The 24th Street Wailers
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Video Games including licensed tracks from popular musicians have been the norm now for decades. With dozens of sports and racing games including extensive soundtracks from established artists and open-world games such as Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto including multiple radio stations each packed full of popular music, it is incredibly easy to find songs which are included in video games.
Even some Role Playing Games like the Fallout series have dozens of songs included from charting artists, even if they were recorded half a century ago. The gaming industry now easily rivals the film industry for the amount of hugely talented artists who have had their songs included in media. What is much, much rarer for games is popular artists creating music specifically for video games.
The vast majority of video game music is instrumental as it is used largely to help build the atmosphere at any point in a game. This, and the already extremely high cost and time to create a game when compared to any other form of media, leads most games to hire much smaller contractors to create their music, often finding specialists who make video game music for a living or occasionally having slightly more established artist create their soundtrack.
More and more in the gaming industry, it is being realized that video games are an incredible place for musicians to express themselves, and more and more artist is starting to look for games to write for and more games are looking for popular artists to create music! Over the years, many famous bands and artists have created songs and entire soundtracks for video games, and here I will show a few examples.
David Bowie – Omikron: The Nomad Soul
The first on the list here might surprise a lot of people. Even fans of Bowie and the venerable video game wizard David Cage might not know about this collaboration. Omikron was David Cage’s first independent game back in 1999, which set the stage for his hits in the current millennium.
These two big-profile David’s helped create an incredibly unique and, at the time, ground-breaking videogame which sadly went under the radar to a lot of people with its lackluster marketing and being released late in a console generation on the doomed Dreamcast. Bowie wrote a few excellent songs for this game which he then later released as part of an album, so many fans have likely already heard this game’s soundtrack without even knowing it!
Michael Jackson – Sonic 3
Another little known video game music fact is that the King of Pop himself wrote the soundtrack to Sonic 3 on the Sega Genesis. Sonic games had always been known for their stunning soundtracks on limited hardware, and Sega doubled down on this with their biggest ever release by hiring Michael Jackson to create some magical sound-scapes. This move worked wonders, as it is widely regarded as one of the greatest soundtracks of the era and many of the tracks get covered by other bands to this day. None of these songs will ever appear on a Michael Jackson Greatest Hits compilation, but they made their mark on video game history nevertheless.
Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) – Quake
Quake is finally making a comeback after decades of slumber, and it seems to be trying to keep with the series (and developer’s) tradition of including extremely aggressive and heavy music as the soundtrack to its visceral titles. After Doom’s success in gameplay and soundtrack, Id Software knew they would have to at least meet their customer’s expectations for a massively hyped-up game. What better way to approach this than to make sure the soundtrack exceeded anything they had done before. And what better way to do that than to hire the now multiple-Oscar-winning Trent Reznor. As one of the kings of gritty music, there could have been no better choice, and some tracks on the original Quake soundtrack are still considered masterpieces for atmosphere and hard-core rocking in video games.
Imagine Dragons – League of Legends
A much more modern and popularly known example is the collaboration between Riot Games and Imagine Dragons to promote League’s new season and the new direction they took the game. They only produced one song for the popular MOBA, but it was an excellent and widely shared piece of music which hit gaming and music media alike and even helped start a tradition of Riot hiring artists to create promotional music in and out of the game, such as having artists write music for popular lol skins; DJ Sona being the most purchased of these skins.
Aesop Rock – Freedom Finger
This is the most current example on the list. While not the most established artist I have written about here, Aesop Rock has been creating massive waves in the Hip-Hop sphere the last couple of years and this has been perfectly exemplified in his effort on the video game Freedom Finger. This quirky title is hugely more entertaining with the brilliant soundtrack Aesop crafted, with many elements of the game playing along to the beat. Not only did he write brilliant dynamic tracks for every level, he even wrote a full album’s worth of more traditional hip-hop tracks in the games’ style for the boss fights, and released these alongside the game, earning critical and commercial success in the music space with the music being lauded for its quality even detached from the game.
Paul McCartney – Destiny
A very high profile collaboration between the insanely huge Bungie and one of the most successful artists of all time resulted in a few brilliant pieces of music for Destiny. Unfortunately, it is another lesser-known collaboration, but brilliant nonetheless, and earned McCartney one of the largest video game music paychecks of all time.
CHVRCHES – Death Stranding
A personal favorite soundtrack of mine is that of Death Stranding, which includes dozens of excellent and perfectly atmospheric songs from lesser-known artists used to effectively accent emotional points in the game. Not only did Kojima license some excellent music, but he also had the increasingly popular dream-pop band CHVRCHES write an all-original song just for the game, and the result is absolute soundtrack bliss.
