Lo-Fi has not been considered as a genre until recently when independent artists start to release hip-hop mixes with a tinge of nostalgia reminiscent of the works of Japanese artists Nujabes and Uyama Hiroto.
Since then, other artists such as Jinsang and Potsu have been producing amazing music that follows the lo-fi ethic, inspiring even more amateur musicians to enter the market.
But how do you do that, though?
People often have the impression that the genre requires minimal skills and even minimal resources. But to truly make it big in a world of grainy jazz pianos and subdued beats, you have to know a few fundamentals:
1. Know what lo-fi sounds like
Like any other genre, lo-fi has its own characteristics. And if you are looking to promote yourself as a lo-fi artist, it's important to know the characteristics which make lo-fi authentic. These include repetitive instrumentals taken from jazz samples and a grainy background quality which make any lo-fi song seem like it's being played on a cassette player. To be sure, listen to established artists in the genre or check out your favorite audio-streaming sites for dedicated lo-fi playlists.
2. Learn the basics of music production
They say today's musicians have it good because they are able to skip important musical theories to produce something anyone can vibe to. But the work actually goes beyond just mixing two different songs together. Even if you're planning to break out in the lo-fi scene, you still need to have a good understanding of how music works so you can create something beautiful. Luckily, you can get valuable training from the best online music schools where you can learn more about mixing, setting up your workflow, and dealing with post-production activities.
3. Invest in the right gear
Since lo-fi isn't all about the equipment but the effect you try to produce in your listeners, you're probably wondering if it's even worth it to buy expensive synths and a MacBook Pro. Actually, it all depends. Whether you're using outdated equipment or the latest tech in music production, you can still create tracks that have a lo-fi character to them. For sure, you don't have to spend a lot just to create music for college students cramming for an exam. You only need the basics: a decent laptop, a synthesizer, a keyboard, and turntables. If you're on a tight budget, you can always rent out a recording studio.
4. Release a demo
After securing everything you need to start your career as a lo-fi artist and recording your first EP, you can now start getting people to notice you. There's always SoundCloud or Bandcamp and even Spotify to consider, but a surefire way to build an audience is through YouTube. Still, when it comes to promoting your music, a good mix of all these channels should be ideal.
With these fundamentals in mind, the possibilities to create music that's sentimental and poignant are almost limitless . All you have to do is to flex your artistic muscle. Everything else should follow.