On Music Discovery / by Eric Lum

fanum.fm asked one of our top Tastemakers, Tatiana Alvanelli, who specializes in indie, pop, and rock bands, “How do you discover new music?”

With the digital music era in full flux, discovering new music could not be easier. People have listening capabilities at the touch of their phone, or through clicks on their favorite online platforms. On demand streaming has given people the ability to find any artist and/or song for immediate listening which is bringing more music explorers to the field than ever before. Interestingly enough, as physical ownership of records becomes less of a priority, live concert budgets continue to grow, growing the popularity of music festivals and small/mid-level shows for yet another form of music discovery. With so many ways to discover, the direct influence fans have in developing new artists is inevitable.

Personally, I pay for Spotify’s premium streaming service. Aside from daily listening, Spotify serves as one of my main discovery platforms. I typically listen through up-and-coming artists/releases I read about on Billboard, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and AllMusic. I also enjoy Spotify’s new ‘Discover Weekly’ feature, where every week Spotify compiles a personalized playlist based on artists/bands that I’ve been listening to. Soundcloud also helps me discover new music, especially since many tracks available on Soundcloud are posted by unsigned artists trying to build their brand. Lastly, fanum.fm has played a significant role in helping me find new music, since all artists referred onto the platform are unsigned or independent. The best thing about fanum.fm is that my fellow tastemakers are just as passionate about new music as I am, and some have impressive resumes in the music industry. The quality of new music on fanum.fm surpasses the rest.

My favorite form of music discovery, however, is through live concerts. Nothing in this world creates a more unique feeling than singing along or dancing with a great artist, while surrounded by like-minded fans and heart-stopping sound-waves. In my opinion, the best venues for new music are those that host open-mics, or for a more established sound and full band experience, mid-level venues with a max capacity between 400-1200. These are the artists that are on the verge of something big and they want you to be in on the secret. They want to meet you and tell you about their hustles and struggles on tour. I live for those handshakes and conversations. Since shows can be costly and my budget is limited, I always check out their latest live performances on YouTube channels for NPR Tiny Desk, KEXP, WNYC (Soundcheck) and Audiotreetv.

Although some argue that today’s music scene is overly saturated, I say the digital era is connecting us with exceptional artists who may have never been heard without the many resources created by the internet. Needless to say, bragging rights are less arguable since we have proof of initial discovery via online sharing. So here’s to the next big thing that’s waiting for you to stumble upon them. Come and share it with your friends and start your tastemaking journey right here on fanum.fm.