Mental Illness is the demon that peers over our shoulders. It has haunted our species seemingly forever yet has gone undetected for so long. It is only in recent years that we are a civilization have started to understand and accept that mental illness is a real, and terrible form of disease that can be battled and even beaten.
Time was people with mental illness were written off as liars or called crazy and locked away, tortured, and even killed. This barbaric practice has slowly been replaced by a more accepting, understanding, and kind culture that approaches this sensitive topic with grace and reserve. But even with that there is still so much we do not understand about mental illnesses and every day we discover new ways to help support those suffering. And this is what we are going to look at today.
Music has been a large part of culture since the dawn of man. Our earliest ancestors had instruments and you need only look to the animal kingdom to see how vital singing is. Music connects us together, comforts us, inspires us, and motivates us. But it can do so much more. In recent years, medical experts have started using music as a tool to help fight mental illness. But how is that possible, I hear you ask? Let us dive into a look at how music is being used to help battle mental illness.
Mental Illnesses play with the mind. They twist and contort the way we think. The way we feel. The way we act. But music has this power too. How often do you hear a song and your mood suddenly changes? A random memory from your past comes rushing back and you are flooded with a strong, overwhelming feeling. How often do you find your self unable to stop your foot tapping along to the beat? Do you notice how songs can implant powerful messages within you, changing the way you view the world?
This is the foundation of musical therapy. While it is still quite an unknown area, lots of clinics have been using the medical practice marketing at practicebloom to raise awareness of it. The idea is that therapists will use certain music to stimulate emotions within you while talking through your issues. The mix of the musical interference along with the traditional therapy tactics works to try to rewire your brain chemistry and generate the chemicals that are currently unbalanced.
The key advantage of this is that you will soon start to associate the music with the process of healing and positivity. This means whenever you listen to it your brain will continue the healing process. Association is a powerful tool in the medical world and is utilized in musical therapy to great effect.
But it isn’t always about being happy. Sometimes you have to acknowledge the feelings and the sadness. Music can assist in this. Lots of group therapy sessions often ask patients to try their hand at creating music, to express their feelings through music. An outlet like this is proven to improve the mental wellbeing of those using it.
This method is less typical, and much more experimental, but effective all the same. Binaural beats are tracks that use binaural sound waves at different frequencies to stimulate certain areas of the brain. It is essentially auditory hypnosis that can change the way you feel. Like medication but in sound form. This can be used to try and change your mood but also to speed along the process of healing your brain undertakes during therapy and while on medication.
Binaural Beats can also be used to help fall asleep. Mental Illness often causes insomnia in those suffering. And lack of sleep compounds into exaggerating the illness and has other effects on the mind and body that eventually compile into making a patient even sicker. Binaural beats are a cheap, and effective way to try inducing sleep. While these beats won’t work for everyone but for those they do work for, they are a powerful tool on the road to beating their mental demons and overcoming the challenges that come with mental illness.
Overall, music is a powerful tool. It makes us laugh. It makes us cry. It brings us together in ways not possible in other mediums. And it even has the incredible power to heal us. As we become more informed as a society we will continually find new ways to use music to change the world. It is so important to keep on signing in the dark times and look ahead to brighter days. Because as dark as it seems, they are just over the horizon.
No matter what mood you’re in, music always makes everything seem a little bit better. Whether you’re wanting to dance around in your kitchen, or whether you’re wanting to watch the rain run down the window in a melancholy fashion, there’s something out there for you. With such a wide variety of artists around today, it can be difficult deciding on who or what to listen to. However, once you discover a couple of genres that you start to love, you’re all set. But there’s always an opportunity to take a step outside your tastes and try listening to something new. If you’re looking for new artists to listen to then look no further. Here are 5 Music Stars we think you should be watching in 2020.
Fresh off the success of their latest album Map of the Soul: 7, rumor has it that the boys have decided not to stop for a breather and have reportedly already started working on their next album. BTS only seems to be getting better and better, and with every new release, it’s not hard to see why they’re so loved by so many. With their beautiful vocals and incredible choreography, BTS has been making their mark all across the world. Their popularity continues to grow day by day and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. With sites like WeVerse designed to fulfill all your BTS merch needs, it’s no wonder the boys’ names are popping up everywhere you look. The boys are due to go on a massive world tour to showcase their new album, much to the delight of ARMY’s all over the world. Since 2013 BTS has been releasing anthem after anthem and we can’t imagine 2020 will be any different.
