Category Archives: Community

SoundCloud Say It Loud! with BOSCO

This Black History Month we’re celebrating emerging black artists who are redefining boundaries and challenging underrepresentation in their scenes. Join us as we spotlight these new and influential creators.

Meet BOSCO, an Atlanta-based singer whose hybrid sound defies categorization.

How did you first get your start as a musician?
I started singing in church and I feel like that developed my skills as a vocalist. With that, you innately grow into becoming an artist. From there, I would sing in local talent shows and I joined the chorus in high school. When I began college I started writing my own music and performing locally at this jazz lounge to perfect my original music.

Were there any artists in particular you looked to for inspiration who you felt were breaking down barriers?
I am a huge fan of Erykah Badu, Sarah Vaughn, Sade, Charlie Wilson & The Gap Band, Isley Brothers, Tracy Chapman, Meshell Ndegeocello, Pharrell Williams, D’Angelo, Frank Ocean, and Brandy to just name a few. I love male vocalists and the tone/timbre of their voices.

Given the influence black musicians have had on all genres of music, are you surprised by the lack of representation of people of color in the alternative genre?
Yes. Being considered an Alternative R&B artist myself, we are often compartmentalized and boxed into this these confined areas of sound, when we as a people pioneer the core of the genre. Alternative is just a extension of Blues/Rock & Roll. Just because we’re black, they automatically associate the color of our skin with sound and sonics when really it’s simply transferred energy. I believe it’s the lack of education that causes people to put these barriers on us. Once we educate the people, we as a unit can progress.

Have you had to navigate any particular obstacles in order to gain respect within your music scene?
OF COURSE! This never changes; we don’t get a “day off”. I’m constantly reminded that I’m Black when I present an idea or “set placed demographic” idea in my music. I grew up listening to artist like Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Garbage, Radiohead who are major influences on my life but when we tapped into these areas, we are questioned what the sound is. When white artists explore other genres they are never questioned, but praised and applauded for their “said” efforts to contribute to the black culture. There have been so many times when I wanted to do an indie-rock/experimental project with influence from the greats before me but they still would call it “Soul/R&B” music when the landscape and instrumentation doesn’t yield for that label.

What advice would you give to other musicians of color looking to break in?
Fuck’em, do you fam.

SoundCloud Say It Loud! with GEOTHEORY

This Black History Month we’re celebrating emerging black artists who are redefining boundaries and challenging underrepresentation in their scenes. Join us as we spotlight new influential creators throughout the month.

First up: GEOTHEORY, a New York-based producer creating trap-tinged electronic music.

Given the influence that black musicians have had on electronic music, are you surprised by the lack of representation of people of color?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “WOW, YOU’RE BLACK?!” at shows. But I often wonder why that is… It’s obvious hip hop and rap have come to dominate modern pop culture, not just here but all over the world. I remember a short-lived fad where kids were ripping songs, old soul and disco songs I was raised on, and throwing a hip-hop drum loop on top or a 4×4 kick and the people being exposed are thinking this is some brand new thing, because they’ve never heard or been exposed to the OGs. There is no art in repackaging, same as what Elvis did to Black Soul music and rock and roll.. but there is art in reinventing.

People like to retaliate and instant block talks about appropriation, but we have very deep strong roots that have been exploited since the beginning.. but especially now in modern radio pop songs, and bitten sounds from guys who will never get the light of day. We’re exploited for our originality, and left to play catch up.

How did you first get your start as an electronic artist?

I began my journey early 2014…an amazing year for electronic communities on Youtube and SoundCloud. Everything was very fresh and experimental so many different sounds to be exposed to. And that really became part of my identity I change and go through so many phases. I wanted to make people feel what i feel when i find an amazing track.

Have you had to navigate any particular obstacles in order to gain respect within the electronic music scene?

Yes, I feel my shot at getting some recognition was compromised. I was 16, I remember being at summer camp when I dropped “Futuristic Love.” It was played all over Soulection’s shows, I was getting tagged in random videos of these huge DJ’s who didn’t even follow me.. couldn’t even get a response back for a thank you. I found out the file was just being tossed around in a leaked dropbox and that’s how it got out. And in turn no one wanted to help in the slightest.

I still get people to this day who were looking for that song and are messaging me about it. Really wild.

Were there artists in particular who you looked to for inspiration, who you felt were breaking down barriers in the genre?

I remember binging Haywyre, Sam Gellaitry, and Herzeloyde all at that time. Every time I listen to one of their tracks, I’m having so much fun in my head. They just have that depth to their tunes and I love it!

What advice would you give to other musicians of color looking to break in? 

Fuck all the other noise around you, you are your own competition…and if you want to be great you will be great! Create your own destiny, make your own print and continue to circulate that inspiration to any other young souls you touch.

SoundCloud SoundCloud Next Wave: An Inside Look at Berlin’s Diverse Techno Scene

“I think Berlin – why it’s such an amazing place – is the freedom, and so many people doing creative things, they come here to be creative, to meet other creative people, to bounce ideas off of people, to collaborate.” — Doc Sleep

The final SoundCloud Next Wave installment,“Room 4 Resistance,” premieres today – check it out below!

For the final episode of 2017, SoundCloud returns to its hometown of Berlin to highlight the women-led Room 4 Resistance, a collective of DJs, producers, music journalists, and promoters working to carve out a safe space for creative expression that’s free of judgement in the electronic scene. The collective honors the political legacies of house and techno–genres founded and nurtured by marginalized communities–through providing visibility for underrepresented artists by throwing parties inclusive of all races, genders and sexual orientations. “Room 4 Resistance to me is a place for anyone to come to be free, to experiment, to find community, to hear good music,” says Doc Sleep, a DJ and Room 4 Resistance resident.

Following core members of Room 4 Resistance — Roxymore, Nazira, LuzDoc Sleep and Yuko AsanumaSoundCloud Next Wave gives viewers an inside-look at Berlin’s diverse club culture and the artists challenging the electronic music scene’s homogenization. The episode culminates in the collective’s infamous monthly party, capturing the warmth, vibrancy and freedom thriving outside of the mainstream.

Room 4 Resistance’s impact extends beyond Berlin thanks in large part to the internet and platforms like SoundCloud, which the collective uses to share mixes and discover new artists. As Nazira states, “SoundCloud really helps with connecting all the puzzle pieces.”

With episodes covering local scenes emerging in London, (“Different Settings”), Brazil (“Visão”),  New York City (“Extended Mix”), Toronto (“Northern Stars”) and Los Angeles (“Degenerate Generation”), SoundCloud Next Wave highlights the exciting local creator communities being shaped, shared, and celebrated on SoundCloud everyday.

But the journey is far from over — stay tuned in 2018 for more cities and more emerging music scenes from around the globe.