Whenever I am working I listen to a wide-variety of different genres of music. My dominant genre is metal and other derivatives of heavy music which I enjoy. Then I also listen to blues as well as rap/hip-hop and instrumental music too.
One of my more recent genre additions is Lo-fi. Admittedly, I am late to the party on the Lo-fi music genre, but it has been a game-changer for me and how I work. It’s not a genre of music I would have listened to a couple of years ago.
To me, Lo-fi is like a modernised version of elevator music (only more innovative and not shitty), combined with other elements which make it the perfect background music that sits somewhere in the back of your mind and doesn’t distract you like other forms of music do.
As you can see, interest in Lo-fi music has exploded in the last five years. As more people find themselves working from home and finding ways to relax and concentrate on work, you can see 2020 was a big year for Lo-fi music.
While platforms like Soundcloud have increasingly seen more Lo-fi type tunes added, my goto platform for Lo-fi is surprisingly YouTube. People were uploading Lo-fi to YouTube five years ago before it was even really that popular.
Perhaps one of the most popular mixes on YouTube is the Rainy Days In Tokyo mix.
It was uploaded in 2017, but the majority of comments are far more recent than that which is pretty indicative of recent interest. I would be interested in knowing how many of those 11 million views were in the first year or two of listening (probably not many).
Another popular Lo-fi mix on YouTube is this one titled, 1 A.M Study Session.
And perhaps one of my favourites is this live stream YouTube mix, it just perpetually keeps playing inoffensive Lo-fi tunes. Whenever I do code live streaming on Twitch (follow me here), this is my goto video for background music, playing other forms of music usually results in my videos being muted for copyright matches.
The one thing I find impressive about the video above is that it is relatively new in comparison to other videos and it has 2.1 million thumbs up and 43k thumbs down. That is an insanely good ratio of likes to downvotes for a video. Word of advice, avoid the comments section, it’s a cesspool of the worse the internet has to offer.
To me, the appeal of Lo-fi is how bland it is. When you’re listening to it, you’re not being impressed by any stand out elements. Lo-fi is largely vanilla, it’s the John Smith and Plain Jane of the music world. But, like white noise, it perfectly taps into that part of our brains that craves repetition and calm.
Do you listen to Lo-fi?