Most weeks I have an artist or two I haven’t heard before that make my Music Makes Me playlist. But this week 6 of the 7 artists I have featured are all ones that I had not listened to before this week. I enjoy listening to old favorites but there is nothing like discovering something new. Some days I feel like the Lewis and Clark of new music, excited to share my discoveries with all of you.
Two of the new acts this week were recommended to me by some of the people that read my post about Koffee. It was coincidental that both of them happened to be reggae acts. If you were a fan of this genre, I would recommend checking out both Anarexol and Giant Panda Gorilla Dub Squad. Even though I have never heard of these acts, neither of them is new to the music scene. I enjoy the occasional dip into the reggae pool, but don’t often stay there. Since I don’t listen to that genre much, it’s like a restaurant for me; I tend to keep to my favorites, Bob and Ziggy Marley. For me not to have heard of a reggae band that was in the scene for years didn’t surprise me. But the funny thing is that none of the other four were new bands either.
The Damn Truth (2014 ish), Meg Myers (2012), Rag n Bone Man (2016) and Lo Marie (2012) have all been around for at least half a decade. I based that date solely on when they had their first release. As you know, their careers would have started way before that time. I know that recording a single, EP or LP is not synonymous with fame. I have friends that are great performers who have also released music but aren’t known past their western Pennsylvania audience. Based on that, not hearing a band until years after they first start performing is not that surprising.
Beyond location there are other factors that can play into a band’s fame. Obviously exposure is in my opinion top on the list. If a band doesn’t get time on music stations, their chance of success is much less. A classic case of this is a man named Sixto Rodriguez who’s own perception of his success was shattered decades after his second album was released. If you don’t know that story, it’s worth checking out. You may say there are always streaming platforms to be discovered. After all a good portion of the music I feature I discover on Spotify or YouTube.
But did you know there are over 1.2 million artists on Spotify and I am sure even more on YouTube. I knew there had to be a lot, but to be honest I was shocked with that high of a number. Just for grins I thought about what it would take to listen to all of them. If I made it my mission to listen to every artist on Spotify over the next 10 years I would have to listen to 164 different artists a day or roughly 10 every hour I was awake. As you know I currently spotlight one new artist a day in my playlist, so I would really need to step up my game. What are other ways artists get discovered?
There are talent shows like American Idol that skyrocketed some musicians like Carrie Underwood to fame. But the number of musicians that make it to stardom even compared to those that audition is pretty small. Then you have what I call dumb luck. An example of this is the reggae singer Koffee whose rise to success was triggered by a video she posted dedicated to Usain Bolt that the runner shared. There is no one size fits all recipe for success. Artists can play for their entire life and never make it big.
My wish is that anyone that has a passion for music would make it to where they dream. I promise to continue my search to introduce you to new music. Keep looking for new artists to discover. As mentioned above, you have at least 1.2 million to choose from. I will never make it through that list, so when you come across someone new that catches your attention, be sure to let me know so I can share with my small audience. You never know what will trigger that lucky break.
Until next week, if you’re a music lover, you can hear, see or learn about something new every day on my Facebook group, Spotify playlist or YouTube playlist. And as always, feel free to reach out and let me know about your favorite new musical discovery.