The Birth of Lo-Fi: Exploring the Early Pioneers of Lo-Fi Music

Music
Published Date: 20 Jan, 2024 Updated date: 20 Jan, 2024 By Daniel Roffer

Lo-Fi music has become a hugely popular style of music for many, especially those of today’s generation. The rise of the internet and the various entertainment forms that can be found online have contributed to its growth in popularity, with many of the mediums continually being used by everyone today.

Lo-Fi music has become a hugely popular style of music for many, especially those of today’s generation. The rise of the internet and the various entertainment forms that can be found online have contributed to its growth in popularity, with many of the mediums continually being used by everyone today.

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However, Lo-Fi Music is not a new phenomenon. It was first created in the 1950s by amateur musicians who were new to making music and producing it. They would often use older pieces of equipment to record the audio they created, as they were often required to work on a budget. As they made their music, strange noises (sometimes unnatural) could be heard, with malfunctions also possible.

Despite this, it helped to create a new type of musical style that was different to anything else across the industry at the time. As a result of its uniqueness, it would eventually take off and become extremely popular amongst younger listeners.

What is Lo-Fi Music?

Lo-Fi is derived from the term “low fidelity”, which is the opposite of “high fidelity” or Hi-Fi. As mentioned, this type of music captures the strange sounds that can often be found when recording with outdated equipment or in a room that is not quite designed for capturing the best or optimum sounds like a studio.

The 1950s may have been its birth, but this style has since boomed and become a genre of its own. There have been notable times throughout musical history when other genres have decided to incorporate their sounds and imperfections to create new listening experiences. Hip-hop music was an adopter of these sounds in the 1970s, while bands who were part of the indie, rock and grunge scene would often use lo-fi sounds throughout the 1980s and 1990s. They each wanted to sound different to what was popular at the time (Pop and Disco music) and some even wanted to display their imperfections within their tracks – Nirvana were pretty famous for doing so during the 1990s.

Lo-Fi Music today: Still widely used

Nowadays, Lo-Fi Music can be found everywhere, especially with the rise of videos and podcasts. While most will often look to try and incorporate the quality as possible, most know that they can also create a unique selling point in their releases if they keep things “unfinished” and “unpolished”.

The 21st Century is undoubtedly the era of internet entertainment forms, and many of these use Lo-Fi Music. From meticulously curated YouTube compilations to engaging live streams, creators are increasingly turning to royalty free stock music. This trend not only circumvents copyright complications but also adds a unique auditory aesthetic to their works.

YouTube channel Lofi Girl has become an evident example of its popularity. The channel broadcasts a number of livestreams regularly, and these can often attract millions of listeners. The channel has over 10 million subscribers, and with playlists that can last for over 100 hours and feature new artists as part of its function as a record label, it has become a huge it for many.

Most who listen to these entertainment mediums want a realistic and authentic experience and are not always interested in the product having a professional touch. The use of low-quality sounds can often enhance what is being heard, as it can often make it feel more “real”.

To further highlight Lo-Fi Music’s appeal across today’s generation, Google searches between January and September in 2020 showed that they had increased by 85%.

Why do so many tune into Lo-Fi Music?

While music can often be enjoyed because of an individual’s preferences and tastes, there can often be other reasons behind a person’s decision to listen to it.

Lo-Fi music has been found to be a genre that can help individuals de-stress and relax. At the same time, it can be used during more intense things, such as working, studying, or when needing to focus.

This is because most Lo-Fi music is instrumental and can often feature sounds that can evoke positive emotions. Listeners can often hear sounds that are extremely familiar, with many aspects of daily life often being used. With each of these in mind, it is no shock that Lo-Fi music continues to be popular, and why so many continue to turn to this genre.

Category: Lifestyle