At this time of year, music lovers eagerly anticipate the arrival of Spotify Wrapped. An annual tradition bringing together our personalized soundtracks, playlists, and favourite tunes, creating a symphony of memories.
Looking back, I regret not memorialising my first and second Wrapped. I've missed out on comparing my progress and achievements in my Spotify music journey over the years. Did I reach new listening heights? How much time have I spent in the company of Spotify and their world of music?
So, here's my Spotify 2023 Wrapped. The soundtracks, playlists, favourite tunes and stats quantifying a year's worth of sonic exploration - as revealed by Spotify Wrapped.
The Sonorous Recap
From the anthems that fuelled commutes to the tunes that accompanied introspective moments, each track has its own narrative.
The Love Unlimited Orchestra - Now, I am genuinely surprised by this. Especially as I know it came off only one of their songs*. Kassav - From an island near me and their music simply gives life. Music to fix a good mood. Winston Surfshirt - This artist has been a constant in all my Spotify Wraps. I do have the teenager to thank for inadvertently introducing me to him and his music. Kanye West - Divisive, maybe, but his presence at the top of my list is fuelled by that track in the original J'adore ad with Ms Charlize Theron striding out of that pool - Flashing Lights. Mark Ronson - Well, he is a surprise.
I have been listening to Satin Soul* by The Love Unlimited Orchestra on repeat for a while now. According to my Spotify Wrapped, I've listened to it for 3850 minutes over the year. Most of it back in January. But why, in January, what was I doing? Then I recalled I did a significant amount of writing, and this was my go-to tune.
But why had this tune become my go-to? So, I had another listen as I wrote this post. As I do. And here's why. It's a beautifully crafted arrangement, romantic, timeless in sound, and the influence of Barry White's musical genius. In certain places, it seems to slow the heartbeat to a grinding halt, and in others, finger stab your heart chambers. I honestly have goosebumps now, as I listen and type this. Satin Soul has got funk and it definitely has soul.
Flashing Lights - This music accompanies the original J'adore ad and comes out every Christmas. Of course, this Christmas, that has all changed but the track remains good for putting some pep into my step. Too Much (featuring Lucky Daye) - I discovered this collaboration with Mark Ronson in March. I was sitting in a restaurant when this song came on, got the teenager to Shazam it. Music can time-stamp your life too. Vanille Fraise - This one is a gem. George Michaels' FastLove, Pt 1 - Okay, wow, this 'tuned out' an entire chapter. Chapter 2 of Call Me Blair. Yep, I play the music to catch a vibe.
Spotify Wrapped Musical Milestones
From 395 artists, I took musical pleasure in 577 songs. Spent 45,810 minutes in the company of Spotify. I must say, I am fascinated by this. Discovers I'm in the top 6% of Spotify listeners worldwide. Is this a triumph, a tribulation or a tolerance? But also is there a reward for being in the top 1%? How many more minutes would I need to spend in the company of Spotify to achieve that? The good thing is, you can listen to music and do other things, so I am hoping no relations were harmed in those times.
I'm very surprised by what Spotify has identified as a favourite Genre? I didn't see this one coming. Though the teenager says it about right! A subgenre of reggae, roots reggae emerged in Jamaica in the late 1960s and became prominent in the 1970s. Often characterised by its slower tempo and a major emphasis on the offbeat. The rhythm section typically features a steady bassline, a one-drop drum pattern, and skanking guitar chords. I can only guess that many songs listened to had it as a subgenre.
Roots Reggae, most of this listened to on the weekends. On Saturday afternoons with something more upbeat and then into Sunday evenings when the beat mellows into some lovers' rock. It pains me to say but I'm becoming my parents. With my go artists, Freddie McGregor - I See It In You and Morgan Heritage - Down by The River. And I have been a forever fan of Mr Beres Hammond and his lovers' rock music.
And as I've kept up this practice, will this be the teenager in a few years? She doubts it but so did I.
Some seventeen genres are in this year's groove. And here I thought I only listened to soca and calypso and reggae and dancehall and R&B.
As one of my Top Artists, Mark Ronson has indeed surprised me. And thanks to social media a song titled - Lil Boo Thang by Paul Russell, with its breezy pop hip-hop, made it onto my soundscape.
And while I stuck to some old favourites, Spotify, too, has thrown some new music gems my way. Vintage Chill Vibes by Yaahn Hunter Jr is one such. Another is Chrysalis by Empire of the Sun. I think Spotify was feeling my mood that very day. The Future by Motez (feat. Anthony & Cleopatra) Purple Disco Machine Remix. Now, this is a banging tune.
Music On Repeat
Some artists and their music have not left my side since discovering them. 'Make A Move' and 'Smile' off the Apple Crumble album by Winston Surfshirt are two such songs. This one peaked to my listening pleasure in April and has been on all my Spotify wraps. Kassav's 'Mwen di Awa' became one of my most-played songs in May but this band goes all the way back to my Caribbean days. I suppose with summer on its way, I kicked up the beat with this percussion-driven rhythm.
I returned, too, to other favourites. An eclectic mix of artists such as Tame Impala - Borderline, Cosmos Midnight, Smokey Robinson - Cruisin', Cloak Dagger, Crosby-Stills-and-Nash, Rod Stewart and Bob Marley.
Spotify 2023 Unwrapped
This is my Spotify 2023 Unwrapped, a beautifully narrated symphony of life. Here's to all the music I loved this year. All the songs that kept me company this year.
What about you? Do we share similar artists, songs, and or genres? What's fascinated you most on your Spotify 2023 wrapped data? Let me know in the comments below.