Chance The Rapper, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, and Post Malone have blown up thanks to fans who listen to their music on SoundCloud. Pasamba Jobe, known as AP, and Daniel Toscano, or Mountos, are two sophomore business majors at Chapman hoping to emulate their success by also using SoundCloud, the Swedish platform for new music and podcasts that boasts 76 million monthly users.
Emerging from Stockholm, Sweden in 2008, SoundCloud is a free platform which offers users a monthly subscription service, providing exclusive features not available to free accounts. Creating an account on SoundCloud gives users three free hours of uploaded content. SoundCloud appealed to rapper AP because it allows him to communicate directly with fans. Too, it’s user friendly to unreleased artists and requires little technical expertise.
West Covina native Mountos began making beats his junior year of high school. He started with free production apps then eventually transitioned into using more professional programs like FL Studio. Mountos releases his music on SoundCloud and Youtube.
Both artists have been trying to gain more exposure by performing at venues near Chapman, across Laguna Hills, and the greater Anaheim area. With their followers both in the hundreds, they shared what they have learned to date about how to build a following.
When did you first start rapping?
AP: I didn’t start rapping till the second semester of college when I was 18. My love for music started to come out and I reached that point where I knew this is what I need to do. I was already into the underground rap scene throughout high school so I thought I might as well try it.
Mountos: I started making beats on my phone with a little app towards the end of my junior year. Then I got FL Studio and watched way too many tutorials on YouTube. My friends were making beats for fun and that’s what pushed me. It hooked me from the jump. In late May, I made my first rap to the beat I just made and I kept going.
What “SoundCloud rapper” influenced you the most?
AP: When I first started rapping, Sheck Wes was the most influential: I relate to him culturally. But Joey Badass is the most influential rapper to me because he was the first hip-hop artist I heard off of the radio. I admire his flow.
Mountos: For me, it’s been Russ. I started to listen to him two months before I started making my own beats. In his interviews, he talks about how you can make music yourself. You don’t need fancy equipment and stuff like that, you just need to do it if you have a passion for it. Ever since then, he inspired me to make music.
What is the biggest mistake new artists make?
AP: Rushing your content just to release it and not taking time to find your own sound. Another common mistake is not promoting your own music. A lot of artists don’t promote and are shocked as to why their numbers aren’t higher. Artists should be promoting all the time and not afraid of what others will think.
Mountos: Trying to sound exactly like other artists. If you’re an artist you should make the music you want to make. You can get inspiration but you gotta put your own spin on it.
Why is SoundCloud more relevant than other streaming apps?
AP: It’s more of a community. Sharing music through that platform is dope and you can reach more people. It’s the best way to connect with new artists too. If you keep putting out content, the algorithms of SoundCloud will help you gain more exposure. Don’t be intimidated by the fact you start off low: If you’re consistent, you’ll gain a following.
Mountos: You can use non-profit beats that producers make which makes the sound different.
How has SoundCloud affected your music career?
Mountos: SoundCloud has given me a place where I could post my music for free without having to pay. Being able to post my songs to a site where people could actually listen motivated me to keep making it.
AP: Ever since I’ve started making music SoundCloud’s made me feel more in tune with my sound and kinda connected to my life since I’m thinking about music all the time. It makes me wanna hunt for new music and always search for new artists to help mirror my own musical style off of.
AP & Mountos’ Tips for SoundCloud Success:
● Take time to find your own sound.
● Release your music methodically.
● Promote your music all the time.
AP (IG/SoundCloud/Twitter: @apmakesmusic)
Mountos (IG: @_mountos/SoundCloud: @Mountos)