In 2016, Los Angeles-based artist starRo made history by becoming the first Asian electronic producer to ever be nominated for a Grammy. But before he was blazing trails, before the Recording Academy took notice of his heady, imaginative grooves known as “future R&B”, before he was starring in commercials for Beats by Dre and appearing on the talk show circuit in his native Japan, starRo, a.k.a. Shinya Mizoguchi, was searching for his breakthrough on SoundCloud. At first, music was merely a dream, the passion project he pursued when he wasn’t working his day job at a tech company or driving for Uber. But after joining SoundCloud in 2009, the connections starRo began to make on the platform encouraged him to produce more tracks, post them more frequently, and engage with his increasing number of fans. Everything changed when the renown Los Angeles musical collective Soulection discovered one of starRo’s remixes and reposted it to their own SoundCloud page. That one share scored starRo more than 10,000 plays and exposed his creations to an entirely new audience. He only quit his day job two and a half years ago but starRo has already performed alongside GoldLink and Anderson.Paak, collaborated with artists like BOSCO and Jay Prince, and, oh yeah, snagged a historic Grammy nomination. Wherever starRo’s journey takes him, we’re proud of where it all started – first on SoundCloud.
Listen to the latest music from starRo on SoundCloud now.
Chicago’s Taylor Bennett is proof that SoundCloud is where music emerges, where new artists take shape, as his music journey and SoundCloud are inextricable. The younger brother of Chance the Rapper, Bennett wasted no time in forging his own path, uploading his first tracks on SoundCloud at the age of fourteen. In the span of just three years, the rapper released two mixtapes, an EP, and his debut album, Broad Shoulders. The buzz Bennett built on SoundCloud with his playful and infectious bars quickly manifested in offline opportunities. He sold out his first show when he was just seventeen. Soon he was opening for artists like Vic Mensa and YG on tour and performing alongside his idol Nas at Lollapalooza. And as Bennett continues to grow and develop as an artist, his relationship with SoundCloud only deepens. His most recent album, Restoration of an American Idol, debuted on SoundCloud in 2017 and gained more than five million plays in less than three months. Just last year Bennett surprise released Throw Aways: UNMIXED as a SoundCloud exclusive, tweeting that the compilation of unheard and unmixed tracks was “just for the real fans.” Now the rapper is expanding his influence, teaching other artists how to successfully launch and navigate their own independent careers. In order to better showcase emerging talent, Bennett created his own indie record label, Tay Bennett Entertainment; signees include Chicago rapper-singer Bianca Shaw. Wherever Taylor Bennett’s journey takes him, we’re proud of where it all started – first on SoundCloud.
Listen to the latest music from Taylor Bennett on SoundCloud now.
R&B triple threat Lorine Chia wrote her first song in sixth grade. Born in Cameroon and raised throughout the United States, twelve-year-old Chia was preparing for yet another move, this time from Maryland to Ohio, and couldn’t face the prospect of leaving her friends behind. So, in a final bid to process her heartbreak, the precocious musician wrote a farewell song. After teaching herself how to play guitar at fifteen, Chia began to write songs in earnest and SoundCloud became the nascent singer’s source of validation, inspiration, and community. After joining the platform in 2012, Chia would share rough drafts of tracks to her page, soliciting feedback from the SoundCloud community, shifting her direction or pursuing certain sounds depending on her followers’ response. Later that year, the singer uploaded her debut album, Lorine, quickly racking up over 100,000 plays on her collaboration with Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper. Clearly Chia is on to something – her signature blend of jazz-tinged R&B and throaty blues has attracted the attention of artists like The Game, Jeezy, Janelle Monae, and Wiz Khalifa, and led to performances on massive stages like SXSW. Wherever Lorine Chia’s journey takes her, we’re proud of where it all started – first on SoundCloud.
Listen to the latest music from Lorine Chia on SoundCloud now.