Since Claptone burst onto the scene, SoundCloud has been a consistent part of the journey. “My first upload was in 2011 and was one of the original Claptone DJ sets that was live recorded. It’s amazing to see how many people have commented on it over the years,” he told us. Always decked out in his trademark golden bird mask, Claptone’s position as one of the biggest names in the German house music scene is no accident. The superstar DJ grew up on classical music and has spent his career combining his favorite styles in order to create a layered and powerful sonic picture. He puts it simply: “Words can’t describe my music.”
The list of artists Claptone has remixed reads like a quintessential who’s who of the industry: from the Pet Shop Boys to Gorillaz to New Order. Yet despite an extensive discography, he remains incredibly selective and won’t take on a project unless there’s something he can do to amplify it and truly bring a track to the dance floor. Aside from working the worldwide festival circuit this summer, Claptone just dropped his latest album Fantast.
As the career trajectory of this global force keeps rising, he always recognizes the opportunities SoundCloud has provided him and other up-and-coming producers. “People can just produce something and if they think it’s good enough, they can upload it and see what the reaction is. Where else can you do that?”
Listen to the latest music from Claptone on SoundCloud now.
Few know the power of creating their own opportunities quite like Lotic. Growing up in Houston, they focused on developing a sound that married the experimental and the accessible, all while sharing abstract vocal arrangements and early beats on SoundCloud. After graduating from college in the midst of a recession and an uncertain political climate in 2012, moving to Berlin seemed like the best option. Since then, they have become a resident artist of Janus, a Berlin-based event and label collective that put Lotic at the forefront of Berlin’s music scene (which ultimately led to gigs at famed super-club Berghain and a not-so-casual DM from Björk, who they produced two remixes for and supported on tour).
Without SoundCloud, the path to success would have been far less clear. “It’s still the best and one of the only ways to share music. It’s easy, quick and straightforward and that just did not exist before SoundCloud. It was needed for so long,” Lotic says. Since being signed to Tri-Angle Records, Lotic’s star has certainly taken off and their sound has evolved massively. Their debut album, Power, drops next month and is bound to turn a cult favorite into a household name. But for Lotic, it’s all about being true to their art and figuring out the next move.
Listen to the latest music from Lotic on SoundCloud now.
We all start somewhere — and for Peggy Gou, that place was SoundCloud. “The first track I ever uploaded was an hour-and-twenty-minute long mix,” the Korean-born, Berlin-based DJ said. “I hide it now because it’s quite embarrassing. I listened back and it’s not bad, but still!”
Before Gou’s latest EP Once dropped in March and became a summer staple, she fine-tuned her skills while the SoundCloud community eagerly listened in and fed back. “My favorite part of SoundCloud is the comments,” she says. “Usually they’re pretty positive and I like reading them because you can write on specific minutes and seconds within the song – it’s a good platform for people who want to break through.”
And break through she definitely has. With over 170 worldwide gigs under her belt, the accolades are stacking up for Gou. At a recent lecture she gave back in Korea, the event was packed full of fans obsessed with the country’s rising house and techno scene. Her biggest piece of advice? “Don’t be afraid to ask around. I bother a lot of people to get what I want,” she explains.
Gou’s accomplished quite a bit already, and she’s just getting started. With the support of her 37K beloved SoundCloud followers, it’s only up from here.
Listen to the latest music from Peggy Gou on SoundCloud now.