What is Solipsynthm?

Blog Article by Franskaya

Date: 2023-08-19

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Unveiling Solipsynthm: A Surprising Discovery

Chances are that you never heard of this strange name for a musical genre: Solipsynthm. Spotify created that genre to classify artists who are "solo laptop experimentalist". Let's dive in a bit into the story of how I discovered I was a "Solipsynthm" artist:

Mandala created by Frakao to illustrate an 
        article by Franskaya about Solipsynthm

The Solipsynthm Revelation

It was quite a surprise to discover that Spotify had once classified Franskaya's music under an unusual genre name, "solipsynthm". What a peculiar name for a music genre! I had never heard of it before.

My journey of finding out in which musical genre Spotify had placed my music began when I visited and typed "Franskaya" into the search field. By clicking on the "solipsynthm" link, I encountered a cloud of artists and musicians that included Franskaya, my artist pseudonym. An artist profile page can be found for Franskaya, as well as for all artists actually listed in their database (not all of them are).

Screenshot of Franskaya appearing in the genre Solipsynthm of Everynoise.
Screenshot of Franskaya appearing in the genre Solipsynthm of Everynoise.

To say I was surprised is an understatement. I felt slightly taken aback at first. Firstly, no one had consulted me or sought my opinion on this classification. Secondly, many artists in this genre seemed, at first glance, stylistically distant from me. The varying quality of these artists' productions led me to question the categorization further.

Solipsynthm: Unraveling the Name

I closed the browser, put it all aside, and forgot about it for several months.

Then, in early 2023, determined to revive the Franskaya project after having set it aside for so long, I repeated the same exercise. I returned to and found the same classification: Franskaya categorized under Solipsynthm.

Clic to play Amitiées Égarées in the streaming platform of your choice

A bit more curious this time, I tried to delve deeper. By clicking on the hamburger menu, I discovered another page that listed music genres related to solipsynthm, many of which had equally strange names.

On the left, there was a Spotify's playlist titled "The Sound of Solipsynthm," in which my track "Amitiés égarées" appeared at the 95th position.

A quick search in the Spotify app led me to another playlist generated by Spotify, titled "Solipsynthm Mix," where "Naanis" was at the 10th position and "Cyberwinds" at the 24th as of February 13, 2023. As I write this article, I find Catastasis in second position on Kyleparham playlist "Solipsynthm Mix", which also includes Amitiés Égarées, Cyberwinds and Naanis.

Catastasis single by Franskaya is in second position in Spotify's playlist Solipsynthm Mix by Kyleparham as of 2023-08-29!
Amitiés Égarées by Franskaya is in second position in Kyleparham's playlist "Solipsynthm" Mix! Screenshot of the playlist in Spotify as of 2023-08-28. Click to play!

What is Solipsynthm?

According to folks at Spotify, solipsynthm is a musical genre for « solo laptop experimentalists ».

That strange name is formed with words 'solipsism' and 'synth', for synthetiser.

Solipsism refers to a philosophical position in which the self constitutes the only reality. According to this conception, the self, with its perceptions, sensations and feelings, constitutes the only existing reality of which one is sure. This word, borrowed from Latin, is composed of the root "solus" (alone) and "ipse" (same, in person) and the suffix "ism", which indicates a doctrine or a quality.

According to Chosic:

Solipsynthm is a genre of electronic music that combines elements of synthpop, disco, and funk. The music is characterized by its upbeat tempo, catchy melodies, and use of synthesizers and drum machines. The lyrics often explore themes of self-reflection and introspection, with a focus on the individual experience. The genre has gained popularity in recent years, with a growing number of artists incorporating solipsynthm elements into their music.

Embracing the music genre named "Solipsynthm"

I was surprized at first to learn I had been flagged in that genre. But since I am not playing live, doing a lot of experiments with sounds, I agree that "solipsythm" is a good word to describe my experimental electronic music, that is anyway hard to classify.

Let's say it this way:

My work is part of a culture of musicians working alone, and who don’t play live.


Thanks for reading!

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