"Anything new?" my grandfather would ask.

It didn't matter that he didn't understand English or Japanese. If he liked the record, he bought it.

Decades later, I have the luxury of over 30 million songs at my fingertips through Spotify alone. 

Established in Sweden in 2006, Spotify is a music streaming service. A bit like listening to radio via the internet but with the ability to search for songs by artist, album, genre, playlist or record label. You can also discover artists similar to those you like and share playlists. Life-changing.

In 2014, I spent 24,007 minutes (400 hours) listening to Spotify. It told me which genres, artist, album, playlist and songs I listened to most, and even made me a new playlist based on 2014. Surprisingly accurate, I listened to that playlist for months. Ah, those sweet, sweet algorithms...

Another example of Spotify data-crunching is this fascinating article by Matt Daniels on the most timeless songs and why past popularity doesn't always translate into the present-day.
What's still popular from different periods in history is almost never the obvious choice. Accolades, Grammys, and cultural dominance mean nothing to future generations. 
The artists who have cult-followings and underground appeal: it's a signal for some undefined musical quality that's impossible for a hit song to replicate. Perhaps it means that they are culturally ahead of their time. Or perhaps generations will feel obligated to share it, for fear of it fading. 
Either way, time will tell.

To misappropriate Lincoln, music is still 'of the people, by the people and for the people'.

That  at least  hasn't changed.


Szymon's album Tigersapp was released last month, nearly three years after his suicide aged 23 while Jarryd James' album title Thirty One was largely inspired by his father, who died aged 30.

For more by Szymon see here and Jarryd James here.


  1. I didn't know Spotify could do that! Going to test that out now :)

    1. Ha ha, have you tried it Michelle? Here's the link:



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