Remember back in the early 90’s when you used to sit around near the radio waiting to hit “record” when the first few bars of your favourite track came on the radio? Maybe you’re too young to remember that – but it was because you were putting together a mixtape for your crush and it was important that you get just the right tracks on the thing.
The mixtape was the ultimate expression of your dedication. It could be the thing that solidified a budding relationship, or it could be how you let them know that you wanted one. It could be the last goodbye after a break-up, or the first real step towards romance. Either way, your mixtape was something that would be treasured, poured over, listened to on repeat and eventually stuck into a drawer as an immortal (we thought) reminder of your affection.
Then came the CD.
You couldn’t just record from the radio onto a CD. But you could copy CDs onto your mom’s computer and select the perfect tracks to copy over and make your paramour an even more personalised mix “tape” (provided you had access to the original albums you wanted).
Today, we stream.
I don’t remember the last time I took a CD out of a case and put in the CD player. I don’t even know if you can still buy a tape player, and for a little while it seemed like the romantic favourite of my youth had drawn its last breath and died. For a while.
Then along came Soundcloud, YouTube collections, 8tracks and Spotify, and just like that the power of the mixtape was restored. What better way to express all those complicated feelings than through a pop song? The “I like you but I want to know how you feel first” than with Blink 182? Or the “It’s over now, baby” than with Gotye, “Somebody that I used to know”?
So, if you have someone on your mind why not tell them how you feel the (new) old-fashioned way? All you have to do is go online, open your favourite music streaming service, and make that playlist, baby! Then, if you’re really feeling fresh – you can share it with them.
Our recommendations for creating the perfect playlist:
YouTube is a free one, which we all use all the time (let’s be honest) and it has the added advantage of coming with the music video built right in. All you have to do is click the “Save” button, then click “create new playlist” and give your playlist a great name like “Songs for Sureshni” then add all those epic tracks to it. When you’re satisfied that your feelings have been expressed, send them the link to the playlist.
We love Soundcloud because it’s free. You can create your playlist without any need to pay a subscription fee. Go to a song you want to add to your BAE’s playlist, click the “more” icon below the song, and select “create new playlist”. Name your playlist and start adding tracks.
You will need to have Spotify Premium to create your own playlist, but the good news is it’s only going to cost you R5.99 for 3 months (at the time of publishing this article). Once you have your premium account set up you should find it pretty easy to start creating playlists in much the same way as with the two sites above.
TIDAL is a global music and entertainment platform that brings artists and fans together through unique music and content experiences and is currently available in 52 countries. It’s a paid subscription service and for this one you will need to make sure your paramour has access before you go to all the trouble of putting together a playlist.
8Tracks ( our personal fave) is the self-proclaimed “best place to make and discover playlists”. It’s free – so that’s a bonus, and you can access it from anywhere with internet. The great thing about 8Tracks is that it seamlessly redirects you through YouTube if your track isn’t available in the region you’re in. It also allows you to set a cover photo for your playlist (aw) much like when we used to decorate that tape with a magic marker.
Pro Tip: If you do decide to go with a paid streaming service for your mixtape, you can gift the mixtape recipient with a subscription to the service as part of the great romantic gesture.
Have fun making your mixtapes!