Staff Picks – John Brophy

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 11.59.11 AMAre you a Daft Punk fan? Have you played Get Lucky one too many times? Today’s #FavoriteFollow has the perfect playlist for you. Get to know Spotify’s Web Product Owner, John Brophy, below, and catch up on his “Sounds Like Daft Punk” list after the jump!


What is your role at Spotify?
I’m Product Owner for one of our web development squads in NYC. I work with a number of developers and designers creating our fantastic  It’s a pretty crazy fast paced role sometimes – but I love it – I have something new on my plate every day!

Where are you from and how did you end up at Spotify?
I’m originally from England. I joined Spotify in 2010 after 7 years running a social network for clubbers.

What about Spotify do you love most?
It’s great to be part of such an amazing team. We’re constantly growing and learning what makes our users tick. Everyone has a really entrepreneurial attitude towards work – there are no slackers, everyone loves to be here. I’m really proud to be working on something that is redefining an industry.

What has been one of your coolest moments while working at Spotify?
Shaking hand with Demi Moore in the office and her saying “Hi I’m Demi”. Like.. no shit?

What is your most memorable concert?
Daft Punk at Hyde Park in 2007. Mind blowing.

If you had to describe yourself in one song, what song would it be?
Firestarter – The Prodigy

What is the best band name ever?


Staff Picks – Bryan Grone

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 10.00.40 AMKick-start November with some awesome indie hits. This week’s #FavoriteFollow, Bryan Grone, works on our Label Relations team in New York, and has some great tunes to get you through this Friday. Learn some fun trivia about Bryan below!


Where are you from and how did you end up at Spotify?
I grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music. After spending several years playing in bands and finishing up school, I moved to Los Angeles and worked for Warner Music Group for 5 years before moving to Brooklyn to start working for Spotify.

What is your role at Spotify?
I’m on the label relations team at Spotify in NYC, and I work with the labels to market and promote all the records they have coming out each week. One of the biggest perks is getting to hear all sorts of amazing new music every day, and thinking of cool ways to introduce that music to the Spotify listener.

What is your most memorable concert?
It’s definitely a toss up between Beastie Boys w/ A Tribe Called Quest, in the round in 1998 on the Hello Nasty tour, and seeing Paul McCartney for the first time in 2000. I grew up on the Beastie Boys, but was also such a Beatles nerd, tough to choose one over the other.

What has been one of your coolest moments while working at Spotify?
Standing on the stage at the big Spotify warehouse party at SXSW ’13, during Kendrick Lamar’s first set of the week. The place was going nuts and Kendrick’s performance was awesome.

If you had to describe yourself in one song, what song would it be?
Faces – Ooh, La, La

What song do you have on repeat right now?
Lucius – Hey Doreen

What is the best band name ever?
The Grateful Dead

If you could choose to be in any band throughout history, which would it be?
The Band


App Spotlight: Official Comedy

7:29Are you ready to laugh? Now you can find your favorite comedians and discover great new comedy talent on Spotify with the new Official Comedy App.

This first of its kind app aggregates our extensive comedy database and offers listeners a curated assortment of entertaining programming.

Now it’s never been easier to get giggling to top comedy performances such as Jerry Seinfeld’s “I’m Telling You For The Last Time” and Aziz Ansari’s “Dangerously Delicious,” along with material from Louis CK, Mike Birbiglia, Kevin Hart, Jeffrey Ross and many others.

Add the Official Comedy app today and be prepared for some side splitting laughs right here!

“Axwell Presents…” — An Exclusive Series of Festival Playlists

7:25Festival fans – you’re in for a treat! We’ve teamed up with Axwell, Swedish superstar DJ/producer and one third of recently split electronic music trio, Swedish House Mafia, to curate a series of exclusive playlists this summer. In the run up to five of this season’s hottest dance festivals, Axwell will release a playlist exclusively on Spotify containing some of his must-hear highlights of the upcoming festival.

The series launches with the first, ‘Axwell Presents… Tomorrowland’, ahead of Belgium’s premier dance festival which kicks off this Friday, 26th July. The playlist includes Axwell’s top acts for the festival such as ‘Resurrection’ by French electronic producer, Michael Calfan, and legendary NYC outfit, Masters at Work’s ‘To Be In Love’.

