A playlist is more than just a collection of songs you just mix and mash together and play at random. A perfectly curated track selection is an art unto itself. Here are our tips on creating the perfect digital mixtape — guaranteed to turn you from music noob to a certified audiophile.
1. Pick a theme
The theme of your playlist is only limited by your imagination. Think about what your playlist is for and the message you’re trying to convey. That should be your foremost consideration. After all, that’s what a proper playlist is about: a collection of songs with a unifying theme or message.
Is your playlist for an exciting road trip with your buddies? Pick songs that will make you want to roll the windows down while driving. Need to get in the mood before a hard session at the gym? A playlist filled with guitars cranked to the max should do it. Whatever it’s for, a theme helps in determining your song choice and gives your playlist its personality.
2. Know your audience
While playlists are mostly a reflection of your personal taste, if you intend to dedicate it to someone other than yourself or play it for a bunch of people at a party, you also have to think about the kind of music your audience likes.
This doesn’t mean you’re just going to mindlessly lump together popular songs by current artists. Few things are as unforgivable as a playlist that reflects the current Top 40 hits on the radio. Try to strike a balance between showing off your music knowledge and a couple of well-placed crowd-pleasers. That’s how some of the best DJs do it.
3. Content curation
More than anything else, your song choice is what will make or break your playlist. This is what separates the men from the boys, the poseurs from the raconteurs, the cream from the crop, the — okay, we’ll stop now.
Picking which songs will go in your playlist is probably the most enjoyable part of creating a mix. Think about the last time you heard a song for the first time where you went, “Hey this is amazing! What song is this?” That’s the kind of reaction you want to aim for when selecting songs.
4. Variety is key
We’re not saying you have to be a total snob with your playlist, but if you must include a really popular, mainstream tune, spice it up a bit by picking an alternate studio take, a live version, or a rare b-side mix.
5. Proper song placement
Now that you’ve got your killer tracks all lined up, it’s time to put them in proper order. Think of your playlist as not just a collection of individual songs, but as one cohesive piece.
Your opening track generally sets the tone for the rest of your mix. You want the momentum to build up, back down a bit, then push forward until you culminate in a resolution. In other words, let your playlist breathe. Your last song ideally should be as strong as your opener to wrap everything up nicely.
6. Title and cover art
Choose a title that best represents what your playlist is about. You can be as clever or as simple as you want, though the more specific you are, the better.
Think about it, if you have two playlists in front of you with the same exact track listing, which one are you gonna pick? Sure, “Best of 90s grunge” tells us exactly what to expect, but “Grunge may be dead but hey I, I’m still alive” is more evocative and is a wink to those who grew up on the Seattle scene.
Need some inspiration for building your own perfect playlist? Step up your music game and check out these Spotify playlists courtesy of NIVEA MEN, the first male skincare brand in the Philippines to partner with Spotify.
They’re perfectly curated to suit your every activity, whether you’re chilling in your man cave or enjoying a weekend getaway with your special someone. Enjoy!
Now it’s time to impress your buddies and put your newfound playlist-building knowledge to use. From October 23, 2015 until supplies last, NIVEA MEN is giving away 1-month Spotify Premium subscriptions FREE with their Step Up Your Music Game Promo!
Simply visit any participating store and buy any of the following schemes:
Present your proof of purchase to the NIVEA representative in-store and claim your Step Up Your Music Game scratch card. Scratch to get your FREE 1 month Spotify Premium code!
Only 1 winner per receipt. Promo runs from October 23, 2015 until supplies last. For more information, please visit the NIVEA MEN Step Up Your Game Promo Mechanics page here.