8 Genius Ways to Discover New Music

March 31, 2021

By Alexis Ocampo

The more we depend on all things digital, the more data we have to sift through in order to get to the quality music we’re looking for. What with Covid-19 and the ongoing pandemic, it’s taxing enough as it is to go through the daily motions while battling screen fatigue, social disruption, and the overarching ambiguity of what the future holds. Of course, that one amazing playlist you’ve made can do wonders to brighten up your day and reduce some of that stress and tension you’ve been holding in your neck (you should probably get that checked out). But when you’ve all but worn out the repeat button, what comes next? How do we discover new music?

1) Make Use of Your Music Algorithmsf

The world isn’t constantly technologically innovating for nothing. Though concepts like machine learning, AI and big data can sound a little intimidating, they can do wonders to curate and provide you with new music that still feels like natural additions into your usual playlist.

A few sources that support algorithm-based discovery are Spotify’s Discover Weekly, YouTube’s recommended section, and of course, your friendly neighbourhood Mixonset. If you’re a creature of habit who likes to stick to your genres, there’s great music out there that will still fit seamlessly into your favourite playlist.

2) Check out what other people are listening to

The world isn’t constantly technologically innovating for nothing. Though concepts like machine learning, AI and big data can sound a little intimidating, they can do wonders to curate and provide you with new music that still feels like natural additions into your usual playlist.

A few sources that support algorithm-based discovery are Spotify’s Discover Weekly, YouTube’s recommended section, and of course, your friendly neighbourhood Mixonset. If you’re a creature of habit who likes to stick to your genres, there’s great music out there that will still fit seamlessly into your favourite playlist.

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3) What are the trusted music sources saying?

The Grammy Awards have have been controversial, to say the least. Do you think The Weeknd was snubbed from a nom? Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that music experts don’t know what they’re talking about. Be it Pitchfork’s album reviews, Rolling Stone’s foresight into 2021’s hottest tracks, or music critic Anthony Fantano’s theneedledrop on YouTube — if you want more context and insight into your music recommendations, it’s good to reach out to the sources who know their stuff. While awards shows and charts like Billboard’s Hot 100 do serve to reflect the ebb and flow of pop culture, there’s always room for a diamond in the rough that may just be your 2021 anthem.

4) The playlists of your favorite cafes, stores, and public spaces

Thank goodness for Shazam. I do mean it. There have been countless times when I’ve been browsing a store, and a bop has smoothly caught my attention, making its way smoothly onto my playlist. Aligned with the brands I enjoy are the songs and artists that tie the whole shopping or dining experience together. While your ability to leisurely have a cup of coffee may be limited due to the pandemic, there are still a ton of playlists offered up by our favourite brands that enhance the entire experience. Case in point: Mixonset’s Montreal neighbour, premium skate-streetwer label Dime MTL, whose playlists can be enjoyed in store, or the comfort of your own home — $140 CAD hoodies not included.

5) Music festivals with lineups you can't miss

Boy, do we miss music festivals (not Fyre Fest. We don’t know Fyre Fest). Gone are the days when we’d get hyped over headliners and fret over this month’s groceries was worth a full festival pass, because the lineup was just that good. In the West, you’ve got Tomorrowland, Burning Man, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, and our personal favourite, Tyler The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw. Cross the Pacific, and you’ve got greats like Summer Sonic, Clockenflap and Laneway — there’s something for everyone. Despite the limitations set on us by the pandemic, there are some great live performances you can check out on YouTube. Virtual concerts are all the rave now, and all in the comfort of your own bedroom. Just ask Asian label 88rising, or the countless bedroom DJs on MixCloud. The Tupac hologram, though, is still up for debate. How are we feeling about that in 2021?

6) Media: movies, shows, soundtracks, and sounds

No film or show is complete without the perfect soundtrack or score to go alongside it. You’ve got household names like Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. Sometimes, the accompanying music can even make or break the watching experience. A recent favourite on my end has been the Euphoria soundtrack, curated and composed by British singer-songwriter Labrinth. His latest soundtrack endeavour on Malcolm and Marie, directed by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and starring Zendaya and John David Washington, features both classic and modern tracks, whose arrangement offers both a revisioning and interweaving of eclectic and soothing beats. Heart-wrenching, really.

7) Social media platforms (Read: TikTok Music)

Coming to a close, we couldn’t end the article without talking about TikTok. It seems that the social media giant dictates all the hits these days. Going viral as the name of the game, stars like rapper Saweetie have spoken out on the importance of TikTok in proliferating their music and garnering streams. Olivia Rodrigo’s catapult to stardom has also undeniably been given a large push by the trendsetter app. For the youth, old-time greats like Paul Anka have been revisited and revitalized through remixing, served on a fresh Gen-Z platter. On TikTok, you really never know what’s going to make it big next.

8) Mixonset - Your Personal DJ

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Finally, we have Mixonset. The app aims to have users who simply want to kick back, relax, and let Mixonset take over with your Smart DJ. If you’re tired of riding the same old carousel in the same endless loop, Mixonset has got you — with the Fill in the Gaps feature, song suggestions are mixed right into your usual queue. One minute, it’s that one beat you’ve been vibing to for the past few weeks, the next, a tune that both tangoes with your usual beats and tantalizes with a fresh new perspective on contemporary R&B, or whatever genre floats your musical boat. Talk about living on the edge, am I right? And, a cool addition to your musical journey is the fact that you can discover up to five times more music than on other music apps. Want to stay within your favourite genre? We’ve got you. Want to explore greener and untrodden pastures? Mixonset will guide you along the way.

This article was written by Alexis Ocampo, a writer and digital marketer based in Vancouver. Learn more about her work here.

To learn more about how Mixonset revolutionizes our music experiences with Smart Mix, install our iOS app for free.

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