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Spotify Playlist Submission Guide

Thank you for your interest in the Playlist Series! Please follow the guidelines below for more successful submissions:

Send Submissions via SubmitHub

Please send all submissions via SubmitHub or Groover for their streamlined processes.

Due to an overwhelming number of requests, I’m afraid I can’t accept songs by email or social channels. (I’m barely keeping up as it is.) Sorry folks!

Consider Fit Before Submitting

Songs are considered based on their MUSICAL MERIT -and- AESTHETIC FIT. Very often, I’ll love a song, but have no channel for it – and it’s heartbreaking. I’d very much like to give your music a good and fruitful home!

PLEASE review the playlist you’re submitting to CAREFULLY and verify that your work is a match. Traits I look for include (but are not exclusive to):

  • Genre
  • Tempo
  • Mood
  • Instrumentation
  • Arrangement
  • Energy flow
  • Rhythm density
  • Tone and timbre
  • Mix
  • Subject matter

Understand My Background

I’m an artist and music producer too. I know what it’s like getting your music out there, so I’m rooting for you!

That said, I take curation seriously, so my requirements are stringent and declines can happen because of technical issues. My lists are also incredibly specific in their asks and have unique personalities. What works for other curators may not work for me.

I Need to Hear Your Words Clearly

If your song has lyrics, I need to understand what you’re saying without straining. Specific genres lean on fuzzy lyrics, and that’s fine, but please note that I seldom accept songs with vocals that are hard to discern.

Avoid Sending These Elements

I want you to make the most of your budget. Please know I seldom or never accept:

  • Political content
  • Hateful or malicious content
  • HEAVY uses of vocal processing (e.g. autotune, etc.) or mumbling; a little bit is okay, so long as I can hear your vocal tone and words clearly
  • Unfinished or uneven mixes; PLEASE only send finalized audio
  • Recordings of birds
  • Recordings of kids playing
  • Recordings of spoken word (in large quantities).

Know Some Playlist-Specific Tips

Flow Beats

  • Largely progressive house, deep house, and tech house, but can include other four-on-the-floor or flow-centric dance genres, given that the song encourages a sense of flow.
  • Additions are seldom faster than 128BPM.
  • Instrumentation shouldn’t include aggressive, buzzy, or strong tones.
  • Atmospheric feel and organic sound design are encouraged, but not to a point where they’re overwhelming
  • Repetitive motifs are good if they evolve in texture.

Flow State

  • Largely lo-fi hiphop and downtempo instrumentals. Vocals can work in small quantities.
  • Leans towards cleaner, organic aesthetics instead of dusty, retro ones.
  • Heavy pitch wavering and repetitive sampling are strongly discouraged.
  • Harmonic progressions should resolve cleanly, pleasantly, and expand over time.
  • Prominent, catchy motifs are always tasty, but can be overpowering for the list.
  • Percussion should promote motion but not be so bright or busy to detract the listener.
  • Ideal songs have a sense of momentum, either through arrangement or rhythm, while remaining uncluttered.

Focus Instrumentals

  • Gentle, slow, sparse, minimalistic, and unobtrusive pieces.
  • Largely solo piano pieces. On very rare occasions, guitar, harp, or bowed string pieces make it, but they must be INCREDIBLY subdued.
  • Tempos should be slow and articulations soft throughout.
  • Constant, unwavering motifs (e.g. repeating broken chords, arpeggios, etc.) seldom work because they can feel like marching. If they have more flowing qualities instead, then that can fit.
  • Accepted songs typically have a minimum of drama in the narrative arc.

Slow Down

  • Largely ambient and highly subdued instrumentals. Imagine floating in still water.
  • The mood should be peaceful and serene above all else.
  • Noisy textures, tense harmonies, dramatic shifts, and percussion of any kind seldom fit.

Lazy Days

  • Imagine yourself swaddled in a blanket, cradling a cup of hot chocolate. If the song supports that image, it’s a good fit.
  • Songs are typically sleepy instrumentals, slow crooning, or subdued beats.

The Deck

  • Imagine yourself melting into a couch, favourite drink in hand, and favourite person in the other. The night is full of discourse – and hopefully intruigue. That’s the vibe.
  • Low tempos and groove are key. Sophistication and interest are important, but restraint is also appreciated.
  • The mood is dark, ambiguous, and chilled. “Slinky” or “childlike” are too far on either side.
  • Songs are typically sultry hip hop beats, lo-fi instrumentals, or R&B crooners.

Other Playlists

Interested in one of the other lists? Please read up on them and listen through their recent additions here.

Send One Song at a Time

Unless there’s a strategic reason not to, try limiting submissions to one song at a time. (Protip: this often applies to other curators too!) Get feedback first, then tailor additional submissions from there. Save yourself money and time!

Want Specific Feedback? Ask for It!

I want you to get the most out of this engagement. This isn’t an offer to do a full mix rundown, but if you want thoughts on a specific element, please point it out so I can leave you with something helpful.

If Declined, Review My Feedback

Got declined? I’m sorry on that, but please review my notes so we can improve your placement rate next time. It’s significantly more work to decline a song than it is to accept one — and I very much want you to get yours.

Listen to the Playlists

Above all, PLEASE listen to the playlist you’re submitting to! Scan through 5-10 tracks to see if our styles are aligned. I’ve been on submission side too; I know playlist descriptions can be interpreted VERY differently. (e.g. My idea of “subdued” and “chilled” is much more mellow than most.)

Target carefully and save that cash, friends!

Ready to Go?

Best of luck! I look forward to hearing your work!