Have you ever tried to look for “beats” on Spotify or Soundcloud? Give it a try and you’ll get showered with hundreds, probably thousands of different playlists – from Instrumental Madness and Dark Dubstep to Trap & 808.
It’s also not a coincidence that nowadays many commercials are enhanced by edgy, triumphant beats (mostly non-vocals, but that’s not always the case) rather than conventional songs with a proper verse-hook-bridge structure and lyrics.
Commercials that look more like movies and less like mere spots, filled with storytelling, social purpose and calls to action and, most importantly, synced with beats that convey specific emotions and place the audience in an emotional or euphoric dynamic headspace.
But what has been, over the last few years, the link between the society we currently live in and the medium for creative self-expression through music?
There are three things you’ll achieve by the end of this article. You will:
1. Get an education on some of the coolest no-vocal-needed tracks out there
2. Understand why beats are going strong nowadays
3. Get mad at kids for how insanely good they sound when producing with their laptop
Just keep in mind that we’re not into one-way streets. So if you know any dope producer we should be aware of, feel free to let us know. We’re all ears. Literally. Dumbo style.
They say nothing is certain but death and taxes, but if there’s one thing we’re sure about is that beats are on the rise. We’ve seen it happening, not only in the advertising world, but everywhere: when we go to clubs, festivals or to the movies, when we work on bespoke music for commercials, and also when we examine your submissions
or take a look at our catalogue
. But why are they winning our heart as a cultural need and social preference?
First it was the indie pop-rock bonfire era, where the singer / songwriter just needed a guitar, ukulele or harmonica to spread love and pheromones in the air. But then the latest tools and developments in technology hit us all like Solange in an elevator. And the fact they’re extremely accessible resulted in a huge wave of attic or basement producers (not sure why they can’t just produce in the kitchen) who only need a laptop and a Soundcloud account to break the rules. And the Internet.
Forget the high-profile producers who will ruthlessly ask you to sell one of your lungs in order to afford their one-of-a-kind composition. These days kids are so tapped with technology that they are the go-to mothertracking starboys (and girls) who can freshen up your company with their authenticity and contemporary sound. Sometimes they get a head start thanks to their parents – like Swizz Beatz’ and Alicia Keys’ son Egypt who is only 6 and already produced for Kendrick Lamar
, but that’s not always the case. Steve Lacy, who also worked on Kendrick’s latest album, revealed that his smartphone has been his personal studio
since he first started making music.
Not to mention that the old pop architecture of “put as much stuff as you can” is long gone. If you want to blame the hipsters and their obsession over minimalism go ahead.
THE SOUND OF NOW?
It can’t even be categorised as a genre per se. It’s an eclectic mix of urban, hip-hop (or should we say hip-pop?), electronic beats filled with credible syncopated synths and swaggering bass drums.
They strike up the curiosity in all of us because they’re satisfying to listen to. You hit play and you’re immediately transported to a big empty room with a crescendo of emotions that build up until the beat drops – which is when you pull your best stanky face off.
Feel like you’re in the mood for that?
Well, our very own Samuel Taselaar got you covered. Check this out!
01. This kid accidentally fell into a kettle of talent – and he’s only 18: Dahlia by Oshi
Other examples? Sevn Alias, Chainsmokers, Broederliefde but also Mura Masa, Full Crate, Cashmere Cat.
One of the daily challenges here at MassiveMusic / MassiveTalent
is to match our music services with the requests and wishes coming from the ever changing advertising market.
Whether we got asked by an established director, a fresh creative duo or a budget focused team, we spot trends before they reach their tipping point, and represent tracks by aspiring artists before they become unreachable for your local or international projects.
, Subp Yao
and Cas Kuvira
we’ve managed to add some amazing tracks to our beats portfolio, all excellent examples of a continuously rising trend in Ad Ad Land.
Music works in cycles. We might not know what the world will sound like in 30 years but we definitely know what it’s relevant now and what the (near) future beats will sound like.
Any other (instru)mental beats we should listen to?