The Music Scoop



Sofia Sayabalian, Author

Two Underground Artists That Must Make it To Your Next Vibey Playlist

H i o

Imagine you’re cruising down Sunset Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles. It’s golden hour and the sun is about to set. Your favorite playlist is on shuffle mode and suddenly a song by H i o starts to play you feel like you’re in seventh heaven. Music is so powerful in the sense that it can truly transport us to different state of mind, and maybe, just for a moment, make us feel like everything is going to be okay. H i o isn’t your average artist. A Google search will only go so far, as one will probably fail to find a proper biography on him. We all have that one underground artist whom we strongly root for because we know they deserve much more recognition than they realistically receive. For me, H i o is the paradigm of that. Since there is so little published about him on the Internet, there’s an essence of mystery whenever I listen to his music or see his name pop up.

According to Spotify, his discography consists of multiple singles and his album I which was released earlier this year. H i o has a following of a little over 1,110 listeners on SoundCloud. Some of H i o’s songs dabble in the genre of vaporwave, making his beats feel electric, experimental and atmospheric. Some of my favorite songs of his are “Jitterbug” featuring Wiley from Atlanta, his single “Pho” which was released around mid-March, and the track “Yellow” featuring artists Juicebox and Rachard the Local.

The chorus of “Jitterbug” feels like its bubbly and crackling, with hints of an electronic and almost extraterrestrial sound. It’s hard to compare H i o to any singular artist, but it does seem like he takes a bit of influence from rapper Jpegmafia when it comes to crafting his instrumentals.

On the other hand, “Yellow” is a playful track with a sprinkle of sophistication that’s displayed throughout the tune. The song is full of fun metaphors and clever bars. Some of my favorite lines from it include, “I’m a dollar slice of pizza at three in the morning, rockin and rollin like thunderstorm and lightning and glory beholdeth,” and “It’s a dog-eat-dog world but I’ve never seen a dog eat a dog so I guess said everything we know is wrong.”

These are the kinds of lyrics that feel whimsical when you’re listening to H i o. Give him a listen if you want to expand your musical palette because you will not be disappointed.


Whether it’s through fashion and style or music and culture, glossy vintage vibes of delight serve today’s young people a retrograde flow. People have dug deep to discover what it means to have a certain aesthetic. Talented composer Meltycanon (real name Zachary Whitman) has released projects that support a post-genre world of music. Hailing from Alabama, Meltycanon has begun to establish a style “that reflects the unmistakable influence of the retro video game generation,” according to magazine Fader. His beats are fun and fresh and his delivery and lyrical capability are pretty ace.

According to Spotify, Meltycanon has released three albums: “Old Compilation 3” (2016), “soft and wet” (2016), and “Old Compilation 4” (2017). A few of my favorite songs of his are “Monkey Bars” and “A Song About Love.”

Similar to H i o, Meltycanon does a really good job at intending songs to be played in a certain environment. To illustrate, try closing your eyes when you listen to the track “Monkey Bars.” Imaging you’re walking in a candy store in Tokyo, Japan and all of your senses are heightened. There’s a smell of sweetness in the air, the electronic music feels like sticky honey to your ears, and your eyes have been taken on a train ride to see ultimate candy glory. That’s what this song feels and sounds like.

Moving on, “A Song About Love” is a soft and sweet romantic tune that feels like Frank Ocean was messing with the beats behind the scenes. In fact, the beats mirror the spontaneity of the lyrics: “I don’t really care about fate / I just wanna live and have fun.” I think this a cool line because we see the artist talking about how it’s important to live life in the moment, trusting the process of life and not putting too much stress on fate.

In the track “A Ghost Chant,” Meltycanon raps over a lofi beat and the song feels ethereal with its delicate piano riffs. This song proves that you don’t have to understand what he’s saying to enjoy yourself listening to this song because you might just catch yourself in a musical trance.

There are plenty of other songs that are excellent from Meltycanon’s large collection of content, such as “Dreamland,” and “Mama.” But seriously, if you’re looking for an artist to show you some good vibes through music, give Meltycanon a listen.

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