What do you guys like to listen to while you write? I wrote a post earlier about the different techniques you can use to prevent writer’s block. One thing that I mentioned was to know your environment in which you write your best. Is at night or when you just wake up, do you brainstorm beforehand or dive right into it. Before I mentioned the idea of listening to music while you write, but now I’m curious. What do you listen to?
My personal favorite is a genre that is hard to describe. I suppose I like beats, not electronic or instrumentals of songs I like, but relaxing hip-hop beats that have been influenced by a variety of media outlets.
I’ve always known silence and I don’t get along too well. One of those people that has the fan on at night for nothing more than the noise it generates. An empty environment vacant of sounds can sometimes be distracting in itself. Although it is in these situations that one can focus their best, it also is very inviting for outside thoughts that would distract you even further than simple music.
I would try to listen to the music selection I’ve been adding to over the last couple of years, but hearing the words of the songs you love can be equally distracting. I’d hope this might relate to some of the people in my audience, it’s no question my generation has had its difficulties keeping focus. I went to class with the drawers, talkers, jokers, nappers, and the roamers always leaving the room for a bathroom break. I suppose I was a daydreamer, it seemed like everyone had their fix to distract themselves from our A1 school system. I could talk about the ADHD numbers of my generation and speak on the outrageous number of Adderall prescribed to our youth, but that’s for another post. For now, let’s attempt to focus scrambled minds on a way to calm them.
Finding that perfect hotspot environment to write in isn’t always simple when even background music can be a difficult decision. I searched throughout YouTube, my go-to for all my music, for some kind of alternative. At first, epic music mixes and playlists were my only solace when I found myself becoming heavily distracted or was in a library and needed something for my headphones. I looked for other orchestra type sounds from soundtracks to some of the best movies that featured them. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Indiana Jones were soundtracks I tried. Recently after doing a paper, I hope to share with you, on the works of Christopher Nolan. I’ve noticed his partnership with Hans Zimmer in his latest films Dunkirk and Interstellar. Like the Epic Music playlists that I would find on Pandora stations when that was still popular, the works of Hans Zimmer are filled with such intense orchestras. The Epic Music playlists would have fantasy settings fitting in perfectly with a peaceful forest or be fit for an epic battle scene. This was all good and well when I was writing in that epic genre, but a little too intense for your everyday living. This is why I wish to show you an alternative I found.
Lofi Hip Hop is a genre that can be described as a delicate blend of hip-hop and jazz beats to create a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere. It typically features mellow boom-bap drums with Rhodes pianos and bits of jazz influence along with samples from pop-culture. Several playlists have been created on YouTube, some of the more popular providers such as Chillhop Records and ChilledCow have 24/7 live stream channels. Through these sources, you can immerse yourself in a community full of people who have gathered to listen to these music mixes. They advertise that they are perfect for studying, chilling, smoking, gaming, relaxing, your all around perfect background music.
Click here for links to Live Channels
As many of these beats take their inspiration from anime and tend to have images of various scenes from anime while their videoes play, there have been issues with copyrights. Fans of the popular streaming channel were outraged when Lofi Hip Hop Radio 24/7 Chill Gaming / Study Beats of Chillhip Records was taken down because it featured a gif of a character in the anime film Wolf Children.
The image was all too relatable not to use for the streaming channel tuned in by thousands of studying students. In this network of communication through the YouTube’s chat on this live stream, then onto Twitter, after it was shut down, it was clear viewers were irritated at the loss of their favorite channel. Only now reappearing on YouTube, April 6, after months of negotiating with Studio Shizu probably dicovering that it was a win-win to only view a five-second loop from the movie.
Anime is a major influence to this genre of music. Lofi songs will often play short clips from different animes popular and old ones such as Naruto and Dragon Ball. One samples the work of Samurai Champloo in the song Blossom Samurai.
Blossom Samurai – Softtym Reflip
Other tracks take on more from their own Hip Hop roots, this track has lyrics coming from the artist MadeinTYO.
Elijah Who – Skateboard P
As many use these playlists for gaming, this one features sound samples from video games of the past.
Jaeden Camstra – Gameboy in Traffic
The average set up to one of these beats starts with light music before a beat of percussion drops allowing the song to alter from that point.
Stan the Beathsmith – Sentaismoke
Some of these songs even take inspiration from old R&B so you never know what you might hear, where inspiration may come from while streaming a live channel.
Tomppabeats – Summer Crush
This music genre has made it over to Spotify for easy access. I’m one of the few that still converts these YouTube videos to mp3 to further organize on my own. A dying trait in a largely streaming world, but it’s how I do it. Everyone finds their own way eventually. I hope my tips can help, but you must find what your best writing environment is on its own. Hopefully its as simple as finding the right beats and a peaceful place to work, wherever that may be. Good luck with your writing.