Tune in here and be sure to ‘Follow’ Axwell on Spotify to receive alerts when forthcoming ‘Axwell Presents…’ playlists are added!



App Spotlight: RITHM

iPhone fans – we have an awesome app for you! Be sure to check out RITHM, a new free app that allows you to send fun, customizable music messages to friends.

On RITHM, you can:

Send songs to any friend
Customize with videos, photos (free form doodling) and fun animated (dancing) characters to send along with the track
Share to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
Save songs to Spotify
RITHM is music messaging for friends, so if you want to rock out, share an experience, send something special or make someone laugh, this is the app to express yourself and have fun with your friends! Check it out here!

RITHM – music messaging is here! from RITHM on Vimeo.

Rock-a-Royal Baby

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Union Jacks are flying high and champagne corks are popping as the birth of the Royal Baby boy is announced to the world, and to celebrate we’ve created a commemorative playlist to mark the occasion.

Scouring the web, we’ve found the tracks which were at number one on the birth date of each of the royal lineage, dating back to the Royal Baby boy’s grandparents.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge entered the world in 1982, at a time when classic 80s hits were at the top of the UK Charts. Kate’s birthday, 9th January 1982, saw Bucks Fizz pop classic ’Land of Make Believe’ reach the UK top spot and Prince Charming himself, Adam Ant’s ’Goody Two Shoes’ welcomed William into the world later on in the year on 21st June. The most popular hits of 1982 included The Human League’s ’Don’t You Want Me’ and Charlene’s hit ’I’ve Never Been To Me’. The playlist also includes the Royal couple’s first dance song from their wedding Elton John’s ‘Your Song’.

Baby boy’s grandfathers were born in the Big Band era and on the birth of Prince Charles in 1948 Russ Morgan’s Big Bang Orchestra’s ’So Tired’ was reigning the airwaves and post-war baby Michael Middleton was born at the time when Vaughn Monroe and now Dame Vera Lynn ruled the gramophones.

Grandmother Carole Middleton was born during the 50s, and on her birthdate, 31st January 1955, Perry Como’s ’Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes’ was at number one in the UK charts.

The late Princess Diana, born 1st July 1961 was welcomed with the Elvis era, as his classic ’Surrender’ topped the chart on her birthday. UK heartthrob Adam Faith was also popular that year with his single ’Don’t You Know It?’ a favourite in the UK Charts.

The Rock-a-Royal baby playlist wouldn’t be complete without ’God Save The Queen’ and the number one song when Her Majesty, The Queen was born in 1928, George Olsen’s ’Always’

The Royal Baby boy sees Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” as the number one song being streamed on Spotify today, 22 July.

Our Interview with Laura Jansen


“I’m very open with my audience – it’s like a free form of therapy…”

Laura is checking over her gear ahead of a session in Spotify’s Amsterdam office when we reach her. The Netherlands-born daughter of a, “pretty cool mom”, was raised on a huge range of music, from “weird Brazilian protest stuff” to vintage Portuguese folk.
“But mostly,” she laughs, “it was Queen. I wore black for a week when Freddie Mercury died. I thought he was straight and I was in love with him…”
Now living in LA, Jansen’s wonderful new album, Elba features appearances from Keane’s Tom Chaplin and the singer-songwriter’s singer-songwriter, Ed Harcourt.

What do you remember of that Brazilian and Portuguese music from your childhood?
More than anything, the sentiment. In Portuguese music they call it saudade, it translates to melancholy and longing, but it’s like you can feel it in your body. That’s a big part of why almost everything I do is sort of in that vein – I totally relate to that emotion, it’s quite sweeping and dramatic. I’m always longing for something that never was.

What was the first music that was all yours?
The Prodigy! I was a good little school girl until someone gave me a tape of theirs. I remember listening to that in art class while I was painting, and just going, “What is happening here and why am I so drawn to it?” That same year I got into Rage Against the Machine and Pearl Jam’s Ten. That combination of puberty and really good, angry music properly opened my brain up because right after that I found Portishead, which was super mind-blowing.


