CC BY-SA 2.0 Buster Benson

10 Of The Best Lockdown Lofi Channels to Listen to in 2021

When being at home becomes the new normal, LoFi finds its place of relevance more than ever – becoming an internet phenomenon in the world of Youtube’s chill-out and hip-hop music.

First things first, what does Lofi actually mean? Well, Lofi actually stands for ‘Low Fidelity’, the frequency in which the music is recorded under, and the electronic reproduction of sound resulting in distortion. LoFi is not and never has been an easy genre to identify, and that’s because it isn’t really a genre in its own right, and instead, a way of presenting other emerging sub-genres sonically. The term “Lo-fi” was first used in the 1950s but was later discovered as a recognisable sound in the 1990s, and has expanded and evolved into various different sounds ever since, including hip-hop, jazz, oriental and ambient beats, to name a few. 

As lockdown intensifies, so does our need for relaxation and concentration in order to stay motivated in such unmotivating times. Here are 10 of the best Lofi channels to chill-out with on YouTube in 2021.

10. Chief

Despite only having over 700 subscribers, the subtleties within the style of Lofi that they produce is incredibly relaxing, with a crashing wave effect and very light instrumentals, yet short and snappy in length.

9. Idealism

Idealism is another simple and minimalistic type of Lofi, Jinsang has a slideshow of imagery as well as still pictures. Rather than a combination of distorted beats, Jinsang is very minimal, and falls into the ‘lullaby’ category, similarly to Dreamy, Idealism is a down-beat Lofi. Idealism has 24.7K subscribers on YouTube. 

8. Jinsang

Jinsang is a little more on the classic jazz lounge-cafe style of Lofi; the most recognisable of Lofi, with distortion on untimely beats with a fair dosing of old school hip-hop. Jinsang, with 35.6K subscribers,  could be considered more of the happier impressions that Lofi has to offer.

7. Mr Suicide Sheep

With such a dark name, Mr Suicide Sheep is meloncholic by name and by nature, with a real tendency to include the sounds of rain and bad weather, Mr Suicide Sheep’s Lofi has become one of the most recognisable names amongst the industry, and with 12.6 million subscribers, its no secret that people connect with the style that Mr Suicide Sheep creates the most.

6. Cozy Panda

Cozy Panda does well with nostalgic and melancholic material, with a grasp of retro 90s imagery with cassette tapes and VHS, Cozy Panda is aesthetically pleasing as well as popular, however, with 8.04k followers Cozy Panda still has a way to go to reach out to its wider audiences.

5. Mr Momo Music

The type of Lofi that we hear with Mr Momo Music is largely trap-beat orientated, with quintessential japanese imagery and sound. Mr Momo Music has 506k subscribers which has continued to grow hugely since the popularity of trap music emerged in recent years.

4. Potsu

Although Potsu only has 81.3K subscribers, they have some of the most recognisable Lofi tracks. Potsu tend to have shorter tracks, despite most Lofi channels having longer runs of music. Potsu are particularly recognisable for infusing other artists’ music into their own and making it have their own unique Lofi sounds. Potsu are particularly anime related within their art work, and sharing some of their music with Anime Vibes channel too.

3. Dreamy

A delicate Lofi character, slower and softer beats, when we listen to Dreamy Lofi, we know exactly where they got their name from. ‘Lullaby beats’ is what comes to mind when listening to dreamy, solely focused on relaxation, is more likely the type of Lofi you would listen to when sleeping rather than to concentrate. With a fluffy cotton wool aesthetic, Dreamy has 659K subscribers, slowly but surely making its way in the recognisable land of Lofi.

2. The Bootleg Boy

With 4.17 million subscribers, The Bootleg Boy is also becoming increasingly popular on YouTube. The Bootleg Boy tends to use westernised cartoon characters to promote their imagery including well known characters such as Spongebob Squarepants and The Simpsons, with a sleepy yet psychedelic aesthetic. The Bootleg Boy tends to pay more attention towards the sadcore elements that Lofi dabbles in, as well as including a lot more in the way of interludes and scripted skits from well known movies and shows to break up the instrumentals. The Bootleg Boy could be easily categorised as a stoners fantasy.

1. Chilled Cow

Possibly one of the most popular and recognisable Lofi channels on Youtube, Chilled Cow has a massive 7.61 million followers. Extremely well known for their 24/7 live streams with the famous ‘Lofi study girl’ as the associating imagery, with a distinctive similarity to cartoonistic anime and Japanese art, with the classic clean jazz sound, alongside that Lofi crackle as well.