabotage. Hailing from Sacramento, California, these two brothers started to make music around the mid-2000s. The duo currently has five full-length albums to their credit with all of them being released in 2014. I could only suggest one; I would without a doubt suggest that you listen to their release entitled, The Sunny Album (Deluxe Edition).

Hippie Sabotage
Pictured: Hippie Sabotage

Discovering New Artists and Music: Expanding Your Artist Knowledge

Blog Post #4

Once you find a new artist that you really enjoy, the next step is to continue exploring that specific artist. If you hear one song that you really like, chances are you will probably like most of their music. Personally, once I find and hear a new song that I love, I will check out more music by that artist to see if I enjoy them as a whole. The method that I tend to use is selecting and listening to one album from top to bottom. If I find the artist’s album to be enjoyable, I will then move on to their next album, EP, or mixtape until I have listened to their entire discography. I believe that the method of listening to an artist’s entire album start to finish is really important because that is how they intended their album to be listened to and enjoyed. Every song on an album has been carefully thought out and selected for a reason, so it only makes sense for you, the listener, to enjoy the album in full. Now, for artists that I have a deep interest in, I will investigate them further and research outside information about them. I like to read or watch videos about my favorite artists to learn more about their life and story, thus creating a stronger connection between the music and me. Once you become invested in a certain artist, you can go beyond the act of just surface listening and instead begin to form a deep emotional connection with the music. Once you have listened to an artist’s complete discography and done some external research on them, then you can truly call yourself an expert on that specific artist. You can repeat this method over and over again to continually explore artists that are new to you, slowly building up your musical knowledge and expertise.

For this week, the featured artist is Scott Mescudi, better know by his stage name, Kid Cudi. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Kid Cudi is best know for being a rapper/singer, songwriter, and producer. He has two Grammy award wins to his name along with four other Grammy nominations. The method I outlined in the above blog post is exactly how I came to be so fond of Kid Cudi and his music. I originally started by only listening to a few of his songs, but I gradually came to listen to his entire discography. Many of his lyrics struck a chord with me as well, so I began to investigate and learn more about his life’s story. Kid Cudi definitely has his own unique style, but he is also not one to shy away from constant experimentation and innovation. He currently has five solo studio albums with his latest release being in December of 2015, along with one mixtape and a vast array of singles. I would highly recommend his albums Man On The Moon: The End Of Day (2009) and Indicud (2013) as great starting places, and then continuing on to the rest of his music from there. Kid Cudi is known for making concept albums, meaning that his albums are meant to tell a story when listened from beginning to end.

Kid Cudi
Pictured: Kid Cudi

Discovering New Artists and Music: Exploring Genres

Blog Post #3

If you are interested in finding new artists and music but you do not know where to start, then generally a good way to start is by selecting a genre. You can begin by either selecting a genre that you already love or a new one you have yet to explore. Selecting a specific genre gives you a broad spectrum of places to go, creating opportunities and access to an endless amount of new artists and music. With your selected genre in mind, simply start listening to artists associated with that specific style. One way you can begin the discovery process is by listening to the more established artists who have become synonymies with a particular genre to see if you have any sort of interest. However, some people may find it more appealing to begin their journey into a new genre with the more obscure or developing artists. This method of taking a broad approach to music discovery can be effective for many people, and it is oftentimes less intimidating as well. This is because once you have found a genre that piques your interest it becomes indefinitely easier to zero in on specific artists within that genre, as opposed to blindly looking for new artists with no regard to a musical style that is of interest to you. Once you have perfected this technique it is vastly important to begin expanding your musical view by exploring new genres in order to discover even more new artists and music.

In the theme of genres, this week’s featured artist represents the revival of West Coast hip-hop and rap. A native of Long Beach, California, Vince Staples is a developing artist who has been rapidly gaining recognition within recent years. At only twenty-one years old, Vince Staples released his debut album titled Summertime ’06 in June of 2015. However, Vince Staples had been hard at work since long before the release of his debut album with an EP, four mixtapes, and plenty of features in other artist’s songs to his name. Whether you consider yourself a fan of rap or not, I cannot recommend Vince Staples highly enough.

Vince Staples
Pictured: Vince Staples

Discovering New Artists and Music: First Steps

Blog Post #2

When you set out with the mission of finding new artists and music, there are a few different methods you can use to accomplish this goal. The method I will be covering today involves starting with an artist you already know and using them as a frame of reference for the musical journey you are about to embark on. What I recommend doing is to select one of your favorite artists or an artist that you have been listening to frequently. With this artist selected, now look into other artists they are related to until you find a new artist that you have never heard before. Give this artist a listen and see if you like them. Many times you will find that you really enjoy this new artist; however there will also be plenty of times where you do not care for this particular artist, but do not let this discourage you. The process of finding new artists that you thoroughly enjoy is something that will usually come in waves. Sometimes you will find a few new artists you love within just a couple days of each other and other times you might go a few weeks without anything new that really shines out above the rest. With this in mind, it is vastly important to note that the most vital step for anyone who is serious about finding new artists and music to do is be consistent with their searching. This means establishing a routine that works well and enables you to find satisfaction through discovering new artists and music. Personally, I make an effort to find at least one new artist every day. With this being said, I make absolutely sure to never rush the process of music discovery, but rather, I keep it as organic and natural as possible. A great resource for the music discovery method I have just outlined is the website Spotify because it has a great related artist feature that automatically suggests similar artists for you.

This week’s featured artist is Made in Heights, which is a duo consisting of Alexei Saba Mohajerjasbi who’s stage name is Sabzi and Kelsey Bulkin. Sabzi is mainly a producer and DJ while Kelsey is primarily a vocalist. The group was formed in 2010 in New York City and currently has three full-length albums to their name along with an assortment of other mixtapes and EPs. Their most recent album, released in 2015, is entitled Without My Enemy What Would I Do, but if you only check out one collection I would highly recommend their self titled 2010 album, MADE IN HEIGHTS.

Made In Heights
Pictured left to right: Kelsey Bulkin and Alexei Saba Mohajerjasbi

Discovering New Artists and Music: An Introduction

Blog Post #1

Everyone loves music, from the feeling of finding a new artist they have never heard before to sharing that artist with their friends (or keeping this artist to themselves like a safeguarded secret). However, how is it that you actually go about finding new artists and new music? I plan to share some tips to help with this, as well as give some great resources to help you throughout your musical journey. Now, many people may think that new music means never before heard, however, new music really includes popular artists that are just becoming new to you. If this blog helps you to discover and enjoy even one artist you have never heard before reading, then my mission has been accomplished. For those individuals interested, I do plan on covering ways to go about discovering truly new, up and coming artists later on. This blog will also include a weekly-featured artist and I will provide information about how I went about discovering them. My suggestion is that you check out and listen to the artists I find and post about, but more importantly, it is my hope that everyone who reads this blog will use the tools and tips I provide you with to go out and find new artists on your own. This blog will not only benefit you, the reader, but it will also help to give many newer artists some well needed and deserved recognition.