Synthwave Questionnaire - Part 1

Dan Camaro
October 20th, 2017

This is the first in a series of posts by Super 80s World exploring the Synthwave music scene through the eyes of it's musicians and producers. The results provided here are based on a survey of 165 synthwave artists.

There are two things to keep in mind when looking at the charts below. First, there were often too many responses to include them all. If a band didn't receive more than one vote, it didn't make the list. Second, similar answers to the more subjective questions were pooled together: variety and experimentation, for instance.

The first question we asked was, who was the first synthwave musician they ever heard. Unsurprisingly, it appears most of us were introduced to the genre through Kavinsky. You can't go wrong with the Drive soundtrack.

Which artists and songs do producers in the scene like the best? The song list was far too varied for a chart, but there's a Spotify Playlist for your listening pleasure. Their favorite artists were also a varied bunch, with some familiar names rising to the top: Carpenter Brut, Timecop 1983, Perturbator, Miami Nights 1984, Lazerhawk, The Midnight, Mitch Murder and Com Truise.

Where do people listen to Synthwave artists most? Very few listen out at clubs. Nearly half of those polled said they listen at home. This leads us into the next finding from the group. Many of those involved said the scene is missing more live shows and opportunities to listen to the music in real world spaces.

The question we asked was, "What could synthwave music use more of?" The top answers were vocals and experimentation / variety. Many in the scene are concerned things are a little too formulaic and would like to see people take more risks. At the same time, there seems to be a concern that music that did take these risks would not be accepted in the scene.

Finally, we asked where people go to discover new artists. YouTube won overwhelmingly, with Spotify, Soundcloud and Bandcamp following closely. Still many people use google searches and recommendations to find new bands. There may be an opportunity for a more unified online space to introduce new artists.

Stay tuned for more posts and findings on the Synthwave scene over the next couple of weeks. And a special thank you to everyone that participated!

If you are an artist that participated, please feel free to comment with information about your project below!


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