Seven tips for crafting a new playlist


Eliana Mann

MAKE A NEW PLAYLIST. Music is all around: on the Huss stage, headphones during a study session, and everywhere in between. So, it’s important to create playlists that suit every mood and environment.

Creating the perfect playlist is an art. It is a compilation of lyrics, beats, and rhythms that fit into a certain category designated by the listener. A playlist can be a form of self-expression and a way to explore different types of music. Often, the easiest way to create a playlist is by genre or artist. But the categorization can also be more abstract, dictated by an emotion or experience.

All this is to say that there are many avenues to take when making a new playlist, which can make it an overwhelming process. So, here are some tips on building a great playlist catered to any music taste:

1. Use the title as a guide. Sometimes the easiest first step is to develop a playlist title to determine what types of songs will be included on it based on a certain theme or desired aesthetic of the music. Titles can be very straightforward and simple or more creative and poetic.

2. Rely on old favorites. “I think you’ve got to start with a few songs you know you like and then listen to more music by those artists,” senior Ben Chen said. This is a very easy and effective way to find new music. Additionally, different music-streaming platforms have tools to suggest similar music based on past listening. Chen added, “I sometimes also listen to a song’s radio option on Spotify to hear more songs that fit the vibe of the playlist.”

3. Play on the vibe. Senior Maya Coates Cush’s preferred playlist method? “Organizing more chill songs from fast songs, so you can always get the vibe you want.” An upbeat hip-hop track can provide a much different listening experience than a calming, classical tune, so using these distinctions to sort songs into playlists is another helpful idea.

4. Dig into a memory. Think of an incredible experience, a life-changing moment, and then translate it into a song. Consider what songs come to mind when reflecting on a favorite vacation or quality time spent with a friend. Memories can be powerful tools to display in any form of art, including music.

5. Look for music everywhere. “I find a lot of songs from movies and search the song,” junior Violet Benson said. Music appears in movies or TV shows, on social media, and at events. Perhaps compiling these newfound favorites could create a fun playlist to take any listener right back to a certain movie scene or a moment from their own life. The Notes app can be a useful tool to keep a running list of great songs discovered unexpectedly.

6. Find an inspirational photo. Maybe beginning with a title isn’t working out, so try starting from a photo. Images can evoke deep emotions that may lend themselves to a unique new playlist.

7. Refresh each month. Benson shared, “I like to make a monthly playlist. That way just as I am beginning to get tired of a song I make a new playlist with all of my new favorites.” Using this tactic to create a playlist is very personalized to the creator and a simple way to compile songs. “This is also fun because I can look back at past years and see how my music taste has changed,” Benson said. Not only will the playlist be personalized, but it acts as a time capsule as well.

With thousands of songs to choose from, creating a playlist can feel like a daunting task. However, the process can become much easier and more entertaining with these simple tips.