In a time of social distancing, musicians are forced to find creative solutions to engage with fans, collaborate with other artists, and get their music heard. As a result, many musicians are learning that when fans are a part of their creative process, it brings them even closer. Globally, fans are raving about hearing un-produced, fresh musical ideas in real time from artists through live streams. Engagement between the fans and artists has never been better as they share raw content through these social media platforms.
Musicians and listeners are looking for places where they can connect, engage, and experience the creative process as it happens. That’s why Boon, a rising Nashville songwriter & producer, turned to the new social music collaboration app SoundStorming. The 16-year-old artist was in search of musical collaborations, but even in Music City USA he had a hard time making connections. “Before, I would use Instagram hashtags to find people,” Boon recalls. “I would direct message them and just hope they would get back to me. It could be like pulling teeth to get them to a studio for a co-writing session.” When Boon started using SoundStorming, he found himself in a network of artists all focused on collaboration and connection.
So Boon turned to SoundStorming to find something fresh for his new track. “It’s not about genre- I was looking for a vocalist who also had great songwriting skills,” Boon explains. He came across an artist who had uploaded just 16 bars of flow with the cool factor Boon wanted. He was able to message Freeco, the Atlanta rapper behind that track. As they collaborated back and forth on SoundStorming, Boon liked the ease and randomness of trading recordings and evolving their musical ideas. Their SoundStorming collaboration blossomed into “Feelings on the Floor,” a genre-crossing banger on Boon’s just released EP 16.
When SoundStorming founders Arnau Bosch and Alicia Rius heard Boon and Freeco’s collaboration in the platform, it was validation of their vision. “We launched SoundStorming because we knew there was a need for a social platform where artists could share their unedited, unfinished ideas, to connect and collaborate openly,” Co-founder Arnau says. Alicia continues, “Artist discovery is one of the biggest challenges in the music industry. By bringing audiences to the beginning of the creative process, we are allowing artists to create a more intimate relationship with their fans, and also use these musical moments as demos or soundbites to promote their talent and be discovered.”
You could say that SoundStorming works like TikTok for original musical ideas. Instead of influencers spreading viral dances and copycat lipsynchs, SoundStorming artists share their music as they create it. The platform allows artists to capture their musical ideas on their smartphones, just as they do now, and share them with other artists and listeners immediately. Other users can record their own responses and riffs, taking the ideas in new and unexpected directions. It’s a social platform where connections are forged by music, pure and simple. SoundStorming users are fearlessly collaborating in new genres and contributing ideas that the original artist may have never envisioned. These asynchronous collaborations may be fleeting or they may develop into bigger projects, but everyone who participates—artists and listeners— gains inspiration and connection.
For young users like Boon Eason, finding inspiration in the serendipitous collision of ideas on a social platform feels right: “I’ve had some super interesting people collab on my songs, soul singers and blues guitar players, people I never would have thought I’d work with. It’s new things that spark creativity. I want to work with as many people as possible!”
As for Boon, his new EP is already earning him attention from labels. The creative hothouse of SoundStorming collaboration means that artists are able to level up their work even without formal artist development. Just as SoundStorming allowed Boon to connect directly with a community of musicians, it has the potential for future fans and A&R reps to identify emerging talent based on their sounds. No more wading through lifestyle-focused social media platforms that were designed for photos, text, or video rather than the music itself. Creation, collaboration, and discovery all in one place: just what we need for the era of self-isolation.