Sometimes, it feels like Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists know us better than we know ourselves. Like, how did they pinpoint the exact balance of krautrock, 90s R&B, and free jazz I needed on my commute this morning? With all those excellent algorithms on hand, it only makes sense that the streaming service’s data-heads could accomplish a seemingly impossible task: pinning down the musical mood of an entire city.
At 100 songs, Spotify’s The Sound of Los Angeles California playlist is made up of the most “distinctive” tracks in the Los Angeles region—i.e., music that’s on heavy rotation here, but isn’t listened to as much in the rest of the world. One of over 1,000 similar geographically-specific playlists created by the Spotify Insights team in 2015, it’s updated twice monthly, using data from an average of 20 billion listener-track relationships. This can shed light on some pretty interesting trends.
Right now, as Angelenos collectively suffer through a sticky-hot heatwave, we seem to be spinning a lot of breezy soul and classic G-Funk—the Delfonics, Barbra Lynn, Snoop Dogg, and The Dove Shack all make appearances on the playlist’s current iteration. You’ll also hear tracks from homegrown rappers like 03 Greedo and Drakeo the Ruler, and a sprinkling of silky boleros like El Chicano’s Sabor A Mi.
This weekend, take a deep dive into the sound of our city.
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