How to find new music

So a lot has already happened in the new year and I’m three months late to the party. First R. Kelly gets indicted, then the Michael Jackson documentary gets released, and then for some reason, the Jonas Brothers come back? My life has been a little overwhelming recently but I’m prepared to start writing consistently again. Today I’m going to do an article I’ve wanted to for some time now, but first, here’s some context.

I’ve prided myself on the fact I listen to varied music for several years now. There’s something nice about listening to sounds that not many others have the aptitude or the time to hear themselves. In my growing catalog of music that is my Apple Music library, you can rest assured knowing that there’s a little something for everybody. However, it’s not very easy to keep that up.

For years I’ve tried various methods in order to keep my music playlist’s fresh and even so there are points where I end up listening to the same song over and over again for several days at a time. This article is going to detail a few methods that I use to find new music in order from most accessible to least.

  • Mixes and Playlists

A feature exercised by most popular streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify is their discover playlists. These are mixes created by complex algorithms tailored to your personal taste. It’s the simplest and least labor-intensive way of finding new music. Apple Music and Spotify have playlists upon playlists they’ve created that follow any number of random stipulations.

Some confine themselves specific moods and genres, others are created by fellow users. With the amount of music available on these platforms and the vast number of playlists being made, it’s incredibly easy to find new and inspiring artists to listen to. The only challenge comes in sifting through all of them. As a general rule of thumb; if a song doesn’t capture your attention by the first thirty seconds it’s unlikely it’s going to do so in the next two or so minutes. At that point, I would just move on.

  • Asking Friends

This method is a little less reliable but still works depending on who your asking. The friends you ask should be dependent on what you’re trying to focus on musically. If you’re lacking songs from a specific genre ask a friend who is a self-proclaimed expert on such. If you’re anything like me you’re likely to have a lot of friends like these and therefore are apt to have a large catalog of music to sort through. 

If you’re not picky about any genre or artist a general poll works just as well, if not, a little better. Asking publicly on social media platforms or online forums is the most common approach I use. Just be prepared to get a lot of music you’re probably not going to like. Everyone’s tastes are different and what some people hear as good may not sound as pleasant for others.

  • Going Outside

This is my most archaic method of finding new music but it’s given me some of my favorite songs. Often times in restaurants, coffee shops, or even just metropolitan areas in general, some ambient music is played in the background for one reason or another. Whether its to fill space or just the make the room feel more alive there’s always music playing somewhere.

If you ever hear something out in public you like just Shazam it or make out some of the lyrics and search them up on Google later. It’s incredibly hit or miss but it’s one of the most valuable techniques I’ve started using. It’s especially helpful if you go to places focused on music like record shops and festivals. Opening acts to concerts work too, provided you don’t know the artist already.

These are just a few methods I personally employ but I encourage everyone to find their own methods that work for them. Music is consistently released at an increasingly fast rate and the fraction most are going to be able to examine should hold something special. It’s always thrilling diving deep into the rabbit hole of an artist you feel like you’ve just discovered.

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