That Good Sh*t is Restructuring Music Discovery
That Good Sh*t is Restructuring Music Discovery

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By Lisa Marie

November 26, 2023

Scrolling through social media, one is met with an onslaught of memes, recipes, get ready with me videos, and, more recently, music discovery platforms that are shining a light on the next generation of artists. In the years that have followed the COVID-19 pandemic, a new type of outlet has risen from the cracks, one that heavily relies on visual and audio formats to share discoveries instead of blog posts. These platforms spread their roots using Instagram, Tik Tok, and Discord, and have now replaced many traditional publications as the go-to for discovering new music. At the helm of such platforms is That Good Sh*t, the brainchild of music curator, content creator, and artist manager Annabelle Kline-Zilles. We recently spoke with Annabelle about the changes that have impacted music discovery, what makes an artist stand out to her, and how she’s able to keep up with such a rigorous schedule of content creation. 


What inspired you to create That Good Sh*t? 

Annabelle: I had been toying around with the idea of creating some kind of music blog for a while, and once my Tik Tok videos started taking off, I realized that people were really enjoying my music taste and wanting to see more. I was inspired by platforms like Pigeons and Planes and Soulection who share music in a very curated way; showcasing their personality as a brand through their music taste. I was inspired to share my taste because I knew it was something special, and I wanted to help people connect more deeply with their own music taste.


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What separates platforms such as That Good Sh*t from other traditional blogs and publications? 

I think it's the commitment to our curation, as well as our unique branding, and an evolved method of sharing content. Firstly, we only share music that I truly love, and will never promote an artist just because they're popping or someone offers us money. We literally only share good sh*t. Secondly, I hand draw all of our graphics; I think it gives our page a very fun and welcoming vibe. Lastly, our home base is our Instagram; whereas in the past "blog era" we had lots of platforms where editorial content on a website was the main event. I think we do a great job of catering to Gen Z and a generation of people who mainly live on IG and Tik Tok.


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How do you approach music curation, and what makes a song/artist stand out to you? 

It's all about emotion; how the music makes me feel. When I feel a song touch my heart in a certain way and evoke certain emotions within me, I know exactly where to place it alongside other songs in order to tell a story or evoke a certain feeling. When I'm curating a playlist; it has so much less to do with genre and everything to do with: "what is the emotion I want to evoke in the listener and what songs will get them there?". What makes a song/artist stand out to me is an unexplainable emotional impact. It's that feeling that wells up in your chest and throat when a song is just SO GOOD, you don't even know what to do with yourself. That's what That Good Sh*t is to me: that feeling.


How do you stay up-to-date with emerging artists and trends in music?

Being on Tik Tok definitely keeps me in the loop; I also pay close attention to the artists I look up to and what music they're sharing. I'm aware of what's trending and important but at the same time I am very much in my own bubble of music discovery. From all the submissions I get I'm constantly discovering dope emerging artists. Also, I'm blessed to have so many incredible artists as friends, and they're always sharing their music with me! I keep up with the music I care most about, even if it may not be the most popular music.


You create an immense amount of content on a weekly basis, ranging from playlists, Reels/Tik Toks, Vlogs, and more. How are you able to keep up with such a constant flow of content, while at the same time ensuring that everything feels fresh? 

I think my dedication to constantly creating comes from how passionate I feel about wanting to be the best at what I do. I honestly always feel like I'm behind, and like there are ways I can be improving. That drives me to constantly be creating content, working to get better and constantly show the world that I can really do this shit and do it well. I also take care of my health to the best of my ability so that I have the energy to be constantly creating- I exercise, eat healthy (most times), wake up early, and stay organized. And most importantly, I have chosen to make content creation my full-time job, so in order to pay my rent, I need to be constantly creating; I enjoy pushing myself in that way. At the same time, I make sure to rest often and take time to actually live my life; without proper rest nobody can create all day every day.


What’s your favorite part of the community that you’ve been able to foster through That Good Sh*t? 

My favorite part of the That Good Sh*t community is how loving and safe it feels. This can really be felt at our events like Sunday Sounds or our open mic nights; the community is incredibly diverse, made up of people from so many different backgrounds who connect over a shared love and appreciation for good music. I also admire how our community is full of self-starters. It seems everyone is taking real steps to make their dreams come true, start their own platform or business, really put their music out there, etc. It's a community of dream chasers!


What’s a piece of advice that you’d share with someone looking to create their own music discovery platform?

Stay true to what you love. As your platform grows, and people start to ask for favors, do not be afraid to say no. And this is ESPECIALLY a message for my fellow women in this; we experience so much pressure to people-please and put others before ourselves. There's nothing wrong with being generous and helpful, but when it comes to creating your own platform, you have to stay strong in sharing what music you truly love. That's what will help you carve out a platform that stands apart from the rest. Follow your vision for yourself and nobody else's!


How do you envision the development of That Good Sh*t in the next few years? 

I envision That Good Sh*t being an important platform for rising artists; like if you're placed on a That Good Sh*t lineup or do an interview with us, then it feels like a badge of honor and the rest of the world knows this means you're heading to great places with your music. I definitely envision us curating large-scale festivals. I envision us creating unique IRL experiences to foster excitement about music, and continuing to build a strong community in which artists and creatives can find resources and support.


What is one album that you’d take wherever you go?

Blonde, of course. With Mama's Gun as a very very close second.


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What does the phrase Big.Ass.Kid mean to you?

It's funny because my partner always jokes with me saying "you're a big ass kid". And it's so true! I feel like retaining the curiosity, enthusiasm, and silliness of a child has been so essential for my journey as a human and a creator. To be a "big ass kid" is to have big, outlandish ideas and be brave enough to believe wholeheartedly that they can happen. It means believing that you can do anything, without letting the worries and stressors of the "grown-up" world kill your dreams.


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Written by: Shamus Hill