I strongly believe that making someone a playlist or a mix CD is one of the sweetest and most thoughtful things that you can ever do. In a digital world full of electro-beats and technology, it has become so very easy to simply press ‘play>‘ on 8tracks or Spotify – not that I have anything against either one of those delightful sites – I just can’t get enough of the personal touch that comes with giving somebody a mix CD.
A mixtape speaks worlds from the moment you give it to the other person until you hear the very last bittersweet, quivering note of the last song resounding in the night air. It is a collection of your thoughts, memories and feelings – the ones that you’re essentially sharing with someone else. It’s a rollercoaster ride – you bring them up with some EDM, jack it up with a touch of dubstep, then mellow it back down with a downtempo electrojazz track that reminds you of the time that you baked oatmeal-peanut-butter-white-chocolate-chip-cookies because you couldn’t sleep and this song was playing on repeat, on repeat, on repeat.
A mixtape cannot just be “thrown together”. One does not simply throw a mixtape together – if you do, you’re doing it wrong. It has to be carefully thought out; it has to have a defined start and a finish, with the transitions between each song feeding off of the previous and into the next. These are little breaths, complementing the stories we will share and experience together.
You have to trust the person you’re giving the CD to – really trust them to appreciate the minutes that went by, tick tock, as you lovingly devoted your time and effort into breathing life into the mix CD. They have to understand how it feels for you to part ways with each song because each song has been a part of you, however deeply ingrained, from the first time you heard it.
“Here you go. I made you this. I hope you like it.”