A&R Hacks for Scouting New SoundCloud Talent

Tips and SoundCloud channels that can help you discover rising artists faster.
A&R Hacks for Scouting New SoundCloud Talent
How-tos
Sara Mekinc

SoundCloud already boasts over 200M tracks. With its DIY approach (you don’t need a distributor to upload to SoundCloud, and every upload creates a handy, easily shareable URL), it quickly became popular among aspiring Hip Hop, Indie and Electronic artists.

That's good news for labels and producers – just sit back and let up-and-coming artists send you links to their demos. But in reality, that won’t happen every day, if at all, so you'll have to do some scouting on your own.

This is exactly what we're going to cover today. Here’s what you can do to keep track of promising new talent on SoundCloud:

➡️ Follow SoundCloud’s blog and hashtags.

➡️ Check out SoundCloud’s discovery features.

➡️ Follow SoundCloud channels that feature up-and-comers.

➡️ Use analytics for quicker discovery.

Let's dive into the talent discovery tactics on SoundCloud.

#1 Follow SoundCloud’s blog and hashtags

SoundCloud does segments on music newcomers on their blog. The downside: the articles aren't as regular as they once were, so don't count solely on them. However, they can still be useful. 

Look for and explore the hashtags #New Music, #Artists to Watch and #DJs to watch. For example: open one of the »Artists to watch« articles, and click on the tags on the left to see more of them.

#2 Check out SoundCloud’s discovery features

In addition to hashtags, SoundCloud also offers playlists and Stations which can help with new talent discovery.

Once you create your account, your “Home” screen will start showing you popular playlists. You’ll quickly see there’s a couple of “Charts: New & Hot” playlists containing new trending releases from both well-known artists and newcomers. They’re broken down further into genres, according to SoundCloud’s own algorithms.

Such playlists are a great way to have new talent delivered right into your timeline. For example, we first spotted interesting artists such as Medda, Instupendo, and Kudasaibeats in an Electronic-themed “New & Hot” playlist. Be advised, though, SoundCloud, as well as some of the up-and-coming artists, likes to mix and match different genres, so it’s not unusual to find Pop or Trap artists under “Electronic” sometimes.

Here's an example of a regularly updated Electronic playlist.

Then there’s the SoundCloud Weekly playlist. That’s your personal discovery playlist, which refreshes every Monday and delivers recommendations based on what you’ve listened to, liked, reposted and shared. With regular use, there’s a good chance the algorithms will start delivering more and more interesting new talent.

Last but not least – Stations. These can be started from any track, search term or content stream, or from your SoundCloud Library. Once you click on a Station (or create your own), you’ll get an endless stream of “related” tracks.

You’ll find the “Station” button on a channel’s left side.

#3 Follow SoundCloud channels that feature up-and-comers

Create a handpicked list of SoundCloud channels you can follow to keep track of new music. 

You can start with these five channels:

👉 Yours Truly 

A resource for music discovery with mixes and new finds. Electronic, Hip Hop, R&B, Techno - the range is wide and pretty much non-mainstream.

👉 R Hop 

A.k.a. Ryan Hopkins, a New Yorker who regularly posts interesting Trap and Electronic finds.

👉 Fux With It 

A Canadian music blog “championing the underground” and providing fresh mixes and beats, mostly in the Bass, Trap and Electronic fields.

👉 Umru 

If “Hyperpop”, Indie and experimental Electronics are your jam, give this channel a listen.

👉 Hate Music 

Described as “highly specialized in Techno”, this collective promotes new Techno and Electronic releases, and runs a popular specialized podcast.

#4 Use analytics for quicker discovery

Though surfing through new audio discoveries can be fun, it can also be very time-consuming. Try a more effective way, and find rising talent in just a few minutes with a tool such as Viberate.

Viberate is the most complete music research and analytics tool for talent discovery on the market. We cover almost every music artist in the world and measure their views, likes, streams etc. on Soundcloud, Spotify, Beatport, Instagram and other relevant channels. This data is then presented in a way that makes talent discovery much easier.

Our tools make A&R process simpler and more cost-effective. You can see all the world’s artists ranked in a single browsable Chart, and compare their popularity stats in one place.

Start your free trial here.

 

Sara Mekinc

Sara Mekinc

Content Specialist at Viberate
Avid concert-goer, a sucker for creative wordsmithery, and 100 % biodegradable. Google "melomaniac".