How To Impress Your Basic Mates With An Artist They’ve Never Heard Of
People are always looking for hot new tunes or the next big thing and no one is cooler than the guy that introduces his friendship circle to his or her favourite band, right?
Look who introduced the world to Kanye? That’s right, Jay Z! HOV himself! And besides Beyoncé (and TBH probably all of Destiny’s Child - Beyoncé, Kelly and the other one) no one is cooler than Jay Z.
So, here’s my simple six step plan on how to impress your friends with a hot new artist and have them love you forever unconditionally:
Start searching underground music blogs and platforms for unsigned artists. This will get your finger on the pulse and develop your use of terms like, “their EP is about to drop” or “this West Coast chill-wave sound is exploding!” or “check my search history, Mum. It wasn’t me that downloaded it! I was listening to this mixtape!”
Find an artist you like that HASN’T released a full-length album yet. I can’t stress this enough. EPs only. As soon as they’ve dropped a debut album they’re old news and the only person you’ll impress with your hot music scoop is grandma chilling on show tunes in the nursing home. I’ve picked Los Angeles artist LostBoyCrow. He ticks all the boxes: He just released his first EP titled ‘Sigh For Me’, has been blowing up online, and plays a genre of music I’d describe as ‘electro-post-chill-wave with sometimes bits of guitar in the darker songs that makes you want to dance and cry’ (catchy, huh). Also, he goes by ‘LostBoyCrow’. Like that’s his name. Not Josh or Steve. Just LostBoyCrow. Coolest. Guy. Ever.
When first telling your friends about your cool new artist, don’t describe them as a ‘band’ or ‘singer’ etc. That’s old school. It’s all about ‘projects’ now. LostBoyCrow describes his live shows, EPs, videos and singles all as a "project". I don’t know what that means but it sounds a lot cooler than my third grade school project when I made a diorama and cut myself with some scissors because I didn’t want to line up for the hole punch machine. I should have just bought a drum kit and synths.
Know the live set up. This is seriously important. Nothing solidifies a friendship like going together to see one of your favourite bands live. After you introduce your friends to new music, you then want to throw down your knowledge of their live shows. For example, LostBoyCrow plays live with the two producers he writes and records with. There’s a dude full time on the drum kit, hitting the pads and triggers, a guy called Kevin playing Synths and sometimes guitar, then LostBoyCrow on vocals and any other instrument he can get his hands on. Playing live can be challenging because the songs are results of experimental studio sessions and once the record is released it’s almost just as big of a challenge to learn how to play the songs live, as it is to record and compose them. They’ve just come off a huge North America tour and LostBoyCrow said the "stress and grind of touring can wear on the voice, but looking out into the audience and seeing and hearing punters singing the lyrics to his tracks makes it all worthwhile.”
See, look how smart I look?! You want to be my friend and hang out now, right?
Delete all other tunes from your friend’s music library.
This is the last step and icing on the cake. Once they’ve taken the bait, casually drop some of the artists’ favourite bands or influences into conversation and it’s game, set and match. This is how it will play out:
Friend: Hey, thanks for showing me LostBoyCrow – it’s a great EP. I can’t stop listening!
You: Great! I knew you’d like him! Also, he cites Frank Ocean as one of his biggest melodic influences and favourite artists.
Friend: OMG I love Frank Ocean!
You: We all love Frank Ocean! He also loves the Arctic Monkeys and thinks Alex Turner (Arctic Monkey’s front man) inspires him to write better lyrics he is more connected to.
Friend: OMG! I love the Arctic Monkeys!
You: Yes! Also, he loves The Beach Boys and one of his favourite bands to see live is Tokyo Police Club!
Friend: Amazing! You have so much musical knowledge! We should hang out more.
Friend: Definitely! I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life. I think I see you in a different light now; a lot smarter and definitely more handsome. Would you like to come to my party on the weekend!?
You: I’d love that.
Friend: I love you.
You: I love you too.
- By Sam Taunton.
If that all seems far too difficult, just tune into MTV Upload 10:00PM Thursdays on MTV Music!