People Playlists

I love grouping music into meaningful collections. I have too many playlists in Spotify to count. So many, in fact, that I’ve come to group the playlists by the following themes:

  1. Setting (2 Wheels, 4 Wheels, 8 Wheels, Boat, …)
  2. Emotions (Chill, Hmmm, Spectator, …)
  3. Genre(ish) (Guitar, Thump, Twang, …)
  4. People (7th Kid, VT Crew, Charu, …)
  5. Dance (Salsa, Swing, Cha Cha, …)
  6. Writing (“Soundtrack”, Top Ten, Live and Learn Blog, …)
  7. Misc. (Roller Bounce, Guilty Pleasures, To Listen, …)

Theme #4 is what I want to talk about here: People. I can measure the closeness of an individual to me based on how many of “their songs” have made it into “my playlists.” And in that regard, I have a healthy number of people close to me to have given me very broad musical tastes.


  1. 7th Kid – the first and deepest exposure to music was through my six older siblings and my parents. Rock, Pop, Folk, Country, Rap, and many sub-genres therein.
  2. VT Crew – I have a closeknit friend group that started in high school in Richmond and doubled in size in college at Virginia Tech. And we continue to stay in touch today. A few weeks ago, as a matter of fact, I introduced them to Spotify’s “Group Session” feature where we all collectively DJed a playlist of college memories that we were all listening to “together” … in Washington, California, Virginia, and Maryland.
  3. Charu – This one is more obvious, but nonetheless notable. With your spouse, it goes beyond “their songs” and “my playlists.” When Charu and I got married, it was “her CD collection” and “my CD collection” becoming “our CD collection.” We’ve learned a lot about music from each other, but across that entire collection, Enigma, PM Dawn, and Phil Collins hold a special place in my heart (and in my playlists) as the albums we were listening to on the day we spent together, when we discovered that we were more than friends. I love you, honey!
  4. Boyz – As a parent, there is a lot of influence you have on your kids. Like with the above, this is obvious. But what I hadn’t accounted for, and love even more, is how much they have influenced me (and continue to do so). And Drew managed to do what I failed at accomplishing for more than two decades: Charu now has Country music on her playlists!

Last night was a fun reminder of this music influence coming from the people you’re close to. My boys Drew and Luke were home for spring break and we went to the Kraken hockey game. Early in the second period, at a break in the action, the house DJ put on Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky.” The three of us were bouncing and singing away … and ended up on the Jumbotron for all to appreciate the beauty of a father and his two sons rapping together.

(I will be reaching to the arena to see if I can get a copy of that footage 🙂)