To set the scene, I was working from home full time since the start of the pandemic lockdowns. Speaking to other people outside my family unit had become rare and so had the ability to find calm and focus at home, with so much going on in the world and everyone stuck in the same space 24/7.
I first heard about Lofi from the channel Answer in Progress while browsing through YouTube. It sounded interesting; a type of music that could help me study? Up to this point I had been working to sytnthwave music from artists like Irving Force, Le Matos and Mitch Murder. A 80s inspired electronic music that epitomises the Hackerman stereotype and something that I had stumbled into from a brief obsession with Ready Player One.
In the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeFujF6LdAM the science behind lofi Sabrina talks about how this sort of music helped her drive down distractions and maintain longer periods of focus. As someone who was working in a knowledge based job all day and then spending most of every evening studying for a degree, anything that could help me maintain focus for long periods of time was very welcome.
At the same time I found that the hit show Critical Role had produced a number of Lofi mixes under the title Mighty Vibes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVQVXDKKlHQ&list=PL1tiwbzkOjQxZ08mDmvgp3aZEeOI51PA7 with the calm anime style videos that often accompany them. Pulling up these videos with characters focusing and studying, alongside the calm music and small background sounds provided something of the feeling of having co-workers around me focusing as well as helping to damp-down the day to day sounds of my family and my neighbours.
Lofi is now my regular ‘work music’ even as platforms like Headspace advocate for it in increasing focus. Lofi music has almost become of itself a pavlovian trigger to get on with work. When I have my headphones on, I find I do some of my best, most focused and creative work. Thank you Lofi Girl!