Gemma Styles | Contributing writer | Saturday, 3 October 2015

Gemma Styles: \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'Here\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s How I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'ll Be Procrastinating On The Internet This Weekend\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'

Gemma Styles: 'Here's How I'll Be Procrastinating On The Internet This Weekend'

The Debrief: Got an hour to kill? There are way more productive things you can do than falling down a Facebook rabbit hole…

Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins

So I found this thing the other day that Spotify are doing that I thought was really cool – basically they look back over your streaming history and find any artists who have become successful (read: top 40) that you ‘discovered’ before the chart-loving masses. Fun, no?

Turns out there were six artists in particular that I started listening to before they got huge; among these, I was apparently in the first 2% of listeners for both Hozier and James Bay - hello boys - as well as the first 1% for Meghan Trainor. Because us girls with the bass gotta stick together. At the end of it all they offer you a personalized playlist of new artists they think you’ll like; which got me to thinking about how you discover new stuff online.

I feel like the internet must be a confusing place for your average hipster. The vast, unfathomable mass of information makes it easier than ever to discover new things… but then also easier for everyone else to find out about them too so you have to sigh and roll your eyes and be like ‘oh, that band is sooo 2015’. Because of course you’re better and cooler and like the 2016 stuff already. Well I say bollocks to that – and didn’t anyone teach you how to share? 

IMHO, once you’ve found a new thing that you like, one of the best parts is being able to spread the word about it and encourage other people to take a gander as well. This got me thinking about some of the ways I’ve discovered some of my favourites – so if you’re looking to waste away some hours on a laptop this weekend then here are a couple of places to start.

For your ears

So I mentioned Spotify – aside from their playlist I mentioned above, they also do their Discover Weekly list – taking into account your library, they recommend you some new tunes. This can be hit or miss and feel kind of like rummaging through a pile of vintage garbs only to find one scarf. But it is usually a pretty great scarf. For example, through Discover Weekly I found Alessia Cara, who I’m now obsessed with… and was also reunited with Jojo’s Baby It’s You – unexpectedly delightful listening. Taking things a step further, how about finding a new way to find new music? META. If you’re just too cool for the popular machine that is Spotify – try Gnoosic. (Silent G. Sounds like noo-sic. New-sic. Geddit?) Made by a German guy called Marek Gibney, Gnoosic is part of his ‘Global Network of Discovery’ and aims to find you new music to listen to. All you have to do is type in three of your favourite performers and let it go to work, using other people’s experiences to match you up with recommendations, which you can say ‘I like it’, ‘I don’t like it’ or ‘I don’t know’. If you don’t know it then toddle off and explore, and if you like or dislike it then you’re helping the computer to learn so it can make better suggestions for your music-loving internet brethren. You’re teaching a robot. Kind of. COOL.

For your eyes 

Now ‘art’ is a relative term and people have very different tastes. For me, art I like is generally stuff I would actually want to look at all the time. Put on the wall in my room. One of my favourite places to find new prints and artists is Society6. A massive community of artists, you can browse through different artists and their designs then shop for prints, as well as clocks, cushions, t-shirts, shower curtains - the list goes on. There’s a massive variety of styles for different tastes; although possibly my favourite purchase was a phone case featuring Tina from Bob’s Burgers. She really is a smart, strong, sensual woman.

For your weekend 

So you’ve got your new listens and your new… looks… but what are you gonna do now? Maybe time to go outside? But where? There are a whole heap of apps around designed to get you out and about doing something new. Hype, Fever and Culture Key are just a few options and come loaded up with a massive variety of restaurant pop-ups, exhibitions, gigs, shops (etc etc etc) for you to get out and explore right now. 

Disclaimer: I did once find a Hackney festival on Fever that sounded like fun… and we turned up to find a sum total of zero other people there. HOWEVER it made a very funny story in the end. I’m still on board.

So, one aim for the weekend? Find a new song you like and tell someone else about it. I share current obsessions on my Playlist page and it always makes me happy when people tell me they’ve discovered a new audio love. If you’re gonna be a hipster (not me, I'm not a hipster, I listen to Jojo) don’t be a selfish hipster.

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

Gemma Styles: Project Harpoon Reminds Us There's No Normal When It Comes To Body Type 

'My Name Is Gemma Styles, And I'm A Phone-A-Holic' 

Gemma Styles On Being Trolled Online And How To Deal With It 

Follow Gemma on Twitter @GemmaAnneStyles

Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins

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