Do you think the perfect song exists?
I do, but I don’t think there’s just one – it could be something that I think is really crap, and you think it’s perfect. For me, the perfect music will forever be Kate Bush, she is my line through life. The Hounds of Love, Big Sky, The Man With the Child in his Eyes and Running up that Hill. Those four are basically perfect.

What was the last amazing record you heard?
James Blake’s Retrograde, that single. I’m really into Stromae too. He’s the first artist that I’ve come across in a long time where I had to like Google him and find out everything there was to know about him, I think what he’s doing is really exciting. Oh, and The National’s new one really struck a chord with me – that’s such a beautiful follow-up record.

If I could drop you into any band in history …
Oh yes! Could you arrange it for me to be a backing singer for Bob Marley? I’d want to be one of the three women that kind of goes through the whole touring experience with him, witnessing all the political upheaval. He seemed like a prophet in his message, that would be kind of fascinating.

Tell me about Elba. How did it begin?
Elba started as a conversation about sentences that are the same forwards and backwards – the first one I ever learned was “Able was I ere I saw Elba”. And it was credited to Napoleon. You know, when he was exiled after destroying Europe he landed on this little rock of a place called Elba where he crowned himself king, and imposed a tax system. He built a palace for his lover and designed a flag with little golden bees on it. I just thought that was a really great way to go about feeling like shit! Turn it around and make it awesome. I had just gone through quite a heavy break-up last year while I was writing this album – I was being kicked out of my old life – so I had to step into this new life with only my new record and my suitcase, and just kind of figure it all out. So I changed it up and said, OK, I’m going to crown myself the Queen of this little domain of mine, everything I’m left with, and make the best of it. Elba became a symbol for me of myself and everyone else as an island.

You’re telling me it’s a concept album?
I’m not!! Really the album is about exploring the place that you’re in right now.

Does it get easier or harder to share your most intimate feelings?
I’m used to it. All my music has been autobiographical, and I’m quite open with my audience because it’s like a free form of therapy, and it makes me feel less alone, like my dramas aren’t that unique.

What five artists couldn’t you exist without?
Kate Bush. Queen. Peter Gabriel. Joni Mitchell. James Blake and can I have one more? George Harrison – I was going to say The Beatles, but I think just George.

Why George?
He was the most attractive! No, he just took the most chances lyrically, and approached songwriting from a really spiritual place without ever being preachy.

And he had great hair.
He really did! He had great hair! The women just loved him.

What song was playing in your head when you woke up this morning?
Oh, god, I’m so embarrassed I just bought The Best of the Backstreet Boys for a road trip – when you have more than two girls in a car, you have to play the Backstreet Boys – and I fell for Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely. That’s what I woke up to this morning.
Definitely a diamond in their catalogue.

How do you find new music?
Well, Spotify, for one! I like the social media aspect of it now. I’ve always been interested in making playlists and sharing mixtapes. Often I’ll post something online, like “OK, I need new music, I’ve got a 26 hour flight ahead of me, help!”, and then people will send me stuff. I’ve got 40 really trusted tastemakers kind that I follow and I constantly check what they’re listening to. I think I’ve discovered more music through Spotify than I have through traditional means. The last ones were Cashmere Cat, Disclosure and Caribou. Oh, and Timbre Timbre – their song Bad Ritual is brilliant.

Finally – crucially! – what’s your favourite noise?
The sound of wind blowing through sailboats in a harbour. That tinkling metal and the snapping of sails. But my second favourite noise is the squeaking of tulip fields – when they rub together, they squeak…

Such a Dutch answer!
What can I say?

Our Interview With Robin Thicke


“95% of the world didn’t think the Blurred Lines video was controversial at all…”

Robin Thicke’s (really rather good) band lean into Blurred Lines about 30 seconds before The Man Himself wanders out of a side room at Spotify London – pitch-black Aviators firmly in place – and begins to sing. The temperature rises. Screaming happens. People smile a lot. This is showbiz in action, something 36-year-old Canadian-American Robin knows all about. He released his debut album nearly 11 years ago – so, as you can imagine, now he finally does have the hottest record in the world, he’s quite keen on enjoying it with as many people as humanly possible.