After taking a break from her incredible music career to pursue acting, Lady Gaga is back and better than ever. Fresh off the success of A Star is Born, her new single Stupid Love is a much-welcomed return to form from Gaga. The pop track is sure to get you busting a move whenever you hear it. However, going by the sound and visuals in the Stupid Love music video, many little monsters will be glad to know that mother monster is returning to her true form. Her new album Chromatica is full of out of this world concept photos and the album itself appears to be designed around a super exciting concept. Gaga is back.
A step away from the pop genre, Beartooth is an awesome American rock band that is definitely worth checking out. With 3 amazing albums already out there, there have been whispers that they are working on their 4th. Beartooth offers powerful lyrics with some incredible riffs that are sure to knock your socks off. If you’re the sort of person who loves going to gigs then this is the band for you. Their music is a bit on the heavier side and therefore, their concerts are sure to be a hell of a good (if not a bit sweaty) time.
The perfect female K-Pop group for anybody new to the genre, Mamamoo combines catchy songs with stunning visuals to create a fun and fresh kind of music. Are you looking for some music to play in your jammies while you play this or that? Well, look no further. A quick search on Spotify and these girls will be able to provide you with the perfect soundtrack for any girls night. Each of the members also has some great solo tracks as well. Most recently, Solar has come out with her new single Spit it Out, much to the delight of MooMoo’s everywhere. Rumour has it the girls are also working on new music so there has never been a better time to start listening to Mamamoo!
After dropping an entire album without any prior warning, Gambino drove his fans wild. His music is great to just vibe with and his latest offering was no different. With a couple of songs featuring cameos from his young children, it’s easy to see why so many fans felt so much love for his new music. Gambino’s music is perfect for a long drive or just a perfect sunny day. Try your luck at rapping along with some of his more complex and faster songs.
Since 2020 began, we have seen some of the most influential artists come out with some of the best looks. If you’re looking for some fashion inspiration, here are the 8 most fashionable musicians of 2020.
One of the most fashionable women around today, 2020 has been no exception for style queen, Hwasa. With any number of looks to choose from, she wears her fashion with a confidence that makes sure she owns the spotlight.
The Other 7?
It may not come as a surprise, but the other 7 most fashionable musicians of 2020, just so happen to be the members of worldwide supergroup BTS. Each member with their own individual style, it’s no surprise BTS have also made waves in the fashion world as well as music. If you’re wanting to support BTS or any of your other favourite artists in style, click for sleekwristbands to order your own customizable wristband that will have all of your friends jealous.
Kim Namjoon (RM)
The leader of BTS, RM is known for his casual style. From street wear to more boho looks, RM is the perfect inspiration for more casual and comfortable outfit choices you can wear anywhere.
Kim Seokjin (Jin)
A fan of more comfortable fashion, oldest member and vocalist Jin often combines a casual shirt or jumper with ripped jeans and plain accessories like glasses to create a seemingly effortless, yet totally stylish look.
Min Yoongi (Suga)
A lover of simple fashion, rapper Suga is often seen rocking a pair of skinny jeans and dark headwear. He certainly knows how to make any simple look his own with accessories to match his personality.
Jung Hoseok (J-Hope)
The ‘sunshine’ of the group, rapper J-Hope’s fashion certainly lives up to this description. J-Hope is no stranger to creating looks that reflect his bright personality like with his trademark chunky trainers.
Another fan of effortlessly cool looks, vocalist Jimin can often be seen combining a pair of skinny trousers with an oversized top or hoodie. He often be seen wearing a pair of sunglasses.
Kim Taehyung (V)
A fan of boho fashion, vocalist V often prefers comfortable outfits with casual cardigans and baggy trousers. He loves incorporating his favourite brand, Gucci, into his outfits for more of a bold statement.
Jung Jungkook (BTS)
One of the edgier members of BTS when it comes to fashion, lead vocalist and golden maknae, Jungkook is often seen making a statement, combining all-black outfits with a pair of chunky black leather boots.
While it may be hard to realize now given the current COVID-19 situation, it is true that small music venues were indeed making a comeback before everything went on lockdown. This begs the question, why?
When people think of the live music industry they usually think of something akin to a “sinking ship”, and while this is true in some cases, it isn’t true as a whole for the industry. It can’t be denied that large festivals and concerts are making less and less profit, but it isn’t as if people have just stopped liking live music. It is more the case that there has bee a “shift” in the industry as people attend individual small concerts rather than festivals. Music promoters have responded to this by increasing their focus on such venues and less so on larger ones. There are a few reasons for this shift, but it mainly comes down to economics.
The Economics of Live Music
When discussing the popularity of music venues in regards to how they stay afloat, we have to talk about how different venues make money.
When it comes to festivals and large concerts, most of the money is made from ticket purchases. For instance, a big band like The Rolling Stones will attract enough people that the promoter will make a profit off of the concert alone. This is the idea, anyway.
