Guys, I know. YouTube serves other purposes than hosting 15 minute videos of women applying makeup and 20 something year olds struggling to finish fire-coloured noodles.
Somewhere hidden in the gigantic pile of TMZ-inspired news alerts and cinnamon challenge sufferers, there are plenty of Youtube channels and platforms created to host showcases of music. Whether it’s through live performances, chart reviews or maybe simply just a song with some sort of “meaningful” backdrop and quote (never understood those, won’t try to begin now), the world of discovering hidden musical gems on Youtube is very much real and POPPING.
If you find yourself consistently sifting for new music and have resorted to Youtube to do it, you need to hit that sub button on the following channels:
Artists and bands performing live, intimate sets at the NPR All Songs Considered workstation. The selection is diverse so expect A-Listers such as RnB knee trembler John Legend and funk phenonemon George Clinton, but also expect unexpected nostalgia from not-so-teen boppers Hanson and cheery Latin vibes from Mariachi Flor De Toaloache.
COLORS = genius. This Berlin-based music platform has made so many great decisions from the music down to the aesthetics. Showcasing talent that NEEDS to be witnessed, COLORS gives subscribers a beautifully diverse collection of artists, signed AND unsigned. Each artist/band performs one song into a mic, in front of a one-tone backdrop keeping the focus solely on the music. Each performance is seamless and beautifully recorded, so you can even leave playlists running to listen to.
Ahh, Anthony Fantano…”The internet’s biggest music nerd”. And that, he is.
Needledrop is a music-focussed video blog. Anthony Fantano, one of the hardest music journalists/critics to please, approaches tracks and albums in such an insightful and humourous way. Never failing to provide a thorough analysis and overview of each subject (and sometimes just straight up cold reviews), this one is definitely a good one to subscribe to if you’re interested in more than just finding out about who’s made the charts.
Mahogany Sessions are a prime example of music being able to instigate emotion and feeling just from one live performance. Each session is filmed so meticulously and are sometimes filmed in locations as extravagant as the artist’s voice (Jacob Banks and this killer reverbhad me crumbling like left-out feta). A deliciously smooth selection of songs, this channel is perfect for Sunday meltdowns aka hangovers.
Also Germany-based (I just need to relocate already), unlike the other channels mentioned above, this one serves a platter of easy-listening, holiday-feel songs to unwind to. 80% of the music has base of electronic beats though you can expect a range of covered genres from indie to hip-hop. Their carefully comprised playlists are full of zen background tracks for hanging out at home alone or with your compadres.
Founded by music mogul and young entrepeneur from West London, Jamal Edwards, SBTV began a decade ago showing the world the UK’s urban music roots. Giving the spotlight and mic to talented young artists, this channel has been graced by chart-toppers such as Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and pays homage to the unheard voices and rising talent in the UK.
Have you ever seen a bandstand sitting idle in the park and wondered WHAT the purpose of it is? My only experience and recollection of any bandstand-related activity is sharing a bottle of Lambrini with my schoolmates in Hyde Park but now my memories are overtaken by: Bandstand Busking. This channel records stripped, acoustic performances of artists “busking” in unused bandstands across London and redefines music as an enjoyable experience for both artists and the audience.
I wasn’t going to leave this one without some unashamed promotion. A vlog focussing on my own personal experiences with music and exploring for new and old gems, my prime purpose of this vlog is encouraging others to listen and search for music outside of their comfort zones. Expect my face, lots of playlists and dramatic hair changes. Really.