Music Industry Insider: Irina Liakh of Surfing Sound Waves

Venice, CA-based journalist, music blogger and influencer, Irina Liakh, launched Surfing Sound Waves out of a passion for sharing music. 5 years later it became a popular music discovery destination online and a hit on social media, introducing its readers to new tracks every day.

With her knack for finding talented artists and an eye toward predicting artists‘ future successes (some of the biggest artists like Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Khalid were featured on Surfing Sound Waves back when they just dropped their first singles on Soundcloud), Liakh not only caught attention from the audience, but from major record labels and music management companies that are closely watching the artists she features. Once again, she is proving that music bloggers are modern A&R and are crucial in the process uncovering some of the best emerging talent.

We got to chat with Irina about Surfing Sound Waves, music and the artists to watch in Australia.

What inspired you to start Surfing Sound Waves?

Writing and music have always been passion. I studied journalism and PR, and  been in and around the music industry in different capacities. In 2013, 3 years after I moved to LA from Ukraine, my life was absolutely not what I’d imagine it would be, and while I was struggling I decided I need a creative outlet, so I launched an art blog and start interviewing artists (musicians, actors, photographers, and others) and sharing their stories. And since finding and sharing music has always been something I loved the most, the blog transitioned to become a platform it is now and got a new name, that to me perfectly describes the process of finding music. I cover music that personally inspires me, interview amazing artists, cover music events and shows, and spotlight new music daily on Instagram. I’m so stoked be sharing my love and passion for music with thousands of people around the world.

How did you get the blog off the ground?

From the very beginning, I posted on the blog’s Instagram way more often than the actual website. Since the rise of social media, like many others I found myself hanging out there more often, than on any websites and blogs, so I just started sharing everything there and the audience started growing. So it became completely driven by social media, and it brings the audience to the website from there.

Where do you discover the artists you feature?

I listen to A LOT of music (mostly on Soundcloud, as well as Spotify, Apple Music) and just intuitively select tracks I love, I don’t focus on any genre or anything specific, so there is no plan behind it,  it’s just all the artists I like.  it’s my favorite part of the day, because I’m always excited about possibility of finding someone really amazing, and I do think I’ve got a good sense of the special ones! When people ask me about my favorite music, I tell them go to my website and Instagram and you will find every single artist I love and listen to on a daily basis. I do receive a lot of music submissions and pitches via dms and emails from artists and record labels and I go through all of them as well.

Name a few bands or artists out of Australia you’ve been keeping your eye on lately.

Ahhh, so many. There is so much good music coming out of Australia! Some of my favorites are:  Harrison Storm, Woodes, Jack The Fox, Hayden Calnin, Hollow Coves, Hazlett, LOVER, The Kite String Tangle, T Scarlett, Jake Howden. I absolutely can’t wait to visit and go to some shows!

Where do you want to take Surfing Sound Waves in the future?

I’m planning to launch an app and continue sharing more music and inspiring stories. I started interviewing not only musicians but surfers, bloggers, actors, photographers, etc. about their favorite music and what it means to them. Music is such an amazing universal connection that we all share! I’m definitely looking forward to more traveling and creating. Main goals are to continue sharing new music, interviewing talented artists (from up and coming to the biggest acts), share their inspirational stories and their journey to find their purpose, bringing attention to new talented undiscovered and up and coming artists from all over the world and help build their audience and supporting various music programs at inner-city schools.

Thank you Irina for sharing your thoughts with us!
You can follow up with Irina Liakh at

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world. You can contact Mike here.
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