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The Daily Tar Heel

Office DJ: A playlist for the indecisive listener

Jessica Walker is the Assistant Copy Editor for the 2021-2022 school year.

The worst two questions you can ever ask me are “Who's your favorite artist?” and “What’s your favorite song?”

Depending on the person asking, the time of day or my mood, my answer varies.

When I was younger, I would solely listen to Radio Disney and Disney Channel Original Movie soundtracks. I would have “Naturally” by Selena Gomez & The Scene, “Potential Breakup Song” by Aly & AJ and the entire "StarStruck" soundtrack on repeat.

During stressful times in college, I return to these songs and reminisce on when my only concerns were getting home in time to watch the next episode of "Wizards of Waverly Place."

Though I have a hard time talking about my favorite songs and artists, I can’t talk about music without mentioning Taylor Swift.

I’ve listened to her songs for years, and there are some classics I’ll never get tired of. Some honorable mentions from my favorite album are “Starlight,” “Red” and “The Lucky One."

I think “Red” being my favorite album has a lot to do with the memory I associate with it. In middle school, my entire friend group was obsessed with “Pretty Little Liars.” When my friend spoiled who “A” was (the first time) in our group chat, I didn’t talk to her for a week.

She got me the “Red” album as an apology.

Was I being extremely dramatic? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. So when I’m feeling angsty, I return to this album.

In high school, I went through a rap phase and had “IV. Sweatpants” by Childish Gambino, “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi, “Poetic Justice” by Kendrick Lamar and “The Spins” by Mac Miller on every playlist. These songs are my essentials for when I need to feel motivated or productive. To spare myself embarrassment, I will not go into detail about my Chance The Rapper phase.

If I’m feeling homesick, I’ll listen to some Jamaican reggae classics like “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy, “Hold You” by Gyptian and a new favorite, “Pine & Ginger” by Amindi. 

If I’m walking alone on campus and want to feel like the main character, I’ll listen to some of my favorite songs from Wallows, Declan McKenna, The Regrettes, Dayglow and Rex Orange County.

When I daydream about future travel plans, I listen to songs in foreign languages. A personal favorite is German band JEREMIAS’ album “golden hour,” guaranteed bops that I have no idea the meaning behind.

I have different music for my different moods — and as someone who goes through mood changes a lot, I have a lot of music.

So don’t ever ask me what my all-time favorite anything is, unless you have enough time for me to go through each of my playlists.


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