Have you ever heard of 8tracks.com? Probably, by now. 8tracks is a (kind of) new way to share music, and discover artists you might have never heard of, all by using the internet. I know, I can already hear you saying, “Ohh, but what about Pandoooraaaaah and Laaaaast.fm…? Those are wayyyyy better.” No they’re not. I’m just telling you that now – I’m just putting it out there. The beauty of 8tracks, and the key difference between it and other music discovery sites, is that you search for a mood, not a genre. It’s not an unlimited supply of artists that sound exactly the same as your favorite one, but instead a playlist of songs that fit exactly how you feel, how you want to feel, or who you want to be. It’s kind of like that one time back in 1985 when your dad made your mom that mixtape of “their songs” and now every time she plays it you feel nauseous and she gets horny? Yep, it’s like that, but even better. Anyway, if you’re anything like me, you derive your self-worth from how many people like and listen to the playlists that you create. I joined 8tracks only last month, and have since created four playlists which (don’t worry guys, I’m about to do some bragging, but it’s for your own good) have all made it, at some point, to the top of the ‘hot’ list on 8tracks, as well as having three of them on the all time ‘popular’ list on pages 1, 2, and 3. It doesn’t even matter that my most popular one, called ‘Get Shitty.’, isn’t even number 1. It’s number 2, but I’m not jealous or anything. I wouldn’t want to be number 1 of 8track’s all time most popular list – because I hate being the best at everything. I’m kidding, I actually cry about it everyday – but now I’m handing the baton over to you guys to start making your very own 8tracks creations. And I’m showing you how to be good at it.
It’s pretty simple, there are only 4 simple steps to achieving absolute playlist gold . Check it:
Have good taste in music.
Now, this is all relative, so it doesn’t actually matter if you have ‘good’ taste or not. In fact, this is probably the least important of the steps, which seems weird, but it’s actually because people are fickle, and people are sheep. They will inevitably ‘like’ your playlist if you include the other steps anyway. But honestly, it’s best to shove some decent tunes in there, because it makes for a better time for everyone, doesn’t it?
Pick a good ‘mood’, and describe it well.
After you’ve chosen the tracks that make up your playlist, listen to the whole thing over and decide how it makes you feel. Then listen to it again, and think about what kind of a scene would be happening if you were writing the scoreboard for a movie. Make sure that the scene includes either: sex, drugs, dancing, drinking, hot women, hot men, or all of those things. Then write a little paragraph about it, starting with “this is a playlist for…” and there you have your playlist’s description. Everyone wants to listen to music and feel glamorous, so, you’re just helping them all along.
Choose a fabulous picture.
The picture that goes along with your playlist is wildly important, maybe even the most important part of the package. It’s what people use to pick whether or not they’ll check out the music. Three words, though: Hot. Semi-naked. Girl. Always – that’s the rule. Don’t break it. Everybody loves a hot girl, because the boys want to do her and the girls want to be her. Pictures of hot girls doing something like hardcore partying, kissing other hot girls, eating glitter or looking wistfully into the sea while topless, are the kinds of things that people want to see. Tumblr usually has the best kinds of these pictures. Google Image something like ‘hot girl tumblr photography’ and seriously, it’s amazing the gold you’ll find. Use one of these. Nobody cares about the sweet pic you took yesterday of the daffodils in your garden, give the people what they want, bro.
The title is also pretty damn important. Don’t call it something retarded like, “My Favorite Songs to Play on my iPod.” That’s so boring! And, people don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, so they don’t even bother. Helllll no. Make it something vague and mysterious, yet cool and hot. Great examples that already exist: Sexual Tension, Bitch I’m The Shit, Beautiful Lies, Swinging Swag, Wildness, Chillin Stoned….. the list goes on.
The end! Go do this shit. And, if you need a little more help, check out my 8tracks account: http://8tracks.com/juliakatherine
Winston isn’t just a normal, musical, 19-year-old kid from the East Coast. No, the International Affairs and Anthropology major at George Washington University is an up-and-coming electronic artist whose sound is comparable to dropping acid at a spa retreat – in the best way possible. He performs under the name, HVZEL (that’s pronounced Hazel for all of you who aren’t quite hip enough yet). HVZEL is everything melodic, slow, and calming yet the all-important synthesizers and bass make it glitchy, trip-hoppy and memorable – probably everything you’ve ever wanted from down-tempo electronica. Lucky for me, I got to interview him, and ask him some of the crazy, burning questions I had.
How would you describe the kind of music you make?
Death hip-hop, post-hyphy, alternative club music, etc.
What do you hope to do with your music?
I mostly just want people to hear it and I hope that it resonates with them in ways that my favorite music resonates with me.
Name your top 5 favorite bands/artists of the moment.
Hmm. In no order: Salem, Paul Wall, Telefon Tel Aviv, American Football, Balam Acab.
Who are your biggest influences music-wise and life-wise?
My biggest musical influences are probably the early Polyvinyl/Jade Tree musicians, like the Kinsellas and Davey von Bohlen. They’re the most sincere musicians and I want to emulate that. Life wise, just Gucci Mane.
Do you have a girlfriend? If so, do you guys have a “song”? What is it and why?
I have a girlfriend. Our song is probably something goofy like “How to love” by Lil Wayne just because I sing it to her in a weird voice all the time.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done this week?
I mean I got a Christmas gift for my mom and I watched the Lord of The Rings Extended Edition from start to finish
iPhone or Blackberry?
Do you have a guilty pleasure? What is it?
I don’t really feel guilty about anything that I do, but I watch a lot of Beavis and Butthead I guess.
Aside from me, obvs, if you could be anyone in the world for a week, who would you choose to be?
It would be cool to be an engineer or someone like that, just because I don’t think anything like a “scientific” person and I’d like to see what that would be like.
What do you do for fun?
Well I make music, I guess! It’s really what I do with most of my time, but besides that I read a ton and I love meeting new people. I also play a lot more videogames than you would expect.
What secret talents do you have?
I can probably make something decent out of whatever’s in your fridge.
Thanks, HVZEL! Check out his music at www.hvzel.bandcamp.com
Music video by Asher Roth performing Common Knowledge 2011.