ABOVE: TY DOLLA $IGN
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.
Let’s face it—real talent is rare. The likelihood that you’ll be blessed with the innate ability to play the crap out of an instrument or wail on a track like Aretha Franklin is pretty slim. But on the bright side, the Internet makes it easier to pick those people out of the crowd who have got something special, and, in cases like we have this week, sometimes that something special can be plural. Whether that means the ability to create a far-reaching palette of sounds, or acting as the singer and producer of your project, check out tracks by three multi-talented musicians below.
Who: Looking at Grave Goods’ catalogue, it is clear that he’s a talent trusted by some very talented producers. Grave Goods helped DJ Two Stacks (of “Gucci Gucci” fame) craft Chippy Nonstop‘s explosive Money Dance 101 EP, collaborated with Chiddy Bang’s Xaphoon Jones on a killer Benzel remix, and teamed up with bedroom indie act Home Covers for “Motorcycle Heathen.” Armed with a unique direction that cross-pollinates lo-fi, grunge, and even mainstream hip-hop, the up and comer is just getting started.
The Song: All the above-mentioned elements meld together like the perfect puzzle with “Very Punk,” a strange and sunny song that finds collaborator Cold Fronts singing against big drums fit for a Mike Will Made It track placed in a pop-punk context. The percussion is a high-point for the track, as the beat seamlessly changes from Jersey bass to turned-out trap.
Current Project: Study up on Grave Good’s discography and keep updated on new material by checking in with his Facebook fan page.
Who: Ty Dolla $ign is the face of future R&B, and some of your favorite artists might already agree—a few mixtapes in and the talent can call Juicy J, Snoop Dogg, Will.I.Am, and Young Jeezy his collaborators (and that’s the short list). Ty brings the theatrics of an R.Kelly along with dark, enigmatic production that’s extremely hip, an aspect of his sound that can often be attributed to DRUG$, the crew he makes tracks alongside.
The Song: A guest spot from the smooth-talking Wiz Khalifa rounds out this sultry banger produced by Ty, who owns the track with his soulful vocals and catchy phrasing. Similar to his forward-thinking contemporary Jeremih, Ty Dolla $ign gets bored quickly, always adding accents to the beat and switching up sounds to keep things extra engaging.
Rebecca & Fiona: “Bullets”
Who: This Stockholm-helmed duo have been getting a lot of international attention for their hyper-catchy tracks and powerhouse production-songs. The moody “Luminary Ones” and the sexy “Hard” were released in 2011, but thanks to some heavy touring the duo are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve.
The Song: A slick guitar riff sets off “Bullets.” A clear standout for the group, the cute chorus anchors the track, and its big sound—combined with the girls’ straightforward yet strong vocals—seems prime for a festival crowd.