We can learn a lot from every experience we live, sometimes from a good one, other times from a bad one, from stuff we hear or see, from old and new experiences we can understand better or simply get more confused.
This is what I have learned in my small time as a music curator.
1) There's a Lot of Good Music Underneath.
When we are looking for something we always try to get the best, if you're looking for a good guitar some names come to your mind immediately maybe Fender or Ibanez, probably Gibson, if you're looking for rock music probably you think about Aerosmith or AC/DC, what happens when we think about lo-fi? Probably Jinsang or Idealism. Those are big names with lots of streams, followers and history but the truth is that you can probably find a lot of music you will love on the discography of a kid with only 2 followers and 30 monthly streams. They're probably hiding under all the well know names waiting for their time to rise.
It isn't like AAA music is bad, those people worked hard for being where they are, the thing is that there's also a lot of small well-talented artists that we need to give a chance to and there is no better way than sharing those guys with our friends and social media.
2) You Need to Learn How to Express What You Hear or Feel.
When you curate music and need to make posts as we do on musicto, you need to plan a bit your things, I usually find myself against the "how can I say this?" question, it is not so easy to express the feeling you get while listening to the song.
It is like telling a person that was born blind how the red color looks like. How can you do it?, You can't say "well it's like red" or "you know that color apples have" he had never seen an apple before, maybe you can say it feels warm or hot but he will probably thinking on brown or yellow or none of them.
It's likely the same when it comes to making posts about what you hear, you must picture the song to make it interesting to the potential listener and it's a great thing to do, maybe it makes you feel cozy or chill, probably the sound remembers the sunset or a night full of stars and you want the reader to feel that too the fun thing about it is that probably the listener will feel totally different feelings than the ones you described for them.
3) The Music You Share Will Spread.
Sharing things on social media most of the time is like a small snowball thrown down a hill, meaning that if it is rolling it will grow. I share a lot of memes with my friends, I think 75% of the pictures on my phone are memes about random stuff that I end up sharing with my friends, sometimes they send me something I already saw or it is an account they want me to follow, whatever it is is something that is being shared and spread.
If you are curating music into a playlist and making posts about it, is very possible that someone will see, listen and share, and the people he shared to will do it also and this chain can go on and on and on, and maybe, just maybe, you started a hot topic or trend, never share something expecting that no one will see, you don't know where your small post will be on a couple of days or weeks but same as snowballs if it is a post that is not rolling, it will not grow and will probably melt and be just more snow.
4) Sometimes You Need to Make Hard Choices.
There are times when you want to add this song you really like to your curated playlist but it doesn't fit, you love it but it will break the playlist, so you need to put it in a corner and say goodbye, also it can be a submission from an artist but it just won't fit and you need to let it out.
For me, this is one is the most complicated parts and one that I think really develops the ability to make categories and know when to pick and when to let. It’s like having this big list of choices and you need to select the correct ones, like making a vegetable list, you can't add a pineapple just because it’s yellow and peppers can be yellow too, they can look alike but they're not in the same category, same with music there's a lot of stuff that sound similar but falls into different categories. If your list is not too specific it will let you add a bunch of stuff, i.e.: Hip-Hop playlist. The quantity of songs to pick from here is huge but if your playlist is something like Christian Gangsta Rap for Rainy Days, well, good luck.
5) You Will Enjoy It a Lot.
If you like listening to music, knowing the artists and discovering new content, being a music curator is something you need to try.
You will make new friends, develop new skills and grow up as a person even if doesn't look like something that will. Also it's something you can do anywhere don't matter how busy you are, if you like music it will feel like part of your daily life, I'm an independent musician with two different musical projects and two more on the works, high school science teacher and music producer, even with all that stuff I can curate music and discover a lot of new ones. make a post about it and so on. The Internet is just wonderful, you can do your work anywhere you have a connection.
6) Curators Are Not Bad People.
If you're also into music and want to grow your audience but looks like curators reject what you do and they're some kind of evil monsters, stop right there and think, Is the style of your music fitting with their current playlists? Is the mixing and mastering at the same quality level as the other songs?. I struggled a lot with this and I still do, even if we don't want to accept it and want the success to knock at the door one morning, there's a learning curve we need to face and we can only achieve by practicing. I did not understand this until I saw it from the perspective of a curator.
Take your time to analyze their current playlist and make something that fits with the vibe of it, it will make more possible that they like it. If your final product is not good enough (in matters of mixing, mastering, structure, etc. ), grind a bit more, learn how everything works, watch tutorials and develop your own sound. Most of the musicians and producers run to the study part (I also do sometimes lol) but is really necessary to make quality content.
It's been said "quantity over quality" but I do believe both things must be at the same level, anyway don't be afraid of sending your stuff and releasing it even if it is not good enough, you can not start making platinum hits out of anywhere, first you need to grind and understand how stuff works, focus on your craft, these small tips maybe can help a bit but they're not a magic recipe for success. Just learn every day and don't give up.
if you’d like to learn more about curating a playlist with musicto, we’ve written a couple of pages that break down exactly what we’re looking for and what it takes. curious? come and check us out:
About the Curator - Öni
Ogrys G. Taveras also know as “Öni” is a Dominican jazzhop, Lo-fi and Synthwave producer. Since his early days showed sympathy for arts and music, later for poetry and composing and finally for music production. Before every skateboarding session or long trip he usually made a playlist to it adding the songs accordingly to his mood at the moment.