My musical tastes have evolved quite a bit over the past decade. Mom always listened to alternative rock on the radio when I was growing up, so my earliest musical exposure was to the likes of Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. Around when I was eight I remember recording onto cassette tapes some softer sounds, like Sarah McLachlan and Jewel. I wasn’t big into concerts and boy bands like most of my classmates at the time, and my knowledge of the music world stayed pretty limited for years.
When Napster first came out, a friend recommended it to me, and I immediately began downloading all sorts of music, but mostly within the same genres I was used to. It took me many more years to start branching out, mostly because I didn’t know what to even look for.
My discovery of Last.fm was what really helped me find some great new sounds in genres I’d never heard of before. Since then, I’ve basically been addicted to anything unusual and strayed from the mainstream, except for the sake of my friends on certain occasions, such as hosting preparties before going to the club in college.
Once Spotify launched, I started using it for the sake of convenience, relying on the Last.fm plugin functionality to get recommendations, but leaning more on Spotify’s related artists functions to find new stuff. Over time Spotify added recommendations, so now I mostly find music through Spotify. Since Last.fm killed off some of the history visualizations I used, I’ve also used the service less.
My Last.fm listening visualized by genre and quantity up till the Last.fm playground was apparently shut down August 2015: