Let’s Look Into Lo-Fi

Natalie Briceno

I remember the first time I heard Lo-Fi Hip Hop. I was sitting in a room with a bunch of other clueless people like me while we watched as this presenter played his own mix of music and smiled hopefully at all of us. My first thought at the moment was, “Wow, I really haven’t heard anything like this before.” My life had been filled with an endless amount of trending music with the same usual beats. After this encounter, I went out on a limb and looked up “lo fi music” and found this live stream with an anime girl studying on the cover of it. This had been streaming for years when I found it and had millions of subscribers. ChilledCow (the account with the livestream) turned out to be one of the biggest lo-fi artists with a long background in this type of music. Fans of lo-fi gush over this youtube account. My professors have played this exact live stream while we have lab time in class. Finding out more about this led me to the huge fan base of people that support the production of this music. I ended up being one of them and all it took was a few minutes of exposure.

Lo-Fi stands for “low fidelity” and has been on the public’s radar since the 1950’s. However, the rapid development of it can’t be pinpointed to a specific pathway or origin. There wasn’t only the yellow brick road, but a blue and red one too. Recently, it has become a craze among college students to listen to Lo-Fi Hip Hop to help them study, relax, and more importantly, to vibe. This style of music has taken over.  But that doesn’t mean that its popularity is necessarily something new. This fan base has spent years growing and evolving into what we know and hear now.

Somehow, the production of it has gotten even more innovative. It has been said that it originally started as just making mistakes in the music production process to give songs a different sound (which honestly sounds like a lot of fun). Now it’s turned into making those same mistakes, mixing up drum sounds, and throwing in some quotes and phrases to just add a little bit of spice. On an even better note, this style of music has become less of a “professional” thing and more of something that anyone can get into. There are countless people on social media boasting their new study/focus playlists that are filled with lo-fi hip hop songs as well as people taking popular songs and remaking them with a lo-fi style. I can’t even lie; I have gotten into it too. The entirety of lo-fi music promotes creativity, fun, and a chill ambience.