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What’s the Music Streaming Service for Playlisters

Plus the next step in how we playlist, featuring our best soul songs

Back in 2014 Trent Reznor put out a video envisioning Beats Music, now Apple Music, as the game changer in deciding what song comes next. It sure as hell inspired me and helped to get where music discovery is today, but Spotify is leading that now, most famously with RapCaviar.

Tuma Basa – creator of RapCaviar, now at YouTube Music – recently talked at DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Playlist Retreat about how we need to recognize curation as a form of art. Too many music services are hung up on breaking the next big thing. Let the playlisters, djs, and other curators figure that out. Figure out the curators first.

SoundCloud has been my pick for playlisting music ever since they introduced the feature, but they’ve been losing listeners, so I thought it was about time to spread my efforts elsewhere. Spotify’s doing it right when it comes to their product and promotion. They’ve got all the major label music and seem to be winning with playlisting & discovery. But it turns out half the music I love isn’t on Spotify, so it’s gonna have to take more than just that to replace SoundCloud, if at all.

YouTube Music doesn’t have every song SoundCloud has, but I’m sure they have much more. They haven’t quite established themselves yet, but with Lyor Cohen, Tuma Basa, and all the other talent I’ll follow when I find them, my (subscription) money is on YouTube Music. And Spotify too for now.

Apple Music has the same problem as Spotify with catalog, but their potential is in live with retail stores in the most highly trafficked places around the world. Initiatives like “Today at Apple” that are bringing people together around creativity & entrepreneurship can be the game changer Apple Music needs to differentiate themselves from Spotify & YouTube Music. Especially if they utilize a platform like Beats 1 to democratize the global spotlight for all kinds of artists, including playlisters, online and off.

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with Soul

There's nothing better than singers with soul

As this bitch of a year comes to a close, there isn’t anything better than soulful singers to give it some grace. I haven’t put together a soul singers playlist for about a year, so there’s a lot of musicians to cover (72!)

In our last Lip Service playlist, it had soul, but no women. I think it’s as important as ever to show appreciation to the women you love, and I love these musician. Or I’m sure I would if I knew them.

This one’s for the woman I do, Lizzzz.

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Rock Show

Jam with guitars or something like it

Serious question. Listen to the playlist. Would you consider it rock music? 1-10. Now rate how much you like the tracks. 1-10. I hope at least the second number is higher than the first. Let me know.

It may not be traditional rock, but all the tracks have some tie in, loosely. The list starts with blues & alternative, gets into indie & soul, and ends on electronic. Most of the tracks have a catchy guitar melody and unfortunately all male vocalists, except one. Ninet, the only one I’ve seen live.

We tried to address a similar problem with female producers and currently trying to find women who can rap. If I ever get enough rock on my list, I hope can bring awareness with that too.

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Beats by Night

Background music to relax on

Lately I haven’t given myself enough time to sit back and not think. There’s so much to do and it’s fun doing. But you gotta give the mind some time to catch up. Hopefully this will help get me in the mood. Let me know if it does for you. Sometimes I need a reminder, and so do you.

Other listening:
Beats by Day
Late Night Beats
Late Night Jazz
Electro Relaxations

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~ q u i r k y ~

Dance to a different beat

“I’m shy at first, but once you get to know me I do the stupidest, most random shit.”

I saw this quote and thought it was the best description of me in one line. I even got the t-shirt (seriously). My grandfather gave me the nickname Corky when I was little and the sentiment has stuck. I’m a bit odd, as we all should be, and a lot of my favorite music is too.

Originally these series of lists were all about kawaii music, which I dubbed VAPOR + VAPOR 2.0. Eventually the playlists expanded into all sorts of music along the future/trap spectrum, split into three categories – o f f b e a t, Sex trapt, and Future glam fucks. Quirky takes a little from each.

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House + Heartbreak

· · · · Dance it off · · · ·

This is our third year celebrating anti-Valentine’s day 2015 | 2016. We didn’t plan on doing one this year, but the house we have is always soulful, which at least half the time is about heartbreak. There were so many classics stored up we had to throw this together.

We also got another house head to whip up her own. Lauren helped me with the first heartbreak playlist about hip hop and has created her own list for house, a few of which I so badly wanted to steal for myself.

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Rap Finesse

Hip hop is expanding in sound & style

We haven’t done a list on hip-hop for years. In 2015: Adam Vida, Anderson .Paak & Goldlink were our hope to revive hip-hop. As much as our love for them have grown more than many, our focus has still been with dance & soul music.

We did collect fifty songs with emcees that got talent. More for their cadence and flow than lyrical depth, but with one usually comes the other (not always). These emcees more than ever before come from different backgrounds with all types of styles and sounds. We’ve even got some from the UK.

I bet the next one in two years will have even more countries.

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BURN DISCO

The Day that Disco Died

Hottest Nu-Disco in the Funkin World, our first disco list from back in 2012, had Disco Stu as its mascot. I remember someone complained about how Stu was a shining example of our culture’s lack of respect for disco. As subtle and culturally ingrained as it may be.

Back in 1979, a protest dubbed Disco Demolition Night went on at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Most of us see it on the surface level as people disliking disco and its overt sexual acceptance. But a less apparent hate against homosexual and interracial relationships had stained its legacy even further.

Today is a point in time that’s going to stir up a lot more shit against minorities and the LGBT community, and destroy a lot of good things. But when disco died back in the early 80’s, something greater rose up. I wonder what will come after house music.

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Music of the Year, 2016

It's more than the music now

For the last seven years we’ve been just about the music, and its spread online, but slowly our focus has shifted towards the live scene, as well. In 2015 we started to cover more festivals & shows, but it took until 2016 for that culture to greatly affect what music we’ll remember most.

I first set up Silence Nogood to share my favorite music, but I’ve learned there’s much more surrounding it that needs exposure. Hopefully in the next seven years we do.

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Dance into the Year

2016's dance party playlist

As much as our most relaxing playlists get more attention online, I’m sure our dance ones do better off. Plus they’re much more fun to make (it’s involves a lot of dancing). And if you’re not dancing too, it’s not worth listening to (as much).

Make sure to check out our best of 2015: Loose Control and 2014: Dance Party as well.

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