“I love performing,” he laughs. “I’m just really pleased now everyone else likes it too…”

Who taught you a lot?
Tell us Robin, what music was playing in the house when you were growing up?
A lot of the same things I listen to now. Music has always been a bit like college for me, I really study it. I went through a Prince phase and listened only to him for six months. Then I did Marvin Gaye, then The Beatles, then Biggie Smalls and each time I soaked up their whole catalogue. I like to learn whatever I can from people.


Definitely Otis Redding, it was listening to him that I learnt you have to live in the moment. Don’t be over rehearsed, let things breathe, you want to create something unexpected and individual. Prince taught me there are no boundaries to music – you can mix and blend it all.

So, does the perfect song exist?
It certainly does and The Beatles wrote a few of them! A great song comes from a very pure emotion – so often the best songs are written very quickly; it’s the ones you labour over that tend to fall short. John Lennon’s Imagine is perfect, so is Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon in the Sky are both perfect. All four of those songs are about hope and love – they have a purity to them and that purity tries to show you how, despite it all, the world is a beautiful place. Listen to Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness – that just says it all. You can feel every note, every moment of pain and hope in that one song. The realities of life’s struggles and the possibilities of hope are all in there.

What was the last amazing record you heard?
Oh well, some of my favourite albums are from way back, but I can tell you that OK Computer blew my mind, as did the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I’ve always loved Fiona Apple’s first LP too.

What band in history would you have most loved to have been a part of?

The Beatles! I’d have loved to have been part of making Sgt Pepper. That really is an immaculate piece of art – the songs, the melodies, the production, the creation itself is so pure. These are not artists worrying about the radio or the old fans or the new fans or the record label – they’re out there, they’re experimenting.

We’re throwing a big house party this weekend and you’re DJing at midnight – what five records are you going to play?
Oh man, good question! I’d start with Kanye West’s Mercy and then go straight into Clique. Then I’d play Got To Give It Up by Marvin Gaye and Prince’s Kiss. Then I’d finish my set with Blurred Lines! That would keep the party going.

You know Andy Murray played Blurred Lines while preparing for the Wimbledon final…
Really? Wow! So it’s all because of me? Then I want a little piece of that Wimbledon trophy, just a little chip!

What did you make of the controversy surrounding the video?
Not a lot, to be honest. 95% of the world didn’t think it was controversial at all.

Any plans to top it for the next single?
You can’t top that; you’d have to go completely the other way.

How has good old London town been treating you this summer?
You mean, get a bunch of models to put their clothes back on?
Exactly – that would surprise people!

I feel like I’ve been very lucky – the sun is shining and it’s hot and all everyone’s walking around in their bathing suits. We’ve been blessed! London has such a great sense of humour too – everyone you meet makes you laugh.

What did the Robin Thicke who was releasing his debut album over a decade ago think would happen to him?
I didn’t know all I was trying to do was make my own version of Sgt Pepper! I had a lot of hope and ambition and I thought I could do anything I wanted, but then reality kicked in and the album didn’t sell. I thought that maybe I would never be as good as the legends I worship, but this is now my sixth album and having this success has really excited me again. This album this album is about escaping my fears and insecurities, it takes me out of my daily grind and lets me fly for a little bit. You have to believe you are making your best music; you have to fall in love with it. I’m proud and excited about this record, but it’s also my job to believe I can do better.

Who are you listening to right now?
Well, I really love the Disclosure album. I plan on reaching out to them for my next album. I think they’re so talented and so young! Everything is still fresh for them – they haven’t been jaded yet…

What song was playing in your head when you woke up this morning?
That was Icona Pop’s I Love It – right in the middle of my brain.

Tell us a secret about life on the road with Robin Thicke.
I’m a very happily married man, so it’s all about the show. Sometimes we’ll go to the gym to play basketball or do some jet skiing if we’re near the beach, but we just want to put on a great show every night. It’s our job to give everything we’ve got.

Finally – crucially! – what’s your favourite noise?
Oh man. Definitely when my wife moans.

You don’t mean in a why-haven’t-you-taken-out-the-rubbish-yet way either, do you?
No, I mean when she happily moans! That’s my favourite noise for sure.

All Star Game Songs

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With the 2013 All Star Game taking place tonight at the New York Mets’ home, Citi Field, we put together this playlist of the walk out music for the 2013 All Star Game starting lineups. The list runs the gamut from The Rolling Stones to 90’s superstars House of Pain (David Wright), to JAY Z. The list also features two appearances of Flower by Moby (Bryce Harper and JJ Hardy).

