Music is no longer restricted by the same forces it was only ten years ago. The internet is the most crucial aspect of music marketing and discovery. Ranging from streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer, down to more artist-controlled arenas such as Soundcloud and YouTube. The latter perhaps offers the best depth for discovery, as music can be applied to more material than a simple music release; cue the art of vlogging.
If you’re familiar with any of YouTube’s many vlogging sensations, then you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. Perhaps FunForLouis, Ben Brown, or perhaps most notably the vlog king himself, Casey Neistat. To accompany their daily vlogs packed full of content showing them going about their daily lives, they have what can almost be described as mini soundtracks to boot. Each seems to have a specific style of music they choose to mix in with their visuals, FunForLouis usually going with jazzy, melodic instrumental vibes, whilst Casey Neistat opts for more sample-heavy, jazz and funk-infused hip hop beats. For upcoming artists, being noted in credits on a vlog which reaches hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, can be a huge catalyst for their careers.
A notable musical mention from the vlogging scene is Dyalla Swain, a 22 year old musician from Taupo, New Zealand. If you have seen one of Casey Neistat’s hundreds of vlogs, then the chances are very high that you’ve also heard some of Dyalla’s music, chances are also pretty high that the music is stuck in your head. With a sample-heavy sound, Dyalla’s music and Casey’s vlogs pair like two pieces of a jigsaw. With strong visuals of New York being ever-present in the visuals, something about Dyalla’s sound just works perfectly with the theme and mood.
I first started to dig deeper into Dyalla’s sound after I heard her track ‘Rain‘ featured in a vlog, a song which, I promise you comes into my head every single time I see even the slightest bit of drizzle in the sky. There’s a richness to the sound of the music that just transports you to a relaxed state.
Drawing inspiration from obscure film scores, Polish Jazz, Motown and various other sources when sampling, Dyalla manages to take what already exists as a sound unique to one artist, and then create something with it which sounds unique to her. If you search her name on YouTube, you find her in fan-created compilations with other known musicians from the vlogging scene. Usually they’re labelled as ‘Chill-Hop’ or ‘Lo-Fi’, but I think that’s way too restrictive for the boldness and adventurous spirit of her sound. As chilled as her sound is, the ambition of not being defined by genres is abundantly apparent.
Dyalla prides herself on being a part of the SoundCloud community, which is an open and accessible platform for new and established artists to share their talents. For upcoming talent it’s one of the most convenient platforms to build traction and get their sound heard, with it being easier than most other platforms for users to dig deeper than chart music, or already well-established artists.
Amongst this post there are five tracks that I feel are quintessential in becoming acquainted with Dyalla’s sound, including my personal favourite ‘Rain’, a track full of soulful, soothing richness. Don’t let my selection stop you, though, follow her on Soundcloud & Spotify and discover more of her music for yourself! Also, be sure to look out for her forthcoming ‘Lush EP’, which I will let everyone know how to get on Twitter when it releases!
Be sure to let me know what you think of my selection, and also let me know of any of your favourites from her wide-ranging selection of productions!
If you like Dyalla’s music and want hear more from her, then make sure you follow her on Soundcloud and all of her social media!