Lifestyle reporter Julia D’Apolito, ‘22, shares her current musical favorites and how each one has gotten her through quarantine. Listen along on The Brown and White’s Spotify playlist as D’Apolito shares her favorite songs for the summer.
With restaurants, shops and salons beginning to reopen in the Northeast, many businesses are turning to happy, upbeat tunes to play for their customers. As we look forward to returning to Lehigh in the fall, here are some bright, danceable tunes to get you ready for fall on South Mountain again.
Title: “Where Is The Love?”
Artist: Black Eyed Peas
Released: June 16, 2003
Although not as upbeat as the rest of the songs on the playlist, this song should be played on loop at maximum volume for everyone to hear. It is important to first address the fact that “normal” for a lot of people in our country can be terrifying. The Black Eyed Peas ask listeners and the world, “Where Is The Love?”
Although released in 2003, the lyrics of the song highlight current issues such as racism, terrorism and police brutality: “Said he can’t breathe with his hands in the air / Layin’ on the ground died from a choke.” These lyrics are unsettling to hear today amid George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement, 17 years after this song was released.
The song ends with the powerful lyric, “Lack of understanding leading us away from unity,” which I can only interpret as the hip-hop group asking people to educate themselves on their privilege and advocate for equal rights for everyone, because “if you only got love for your own race / Then you’re gonna leave space for others to discriminate.”
These issues have been around for far longer than the recent posts all over your social media feeds. Be the change you want to see.
Title: “I Lived”
Released: February 1, 2011
Pop-rock band OneRepublic’s “I Lived” is a song written by lead singer Ryan Tedder for his 4-year-old son.
“The whole idea [of the song]is doing nothing less than exactly what you feel you’re supposed to do and squeezing every last drop out of life every day, regardless of the difficulties or trials that you face,” Tedder said. Pairing this uplifting message with a happy, grooving beat and catchy lyrics, this song is the perfect go-to for getting ready in the morning as businesses reopen and people start going back to work.
Title: “When We Were Young”
Artist: Lost Kings
Album: “Paper Crowns”
Released: May 11, 2018
Released as a single in 2018, the American DJ duo’s song “When We Were Young” is a tribute to simpler and easier times, something all of us have undoubtedly thought about amid our country’s current state.
The lyrics, “The more I’m learning, the more I don’t know / I feel smaller the more I go,” are a great way to describe what growing up feels like in our world. The Lost Kings make their music video a flashback to some of their favorite childhood memories, such as skipping rocks, playing kickball and eating candy and Slurpees outside a 7-Eleven with your friends after biking there. The meaning behind the catchy tune makes the song great for dancing, whether you’re alone in your bedroom or with your friends by the pool.
Title: “Electric Love”
Released: November 10, 2014
If you give this song by BØRNS a listen, you’ll quickly understand why it is included on a playlist of buoyant, dance-worthy songs. “Electric Love” gives off extreme summer vibes and is perfect to play at the beach, while you’re tanning by the pool, or on a pointless drive with the windows down playing your music as loud as it goes.
Title: “Beauty and a Beat”
Artist: Justin Bieber, feat. Nicki Minaj
Released: December 11, 2012
A classic throwback, Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat” can make almost anyone want to get up on their feet and start moving. The upbeat EDM and pop song features a rap verse from Nicki Minaj, which makes the song even more of an instant classic. This song is perfect to play while you’re relaxing outdoors or even on a late night drive at maximum volume.
Title: “Play That Song”
Album: “A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat”
Released: September 29, 2016
Train’s “Play That Song” always puts a smile on my face, and the melody stays stuck in my head for days. The band built the song around the melody of “Heart And Soul” written by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser in 1939, which is a commonly known and covered song. If you ever learned how to play the piano, you may be familiar with the classic tune.
If you didn’t already think the song was familiar and catchy, give it another listen on a sunny day, as it is bound to get you excited to dance and sing along with your friends and loved ones again.
Title: “A Letter To My Younger Self”
Artist: Quinn XCII, Logic
Album: “A Letter To My Younger Self”
Released: May 29, 2020
Quinn XCII has always been one of my favorite artists. His music almost always has an upbeat, happy vibe to it, no matter what he is singing about. The title track for his upcoming album “A Letter To My Younger Self,” is exactly what it sounds like. The whole album is going to be released July 10, 2020, and it is a reflection on his time in high school and how kids always think high school is the most monumental time in their life.
Although that may feel true at the time, Quinn uses this song to remind himself and kids at that age now that it is simply a small chapter in the story of your whole life. Logic is also featured on the track, and he raps to his newborn son about not taking life so seriously. Everything is just a little piece of your whole story, and this is important for people to remember. The powerful message paired with the up-tempo beat makes this song hard not to bop your head along to.
Title: “No Hands”
Artist: Waka Flocka Flame
Released: August 17, 2010
In the hopes of soon dancing with our friends again, it’s hard to not include a fan favorite, Waka Flocka Flame’s “No Hands.” Released in 2010, the hip-hop/rap song is always a crowd pleaser and a classic throwback. Personally, it takes me back to warming up for high school sports games but also to getting ready in my dorm with my roommates. This song is perfect to dance to in your bedroom as you pack to move back to campus in August.