New York is a city steeped in music history—from salsa to hip-hop to punk, several genres were born here from bands that found artistic inspiration in the mix of disparate cultures and intense urban landscape. In turn, music itself prompts creative thinking. With that in mind, when Sonos Studio asked us to create a playlist about NYC, we looked to a few of our favorite local designers who told us which song they turn on when in need of a little stimulation. Below are the 12 tunes and the people who’ve selected them; you can also listen to the playlist via Cool Hunting Spotify.
Wham!: Everything She Wants
Connan Mockasin: I’m The Man, That Will Find You
Siskiyou: Pull It Away
Blood Orange: It Is What It Is
Orange Juice: Rip It Up
Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza of CHIAOZZA: “We are constantly shifting gears and trying to move forward with our work. After a big project, this song feels like a nice reset. The simple message reminds us not to rely on the things we’ve already done and to always keep experimenting and challenging ourselves. A sort of ‘don’t rest on your laurels.’ Their whole catalogue is great.” (Listen)
Ween: Bananas and Blow
Theo Richardson of Rich Brilliant Willing: “A very moody song, but upbeat song. I’m not even sure what it really means, or why I like. I just get the feeling that something is about to happen when I listen to it.” (Listen)
Earth, Wind & Fire: September
Tina Roth Eisenberg of swissmiss: “This song never fails to get me off my chair. I cannot not dance to this song. When I am in need of inspiration, all I need to do is trick myself into shifting focus, get up, get my blood flowing. ‘September’ does the trick.” (Listen)
Kurtis Blow: The Breaks
Travi$ Scott: Skyfall (feat. Young Thug)
Snarkitecture: “We listen to a lot of music in the studio, this is just one of the more recent songs that gets turned up when it comes on. Both of these guys are making some of the most innovative music right now—shouts out to La Flame and Thugga for going in on this one.” (Listen)
Daft Punk: Alive 1997
ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted throughout the week. Often we’ll include a musician or notable fan’s personal favorite in a song or album dubbed #PrivateJam. Hear them all in our ListenUp playlist on Spotify.