I previously mentioned my use of Sound Cloud as a tool for learning Japanese. At that time it was kind of just a novelty item that I thought might have some value. Since then it has become one of my primary sources of music. YouTube, iTunes, and Pandora are all passive forms of music media. (I know YouTube has the comments but they are rarely directly to the musician.) With Sound Cloud you have a chance to directly engage the artist or bands you discover. And unlike most popular music streaming services, all Sound Cloud content is user generated which creates zero barriers to artistic entry. It makes no difference whether a musician has thousands of loyal fans or just a couple of friends who like their music. Everyone get’s to play.
Another big plus, and the main reason I use the service, is that there are no continental divides in content availability. As some of you may know, you cannot buy things from iTunes Japan without a Japanese address. The only way around this is to have someone in japan buy and ship you a prepaid Itunes card at exorbitant prices. Why iTunes? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy??!!! I’m sure it’s in the fine print, but as a lover of music it doesn’t make sense that I am limited to listening to only what is available in my geographic region. But thankfully Sound Cloud came to my rescue and I can support underground small artists who deserve recognition for the enjoyment they are bringing into my life.
I find one of my favorite things to do is pick a random vocabulary word like “魚” and search it on Sound Cloud. You will get thousands of interesting responses to explore. I tried 魚 (さかな or fish) and found this cool Alt Rock style song that reminds me of a mix of Heat Miser and Wilco.
For a more generic search I’d try 日本語(nihongo) to see what type of Japanese music you might find. To me it’s just become a great way to search vocab and see what I find. It seems like wasteful clicking around the internet but you’re actually engaging your listening and memory recall at a high level. I hope everyone enjoys discovering new music on Sound Cloud. If you find anything particularly note worthy, let us know. I for one am always amazed by the mash-ups and mixes that people do with various genres of music.
I almost forgot to mention. if you’re too lazy to search you can always join a group that covers a particular genre of music. I joined several groups from various languages. The groups cover the full spectrum of music, so happy listening.