SXSW, here we come!

For a third, fantastic year, we will be painting Austin green. From March 10th through the 14th, the Spotify House will be your go-to venue to unwind and discover the best in new music.

This year, we’re moving to a brand new venue with more room to check out bands and catch up with friends.

Our 2014 lineup boasts 30+ must-see acts – including emerging stars G-Eazy and MØ, along with Glass Animals, Tove Lo, Jungle and Betty Who, to electro rockers Phantogram, St. Paul and The Broken Bones and many more – we’ve got something for everyone! In years past, Spotify has hosted a number of break-out artists during SXSW such as Kimbra, Haim, Kendrick Lamar, Tom Odell and St. Lucia and this year will be no different. Get the full line-up day by day here.

The CW Network, partner of The Spotify House and home of shows including The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and Supernatural, will have stars from the upcoming sci-fi drama The 100 and other hit series stopping by to hang with some of the coolest new bands.

For even more awesomeness on the ground, we’ll be introducing a music-themed mosaic photo booth created by The Brigade, an interactive playlist generator as well as music trivia installation created by Beak Labs.

RSVP now and follow us on our dedicated SXSW Spotify handle @sxspotify to stay up to date on the latest news and giveaways! You can also subscribe to our text line [Text YES to 61235] to get up-to-the-minute updates from all the activity on the ground.  With so much on the go, be sure to follow us on Vine and Instagram for more information about our SXSW plans this year.

See you at SXSW!

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Repeat One

You asked and we listened! Today we rolled out a highly requested feature from our users, repeat one . That’s right — you can now listen to that favourite song over and over and over again.

Clicking on repeat now toggles between “no-repeat”, “repeat-all” and “repeat-one.”

We’ve rolled it to 100% users, available right now on Desktop 0.9.7+.  Android and iOS will be supported in upcoming releases – watch this space!

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Syd Barrett: Pink Floyd’s Madcap Genius – enjoy his solo albums

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Roger Keith Barrett – the nickname “Syd” first appeared when he was around 14 – was one of the true geniuses of British rock music. Born in Cambridge in 1948, he met his future Pink Floyd bandmate Roger Waters while still at primary school, while David Gilmour was a teenage friend. The talented product of a musical family, young Syd – a fan of jazz and obscure blues – was an accomplished piano player, guitarist, artist and poet even before he moved to London to attend Camberwell Art College. When Roger’s band Sigma 6, which already featured Richard Wright and Nick Mason, suddenly lost two members, Syd joined up immediately and by the summer of 1965 they were known as The Pink Floyd, a name conjured up by Syd and inspired by American blues artists Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

As 1965 became 1966, the fast-developing UK psychedelic music scene gave this new band the chance to develop Syd’s performance-based ideas into something truly unique and by late 1966 Pink Floyd were the biggest underground band in the land. They signed to EMI Records in February 1967 (for an advance of £5000), releasing the brilliant singles Arnold Layne and See Emily Play – both written by Syd – and followed that up with the Piper At The Gates Of Dawn LP – again, mostly composed by Syd – which has long been recognised as one of the greatest ever British psychedelic albums. However, as the band’s fan base grew and grew, it became clear that Syd’s own approach to writing, performing and recording – favouring the spontaneous over the rehearsed – was increasingly at odds with the expectations of a musical scene that was still very conservative, especially outside the Pink Floyd’s London base.

Possibly exacerbated by Syd’s frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs, his behaviour became more erratic. Pink Floyd decided to add a second guitarist for live performances, the idea was that Syd’s compositional genius would survive in the studio, while David Gilmour would step-up for the live shows – but this well-meaning experiment didn’t work and, in January 1968, after a handful of shows as a five-piece, the band chose not to pick Syd up on the way to a Southampton University show. Two months later, he was no longer a member of Pink Floyd.

In April 1969 EMI’s new Harvest label commissioned a solo Syd LP and The Madcap Laughs, featuring both Gilmour and Waters, was released in January 1970. The album was well received and sold reasonably, so a follow-up was called for straight away and in late February 1970, with David Gilmour as producer, Richard Wright on keyboards and Humble Pie’s Jerry Shirley on drums, the album Barrett was begun. Released in November that year, it would be the last official Syd Barrett album. Both albums were popular on American FM Radio in the mid-70s, but by August 1974 Syd had withdrawn entirely from the music industry and returned home to Cambridge where he spent his time painting, creating large abstract canvases.

Roger “Syd” Barrett died of pancreatic cancer in July 2006 and a tribute concert was held at London’s Barbican Theatre the following summer. Curated by Nick Laird-Clowes it featured Joe Boyd, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, Damon Albarn, Captain Sensible, Robyn Hitchcock, Chrissie Hynde, John Paul Jones and more. His endlessly striking creations had, over 40 years, developed a life and a following of their own. As early as 1976, bands like the Sex Pistols and The Damned had been talking about Syd’s influence – indeed, both tried to get him to produce their debut albums. Later David Bowie, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Primal Scream covered his songs, while Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and, most famously, Blur took their love of Syd’s music onwards to whole new generations. And now Syd’s uniquely wonderful music is available on Spotify. Explore it, love it, share it – there’s a whole world to discover here.