Listen here!

National League

1. Brandon Phillips, Reds 2B, –> R.I.P. [Feat. 2 Chainz], Young Jeezy

2. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals, RF, –> Echa Pa’lla Pitbull

3. Joey Votto, Reds, 1B, –> Paint It Black, The Rolling Stones

4. David Wright, Mets, 3B, –> Jump Around, House of Pain

5. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, LF Flow, –> Violoento, Arcangel

6. Yadier Molina, Cardinals, C, –> Sigan Bailando, Wisin Y Yandel

7. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies, SS, –> Public Service Announcement, JAY Z

8. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies DH, –> Got To Know, Flux Pavilion

9. Bryce Harper, Nationals, CF, –> Flower, Moby

American League

1. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, CF, –> H.A.M, Kanye West + JAY Z

2. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees, 2B, –> Te Prendo, Chimbala

3. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers, 3B, –> Mercy, Kanye West

4. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles, 1B, –> I Get Wicked, Thousand Foot Krutch

5. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays, RF, –> Ven Conmigo, Daddy Yankee

6. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox, DH, –> The Motto, Drake

7. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles, CF, –> Show Out, Juicy J Feat. Big Sean & Young Jeezy

8. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins, C, –> What You Know, T.I.

9. JJ Hardy, Baltimore Orioles, SS, –> Flower, Moby


#MusicMonday – La chronique d’Edouard du 15 Juillet


L’été est là et déploie chaque jour un peu plus son ciel azur et son soleil étincelant. La chaleur sera pour les uns dynamisante et pour les autres soporifique. Trouver la musique idéale entre survoltage et léthargie s’avère alors être un véritable casse-tête. Pour tenter de coller à votre tension artérielle, les musiques seront ni trop vives ni trop lentes. Voilà donc une playlist au tempo estival…

Ugress, ce musicien norvégien de musique électronique, a publié récemment un nouvel EP « Another Planet ». Dans la lignée des précédents singles et albums, le titre éponyme réutilise même quelques airs (très légèrement modifiés) du titre Panetfall paru en 2011. Inutile de vous dire qu’on retrouve donc cet univers inchangé mais toujours plaisant. Peut-être aurons-nous plus de surprises dans son prochain album.

Beth Rowley est une chanteuse anglaise (d’origine péruvienne) à la voix douce et trentenaire. Elle dévoile un EP « Wretched Body » d’une infinie beauté. A la fois planantes, aériennes et travaillées, ses chansons naviguent d’un genre à l’autre sans que l’oreille s’en rende vraiment compte. Oscillant entre une ambiance jazz, blues, folk et même pop, Beth est avant tout une voix et un style influencé par Aretha FranklinWillie NelsonBob Dylan et d’autres.

Alexis Dendiével est sans doute autant poète et rêveur que chanteur. Peu connu du grand public, son dernier album Bouteilles à la mer est une belle démonstration de chanson française, un recueil de textes ciselés associé à une musique intelligente. Accompagnées de piano ou de guitare rafraichissante, ces chansons accompagneront vos moments de détentes estivales pour un repos assuré.

George Lewis était un clarinettiste et saxophoniste de jazz américain. Il a bercé le siècle dernier au son de grands classiques jazz Dixieland et New Orleans. Pour célébrer notre fête nationale, encore toute fraîche, laissez-vous surprendre par une interprétation originale de notre hymne national, La Marseillaise ! D’autres surprises ska et reggae sont aussi à découvrir dans cette playlist d’été.

Pour terminer, et en hommage à notre cher et talentueux accordéoniste disparu la semaine dernière, vous pourrez écouter un titre d’actualité (plus fiscale que de santé publique) d’André Verchuren, la fête du tabac. Qu’il repose en paix et merci à lui !

Bonne écoute et à lundi prochain sur Spotify.


Pour plus de playlists, suivez-moi sur Spotify.
Pour plus de tweets, suivez-moi sur Twitter .

Si vous voulez retrouver tous les titres proposés par Edouard dans ses chroniques, cliquez-ici !