Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love dressing up, binge watching horror movies, and reveling in the unfettered bacchanal of Halloween night. This playlist is a witch's brew of demons, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night, as well as songs from my favorite scary movies, moments of inexplicable weirdness, and music about real horror, the kind of stuff that could happen to you. Listen with the lights off.
The artists in the playlist come from a whole variety of backgrounds.
We start out with some bops from NYC-based Korean American DJ, Yaeji, and an underground Korean American rapper, Uzuhan. While both are born and raised in the States, a quarter of their songs are in Korean.
Then we move onto some 88rising artists — 88rising being, of course, one of the hottest Asian labels today. Even within 88rising, the artists come from all over the globe: Joji (previously known as Pink Guy on Youtube) was born in Japan, Higher Brothers are Chinese, while NIKI is Indonesian. I cannot emphasize just how good 88rising is at finding undiscovered Asian artists then making them the stars they were born to be. I mean, their biggest rapper, Rich Brian, was born and raised in Indonesia and learned English through listening to rap music. Imagine the awesome songs the world would have never gotten to hear if 88rising did not pick this talented man up.
I’ve also included our favorite actress-rapper, Awkwafina (she does not need further explanation), a former K-pop artist Tiffany Young who just started her solo career in the States, Parekh & Singh, a pop duo from India, and Yuna, the most famous female vocalist in Malaysia. We end strong with some throwback tune from the group that redefined electronica — Far East Movement.
These amazing artists come from all over the place: some were born and raised in America, some spent a decade as a K-pop girl group member, while others had to learn English on their own through music. But they are all connected by two things — their amazing musical talent and their awesome Asian background.
— Jiwon Lee
Here’s a playlist to help you out! This is your beginner guide to get to know the greatest bands and hits in K-pop history. To those who grew up listening to K-Pop tunes like me, this playlist is sure to fill you with nostalgia. Sometimes, we just need to turn back the clock and remind ourselves of our youth.
Sure, party playlists are all the rage. We love a set of certified, danceable bops. But, what do you play when the party’s over?
That’s where this mix comes in. “end of the night” will put a cap on your evening with slow, soothing, and sometimes sad tracks. The transition from party mode to winding down is seamless, with “Drunk in LA” by Beach House and “Perfecto” by Mac Miller kicking off the mix. The playlist continues with tracks peppered with softly strummed guitar and confessional lyricism. To close out the evening, fall asleep to the philosophical preachings of Father John Misty, almost like a big-kid bedtime story.
I chose this selection of tracks because of their modernity — with the exception of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” — so that the mix could blend well with the tunes played at a contemporary kickback, house party, or romp around the town. Additionally, a handful of the songs are the last songs on their respective albums, so I figured they could top off the night as they top off their records.
Listen with friends on the way home or when you’re lazily getting ready to hop in bed. I hope this (meaningfully) sings you to sleep.
— Fiona Pestana
Summer. A time for…what? Trysts, flings, affairs, and rendezvous? Maybe. But also maybe not. During the summer there is too much time for brooding. Too much time to wade into the muck of past summers, those that were full of love and light. The heat and melancholy make you wilt. Here is a collaborative playlist by DJ Violet Ames and Music Writing Director Austin Rogers to soundtrack your cruel summer. Full of crooners, mourners and the heart-wrecked.
Open the playlist in Spotify here.
If you couldn’t already tell from all of the major corporations’ rainbow ad campaigns, June is Pride Month! To celebrate our most authentic, beautiful selves, we’ve created a playlist featuring gay, bi, lesbian, trans, queer artists. The eras span from the ‘60s to the present day. There’s a whole lotta pop and classic rock, as well as some blues and hip-hop; there’s something for everyone. Crank this up to get any pride party going.
It is important to acknowledge that the celebration of Pride started with the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 led by trans women of color. So, when we commemorate this month, it’s crucial to shine the light on trans, femme, black folk. Lately, the LGBTQ community has been very white, cis, and commercialized. Corporations and institutions are branding themselves as allies, but very few are actually committed to the cause. We’ve gotten to a point where Pride is becoming more and more inclusive and mainstream every year. It’s a welcoming party; an invitation to revel in what makes us beautiful and unique. Still, Pride is political. Remember that queer history involves the intersectional fight against police brutality, racism, transphobia, and, homophobia. The community and its allies should celebrate, but be active in what still needs to be done to achieve justice.
This playlist reflects the change in dynamics of the LGBTQ community over several decades like how our love for ourselves has grown unapologetic, but also how anti-LGBTQ sentiments and violence are still prevalent (and arguably even worsening). I’ve highlighted notable queer-fronted bands and queer musicians with different struggles. We’ve witnessed a transformation from the ‘50s and ‘60s in which queer folk faced explicit anti-homosexual legal system such as homosexuality being a basis for arrest. The ‘80s were definitely more flamboyant and glamorous, however, there was still difficulty for stars to discuss gay topics in their music. Today, the popularity of queer artists is skyrocketing because the community’s visibility is being more widely accepted.
These artists don’t just create music about their sexual orientation, but also who they are. This music is the soundtrack of our lives since the artists live with similar personal struggles to their audience. Pride is about validating queerness and music has played a large part in making us feel comfortable; it has been anthemic The representation allows people to embrace their diverse identities. Music is a reminder that queer folk exist, feel, and create art.
-- Natalie Lee
Check out Natalie's playlist here!
Another dope playlist by KXSC's own Natalie Lee! Here's what she has to say about it:
"In honor of the start of Black History Month this playlist is all black bands/bands with black members. There's a cool mix of punk, garage rock, ska, etc. Here's to more punk music by POC!"
Check out the playlist here.
A playlist curated by alum and former R&B Director of KXSC, Zoe Citterman! Here's what she has to say about it:
While we’re not taught black history in our classrooms, it’s all around us. Whether intentional or not, American popular music provides an alternative textbook, giving a platform to voices that would have otherwise been silenced.
American popular music IS Black American Music. This month, I encourage you to look at your favorite songs and examine their roots.
Check out the playlist here.
KXSC Hip Hop director Natasha Doshi curates a playlists of music by black women & femmes for #BlackHistoryMonth
The first in our series of playlists inspired by Black History Month