When it comes to Soundcloud, many people first think of groggy artists mumbling over overused beats. This can certainly be true to an extent. Soundcloud is a platform that allows users to listen to music for free. It also allows any user to share their own music for free. It gives any artist the ability to share and promote their work while expending very little resources.
It is true that the lack of gatekeeping results in the app being flooded with garbage. Last week, I heard a song that was so laughable, I thought that I was being pranked. Soundcloud rappers are the butt of many jokes which target them for abusing corny lyrics and being miserably offbeat. Some of them are aiming for star studded fame, while some are passionate artists who just love creating, and others are simply testing the waters and seeing if they have what it takes to create professionally. If any random person has the ability to share content, the pool is bound to be filled with people who are painfully overconfident in their musical abilities. These people also have the time and space to grow as creators – especially now that they have a platform where they can share their work.
Lizzo, Bryson Tiller, and Post Malone, are among the large group of the well-known artists who used Soundcloud during their early careers. While the app is flooded with garbage, there are many talented creators that can gain notoriety (once you sift through the pollution). Soundcloud makes success as an artist more accessible to the masses. A creator doesn’t necessarily need the amount of money it would take to produce, promote, and release their work that they would have required in the past. Because work is shared digitally, they can quickly share with a wider audience rather than being constrained by the need to perform live.
I am the first person to laugh at an anti-Soundcloud joke, but it’s important not to overlook its benefits, its ability to uplift creators, and the opportunity to give more artists a fair shot at profiting from their work, even if they don’t have the money, space, or connections to begin their musical careers. The music industry is already selective, competitive, and intense, so Soundcloud can be a great boost for newer artists. It’s also important to recognize the dedication of these creators, who have the courage to share their work with such a wide audience as they work towards their professional goals.