Tiny Witch Hunter

The only song my nearly-10 Gen Alpha son had in common in our end of year music wraps was this Hen Ogledd track from 2018.

If it had been a couple of months later, this track from Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs might have made the cut, too.

I find watching how he discovers music at this age completely fascinating. His current epic playlist (which I guess is the maxed-out modern day equivalent of my childhood’s radio-to-C90 approach) consists of:

  • artists his schoolfriends have mentioned (a fair amount, notably a rehabilitated Michael Jackson)
  • artists his parents have mentioned (tiny amounts, but some)
  • songs he’s heard at art class (mostly radio pop)
  • songs we’ve heard in shops and Shazamed (the U.S. is particularly great for this, such random stuff makes it onto in-store radio)
  • songs he’s heard on the radio in the house (mostly on NTS, again pretty fractional, although some random stuff makes the grade like this epic post-rock Papa M track)
  • game music (mostly Zelda, Mario Kart and Minecraft, some original, many covers and lots of them: albums are easy to discover and add so tend to bulk out)
  • “more like this artist” and searches on fairly arbitrary strings (from car names to slang) in Apple Music
  • songs featured in YouTube vids (so so many, mostly EDM flavour tracks from artists like Camellia and Clarx)

I’m looking forward to finding out whether this magpie approach is an artefact of his age, or whether identifying with a specific genre is something that will be completely alien to him as he gets older.

If I were involved in putting out music in 2024 for exposure (which - much as I’ve enjoyed it in the past - I’m not) I’d focus my efforts on getting tracks into YouTube videos and forget about pretty much everything else.