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Screenshot of author's Spotify playlists ("Mood/Vibe playlists")
Screenshot of author's Spotify playlists ("Mood/Vibe playlists")
Jovanne Li / Spotify
Culture > Entertainment

Mixtapes of the Streaming Era: How to create the perfect Spotify Playlist

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SJSU chapter.

The perfect Spotify playlist is basically the best mixtape ever. 

Born in 2001 and growing up in the mid-2000s, I think I completely missed an entire era of music appreciation. I’ve only heard about the time when people had so much love for the music they had to buy music one album at a time. Now, hundreds of thousands of songs are available at our fingertips through Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, and more. 

Mixtapes have a controversial history, in terms of legality and how they were produced and acquired.   Whenever I hear the word mixtape I picture someone crushing so hard on someone else that they take 3-4 hours to choose all the right songs and spend time carefully designing the perfect cover art to finally give that special person the product of your emotions. 

What is music if not a product of our emotions? Artists pour their time, love, and energy into creating works of art for the world, and they should be celebrated in such a manner as well. 

With each Spotify playlist I create, I channel an emotion, a feeling, a vibe, and collect all the songs I can that fit with it. When I watch Rom-Coms from the 80s and 90s, and people are giving each other mixtapes, a part of me is like I was born in the wrong era.  Now, I have found a way for my old school personality to survive in modern society. I gotta turn my playlist mentality into a mixtape mentality.

Every Spotify mixtape I create follows these steps:

  1. Choose the emotion or vibe.
  1. Find artists that fit that emotion.
  • Go through a few albums and find 1-3 songs from each album that fit the feeling I’m looking for.
  • In total, find about 15-25 songs for the mixtape
  • The playlist should not go over 30, otherwise, the emotions are bound to change.
  • Review the playlist and ensure that it is perfect.
  1. Now is the time to name the mixtape.
  • Usually, there is something that happened that made me feel an emotion and that is why I create the mixtape. I pull from those events to create a word or short phrase to name my mixtape. 
  • If there is nothing that happened, I examine the songs I added and either find a general theme or word I like and make that the mixtape name.

4. Next, I find cover art for my Spotify playlist. My favorite place to look is Pinterest because you can find virtually anything on there.

  • Another option is to create your own cover art. Canva is the easiest place to design exactly what you want your mixtape to represent.

Finally, listen to your tunes when you need them and share with friends, because after all, music is made to be shared.

Anika is a second year at SJSU with a Major in International Business and a Minor in Advertising. She is the Vice President of the Marketing Association and is also a Peer Mentor at SJSU. She loves fashion and adventure and loves to write about both!