In an ongoing series of “eight cities where live music has exploded,” Rolling Stone Magazine dives into the music scene of the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Triangle.
The piece highlights the experiences of various local and traveling artists, all of whom have nothing but praise to heap on the area. Part of the appeal is a thriving college radio station market, which has an outsized focus on up-and-coming, or otherwise unknown, acts.
Smaller groups, like Sylvan Esso, found success in the Triangle and managed to launch their careers. A local college radio station gave airtime to their song “Hey Mami,” resulting in a packed reception at their first performance. Rolling Stone adds that, “Today, ‘Hey Mami’ has been streamed nearly 30 million times, according to Alpha Data.”
The area offers something for everyone. “There’s dance music in Chapel Hill, hip-hop and Americana in Raleigh, and indie-rock in Durham,” the author, Jonathan Bernstein, writes.
Mac McCaughan, head of Merge Records in Durham, said, “A lot of the same drivers of the music scene are still the same: great college radio, great record stores, college students.”
Finally, the Triangle hosts numerous high-profile concerts and festivals like Hopscotch and Dreamville throughout the year, injecting cash into the local economy and providing another platform for smaller artists to make a splash.