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THE B-SIDE
PLAYLIST OF THE WEEK: INDIE FAMOUS ─ VENICE BEACH
12/6/17

BY RANYA KHOURY

Streaming services like Spotify and Deezer allow users to connect with their followers on a uniquely personal level, promoting notions of solidarity in a way that other social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram can not: Through carefully curated music. With mood-focused and genre specific playlists, these tastemakers possess a specific palette that connects them to their audience. In this way, users on both sides can experience a very human exchange through the enduring power of songs.

And beyond its ability to generate warm & fuzzies,  streaming has proven its potential as a strategic tool for personal branding and promotion, or even direct ticket sales. There’s no doubt the new listening model has shed some light on opportunities that were not present before.

Myles Cooper, owner of Northern Streams Record Label—home to L.A. natives Addison, Happy Sometimes and others—is a prime example of someone who harnesses the power of streaming. Having seen early on the potential of growing his label’s brand via Spotify, Cooper and his team brought their promotional efforts in-house, as the streamery supported the label’s artists wherever possible. Although his involvement with playlist curation initially focused on his roster of artists, he has developed a yearning to support other local artists. “My greatest sense of satisfaction now comes from having a killer playlist," and the 30k followers he’s attracted certainly prove he knows how to make one. 

From the start, Cooper wanted to take a different approach to the curation process. Rather than sticking to a specific mood, his playlists focus on popular locations in Southern California, such as Joshua Tree and Venice Beach. Featuring a diverse lineup of artists, each playlist evokes the places they’re named after. Looking for a specific genre? You’re covered on that end as well; just search for Future Pop (14k+ followers) or the hip-hop-influenced Champagne Charlie.

Cooper’s first release on Spotify, Indie Famous - Venice Beach, has now turned into one of the label’s most-successful playlists. “It was curated naturally. A couple friends and I were sitting beachside, watching the spectacular views of Venice Beach. It came down to the question of what record I would listen to while watching the sun descend and having a beer on a Friday,” said Cooper. With artists that include The KillersTwo Feet, M Phazes and Sean Bowe, you’ll be sure to set the perfect tone for your next sunset brew.

And, to be clear, it doesn't matter where you reside; Cooper's playlists will transport you. Go ahead, explore away.