Chloe Isaac thumbed through Spotify on her phone Thursday afternoon, looking through playlists she’s made.
She came across her most recent, called “it’s groovy, right?”
“It’s all about hip-hop but it’s also kind of like R&B soul-type stuff,” Isaac said. “So that’s more a feeling. I usually go for the feelings.”
She continued scrolling.
“Oh I have one called ‘let me be your gentleman,’ which is the lyrics to a song called ‘Let Me Be’ by Bondax,” she said. “It’s bands that I identify as electronic with an R&B influence, male singers and just really smooth and slick songs. So Bondax is on there, How To Dress Well, Miguel has a song in here.”
Isaac is a senior studio art and communications major. She has a passion for making playlists, which stems from a need for music, just like the need for oxygen.
“I lost my headphones on Sunday, and so Monday and Tuesday I didn’t listen to music at all unless I was in my room, and it felt like a part of me was dead,” she said, laughing.
Grace Hill and Alex Ashkinos, who also curate playlists, both expressed the same urgency for music.
“I listen to it pretty constantly,” Hill said. “If I’m not in class or doing some activity I usually have my headphones in.”
“I just need music in my life always,” said Ashkinos, a senior communications major.
Creating playlists on Spotify has become an art for music lovers. It takes the creative energy of making a CD mixtape for a friend and transforms it into musical soundtracks to accompany day-to-day life.
“It’s really a creative process to be able to listen to sounds and to categorize them and make them flow,” Ashkinos said.
The playlist creation process usually begins by coming up with a theme a set of songs could share, the three curators said. When Hill first started making playlists they were based on the genre, but now she tends to categorize them by mood or base them upon the feeling of a single song, she said.
“I’ll basically just be inspired and think, ‘oh hey, I want to find more related songs,’ or ‘I want to capture the mood that I’m feeling,’” the Vanderbilt University junior said.
Since January of this year, Isaac has been adding a song nearly everyday to playlists separated by month. Sometimes it’s the first song she listened to that morning. Another day there might be a song that perfectly represented her mood or from a movie she watched. She likens it to a musical scrapbook.
“I remember a lot of things through music and sounds which I didn’t realize I do until I started making the playlists,” she said. “Especially January. I can look at January’s playlist and remember why I put most of those songs.”
Playlists are living and breathing, and creating them is an ongoing process. Isaac is usually satisfied when her playlists lasts about an hour. Many of Ashkinos’ have more than 100 songs.
“I just consider it a hobby and something I value because I just really enjoy doing it,” he said.
“It’s fulfilling to me to have all of the songs that I love documented and categorized into unique groups for myself and that I can share with others.”
He is particularly fond of his playlist called “Dusk” which he described as calm Sunday evening songs. Hill’s current favorite is based off of the song “Small Hours” by Hazy Mountains. She gets tired of songs and playlists quickly since she listens to them so much, but she recently listened to this one for multiple weeks in a row, she said.
Isaac referred to “slow dancing’s for losers,” which consists of songs that are her ideal slow dancing pace, as her pride and joy.
“One of my friends said that she slow danced to it with her boyfriend a couple weeks ago and I could have cried,” she said grinning. “It was everything I wanted in life.”
Grace’s favorite playlist can be found here.
Chloe’s favorite playlist can be found here.
Alex’s favorite playlist can be found here.
Featured Photo Credit:Courtesy of Axelle B’s Public Domain Pictures account.
Teri West is a junior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.