Thank you for your interest in my Spotify playlists! I made this guide to share what I look for and the best ways to reach me.


Please Don’t Send Songs by Email or Social Media

Sorry folks, I no longer accept songs over email or direct messages as it’s quite a slow, painful workflow.

SubmitHub is much more streamlined — and they gave me a 10% discount on credits to share with you.

(I’m also on Groover, should you prefer it.)

Thanks for your understanding!


Consider Fit Before Submitting

I evaluate songs for their TECHNICAL MERIT -and- AESTHETIC FIT. Very often, I’ll like a song, but won’t have a channel for it. For me, listener experience is paramount, so I’m rigid on what I look for.

Please listen to the playlist you’re submitting to and verify that your work fits. Traits I look for include (but are not exclusive to):

  • Arrangement
  • Energy levels and flow
  • Flourishes (e.g. noise crackle, nature sounds, etc.)
  • Genre
  • Instrumentation
  • Lyrical style
  • Mixing style and quality
  • Mood
  • Rhythm pacing and density
  • Sound design
  • Subject matter
  • Tempo
  • Tone and timbre
  • Vocal tone and processing.

My Background and Motives

I’m a musician too, so I can relate to the grind. herever I can give you a push, I will.

That said, my music background means I’m very particular about songs, so I don’t flex on selection criteria often (if ever).

A few notes about my preferences:

  • While I want to help all artists, I especially want to lift up minorities and fellow Canadians. If you belong to either groups, please let me know!
  • I’m fond of non-English music! French, Spanish, and Korean are my favourites, but I’m open to other languages as well.
  • Lyrically, I prefer abstractions and analogies over plain statements.
  • I learn towards unique interpretations over soundalikes.
  • I usually prefer modern aesthetics over vintage ones.
  • My lists include major and independent music, but I prefer promoting smaller creators.
  • I’m sleepy and so are my playlists. With the exception of the exercise lists, my selections are mostly slow, chilled, and subdued.

My Listening Environment

In the studio, I listen on a Beyerdynamic DT 1990 pair. Such beautiful, open-ear cans! I also use their sister model, the closed-back Beyerdynamic DT 1770.

On the road or in noisy environments, I use the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds or the Sony WF-1000XM5 headphones.


I Need to Hear Your Words Clearly

Hazy aesthetics are good, but I care a lot about lyrical content, so please keep that in mind.


Avoid Sending These Elements

Please know I seldom (or never) accept:

  • Political content
  • Hateful or malicious content
  • Heavy use of vocal processing (e.g. autotune, etc.) or mumbling
  • Unfinished or uneven mixes (PLEASE only send finalized audio)
  • DEEP twang
  • Recordings of birds or other loud animals
  • Recordings of kids playing
  • Recordings of spoken word (in large quantities).

Send Finished Tracks Only

I realize folks look for pre-release feedback, but for the purposes of playlist evaluation, I can only take finalized tracks.

(That said, I’m piloting a service offering constructive feedback during a song’s development — either live and/or asynchronously. Please email me if you’re interested in more details.)


Not All Playlists Are Equal

Full disclosure: Flow State and Focus Instrumentals are my main lists and receive the most listens. Please take this into account and make sure your spend is worthwhile!


Playlist-Specific Tips

Each playlist has distinct needs. Here are some guidelines for the most-frequented ones:

Flow Beats

  • Largely progressive house, deep house, and tech house, but can include other flow-centric genres.
  • Songs are often under 128BPM.
  • Instrumentation shouldn’t include aggressive or buzzy tones. (I love saws, but for this context, filtered please.)
  • Atmospheric feel and organic sound design are encouraged.
  • Repetitive motifs are good if they evolve over time.

Flow State

  • Largely lo-fi hiphop and downtempo instrumentals. Vocals can work in small quantities.
  • Leans towards clean, 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 great when used in moderation.
  • Rhythms should promote momentum but not be so busy that they distract the listener.

Focus Instrumentals

  • Gentle, slow, sparse, minimalistic, and unobtrusive pieces.
  • Largely solo piano. On rare occasions, other instruments work 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 flowing qualities, they may fit.
  • Accepted songs have a minimum of drama.

Slow Down

  • Largely ambient and highly subdued instrumentals. Imagine floating in still water.
  • The mood should be peaceful and serene above all else.
  • A minimum amount of fluttering or oscillating elements. Slow movement only!
  • Noisy textures, bell-like tones, tense harmonies, dramatic shifts, and percussion seldom fit.

Cozy

  • 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.

Laidback Lounge

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

The Demographic Lists (e.g. Sirens, Orpheus, East, True North, etc.)

  • Each asks for high quality writing, productions, and performances.
  • While they are more diverse on energy level and genre than the other lists, I bias towards quieter, more mellowed music.

Interested in the other lists? Please listen to their recent additions for reference.


Send One Song at a Time

Please send one song at a time. It’s often best to get feedback on a track, see where things might fit, then tailor future submissions from there. Save yourself money and time!


Want Specific Feedback? Ask for It!

I want you to get the most of our engagement! This isn’t an offer to do a deep review, but if you want thoughts on a specific element, please point it out so I can try to be more helpful.


Placement Duration

Ideally, placements will last for months. In practice, it depends on how well the song fits with a list’s overall feel.

Sometimes I make mistakes; additions may have shorter lives because they don’t fit as well as originally thought. If I have concerns about longevity, I will always do my best to communicate that up front, but listening in context is the only surefire way to make sure things work.

As new songs enter, the “average” sound changes, so I remove legacy songs around those evolving standards.


A Perspective on Declines

If I decline your song, I promise it’s not you — just a mismatch of goals.

I know it’s hard, but please note my reasons. They’re meant to help you decide if I’m the right fit. If I’m not, I encourage you to send your music elsewhere to get the most from your time and budget.


Ready to Go?

Target carefully and best of luck, friends! I look forward to hearing your work!