Becoming involved in the local music scene can be so rewarding, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Follow these three tips to find some rad tunes and support local music!
Go to shows.
The best way to get involved with local music is literally just showing up to shows. Look up events on Facebook, or download an app that shows you where shows are. All Events in the City and Bands in Town are both really solid apps for that. Next time you’re hanging out with your friends, and you don’t know what your plans are, try going out to a local show.
There’s something for everyone in the Oklahoma City music scene, and it’s just matter of going out there and getting involved. If you’re interested in going to some upcoming shows, check out our most recent OkSessions blog post about some exciting events in July.
Buy Merch! Buying merchandise from an artist helps you solidify the show you just saw. Buying merch in person and interfacing with the artist is an experience. T-shirt designs and artwork help you connect with an artist’s vibe or purpose, and you’ll value that CD more when you got it directly from the musician. Listen on your commute, learn the lyrics and melody, and wear the shirt to their next show. You’ll be the perfect fan. Artists will love you, other audience members will want to be you.
Listen to the music.
We are interested in things we are familiar with. One of the biggest hesitancies people have about going to shows and being a part of the scene is that it’s hard to get to know local music. Many times, people show up to gigs, and they don’t know the words, or they’ve never heard of the band, and that can make people feel out of place, which is totally understandable. If you’re like me, and you want to get invested in a band and learn their material before you go see a show, there are a couple of options:
- Listen to local radio. The SPY.FM does a fantastic job of playing local music, especially their Friday night “Oklahoma Rock Show,” and they make it interesting by adding in interviews and little fun facts about the artists.
- Get the music directly from the artist. Purchase CDs at shows or online, follow the artist on Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, iTunes, and on social media. You can also look for their website or their Youtube channel
- Listen to local music in your car, at work, or at home. We’ve created an OkSessions Spotify account featuring over 100 Oklahoma artists, separated into eight different genres – Punk, Rock, & Ska, Creative Soul, R&B, Indie, Coffee & Chill, Country, Classics, and Pop. This blog post explains why this platform is important to furthering the local music scene.
Get familiar with local tastemakers.
There’s a lot of people in Oklahoma that are writing about local music. If you want to learn more, as it is with everything, talk to the experts! Read publications like the Oklahoma Gazette and the Oklahoman. Look through their calendars and music features to find out what people are saying about Oklahoma musicians. Listen to local podcasts like Localites OKC to find out about all the awesome events going on. Accounts like KeepitLocal, the Plaza District, Uncovering Oklahoma, and the Tower Theatre frequently post about live music. Following those accounts will keep you in the loop.
There are also ways to get familiar with individual tastemakers. Desiree Yearby runs a hip-hop blog. Nathan Poppe is a local music writer, as is Ben Luschen.Evan Jarvix writes for Cellar Door and is the champion for the “Make Oklahoma Weirder” movement. Feel free to follow OkSessions’ Zoe Travers on social as well as OkSessions co-founder Christian Pearson.