That Really Good Playlist (April 2020)

I recently read a New York Times article titled, “How to Make the Perfect Playlist.” The writer Tyler Hayes began the piece by stating, “Life is just one playlist away from being perfectly soundtracked.” I absolutely agree. Music can turn any situation into a memorable one. I often remember times in my life based on the album that I was listening to at the time. Kesha gained fame when I was in the third grade. My best friends and I were obsessed with her first album. We had a fully choreographed dance to “Tik Tok.” Luckily, we filmed all of our dance videos on my digital camera, so an 8 year old me will never be seen on the internet. It was because of the music that I have that memory today. Whenever “Tik Tok” comes on my workout playlist, I can’t help but laugh. 

Tyler Hayes goes on to write about how to create the perfect playlist for our different situations in life (read his article after this one). I was inspired to share some of my own tips for creating that really good playlist. You know the one, the playlist that perfectly compliments how you are feeling. I unapologetically have about 15 playlists on my phone and they are always evolving. We all need more than one because you’ll never find me listening to Norah Jones on the treadmill. 

The first thing I always consider is how I want the music to make me feel. Do I want to dance or do I want to cry?? The vibe is crucial because every song on the same playlist should compliment the next. Just like peanut butter and pizza, some songs have flavors that seriously clash. After choosing the perfect vibe, you should consider the following questions: Should the playlist follow a specific sequence? Should it be all old favorites or songs I’ve never heard before? Is this mix personal or for others to enjoy as well? 

After you’ve considered these questions, experiment with different songs and how they sound together. Remember that you can always add to the mix as time goes on or take songs away. Most streaming platforms have a “Discover similar artists” feature, so you can always add to the list. Consider creating a collaborative playlist with friends! 

The possibilities are limitless, but the bottomline is to always have fun when creating a playlist. Allow the music to distract you from life or make you uber focus on an assignment. You’ll know a playlist is a really good one when you’re dancing with your friends like you’re 8 years old again. You should be able to look back and say, “that moment was perfectly soundtracked.” 

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