SoundCloud Culture at Packer
SoundCloud, since its creation in 2007, seems to have taken hold of a generation of teenagers and young adults looking both to produce their own music, and discover new and upcoming artists. Marked by the now iconic orange and white cloud, the popular online music site has not only become a place on which people can interact with music, but also with one another; Packer students are certainly no exception to this trend. Within the school, a large portion of the student body rely on the site to listen to music everyday, and a group of students who use it to produce their own music.
There is something very alluring about a website that gives everyone the same chance at success, especially for student artists. SoundCloud also happens to be the only ad-free major online platform for sharing music. SoundCloud doesn’t favor one type of artist; whether you’re making music at home or working in a studio, everyone is exposed to the same platform and audiences.
Jonah Sollins Devlin (‘19) for example, makes his music in his bedroom, whereas Ayinde Castro (‘17) often uses a studio.
“All young and up-and-coming artists use it and the results prove its potential to be a platform for discovering new artists,” said Nate Antoine (‘17).
In theory, the site is host to all different kinds of music, and is a place in which a lot of new, creative material is well received. However, there does seem to a particular sound to the music that gains a lot of attention.
“I wouldn’t say that there is a popular sound on SoundCloud. But, in terms of hip-hop, it varies, but a lot of it is called ‘mumble rap’ nowadays. People like things that they can bump to in a dance space, and that’s mostly what blows up,” said Ayinde Castro (‘17).
Historically, SoundCloud has been a way in which unknown artists have gained traction in their music careers. Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, and XXXTENTACION, among others, have all used the site to find fame. It is these examples that hundreds of aspiring artists look to in the hope that they too might get attention for their music.
“Many artists who are famous on SoundCloud have audiences of millions and pump out music at a very fast rate. However, many more artists on SoundCloud have no audience and are just praying for someone to find their page so that they can hopefully blow up,” said Archie Caride (‘19).
Ben Schneier (‘17), for example, who works under the name Jew Chainz, uploaded a song last summer about his frustration that GovBall was cancelled. The track has now been played almost 19.4 thousand times, and has received a lot of other online attention.
But, this isn’t the case for all artists within Packer. A number of them simply create music for their own enjoyment, or anyone that would be interested in their style of music.
“I make hip-hop beats and hip-hop influenced laptop music, and produce for anybody who wants me to. I have no audience and I’m not popular at all. I’m inspired by people who make music with no popular appeal,” said Jonah Devlin (‘19).
By Isobel McCrum and Destin Davis