This Is What I Do
I figured that I should share my process of finding new music. Since sharing music is what I enjoy most, I thought I'd give you the tools. When I say new music, I mean music that is new to me, not music that has necessarily been released recently [although in many cases it is].
Music is quite literally everywhere. I know that sentence is obvious, but when you think of it in the context of discovering new music, it opens up doors you wouldn't expect. If you're in the business of finding new music, you need to always keep your ears tuned to what's going on around you. For me, it's second nature now. You just need to pay attention to it. If I hear a song I like anywhere and whenever, I jot it down.
To make it easy, let's start with the obvious- services used specifically for music. Spotify is my main source for music. I use it everyday. Having access to such an extensive library and wide variety is a dream to someone like me. The related artist feature alone is an extremely effective way to find new music, especially if you are looking to find music similar to the stuff you're already listening to. I use this feature when constructing my radio shows all the time. However, if you already know a lot of music in a particular genre, you may already know the majority of artists in this section. Another helpful component of Spotify is public playlists- both the ones designed my Spotify and by individual users. Also, being able to follow users to see what they have played recently could give you some leads.
Before Spotify came along [like I mentioned in another post], I used to produce radio shows by streaming YouTube videos live. On YouTube, I used a similar feature to the Spotify related artists. I simply found songs I already was planing to use and then checked out any suggested videos that looked promising for promising for other tracks. They aren't all just music videos either. Some people upload tracks to YouTube simply paired with a picture of the album cover. This is nice because then you aren't just hearing an album's singles. You get more variety from the artist. You can also check out related artists features in a number of other locations including last.fm, iTunes, and Pandora among others.
Now, let's get to the less obvious places to find new music, which basically includes anywhere and everywhere else. Most notably, I would say, is on TV or the big screen. Many television shows make it a point to use unpopular music, either to support new artists or to be original. The same goes for TV commercials. Have you ever gotten one of those iPod advertisement songs stuck in your head? Well, I have. And I have found a lot of awesome songs or bands that way.
The same goes for movies. From what I have read about soundtracks, the sheer amount of contracts that need to be signed and parties that need to agree to use a song, I'm sure getting a track from an unknown artist would be much easier than a hit from a superstar. Anyway, keep your ears open and if you hear a song you like, there are several resources online to help you find it. Sometimes, it's as easy as typing some lyrics into Google to find the song.
Up next, we have human sources. This is where it all started for me. When I was in middle school, friends started to share music with me. I always got excited to be introduced to an artist that I had never heard before. Having spent the majority of my elementary years in private school, I was never really introduced to such a diverse world of people and music tastes. My good friend Katherine who I have known since those days [yes, the same Katherine who finally made me realize a career in music was probably a good idea] and I got into the habit of burning each other mix CDs. I still have some of the CDs she gave me years ago and would stand by those playlists to this day.
It might be the single best way to find music, because who knows what you like better than your friends? Get the conversation started. Share an artist with them and see if they have one in return. Check out what they're listening to in their car or what song they put on at a party. Another source for new music is a variation on getting music from friends- getting music from artists that you like. They are kind of like friends, right? I know I'm not the only one that feels that way. Whenever the question "What are you listening to right now?" comes up in an interview, my ears perk up and I make sure to take note. If I like the music of a certain artists, chances are the music that they are currently jamming out to is a top notch choice.
So, there is just a glimpse into my crazy world of finding new music. I am basically doing it all time. You never know when you might stumble upon your new favorite band!