Curator Hall Of Fame: Q&A Sesson

We aksed some of our most prominent playlist curators for some advice on what makes a great playlist…

Carlos… “The Dr”.

Carlos is the owner of Indiemono and co-founder of Although he studied medicine, he has always had a passion for music and currently works as a playlist curator full time (there’s a medical pun in there somewhere…).

Q) So Carlos, why playlists?
C) The truth is that I found it to be a good way to store different music collections and access them easily. But once I started sharing them with others I was addicted. After four years I’m still hooked. My main goal was, and still is, to help new and undiscovered bands and independent artists who would otherwise be hidden in the Spotify catalogue.

Q) What’s your “secret ingredient” for any budding playlist curators out there?
C) I don’t know the exact formula for success, but I know that one of the main reasons for the growth of independent playlists is that they offer something different to what Spotify or major labels offer in theirs: quality content without limitations, frequently updated and without interests beyond music itself.

Q) What advice would you give to any newbie playlist curators out there?
C) Enjoy the process and be proud of the results. The goal of a playlist is for you to enjoy curating and listening to it, otherwise it has no meaning.

Coding Queen - Joanna Butler

Joanna is a Mindset Editor and Marketer, helping soul-led entrepreneurs break the shackles of their fears and limiting beliefs to take their businesses to the next level. She’s based in the British countryside and generally seems like a fantastic person.

Q) Hey Joanna – so did you really start making playlists because you were coding so much?

J) Yep – I was doing a lot of coding as a front end web designer and marketer several years ago. Spotify had just launched and I noticed how much more my work flowed when I found the right beats to listen to. After sharing a few playlists with friends and Twitter followers I realised that, despite my lack of formal music education, apparently I was quite good at it- all those mix tapes on cassettes when I was younger MUST have paid off!

Q) And what advice do you have for anyone who wants to start making playlists?

J) Number 1: Make the playlist for yourself FIRST! Go with the flow of your mood. I usually start by creating a ‘pile’ of unsorted favourites in a draft playlist. From there it's pretty easy to find your starting tracks, middle mood lifters and trailing off end tracks

Q) Probably a silly question – but which playlist are you most proud of?
J) That would have to be my Soundtrack for Coding! I have met so many people through that playlist - composers, DJs, marketers, coders have all contacted me and I have made lifelong friends through it. I should really thank for helping people discover it.

Jonathan Good …At almost everything!

Jonathan is 38, married with 3 kids, runs his own business, seems to be winning in general AND makes awesome playlists to boot.

Q) So Jonathan - how did you first get into making playlists?
J) I stumbled across not long after I signed up to Spotify and thought it would be fun to put some tunes together to see if I could get featured. Once that happened and I started to get playlist follows I was hooked.

Q) Which playlist are you most proud of?
J) I can't really pin it down to one, but my Beach Bar Boutique series is something I always return to. I love nothing more than having a few drinks and listening to some cool tunes by the sea on holiday.

Q) So, what advice would you give to someone new to the world of playlist curation?
J) Make sure you have an original theme, create a playlist cover that is eye catching, use tracks that compliment each other and don't be afraid to feature artists that are little known. In my opinion the most successful playlists are the ones that always try and introduce the listener to new music regardless of the era.

Hoxsd1  A.K.A Marty

Hoxsd1 is a music curator/playlist-maker, consultant and blogger whose playlists have been listened to by hundreds of thousands of users. Oh and in his spare time he’s an attorney, working with high profile artists and athletes.  As you do!

Q) So you’re clearly a bit of a seasoned pro – what advice would you give to playlist newcomers?
H) When people ask me the best way to start making playlists, I always tell them to start with the music that they are most passionate about. I say they should think of a playlist as a teaching opportunity where they’ll be able to share the music  they love with others. The other thing I always mention mirrors the mission statement that I created at  Music has no rules. New, old, slow, fast. Anything goes, as long as it's good.

Q) What got you into making playlists?
H) Music has been a central part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started making mixtapes as a teenager for friends and family. I still have many of them in my garage somewhere just waiting to be digitized! I began to take these mixes more seriously when I was living in New Orleans and working as a bartender. I loved it when a patron would ask about a song that they had never heard before. A few years later, I was running a nightclub in Colorado and I would put together the music played in the club before the live acts would come on stage.

Now, in the digital age, I have a whole world of music at my fingertips and it is exciting to be able to share my mixes with a truly global audience. I still marvel at the number of people I have been able to reach through my playlists using this new technology.

Q) What do you think makes a great playlist?
H) That's a really tough question. To me, making a playlist is like writing a song or painting a picture. It is a very personal thing but also something that you want to share with the world. I think that the best playlists are either those that connect us to an experience (be it a connection to a person, a place in time, an event or an emotion) or those that help us discover something new (a song, an artist or even a genre of music). I think we’ve all experienced that moment you hear a song that you haven't heard for a long time and you’re immediately transported to a place in your past. If you can capture those kinds of emotions, feelings and discoveries in a playlist then I think you have found the "secret ingredient."