The emergence of the lo-fi genre during the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of impressive, as the genre has provided a sense of solace and respite for countless individuals who have found themselves in self-isolation, seeking comfort and tranquility in the soothing melodies and beats that have become synonymous with the genre. In a time when uncertainty and anxiety were at an all-time high, music became a bastion for many, prompting them to explore new and exciting genres that they may not have otherwise considered, such as lo-fi. Which has seen a surge in popularity due to its calming and introspective nature. This made it is clear that the power of music to lift our spirits and bring us together has never been more important, and the lo-fi genre has become a shining example of the healing power of music in the face of adversity.

“Lo-fi” actually stands for “low-fidelity” meaning it is the opposite of high fidelity or high-quality music production behind most mainstream music. This is why in low-fidelity music, you can hear imperfections that would typically be considered errors in the recording process. So the low-fidelity or quality of this type of music is actually on purpose, and this is part of its beauty.

It is mostly a non-lyrical genre, even if it sometimes can include samples of people’s voices, mostly from early television or radio recordings. It also has influences from Boom-Bap and New York Underground instrumentals, 1960’s and 1970’s jazz samples, and electronic music. Pretty interesting, right? Hear it for yourself with one of our favorite Youtube lo-fi lives:

Even if lo-fi music streams are drawing millions of listeners on YouTube and have been very popular in the last 5 years, it has been around for much longer. Actually, the first lo-fi tracks were produced in the 90s by a group of underground artists, but similar genres that have a DIY vibe have existed since the 50s. The music industry noticed this emerging trend early on, and big artists like The Beach Boys and Paul McCartney had taken some lo fi music characteristics and included them into their music.

So it is actually kind of tricky to trace how the term lo fi actually originated. Some say that the word Lo-Fi was popularized by William Berger, a DJ on an independent radio station, who had a show named ‘Low-Fi’ where he explored home recordings that were produced on low-cost equipment. Due to the way it is verbally pronounced, it has evolved to lo fi. 

Fast-forward to the current date and there are several lo fi artists making it big on YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud. Rejjie Snow, Bishop Nehru and Chester Watson are some of them we are currently loving here at HookSounds, even more, just a quick search of the word lofi music on YouTube will give you thousands of options, from single tracks to playlists and entire channels dedicated to it.

How to produce lofi music? 

First, you’ll need a computer or laptop for music production in order to arrange the tunes and beats. It is primarily composed of a beat (similar to hip hop beats, but with less bass) and looped samples (like piano melodies). Include effects similar to listening to cassette tapes to add nostalgia vibes, and always try to generate positivity and relaxation with your tunes. The key characteristic of most lo-fi tracks are imperfections that arise while recording music.

Think of it as the perfect relaxing music for meditating or chilling, but don’t confuse it with pop music or indie rock. It is in fact a great soundtrack for concentrating, as it doesn’t have many vocals and is mainly instrumental. So much that even psychologists play them in the back on stressful situations for patients! 

In conclusion, if you are searching for a genre that can captivate your audience as a content creator then lo-fi music is the definitive must-have in your collection. With its mellow yet rythmic melodies, lo-fi music has positioned itself not only as the perfect beats to chill to, but also as a first pick for many creators. The genre can set the right mood and tone for your videos, podcasts, or even streams. Whether you are planning to create compelling content for studying, working, or just relaxing, lo-fi music can add an extra component of calmness to your creations. Elevate your content to the next level and provide your viewers with an immersive and enjoyable experience, lo-fi is where it’s at.