How to Make the Perfect Party Playlist
Your coolness in college boils down to exactly one thing: your ability to create an epic, masterful playlist for a party. Every college student is required, at some point in their academic career, to throw a party, and the success or failure of the party depends on how good you are at compiling the 3 hours of music that’ll play.
Luckily for you, I got this down. Here’s a few tips for compiling the most baller, epic, head-banging, group-jamming playlist in history:
Fast, and Faster
Slow dancing? Over. Parties should be fast, fast, and then fast after that. If you can’t at least headbang to a song (the dance of choice for most people anyway), it doesn’t make the cut – with a couple of exceptions, but we’ll get there. Point is, every song needs to bounce. Rap, R&B, techno, the occasional distortion-filled rock song – all gold. Your favorite sentimental country song? Not so much.
A few artists that’ll keep the house rocking:
- Britney Spears
- Kanye West
- Black Eyed Peas
- Lil’ Wayne
- Flo Rida
- Girl Talk
- Justin Timberlake
- Lady Gaga
Careful with the Favorites
We’ve all got songs we like that don’t inherently belong at dance parties. “Aww, this reminds me of 8th grade when I was totally getting my braces tightened that one day!” No. Stop it. “Favorites,” meaning the songs that don’t fit the “uber-danceable” category, are only allowed if 100% of the people at the party feel the same way about the song as you do.
For someone my age, it’s songs like “Mmbop” by Hanson, or “Summer Girls” by LFO. Awful songs, with no rightful place at a dance party, but they’re fun throwbacks for everyone, so the whole party can rock out together. Make sure, if it’s not already dance party-appropriate, that the song you’re playing is a universal favorite.
For anyone currently in college, here’s a few acceptable favorites (this list is always subject to change, so be careful):
- Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
- LFO – Summer Girls
- Hanson – Mmmbop
- Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life
- Taylor Swift – Love Story (trust me on this one)
- Katy Perry – Hot ‘n’ Cold
- Anything by Queen, or Aerosmith
When In Doubt, Techno
Techno, in my not-so-humble opinion, has absolutely no place in music OTHER than on the dance floor. It’s got the same, thumping beat all the time, with little or no words over top, and little to no variation. All the ingredients for a song I’d never listen to, and that I’d always dance to. Basically any song with pounding bass and some fun synth-y thing over top of it is perfect party fodder.
After you’ve put together what you think is the perfect playlist, there comes the most important part of the whole thing: the scan-through. Go through your entire playlist for the whole party, playing only the first five seconds or so of each song. If it takes more than 5 seconds for a song to really get bumpin’, scrap it. Five seconds is long enough to have awkward silence, which is a huge party foul. Fly through it, and make sure the music never stops.
Now go, young grasshopper. Build the best playlist ever, and you can thank me in the morning. Or the late afternoon, after you’ve recovered.
What’s on your perfect playlist?