Mixcloud 101: Level up your live stream’s creative concept

We round up inspiring ways creators are using live to get closer to their fans, in a time when digital connection has never been more important.

Launching live streaming has been on our radar for a long time here at Mixcloud. Putting it out into the world in the middle of a global pandemic with the uncertain future of music consumption as we knew it then, we were excited, if a little nervous how it would go down. 

Since then we’ve seen thousands of creators going live, and as we launch our latest live feature – the ability to save your stream directly to your Mixcloud channel – we look back on some of the most inspiring ways creators are using live to get closer to their fans, in a time when digital connection has never been more important.

Whether you’re a regular streamer with a weekly residency on Mixcloud or you’re looking to go live for the first time, here’s a few ideas for you to get started. Go Pro and start streaming today. 

Fundraise for a cause you care about

Creators are using Mixcloud LIVE in powerful ways, and fundraisers are a huge part of that, against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement and the devastating effects of COVID-19. 

  • Basement Approved put on an 8-hour virtual party to end all parties in aid of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, QTIBIPOC Emergency Relief & Hardship Fund and YF Studio, with a ‘friends and family’ vibe bringing together artists and DJs from across the spectrum of UK’s underground scene – CKTRL, Izzy Bossy, Sippin T & more.
  • Radio host and tastemaker Benji B joined forces with MC Judah to host a special Deviation session with an auction for items donated by artists, producers, designers and record labels. Wrapping up the night they raised a mammoth £15,000 for two vital organisations The Black Curriculum, an enterprise founded to address the lack of Black British History in the UK curriculum, and INQUEST UK, which supports the families of people bereaved by a death in state care.
  • Elsewhere, Live for Love used Mixcloud LIVE to raise money for Food Banks and bring people together through music with curated takeovers featuring DJ sets, wellness classes, radio shows and much more. Going live each week throughout lockdown they proved consistency is key, winding up raising an impressive £50,000 for charity.

Host a special, one-off event

With the future of IRL parties still in limbo, promoters are going beyond the limitations of physical events with Mixcloud LIVE in exciting new ways and bringing together a cross-continental communities for the first time ever.

  • Now in its 7th year, Charivari Detroit – a homegrown community festival celebrating the sound of the Motor City – took to Mixcloud LIVE for an extended programme kicking off with Detroit Electronic Music Conference’s week of online educational workshops and events presented by Spin, Inc. Detroit’s premiere DJ/Music Production School, followed by 2 weeks of round-the-clock sets from legends of the scene Juan Atkins, DJ Cash Money, Moodymann, Terrence Parker and many more.
  • Or why not take inspiration from the UK’s only LGBTQUIA+ pop-up radio station, Alphabet Radio, whose Day of Pride broadcast marathon coincided with celebrations across the globe, from Toronto to Margate, looking back at their history, how COVID has affected 2020 and plans for the future, as well as celebrating their worldwide community.
  • Elsewhere in Dubai, Ultraviolet DXB launched as a strictly online festival curating a two days of B2B performances from global emerging talent, in a bid to keep underground music lovers sated during lockdown, while pushing their mission for diversity and equality across their platform and within their community.

Go behind the scenes on your latest project 

Planning a workshop, live production session or want to set up an exclusive Q&A with the artists on your latest collaboration? Look no further.

  • For those of you who want to give a sneak peak or behind-the-scenes look at your latest music project, take Reform Radio’s Remote Rhythm Lab live link up as inspiration. The Manchester based radio station brought together eight artists across Manchester, Nairobi, Milan, Chicago, and New York to discuss how their collabs came about for the lockdown-inspired project challenging musicians, producers and creators to explore virtual collaboration and music making.
  • Cross-continental collaboration has never been more boundary-pushing than it is now and KG’s new project with Trinidadian artist Blasé Vanguard is the perfect example of how creators can use Mixcloud LIVE to level up their new project or production process through the digital lens. They took to Mixcloud’s Instagram live to give an insight into how producers collaborate with vocalists. After the chat, Blasé laid down vocals for KG to rework on her Mixcloud SELECT channel, hosting a Mixcloud LIVE production session flipping the  vocal into a whole new track.
  • Looking to run your own online workshop but don’t know where to start? We’ve had our eyes on Little Pink Book x London Sound Academy’s new Level Up! collaborative project of female led DJ and production workshops and industry insights hoping to inspire young women to rise up in the industry, powered by Pioneer DJ.  The 6-part series kicked off with an introduction to DJing led by Rhythm Sister’s Hemlin, including a prize giveaway to win a DDJ 200 Controller. Not bad, eh?

Bring a live performance to your fans’ living room

For artists, lockdown has pushed creativity in so many new directions, from mixing mediums to experimenting with vocals or new instrumentation for the first time; streaming is bringing entirely new dimensions to live performance.

  • With gigs and shows off the table right now, we’ve seen some amazing artist-led live music showcases, including The Spectacular Empire’s Nine Nights, founded by GAIKA & Akwasi Mensa. The nine-part programme broadcasts straight from the heart of Berlin and was set up to celebrate black culture and raise money for black causes including Justice 4 Grenfell and New York’s Emergency Release Fund, so far featuring incredible live performances from afrobeats artists Mista Silva, soul singer Azekel and GAIKA himself.
  • But, it’s not just about the music; earlier this year Threads Radio marked Windrush Day with a takeover from London’s since deserted club The Cause, with a packed programme featuring an inter-generational collaboration of some of the city’s most talented and influential DJs and MCs, voices from local Black and Caribbean performers and poetry from elders of the Windrush generation as well as Year 6 children of Afro-Caribbean background from the London Borough of Hackney plus its surroundings.

Kick-start a regular live-streamed residency 

Or, why not launch a new residency on Mixcloud, whether you’re branching out into radio or planning a new live stream series.

  • Little Simz is the perfect example of a cutting edge artist using her influence in London’s underground scene to offer a rare glimpse into her dizzyingly eclectic musical obsessions with her new 4-part 101FM radio show, featuring her on rotation tracks plus special guest mixes and interviews with Lashawna Rose, OTG & more.
  • Or, take a cue from Kuala Lumpur’s SaturdaySelects who’ve kickstarted their new On Air weekly broadcast featuring homegrown DJs and selectors from around the world, with on-demand playlist of their live streams available exclusively to their SELECT supporters.

Want to get started with Mixcloud LIVE? Go Pro with our 30 day free trial and and start streaming today.