Image courtesy of Soundcloud.com
“Vibe”, “uplifting”, “improved my mood.” Those were just a few of the words and phrases used to describe the up and coming genre of chillstep. Between the four students who were played a sample of chillstep, it was a consensus of opinion that it lifted their spirits.
Chillstep, started in 2009 by electronic music artist Synkro, is a promising sub-genre of dubstep. It is different from dubstep in a sense that instead of hard beat drops, the beat stays consistently light-hearted and not too loud or energetic even when it does shift to a different part of the song. Those who listened to the first two minutes of each song from the Mitis album Living Color like Ethan Young, a senior at Atholton High School, Nathan Scollar, a sophomore at Atholton High School, and Franklin Wright, a Junior at Atholton High School, described the music as “uplifting.” Atholton High School senior Sean Shields also added that “the overall sound was nice…I do acrobatics… and this is the kind of music that I would use for that.” Franklin Wright said that he would recommend the music to a friend because “it’s actually like a vibe” and added that the songs “made me more relaxed.”
Unlike the popular artists Skrillex and Knife Party, the music isn’t very energetic and doesn’t at all have the same vibe in that if played at a party or a club, it wouldn’t inspire dancing or add to the energy. There are only a few artists who make chillstep as their primary genre of music, since most focus on electronic music in general. Mitis, Mahi, Crywolf, Porter Robinson, and Seven Lions are a few examples of up and coming artists who do make chillstep as their primary genre, only a few of whom many people have even heard of. However, those five artists have a combined five albums in the Google Play top 100, with two of the albums (Porter Robinson’s Worlds, and Mitis’ Born) even rank within the top ten.
One thing that contributes to the fact that chillstep is still up and coming is how young it is compared to other types of music. Chillstep only turned eight years old this year and is very young in comparison to dubstep and other popular genres of music which are at least 15 years old. Within the Google Play top 10 albums, Alternative is the youngest genre of music, which was first made in the 1990s.
Wondering where to start for chillstep? Try listening to Mitis’ album Born, or Mahi’s album Revival. Those are two albums which encompass all that chillstep is.