Get on-demand music streaming on Last.fm with Spotify

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We’ve teamed up with music recommendation experts, Last.fm, to bring on-demand playback to their popular site. Yes, you read that right — you can now play our entire catalogue on Last.fm using your Spotify account. 

Starting today. Last.fm ‘s users, spanning over 50 countries, will now be able to listen to the entire Spotify music catalog  on-demand, including individual tracks, full albums, playlists and Spotify recommendations.  It’s never been easier to get access to both the music that you know and love, and all of the music we know you’ll love. 

To use the new integration, Last.fm users can either sign-up for a Spotify membership or sync their Last.fm profile with their existing free or premium Spotify account. They’ll then be able to:

  • Browse Last.fm’s database of 60M+ artists and 700M tracks with streamable tracks from Spotify highlighted with a play button
  • Simply press play to launch the Spotify player
  • Load all tracks  on a Last.fm page as a Spotify playlist with play control through Last.fm 
Try it out now! 

http://www.last.fm/music/Daft+Punk/+charts

Want to know more? Get the lowdown on this exciting partnership here!

 

Featured App: Rhino

We can’t get enough of the new Rhino App for Spotify. A trusted name in music curation for more than 30 years,  Rhino is bringing their expertise to your Spotify.

The  App re-creates the feeling of flipping through the racks of your favorite local record store – complete with playlists for every taste and genre, expertly curated by Rhino Musicologists.

Check out the Classic Rock, Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave, Left of the Dial – College Rock playlists, plus weekly playlists curated by Aquarium Drunkard, Bob Lefsetz, and much more. Playlists are updated regularly, so there’s always something new to discover.

If you’re on your computer, click here to explore the new  Rhino App on Spotify.

 

Meet Peter – one of our community’s Rock Stars

Peter+Daniel(1)Have you ever wished you could reach out to an expert with questions about Spotify? The Spotify Community has your man.

A few months ago, we were incredibly happy to have our top community Super User, Peter Doggart from the UK, visit our headquarters in Stockholm. Peter alone is responsible for answering almost 30,000 questions for customers in our community! Peter received a tour of HQ, a day trip around Stockholm, and one-on-one time with Daniel, Martin and several top members of our organization. He was thrilled to be there and so appreciative of the opportunity to really get to know the Spotify team!

When asked why he helps out in the community so much here’s what he said:

What was the first time you came to the community like?

“I am almost certain I came to the community like the majority of current Spotify customers, looking for some help. Even now as a Super User, we need help with new features on occasion, but we are the lucky ones who can bug the staff team directly for answers! Whilst I was on the community myself, I noticed a topic from another community member which I could answer, so I did! The rest is history.”

Why did you keep participating in the community?

“I know music is an important part of peoples’ daily lives, knowing that I have helped someone overcome an issue which means they can enjoy their music, or anyone who says thank you for helping, those are the people who make me smile and make what I do worthwhile.”

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What was the best part of your journey to Stockholm?

“The best part of my trip was definitely meeting the people who live and breath Spotify. I have never been in an organization where I have seen so much passion and energy from the people before. It was really a dream come true to meet the founders of the company, as well as the product teams and of course to finally meet the wonderful community team I interact with daily. I feel like I am even more part of the Spotify family now!”

To find out more about how to contribute to the community and earn rewards, check out our new Spotify Rock Star Program.

 

Martin Garrix – The Spotify Interview

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Martin Garrix may be 17 years old, but the Dutch DJ is not lacking in experience. He’s been producing since he was eight years old, yes… age eight, and has been in the international spotlight since signing to seminal electronic label Spinnin’ Records in 2012. Since, highlights include being officially asked by Christina Aguileira to remix her track, “Your Body,” as well as producing a number one song in three different countries, in addition to huge amount of top tens, with his hit, “Animals.” Martin came by Spotify’s New York City office to talk about his earliest roots in electronic music, what his current listening habits are, and what his sound is progressing towards.

Martin has always been musical. He grew up playing classical Spanish guitar from the age of four. It wasn’t until he heard Tiesto’s monster track, “Traffic”, that he knew electronic music was for him. “It was on his album Parade of the Athletes and was played at the [2004] Olympics. I saw that and just had to buy the album and other electronic albums and compilations. But “Traffic” really drew me in because the melody is really simple and minimalistic, but the track has so much power and feeling to it. It’s just really, really great.”

We all have to unwind, right? So does Martin, he just has to do it in between jetting around the world for shows or intense days in the studio. “Sometimes I’ll stay for the after party, but usually I’m immediately going to the hotel or wherever to get some rest and recharge for the next show. After a long day in the studio I love to just chill out with family and friends… Flume’s remix of Disclosure’s “You & Me” is probably my favorite track to just relax to.”

