Dylan Heneck; Daddy Warbucks & Co-Head of naasMUSIC
This year Germany based music sharing platform, Soundcloud, turned six. While there is no telling how long this platform will dominate the market for sharing original musical content; it’s recent decision to introduce advertising an ominous sign of a possible demise. As it stands 12 hours of audio are uploaded every minute onto Soundcloud by over 250 million active users. Driven by a curiosity to explore what the rise of Soundcloud says about the evolving nature of music consumption. So Hum sat down with Dylan Heneck the co-head of naasMUSIC, known to Soundcloud as Daddy Warbucks, to discuss how interacting with music has changed. Discovering music has become an intimate moment that happens under the dark velvet of the late night. Around the world, it seems we are all up at odd hours of the night chasing the next great sound or sight. Following a trail of musical breadcrumbs kindly brought to our attention by the ever vigilant cookie system. “I keep thinking the stuff I’m listening to is timeless, it’s going to be the best. It never is”, says Dylan. This isn’t to say minds find no value in past musical attachments, “It’s not as classy, but it’s still good”, he explains.
Soundcloud allows listeners to have, what sometimes feels like a fleeting affair, with the sound of a strangers mind. Like it’s theoretical predecessor MySpace, Soundcloud draws you in by allowing you to stalk the individual. It creates moments of pure connection and understanding free of attachment yet filled with sensitivity and intensity.
While there is the option to hustle your way on to the promolists of record company’s for Dylan, at least, this avenue just leads to 638 ignored emails and time halfheartedly spent hoping to find some form of magic in a in a seemingly endless stream of mediocre. After exploring a combination of YouTube accounts, Bandcamp, Beatport, Facebook pages but never Twitter; for Dylan it always comes back to Soundcloud. “Artists post other artists and that's a good way to find music”.
Music has always derived it’s value from the ability to create a mental connection recognized through a physical reaction. A sound or song is pulled out of obscurity by a involuntary movement. When So Hum asked Dylan how he recognised a good sound he said; “when I hear a good song it’s like ‘Oh Damn! What just happened?’ and then I dance a bit. As soon as I hear it, I know if it’s special”. It seems a bond with a song or artist is in it’s purest form when you are one of the first few thousand people to attach your stamp of approval to it in the form of a like or a re-post. “If it were stocks I’d be rich but it’s not”, says Dylan.
As the scope of Soundcloud grows to include audio books, podcasts of magazines, newspapers and adverts only time will tell if the struggling musician will move on to another platform. There is little doubt that Soundcloud built itself on it’s appeal to the creative vein of the world. In this vein of society appreciation of skill, expression and the courage to chose a life of no structure to chase a human connection through the arts reigns supreme.
Words by Anade Situma, Co-Founder & Editor of So Hum Magazine