These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the newest and most exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
The Internet’s music stars stand tall on their own, but the World Wide Web is all about collaboration—working alongside friends and like-minded creators to build something bigger and better together. The three tracks below find underground champions teaming up with cool colleagues to create some sick tracks primed for most any occasion.
Andy Butler: “You Can Shine” (feat. Richard Kenendy)
Who: At the center of legendary disco outfit Hercules & Love Affair is Andy Butler, a talent beloved by many musicians for his instrumental contributions to hits like “Blind.” Richard Kennedy is known amongst the indie artist community (as well as the Hercules crew, with whom he often performs) as a true vocal talent, as can be exhibited in the euphoric, soaring “Carry On.”
The Song: Butler and Kennedy co-wrote the stirring club-stomper “You Can Shine,” which Butler notes is about “acknowledging things greater than your tiny little human self.” It’s only appropriate that the track feels larger than life, thanks in large part to Kennedy’s soulful energy and impressive range, which can be quite penetrating as he repeatedly coos, “I know that I’m loved,” over the danceable drums.
Current Project: Butler will release his debut EP February 23. Find all the info via Hercules and Love Affair’s website.
Keljet & Ayer: “If It’s Not You”
Who: Netherland-born Teun Pranger and Koen Mestrum make up Keljet, a nu-disco duo that has developed acclaim for their bevy of addictive remixes, such as their funky take on EVVY’s “Collide” and the peppier edit of Matvey Emerson’s “Over.”
The Song: Keljet keeps with their successful model of glistening beats accompanied by pure vocals, this time linking up with emerging electro-pop singer/songwriter Ayer. Ayer’s silky falsetto is a perfect fit for the up-tempo track.
Kaytranada: “Drive Me Crazy” (Feat. Vic Mensa)
Who: Arguably one of the most popular producers to exist within the Soundcloud sphere, the Haiti-born beatmaker describes his chosen genre as “Hippy Hop, Stuff that’ll make you dance, Stuff that’ll makes you do moshpits, stuff that makes you wanna have sex” on his Facebook page. We wholeheartedly agree—just listening to one of Kaytranada’s many nostalgically-inclined remixes rouses up a soulfulness that hasn’t existed in current dance music at such a large scale.
The Song: Kaytranada and Vic Mensa have made magic together before with the festival-ready banger “Wimme Nah,” which has over 2 million listens on Soundcloud. It only makes sense the two would return with the vibey “Drive Me Crazy,” which finds rhymesmith Mensa spitting furiously over Kaytranada’s smooth instrumental.