You know when there’s that one track you can’t get out of your head? Well, the Dutch DJ usually has a few. “Picking one is hard, there are a lot of songs going on up there [laughs]. I really like “Aztec” by Julian Jordan. It has a catchy melody, and without noticing it I sometimes whisper the melody. I really like the track.” We asked Martin to pick one thing outside of his genre that he’s been into lately. “Once again, I’d have to say that album by Flume. His stuff is really refreshing. Yeah, it’s crazy. I really love that album.”

The best producers tend to have certain recognizable sounds, we wondered if Martin had any that he thought were unique to him. “I really like to work with that super plucky percussion sound [he mimics it by flicking his cheek with his mouth open, then quickly laughs]. But honestly, I’m trying to get away from it – I’m a little tired of it now. I used it in “Animals”, I used it in “Wizard”, I used a kind of similar sound in my remix for “Project T.” I’m looking for a different sound to start working with more. But I really like to work with just… silence. But with big sounds on top. The more trance-y kind of sounds, which you’ll hear in my new stuff.“

Martin Garrix’s brand new track, “Wizard”, was just released this week on Spotify. You can hear that, and more of Martin’s picks, in his Favorites playlist here.

 

New Year’s Fitness Resolutions broken already? We reveal the ultimate workout playlist scientifically proven to keep you on track.

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We have analysed 6.7 million workout playlists to find out what people are currently choosing to listen to in the gym.

To help gym-goers perform even better this January, we teamed up with the Music in Exercise and Sport Group at Brunel University in London to create the ultimate workout playlist. The playlist is based on the global popularity of tracks together with tracks that are proven to make you work harder based on their tempo (bpm), style and lyrical content.

The bespoke Spotify playlist has been developed to match your workout with popular tracks, kicking off with a warm up, leading into high intensity and strength training and ending with a warm down. It is also designed to keep you motivated to stay at the gym post the first week of January.

The top 20 Ultimate Workout playlist tracks are here:

Oasis


It’s time to break out the cigarettes and alcohol, because Britpop legends Oasis are now available on Spotify.

Starting today, if you are an Oasis fan living in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Spain or Portugal you can now enjoy the band’s entire catalogue on Spotify.

You can start by checking out Bobby Gillespie‘s personal selection of his Top Ten Oasis tracks playlist:

http://open.spotify.com/user/spotify_uk_/playlist/3oKqbXf1J1ynjEtdpHOOtn

Our Interview with Daria van den Bercken

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“I’m not interested in changing the music, just, sometimes, the context…”

Dutch/Russian classical pianist – and Eddie Izzard fan – Daria van den Bercken recently performed a series of pieces by Handel while being towed by a car around Amsterdam. Last year she appeared at the Virada Cultural festival in São Paulo, Brazil where she played 25 meters above the ground – at midnight – and gave a highly entertaining TED Talk about the power of music, so, as you can imagine, when Daria came into record a Spotify Session in Amsterdam there were a few things we wanted to ask her,

Why is Handel so important to you?
There is a relationship here – some music just fits you and Handel fitted me perfectly. His music is energetic, it has melancholy and energy, and it always has a positive undercurrent. You can feel each small pain and wish. I like those contrasts and I enjoy the physicality of playing it. But also Handel is kind of underplayed. Beethoven and Mozart are both played a lot, so there is a whole world of information you have as a musician with all the different interpretations of their music. With Handel, it was just me and the music, because there’s a lot less baggage, a lot less perfomance history. The crucial thing is to spread the music, it’s not about stunts.

Unless they’re super exciting.
Well, yes. An Italian promoter has already offered me twenty shows flying over crowds, but I don’t want to become The Flying Piano Lady. I don’t want to be a gimmick.

How did you begin playing music?
I guess my parents noticed how I loved music, so I started piano when I was six and began to sing in a choir at seven. My parents always had music playing in the house too. I’m half Russian, so we had a lot of Soviet records! I remember going to concerts and hearing a piano concerto and being totally swept up by it. I wasn’t a ‘Wunderkind’, I learned many things gradually and over time. I had time to think about it and I worked hard. So I had a talent, but I wasn’t a prodigy.

In your TED talk you touch on that constant state of wonder that kids have. Are these events your way of trying to reinstill that sense of wonder in adults?
Exactly. I wanted to reach out and catch people unexpectedly! I played at a bank the other day – they don’t usually do that kind of thing, but I know a lot of people would not normally listen to the music I love, so I wanted to reach out to them, take the music to where they are?

Does the perfect piece of music exist?
I love that question! I’d have to think about it. Beethoven wrote some music that was so weird and gripping that it could have been written fifty or a hundred years from now. There is a piano sonata, Opus 101, that goes beyond anything you’ve ever heard before. I don’t understand it, but I love it. True art reaches forward. Radiohead have almost done that, I think a lot of their music is for later generations, maybe we don’t understand all of it yet.

Finally – crucially – what’s your favourite noise?
Oh, it’s one combined with smell. You can hear people mowing their grass, then you get the scent and that for me is the best. Then it goes silent and you’re left with only the scent. But I also love one beautiful chord being followed by another one – my internal strings are definitely struck by that!