SoundCloud has always been a fascinating online world that seems to exists as its own unique ecosystem. Though its primary purpose has been to provide people with a space to upload freely and discover new music on their own terms, more often than not, it’s constant saturation and curated algorithms led it to be a bubble that seemed designed to burst.
While it’s easy to classify anyone that got their start on SoundCloud as a “SoundCloud rapper,” we often forget that the service prompted countless artists to exercise their creative freedoms in ways that were never possible before the platform’s rise. For the first time ever, the art of music creation and distribution was accessible like never before for anyone with a computer and Internet access.
And while we are not the ones to determine whether or not the “SoundCloud rapper” sound is still cool in 2020, we’re definitely happy that the algorithm worked in our favor this time and led us to haroinfather. haroinfather is an artist that exists beyond the streaming platform’s microgenre and is instead the current face of an avant-garde, explorative-trap sound.
Born Tommelik Ward, haroinfather is a frontrunner in the next wave of experimental hip-hop. Despite beginning his career on SoundCloud and garnering a steady, niche audience. haroinfather has begun to cut ties with his underground persona, racking up over 150k loyal followers on Instagram that resonate with his unconventional sound and overall persona.
Drawing influences from late rapper XXXTentacion, haroinfather’s original tracks play into the familiar emo-rap sound popularized in the SoundCloud landscape. And while this lo-fi, dark style is definitely still in demand, haroinfather is evolving his sound in ways that differ greatly from his SoundCloud contemporaries.
Often playing with themes of love and heartbreak, haroinfather’s cinematic production style is certainly different than anything we have heard before. Though he has yet to come out with a compiled project, his seemingly endless discography of singles often never exceeds a minute and a half but, serving as small reflections on the greater stories that happen in his life and relationships.
Essentially using streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify as just elevated extensions of his original SoundCloud identity, it’s clear that haroinfather values the community and freedom that platforms like SoundCloud provided for him.
Even more so, his top hits, “Princess Bubblegum” and “Forever,” are just an extension of this authentic prerogative. Through the implementation of jazzy, whistling instrumentals and distorted voice-overs, haroinfather draws inspiration from his life experiences to reinforce that his artistry goes far beyond the trends of the time. haroinfather is giving lofi trap a new identity while simultaneously allowing him to connect with a new generation, one that may not resonate with the mainstream ideals of today’s soundscape.
Moreover, his most recent single “Ramona Flowers” provides us with another piece to the ever complex puzzle that is haroinfather. Woven between a bouncy bassline and video game-esque production, the track is the epitome of new-age poetry.
It’s clear that haroinfather is flipping the “SoundCloud rapper” trend on its head and giving it a whole new meaning. Certainly a key trailblazer in the evolution of modern lofi trap music, we’re excited to see what else he has in store for us. Until then, be sure to check out haroinfather’s latest drop, “Ramona Flowers,” below: