1) Money Trees – Kendrick Lamar
This song was the song of my teenage years, and always brings me back to hanging out with my friends. This was the first song that introduced me to Kendrick Lamar; my favourite rap artist for the past decade.
2) Mr. Rager – Kid Cudi
Growing up, I lived in both Cleveland, OH, and Toronto. Music by Kid Cudi always reminds me of my time in Cleveland, especially this song. My friends and I would listen to this track throughout our ups and downs, and listening to it puts me back in Cleveland with them.
3) Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club
When I was younger, my family and I went to Cuba. During our dinners, multiple musicians would circle around the tables, performing different cuban songs. My favourite song that I had asked them to play over and over again was Chan Chan. It was also my first time playing the guitar, as one of the musicians gave me the opportunity to play along to the song.
4) Cissy Strut – The Meters
This was the first old-school R&B/funk song that I had ever learned on the drums. It opened my eyes to the world of funk drumming and polyrhythms; and, how unique funk drumming was in comparison to the standard rock playing-style.
5) 33 Degree – Thievery Corporation
Throughout my childhood I’ve listened to various artists second-hand through my parent’s taste in music. Out of all those artists and songs, this has always been a song I loved hearing because of the groove and intriguing reggae feel.
6) Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe – Barry White
This song has been with me for my entire life. Since I was a kid, anytime that my family and I would travel to a new location (whether vacation, for my parents’ work, school, family) the first thing we would always do upon arrival was blast this song at full volume. It has stuck with me ever since!
7) Hoppípolla – Sigur Rós
This is my dad’s favourite band (at least if you can maneuver him out of the 70’s). Unless you speak Icelandic, and even then, you will likely not understand the majority of the song. However, research online suggests that the song describes the memory of being a kid: hopping into puddles, tumbling and getting a nosebleed, but standing up again because you’re just a kid. Knowing this, the song has always brought me a sense of nostalgia; but the music itself has always made me feel like the world was opening up for me. One of my favourites by far.
8) Paradise By the Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf
This one goes out to some of my very good friends. In highschool I had never heard of Meat Loaf before. However, my best friends (or as we like to call ourselves, the Finer Things Society) would play this song at every party; and, even when the rest of the party had no idea what this song was, or what was even going on, my friends and I would dance to this song, shamelessly. To summarize, with just as much cheesiness as the song: this song will always have a chunk of my heart!
9) Truth – Ramin Djawadi
To be honest, I am not really sure if this counts as a song! However, I am such a big fan of TV, Movie, and Video-Game scores, that it was impossible to not include at least one. One of my favourites is this piece from Game of Thrones. In the show itself, the music matches perfectly with the scene; and yet, regardless of the scene it was composed for, I still manage to get goosebumps every time I listen to this piece on its own.
10) SOS – ABBA
Last but not least- who doesn’t like ABBA?! This one always hits home for me (or at least my swedish home) ! I definitely embrace my swedish roots with ABBA, and this song has always been one of my favourites; although, I could probably list at least 20+ others! Feel free to reach out to me if you want access to an “Underrated ABBA” playlist.