By Nora Onanian, Staff Writer
With Valentine's Day around the corner, it can be hard to come up with thoughtful and affordable gifts for the people you care about. Creating a playlist for someone is a free and incredibly sweet gift that your loved ones are sure to treasure.
The days of burning mixtapes for others are, for the most part, over. However, the sentimental value of hand-selecting songs for someone else is still just as high. But with so many different songs and genres out in the world, where do you begin?
Here are five tips for creating the perfect playlist to give someone you love.
DO SOME DIGGING
The first step of making a killer playlist for someone else is research. Gather a list of songs and artists you know they like. Any bands they're always talking about? Maybe there's a song you've heard them sing along to on a car ride? Write them down! You can even ask them to make a list of their favorite music. This may ruin the surprise though, so be careful.
FIND THE MIDDLE GROUND
Based on the music you hear your valentine play, you might find yourself thinking there's no overlap between your tastes. But unless one of you has a super-niche interest, there's almost always a middle ground where your genres intersect. Find this area and expand on it! The best playlists include a balance of songs you already know they will like and ones that they've never heard. I mean, who doesn't love new discoveries?
CHOOSE SONGS THAT REMIND YOU OF YOUR VALENTINE
Sometimes there just isn't any overlap between you and your valentine's music taste. But there's no need to fear! Put a playlist together with songs that remind you of your loved one or memories you have together. Does your significant other have brown eyes? Maybe include Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl." Was your first date over coffee? Add Sylvan Esso's "Coffee." Personalized songs like these are a sure way to show how much effort you put into the playlist.
USE MUSIC TO EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all about romance! You can make a playlist for another loved one, like a friend or family member. There are so many songs that you can use to capture your relationship. Have you and your best friend known each other since grade school? Consider the White Stripes' "We're Going To Be Friends," a sweet song that brings out all the nostalgia for your early childhood friendships. Or add a sweet love song like Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Follow You into the Dark" to show your significant other how much you care about them.
The most important part of making a playlist is to get creative with it! Try spelling out a secret message with the progression of song titles. Or, write the playlist out on paper with little drawings and messages. Whatever you do, the person receiving your playlist will love it when considering the time and thought you put into making it so special.