Once in awhile, an artist’s sound completely captures the zeitgeist and informs musical trends for years to come. In the somewhat complex coexistence between house and pop, that person is Jan Blomqvist. Heralded as one of the world’s top live DJs by Resident Advisor, his presence in Germany’s dance scene is by far one of the strongest today.
Before he headlined clubs worldwide and performed at festivals including Burning Man (which has an impressive 760K streams on SoundCloud), he wasn’t signed to a label and was bartending while figuring out how to raise his profile. “I was immediately on SoundCloud when it came out,” he says. “I was pretty young in the scene. The clubs didn’t want me to play live, so it was an interesting way to get my music to people. Later on when I played in the clubs, they’d ask for my SoundCloud!”
These days, with 76K followers, a supportive label plus a new album (Disconnected came out last month), he utilizes the platform as a way of sharing ideas with contemporaries and remixes with other musicians. As his career evolves, so does Jan’s commitment to SoundCloud — and we’re proud of that.
Listen to the latest music from Jan Blomqvist on SoundCloud now.
For Little Simz, it’s always been about raw passion — which made her and SoundCloud a natural fit. She joined the platform back in 2012 with the goal of getting her music out there and exploring the space. “I didn’t have to overthink it – it was really fluid and I love the spontaneity of being able to put something out based on impulse… just because I feel like it,” Simz says.
The 24-year-old rapper has been invested in the performing arts since the early age of nine, and her impressive skills have quickly secured her a spot as one of hip-hop’s hottest ones to watch. Just in case there was ever any doubt on that front, Kendrick Lamar recently stated that Simz “might be the illest doing it now,” so you know it’s real.
After her track Marilyn Monroe received serious props from the SoundCloud community, she released a video for it. Since then, she’s dropped two albums (her most recent, Stillness in Wonderland, came out last year), collaborated with fellow SoundCloud success story Kehlani and is currently in the midst of a European tour. Casual, right?
No matter what Simz’s next move is, she never forgets her SoundCloud roots. “It’s an amazing platform to discover new music and it’s not only for fans — it’s a great way for artists to meet others.” And that’s what it’s all about.
Listen to the latest music from Little Simz on SoundCloud now.
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.