Thumbnail of “lofi hip hop radio – beats to study to” on YouTube.
Thumbnail of “lofi hip hop radio – beats to study to” on YouTube.

Why Did Lo-Fi Music Blow Up?

If you weren’t living under a rock in terms of being on the internet, you’ve probably heard of the recently blowing-up music genre that is lo-fi. Days-long live streams dedicated to lo-fi music, lo-fi remixes, it’s nearly everywhere on sites such as YouTube and Spotify now. Especially during the pandemic, this music has skyrocketed in popularity elsewhere as well. So, the question is, how did the genre get so popular? What is it about lo-fi hip-hop that appeals to hundreds of thousands of people? The answer lies in the music itself.

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One of the greatest reasons behind why lo-fi music has blown up during the pandemic is its simplicity. Lo-fi music’s generally simple beats and rhythm lets listeners generally get a better feel for as well as keep up with the music, which can be hard for other genres to replicate. Due to the music being so simple, like normal hip-hop, yet calm, it’s become a great tool for many students during studying, as the simplicity of the music’s beats can help one get the motivation to get work done.

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Yet another reason for the genre’s popularity is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as aid in focusing on work. “The fact that people generally listen to lo-fi beats on an endless loop also helps create this relaxing effect. …the repetition in the music makes it predictable, soothing listeners further.” Says Jessica Stillman from, on an article discussing the calming effects of lo-fi music. Indeed, the predictability and soothingly soft feel of the music greatly aids one in focusing on other work and generally destressing them to be able to complete whatever they are doing, the repetition of the song allowing for more focus on the work rather than the music.

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Finally, lo-fi music’s popularity can also be attributed to the fact that it instills feelings of nostalgia. The crinkling, staticky sounds present within lo-fi songs create a sort of feeling of Deja vu, feelings of nostalgia that haven’t really been experienced before. These nostalgic sounds keep the listener hooked to the music, and even helps them concentrate on what they’re doing. Overall, with these three reasons accounted, it’s simple to see why the genre’s blown up, especially during a time as stressful as the pandemic.


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