Why Lo-Fi Music Rules This Generation’s Playlist

Lo-Fi music – previously an underground genre – has become a new cultural phenomenon among Millennials and Gen Z across the world. Whether it’s relaxing on a rainy Friday or having an all-nighter before a deadline, Lo-Fi music sets the perfect mood to boost your mood or boost your productivity levels. As a huge Ghibli fanatic, I love listening to the Ghibli Lo-Fi mix and it helps me deal with anxiety. Naturally, I thought it was worth delving into how Lo-Fi has taken off today on the internet.

Regular Lo-Fi beats replaced classical music in its ability to help people focus better. In fact, there was no significant psychological difference between listening to Lo-Fi or classical music, according to a recent study published in the Kwantlen Psychology Student Journal. Research further shows that no form of music was better or worse than silence which makes it the ideal music for studying.

We know that Hi-Fi (high fidelity) music refers to music that is polished until it is perfect. Mainstream songs fall into this category. The opposite is Lo-Fi (low fidelity) music, created with imperfections in its sound. Background noises, electric hip-hop beats and downtempo beats are the building blocks of Lo-Fi tracks and creating them doesn’t require a lot of resources.

Promoted with labels like study music, anti-stress, relaxing, calming, etc., the concept of Lo-Fi has become popular over the past decade thanks to platforms like YouTube and Spotify.

Nujabes, a Japanese DJ and producer, known as the pioneer of Lo-Fi, created a unique sound by fusing elements of hip-hop, jazz and electronica into Japanese songs. Lo-Fi hip-hop has a clear connection to Japan thanks to him. His designs contain the bittersweet reminiscence that is still a huge thematic influence on Lo-Fi.

Arshee Joarder, a student at the University of Dhaka is a classical singer by training. However, she shared that she enjoys the various Lo-Fi remixes of old songs as much as the classics, due to their soothing rhythm.

“It has now become a trend to revive and do lofi remixes of popular songs, some famous channels on YouTube are doing very well in remixing these songs. Fusions of contemporary beats help me create the right mood before studying. Also, the Lo-Fi livestream helps me connect and chat with a community. I especially enjoy Lo-Fi indie tunes and my favorite channel is The Jazz Hop cafe.

A common trait in these Lo-Fi clips is a girl studying forever, day to night beside her window. Commonly known as the Lo-Fi girl, her real name is the study girl coined by The Chilled Cow, one of the popular YouTube channels for Lo-Fi live streams. The artwork is originally inspired by the Ghibli anime “Whisper of the Heart” and created by Juan Pablo Machado.

Later, many versions of the Lo-Fi girl flooded the internet where more or less everyone is seen as studying or relaxing in their bedrooms. Lo-Fi is correlated with reduced anxiety and increased dopamine, so in a complex world like today’s Lo-Fi has become a therapeutic reprieve.

Lo-Fi music is designed to be easy to listen to, creatively collaborating with multiple genres without compromising the original.

Popular Rabindra Sangeet’s Lo-Fi remix “Majhe Majhe Tobo Dekha Pai” has over 5.2 million viewers which has had a huge impact on the Lo-Fi scene in Bangladesh. It is a creation of Mashuq Haque, one of the most popular Lo-Fi artists in Bangladesh. He has over 110,000 subscribers on YouTube, Mashuq has also created Lo-Fi versions of Bedona by Shunno, Alo by Tahsan, Amar Dehokhan by Odd Signature which all have at least a million views each.

The Business Standard reached out to Mashuq to find out a bit more about his work on Bangla Lo-Fi music.

Mashuq started making Lo-Fi music in 2020 by remixing Pritom Hasan’s “Bhenge Porona”. He had noticed a strange algorithmic change on his youtube channel. Since then, he has not stopped remixing songs. Before that, he was into all-orchestra film music due to his training as a music producer.

“I started learning music in 2010 by trading a phone for a musical keyboard with a friend of mine and I believe it was the best job of my life. I was a high school student at the time, later I joined and played with bands like Nova, Radioactive, Exenemy, Rajotto, etc. as a keyboard player,” Mashuq said.

Mashuq shared that his production skills went up a notch when he contracted the coronavirus and also discovered that Lo-Fi patterns lend themselves well to bangla music, thus he gained wide recognition and did not never looked back since.

Lo-Fi gave rise to subgenres like slow motion and reverb, which are also popular with young people. With its mood-altering capabilities, Lo-Fi vibes will continue to rule our playlists.

Choice of SCT for Lo-Fi channels:

  • Mashuq Haque for the Bangla Lo-Fi mix
  • Lofi Girl for mood-based Lo-Fi hip-hop
  • The Jazz Hop Café for a laid-back anime mix
  • Lo-Fi music for retro mixes
  • WORMONO for hindi mix