How To Discover New Music

Everyone loves discovering new music, but if you’re someone who is actively pursuing a career in the music industry, you should be smart about how you find new bands, songs, and albums. It’s not enough to just keep your ear open! If you’re strategic with how you first hear acts you didn’t know before, you will not only find new favorites that brighten your day, you’ll learn a lot about your local music scene and the music business in general.

If you’ve never thought about how you can get more out of your new music discovery, read on below to learn some great ways to do so and the benefits of each idea.


In This Article:

  • Watch The Charts
  • Listen To Local & College Radio
  • Read Blogs
  • Be Active On Social Media
  • Pay Attention To Tours, Venues, & Festivals
  • Study The Greats


Watch The Billboard Charts

The vast majority of musicians – even ones who earn a living from their art – either don’t make a huge impact on the charts or never appear on them at all. It’s important to remember that while millions follow Billboard’s weekly rankings and believe them to be the only things that matter in music, they really aren’t. Creating great art is what is most important…but if you want to find commercial success with your work, it’s a good idea to at least be aware of what’s doing well with the masses.

From time to time, check out the Billboard charts to see what America is listening to. What albums are selling well? What songs are dominating the Hot 100? What tunes and artists are debuting on genre-specific rankings that are applicable to the art you’re creating?

The idea here isn’t to learn what’s succeeding commercially and copy it, but rather just to be aware of what’s going on and doing well. If it’s clear that hip-hop is running the show, maybe you want to think about inviting a rapper to contribute a verse to a poppy song you’re working on. Or, if you can see that the folk-style singer-songwriter music you make is on its way back, this may be the moment for you to step up your promotional efforts and find a team to get you signed.

Also, it’s good to know what’s big in whatever industry you’re in! This advice would apply to anyone in entertainment (or almost any field, really), as it’s smart to understand what’s happening and who’s selling.

PG Radio Album Highlights 2022 1024x379 - How To Discover New Music


Listen To College Radio

Chances are, you already know what’s being played on top 40 radio stations. The most popular outlets that reach the largest audiences often only select the biggest hits and newest releases from superstars. If you are already watching the Billboard charts, or if you are listening passively to the radio or keeping up with entertainment news, you likely have an idea of what’s going on in this arena. What might be most help for up-and-coming musicians like you is to tune into different kinds of radio stations—ones that specialize in rising talent and previously unknown songs.

The next time you’re in the car or sitting at your computer working, why not tune into a local college radio station that plays bands and singers from the area? These are often the tastemaking stations, and they’re ahead of the curve when it comes to what’s next. Understanding the artists, songs, and even the genres that DJs and programmers like to play on college radio stations may be beneficial as you either decide which of your works to promote or as you write and produce your next collection.

Want to be the next breakout success in the music industry? Try college radio promotion.


Read Music Blogs

In order to stay on top of what’s going on in the music industry, it’s a best practice to read the top music magazines, such as Rolling Stone and Billboard. However, if you want to be at the forefront of discovering new music, you might have to look for blogs that don’t reach the same massive audiences, but which are known for their great taste and their commitment to raising the voices of the previously unheard.

For decades now, blogs have played a crucial role in unearthing and building talent. The people who write for these websites are often much more willing to open an email from someone they don’t know and give a listen to a track from an artist that they–or perhaps anyone–has never heard of. Having a general understanding of what the best indie music blogs like and what they cover will be useful the next time you have something new to promote.

Also, you may find that you are ahead of the game when it comes to knowing who’s next, which is always a lot of fun, especially if you are a die-hard music lover. 

pexels andrea piacquadio 3853966 1024x683 - How To Discover New Music


Be Active On Social Media

Being active on social media is good for musicians in many ways. You want to make sure you are regularly posting on sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok so you can engage with your followers, form meaningful relationships, and keep them up-to-date with everything you are doing in your music career. Aside from simply making friends and promoting yourself, social media can be a fantastic place to discover new music–if you can manage to break through all the noise.

It might take a little bit of time, but if you’re interested, you can certainly find plenty of accounts dedicated to discussing rising artists and undiscovered bands. There are tons of lists online of people and profiles on all of the major social media networks that have called out various names who have gone on to do great things in the music industry. Find out who they are and follow them, then listen to whatever they post and decide what you like for yourself and who you want to continue to follow.

You should also consider forming relationships with some of these influencers, as not only will they help you discover some really great new tunes, but when you’re ready to promote music of your own, they might be willing to share it with their audience as well.

Want some help managing your social media as you promote your new music?


Check Out Festival Lineups

Music festivals are incredibly fun, and they’re also an excellent way to discover new artists. That’s great for you both as someone who enjoys music, and also as a person who creates it and wants others to enjoy what you write and record.

Spend time perusing upcoming music festivals of all kinds and study their lineups. There’s a good chance that you will already be familiar with a lot of the names at the top of the bill, but when you make your way toward the bottom, that’s usually where you come across those acts that are still just getting started. You can choose to focus solely on the most successful festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, or you can dig deep and search for much smaller ones or perhaps even those that stick to a certain genre. Look all those artists up and you might find something really wonderful, because most of the time these bands and singers are hand-selected by knowledgeable and experienced curators, so there’s reason to believe that they are actually pretty good.

Once again, this is also good for you and your career, as you will have a better understanding of what festivals are out there, which ones are in your area and when they take place, as well as which events are likely to be interested in you and the type of music you make. Music festival promotion is a great way to get your name out there when you are ready! 

pexels thibault trillet 167636 1024x678 - How To Discover New Music


Study The Greats

Discovering music isn’t just about what’s brand new. While it’s great to understand what was just released and who is about to pop, it might be even better to spend time ensuring you are familiar with those who came before.

Allocate time to read the many lists that exist of the most important, most influential, and best artists, songs, and albums in history. You will likely already be familiar with many of the names that you see, but there are bound to be those that you either don’t know well or perhaps that you have simply never heard of. Look those pioneers up and listen to what they did and you may find something you love, or perhaps you will simply come out of this experience with a better understanding of historical references and where music came from in general.

Furthering your musical education is always beneficial, and you will never regret learning more about your craft and your artform, especially if you are being taught indirectly by the greatest who ever lived.

Ready to take your burgeoning music career to the next level? Call the Planetary Group today–don’t wait until your music is out! (323) 952-5050