10 Ways to Find New Music: From TikTok to the Radio and Your Parents, There Are Many Interesting Ways to Find New Music

by Kendall Headley '26 on November 4, 2023
A&E Staff

Arts & Entertainment

As someone who listens to nearly five hours of music a day (probably even more), it can be difficult to keep up with my consumption. Soon after finding new songs or albums, I tend to become an addict, listening over and over until the emotion I derived from them is exhausted. Once again, I’m left feeling like I’ve listened to all the music there is to hear. 

But this is far from the truth. The abundance and diversity of music is eminent, but truly can be difficult to explore. So, here are 10 ways to find music you’ve never heard, but will leave you clicking “add to playlist.”

  1. Look up “music recommendations” on TikTok.

TikTok’s search engine will pick up on any phrase similar to this and spit out hundreds of videos from different users all catered to this sentiment. After surveying the initial results, it isn’t hard to dig deeper. Many of the users posting these ideas dedicate their pages to music—so if you like the vibes of one TikTok, navigate to the poster’s page to find plenty more. With millions of posts a day and a massive archive of videos already posted, TikTok is practically a never-ending resource.

  1. Pay attention while watching Instagram Reels or TikToks.

TikTok, or any social media, can be a fantastic source even without a deliberate search. While mindlessly scrolling, I’m sure we all have times where we find ourselves bopping our head to the background music, or dancing in bed along with the trending  choreography. Instead of continuing to scroll, take note of these reactions. Identify the song in the video and give it a try next time you slide in your earbuds. Chances are, you’ll find the whole song just as catchy as the clip you first heard.

  1. Listen to the “radio” of artists you like.

Most streaming services have a “radio” feature for popular artists. These playlists, compiled by the streaming service, gather songs from the named artist along with songs that have a similar tone, composition, and genre. It’ll mix in your favorites with songs you may have never heard before, so you’ll never get bored of pressing shuffle. If you absolutely love the energy a certain artist gives off, it’s likely  you’ll find a similar spirit in these radios.

  1. Listen to WDOM.

The real radio isn’t to be discounted either. And in the nature of supporting our fellow Friars, tune into PC’s radio channel, WDOM 91.3 FM. The WDOM website makes this easy. By clicking the large “listen” button, you can hear the show currently broadcasting. The DJs have musical interests high and low, so if your goal lies in expanding your taste, this is the place to do so. Also listed on the website are WDOM’s Spotify playlists. Exploring these catalyzes exposure from a huge diversity of genres, artists, and albums. 

  1. Tip: Playlists often display feelings — so don’t forget that search bar!

Any user of any streaming service has access to create their own playlists, and frequently tend to name them after the impression the playlist elicits. There’s “driving late at night” playlists, “gym hype workout” playlists, and even one named “i’m so sad it physically hurts my chest.” When you need music for a certain occasion, type in a short phrase that corresponds to your wishes, and a variety of playlists will appear. The major benefit here: real human beings made each one. Consequently, each playlist will have its own interpretation of the essence it’s after, giving way to incredibly unique combinations of songs. 

  1. Start conversations with: “What are you listening to right now?”

Ask a classmate before the professor begins lecturing, friends at dinner, colleagues during a break, or even your sibling over the phone. Simply asking about their current music lineup can unearth plenty of new artists. And, once you discover an artist you enjoy, item three on this list is now reopened. Aside from the intent of sprucing up your playlists, music is a key connector between humans. Asking this question is a foolproof way to start a genuine conversation. 

  1. Listen to the “discovery” sections on your preferred streaming service. 

Most common streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music, include a section specifically for this cause. Called “Discover” and “Discovery Station” respectively, these auto-generated playlists use an algorithm to recommend songs tailored to your taste based on the music you currently listen to. These playlists mostly include lesser-known artists rather than big names, so you’re likely to have never heard a single song—and an engineered algorithm is tremendously dependable in terms of recommending songs you’re guaranteed to enjoy. 

  1. Watch music-based documentaries. 

Just recently, I watched a documentary called Count Me In directed by Mark Lo. The documentary recounts experiences of esteemed drummers from childhood throughout professional endeavors. I enjoy rock music, and seeing as the film featured my favorites, including Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, I gave it a try. While watching, I took note of other spotlighted drummers, especially the ones whose interview clips I resonated with. And, here we are—you’re reading an article by the newest fan of The Police (Stewart Copeland’s performance clips piqued my interest). Follow my lead and check out a documentary about a genre you particularly enjoy.

  1. Listen to your favorite’s favorites.

Not only regular users, but also famous artists have the capabilities to make playlists on streaming services. The artist’s main page on the streaming service features Artist Playlist sections, where they can compile lists of their favorite music. The only caveat here is the unfortunate economic facet—many artists will only include their own music in their Artist Playlists. But, sometimes we get lucky, and you can find music respected by an artist you love. 

  1. Ask your Dad. 

It’s no secret that dads tend to be music dudes. Buy them a speaker set for their birthday, and they’ll never turn it off. Based on my own experience, an estimated 70 percent of my music taste comes from—you guessed it—my father. It’s a phenomenon I’ve seen again and again throughout social media; Dads’ music tastes can be very similar to modern-day trends. For example, the large population of dads in Phoebe Bridgers’ fanbase. It might sound like a wild proposition, but they’ve lived through decades of rock, the emergence of hip hop, and even the disco era. Trust their judgment and listen to a few of their recommendations. 

At the end of the day, music is a gem shared by humanity. There’s no shortage of novelty in the industry—and exploring in the right ways can uncover bounteous content.