How to Make the Perfect “Friday Night Going Out” Playlist

By Emily Harter

It’s been a long week. You’ve been in class all week, you’ve probably read so much your eyes ache and your face probably hurts from smiling at your annoying classmates. Yet, the light at the end of the tunnel glows, and Friday is finally here. You and your friends are definitely going out, and it’s your turn to host the pregame. That means you’re in charge of the playlist, but don’t fret—follow this step-by-step guide to making the perfect pregaming playlist and get your music bumping in no time. 

Name Your Playlist

The name of a playlist is extremely important. In just a few words, the name either tells you exactly what it is, or it is intriguing enough that you have to see what it’s really about. Naming the playlist you are creating is an integral part to understanding the type of playlist it is, and can be really fun. It can also be really stressful. Matthew Moocarme, a blogger who studies a name’s effect on the amount of listeners for a playlist, says “if users do not like the playlist title, for whatever reason, they won’t listen to the playlist.” So we will come back to this step. Keep reading for more musical information.

Know Your Audience

Who is the playlist for? It’s important to understand who will be listening to the playlist to determine the songs you will pick. Valerie Turco, a radio DJ for WFRV, says audience is everything.  “I don’t play anything on my show that I wouldn’t listen to—but I don’t play music that I know I’m the only one that listens to. I wouldn’t randomly play 5 Finger Death Punch right after a Lil Nas X song.”  Make sure you include songs that you love, but also that other people love. They will appreciate your consideration of their tastes as well.

Pick Your Vibe

WFNP Radio DJ Eddie Faro said that his number one tip is to “try to create a theme or mood” for the playlist. You can pick songs based on where you are going after the pre-game. Is it a hype night where you are going to a rave? Maybe some EDM bops are the way to go. Are you going to a frat party? Think more along the lines of college anthems and songs that scream “beer and sweat.” Are you hanging out with your friends from freshman year? Play some oldies that bring you back to the good old days. Anything goes.

Pick Your Songs

Start making that playlist. Start with that one song you can’t get out of your head. Listen to the music while you are picking it to see if it fits with what you are making. If it doesn’t, either change the vibe or remove the song. You might have to reorder your songs so they flow better.  “Sequence the songs so they flow together, listen to the playlist at least once before you play it for an audience,” says Faro. It’s all a process. Keep listening as you go.

Re-Name your Playlist

You might be wondering why this is on here a second time. That is because you have to look at your playlist as a whole and decide what you think the overall feeling entails. You want to make the name either as specific or as general as you can, while still describing what it is. The playlist might not be the same vibe you were planning on from the beginning, and the name might not match. Change it if you want. “Sometimes I start making a playlist and the end result is completely different than what I was expecting,” says Turco. “It’s the great thing about music, you can just make another one.”

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