SoundCloud: Student Opportunity
December 20, 2017
After its debut in 2007, the free app SoundCloud is opening the gates to a path of opportunity for underground artists. There are hundreds of thousands of listeners and uploaders on the app; some who only use the app as an outlet to find music, and others who use it to produce their own music, like MHS senior Timothy Couch. After creating his own beats and developing his work to the best of his ability, Couch uploads his productions regularly to the app.
Starting his SoundCloud journey about three years ago, Couch said, ”I started out as a listener, and then about two years ago I started actually putting my music out there. That’s where I got my interest in producing music.” Couch ran across a link to the SoundCloud app pasted in the description box of a video he was listening to, and has been a happy user since. “Me releasing my music was a personal choice,” Couch said, “It was very scary to release my first track because even though people can’t really leave comments, you still can get that feeling of being judged.”
“I don’t necessarily want to be huge, like a famous artist, but I think it would be nice to be recognized around local areas,” Couch said. “I think it would be nice for a lot of people to know about my music.” Couch hopes that since the app is very user-friendly and is easy for not only the uploader, but for the listener as well, that it can be an easy way for him to gain attention.
Even though there is a large array of genres and artists, Couch said, “The most common genre of music on the app is 100% rap. Everyone knows some sort of a SoundCloud rapper.” He said he is fan of several rappers and producers who began their careers as SoundCloud users, three being Lil Pump, Smoke Purpp, and Fat Nick. “I’d say that there are a lot more producers that make beats than there are actual rappers.” Couch, being one of these producers, sees more of the behind-the-scenes views. “They have their own following, maybe a couple thousand people, but usually sell their beats to bigger rappers who use them and blow up off of them.” While most SoundCloud producers seek fame or attention, Couch is content with just making the beats and knowing they are his own.
SoundCloud, of course, is a fantastic outlet for people to share their productions, but for Couch, he acknowledges that there are other competitive platforms producers use that receive more traffic, such as YouTube and starting Facebook pages. Ultimately, these more popular outlets lead a larger amount of up-and-coming artists to success, but Couch prefers to stick to his roots and remain on SoundCloud. “I definitely feel like YouTube has a bigger audience than SoundCloud because it is something literally everyone uses, where as SoundCloud is something a lot of people use…it’s just not as promoted as YouTube is,” Couch said this after evaluating which platform he feels suits him the best.
After the beginning jitters vanished, Couch has been very pleased with his decision to produce and plans to continue releasing tracks. Being free to users and producers has given people across the globe, like Timothy Couch, a great outlet for sharing their love of music. Opportunity and discovery are what the SoundCloud app is all about.