For small venues, however, most off the profits come from drinks purchases as opposed to ticket sales. What this means is that even if it is a relatively unknown band that is playing, the venue can still keep a steady profit from drinks. This is in opposition to festivals in which if a good line-up can’t be obtained, they will simply not make the profit needed to continue.
Changes to Gig Culture
Changes to gig culture are also massively important to why small venues are fairing better than large ones. This is because nowadays people tend to enjoy knowing who they are about to see more than they used to. Even when discovering new bands, people tend to find the artist in the comfort of their home and then see how they are live, rather than gambling on festival tickets when you may not enjoy a lot of the bands. It’s like ordering an expensive piece of furniture at random from Theo-Theo and just hoping that you like how it looks in your room. This has become especially true given how expensive festivals are nowadays, which simply encourages people to be more stringent with their money.
If you ask people why they prefer festivals, it’s usually to do with things like atmosphere and the sense of community, rather than things like price or line-ups. There are many people arguing that festival line-ups have taken a bit of a nose-dive in the last decade, and this also contributes to small venues making a comeback.
While many people think becoming a successful youtuber is too challenging due to the difficulty in getting views, sometimes its as simple as ensuring your videos have the right feel (and sometimes it’s as simple as buying views from Marketing Heaven). In regard to the former, the most important thing in ensuring your videos have the right feel is making sure you’ve chosen the right music to accompany them. This is because music can really make or break a YouTube video as it is such a big contributor to the video’s atmosphere (i.e. how it makes the viewer feel). For instance, the wrong music can make a story intended to be humorous feel awkward, or a montage intended to be exciting feel boring. This is why should thoroughly consider what type of content the music is going to accompany.
What is the Music For?
Different soundtracks are needed for different types of videos. Software tutorials, for instance, need music that is subtle and unobtrusive, while something like an adventure video needs something more epic and uplifting. This is the difference between a backing track and a feature track. A backing track is supposed to fill noise in the background to keep your video feel free flowing without obstructing the actual content, while a feature track is one that takes more of a center stage role in the video.
What Makes a Good Background Track?
– Should be unobtrusive and subtle
– Should not distract the viewer from the videos content
– Doesn’t have complicated musical shifts or changes in pace
– Should have a relatively constant volume
– Should have a steady beat
– Should be easy to loop
What makes a Good Feature Track?
– Should be something that can be listened to on its own
– Should have a catchy beat that is easy to cut footage with
– Should have interesting breaks that can be edited to go well with changes in the video
– Should have a similar mood to the video
Capturing the Mood of the Video
The music that accompanies a video such an important affect on its mood, so whichever track you pick should work alongside your videos content and tell the viewer how they should be feeling at different moments. For example, if you’re have a serious conversation about some important life-lessons you learned on a road trip then you probably shouldn’t use hardcore techno to accompany your message, even if that’s your favorite style of music. It would be much better to use something like a soft rock track that places the viewer in a similar frame of mind that you are.
The best way to find the right track is by going by trial and error. This entails downloading tracks, placing them over your video (at the right volume) and seeing how well they work. This will let you set what works and what just feels wrong. You may see that the track goes too slow for the fast-paced nature of the video, or maybe it has too many major chords and sounds too happy for the melancholy nature of the video. Whatever the case, you make sure the music matches the videos mood if you want the video to feel right.
Guitar playing is a passion for many, who often see the glitz and glamour- and the plain coolness of guitar playing. However, there is an extremely common phenomenon of a sort of brick wall in skill, you reach a decent level then you can`t seem to find that next step to really kick on and become the guitarist of your dreams. When improving at anything self-reflection is one of the most important qualities, you need to be your own harshest critic, so recording yourself and listening to how you play is imperative you need to recognise your own strengths and weaknesses.
Another key is keeping your own enthusiasm in guitar playing it should not feel like a chore, this can involve buying new guitar pedals to experiment with different sounds or sampling different guitar tunings. So perhaps instead of playing your favourite John Lennon song in the same old way you experiment with a reverb pedal, really try push the sound you can create out of your guitar, and this is a guarantee to not only keep you enthusiastic, but improving.
In order to improve it is also important to play with friends, not only as I previously mentioned this will help with your enthusiasm for guitar, but you will learn new ideas and pick up on their different techniques. Playing in a band or jamming with friends gives you that in-game experience that playing alone simply will not allow. You will pick up an ear for timing, when to play the right note, how to play the right note. Feedback is essential and playing in a band environment will give you an instantaneous judgement. To truly improve you need to listen to yourself play, try keep the guitar fun and attempt to jam with fellow musicians.