Blog Miscellaneous

2022 Predictions: Music Edition

I am not necessarily qualified to give music predictions, but as a WKNC employee, I can pretend that I am. Therefore, listed below are my top music predictions heading into the rest of 2022. 

I predict that…

  • Rap/Hip-Hop songs will play a bigger role in general music charts.
  • A$AP Rocky and Rihanna will put out a single together.
  • Electronic music will begin its take over of traditionally indie local DIY scenes.
  • Grunge music will make an even bigger return.
  • Paris Texas will blow up.
  • Tik-Tok will continue to dictate music trends.
  • Ski Mask the Slump God will put out an incredibly divisive mix. 
  • We will see the rise of more female rappers. 
  • Boy Harsher will continue to move back their tour dates until the eventually cancel them all.*

*This one is not really a prediction but perhaps a personal expression of sadness.

I look forward to seeing how accurate (or inaccurate) this list may become in 2022.

Here’s to making semi-educated guesses,

Silya Bennai

Blog Miscellaneous Playlists

Spotify Wrapped 2021 Reflection

I understand that some people only cared about Spotify Wrapped 2021 the day (and maybe day after) it dropped. That being said, I still care. Elliott Smith was my top artist but sixty-four of my Top 100 Songs on Spotify were rap. As the Assistant Underground Music Director, this makes sense. Which rap songs you may ask? I’m not going to list all of them, but here are some favorites:

  1. “Baby I’m Bleeding” by JPEGMAFIA
  2. “New Slaves” by Kanye West
  3. “Just How It Is”  by Young Thug
  4. “girls like drugs” by Paris Texas
  5. “EAST” by Earl Sweatshirt
  6. “Ghost (In the Shell)” by MAVI
  7. “Throw Dem Gunz” by Lil Ugly Mane
  8. “Campbell” by redveil
  9. “Primma Donna” by Vince Staples (feat. A$AP Rocky)
  10. “Please Forgive” by Powers Pleasant (feat. Denzel Curry, IDK, Zombie Juice & Zillakami)
  11. “Jailbreak the Tesla” Injury Reserve (feat. Aminé)

Here’s to rap music being the most transformative and flexible genre,

Silya Bennai


Finals Season Solidarity

It’s finals season, and I just wanted to offer some solidarity in this wild portion of the semester. No study playlist, no tips, just solidarity.

I’m also a student and it’s a very grueling thing to be: a lot is expected of us all at once. It is extremely difficult to work, do school, extra-curricular activities and have friends. People will hear this statement and brush it off by saying “such is life.” Yes, but that doesn’t make this time any less difficult.

I sincerely hope that everyone’s finals are going well thus far and that everything works out the way you need it to. I hope that professor is lenient with their grades, you get a curve on your toughest exam and that your hard work pays off. More than that, I hope you’re taking care of yourself to the best of your ability (you need sleep)! 

I am not even supposed to use exclamation marks in these posts, and I should be using them sparingly but ideally not at all… that’s how much I want you all to be getting sleep during finals.

Encouraging tidbits can seem shallow and empty, but just know this is all very sincere from me.

I have three projects and two tests this finals period, all due within a 72 hour period. Needless to say, I’m also a bit stressed. But, it’ll all get done. It always does.

Best of luck,


Blog Miscellaneous Playlists

Song Recommendation Guide: Coffee Edition

Howdy y’all! In my semester off during my freshman year, I spent my time working as a barista at a small stand-alone coffee shop. I had total control of the music at 6:30 a.m. in the morning – a total dream! Using my knowledge of coffee and music, I bring you the recommendation guide to translate your favorite drink into a new song to listen to.

Espresso Drink Song Recommendations

If you order an americano (shots of espresso + hot water), listen to Wet Dream by Wet Leg. Anybody who orders an americano is ready to start their day, and this upbeat song feels like a bright morning brisk walk around the neighborhood. 

If you order a latte (shots of espresso + milk + optional flavor), listen to New Song by Maggie Rogers and Del Water Gap. Like a latte, this song is dependable and consistent for relaxing after those long days. 

If you order a lavender honey latte (shots of espresso + milk + honey + lavender syrup), listen to Fall in Love with You. by Montell Fish. This song is warm, dreamy, and ultra-comforting, similar to this drink. 

If you order a seasonal drink (pumpkin spice latte, peppermint mocha, etc.), listen to White WInter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. Chances are you start decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween, and nothing pairs better with a peppermint mocha than this buttery smooth Christmas-lite song.

If you order a cappuccino (espresso shots + splash of milk + foam), listen to Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens. Cappuccinos originated in Austria and were further developed in Italy. Mystery of Love was used in a movie that took place in Italy. Romanticize your cappuccino. 

If you order a red eye (shots of espresso + brewed coffee), listen to As the World Caves In by Matt Maltese. This song is dramatic, emotional, and sultry. Also, are you doing okay?

If you order a dirty chai (shots of espresso + chai), listen to Coming Back by James Blake featuring SZA. Coming Back, which samples Lake Shore Drive by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah, is easy and mellow. SZA’s feature adds something equivalent to shots of espresso in a regular spiced chai. 

Non-Espresso Drink Song Recommendations

If you order matcha in any capacity, listen to Je te laisserai des mots by Patrick Watson. Romanticize your walk to class, matcha in hand, with this beautiful French song. I highly advise reading what the lyrics mean if you don’t understand French (like me). So lovely. 

If you order a frappuccino (blended beverage – Starbucks coined this term), listen to I Know A Place by MUNA. Frappuccinos are a staple in the Starbucks menu, and I Know A Place should be a staple in your current playlist if this is your drink. 

If you order a brewed coffee, listen to You Needed Love, I Needed You by Angelo De Augustine.  This song is melancholy, similar to sitting at your window on a rainy morning with a good old cup of joe. 

If you order a London Fog (earl grey tea, water, vanilla syrup, steamed milk), listen to Love in the Time of Socialism by Yellow House. Sweet and comforting are just two similarities between a London Fog and Love in the Time of Socialism. 

If you order a chai, listen to Clay Pigeons by Michael Cera. Michael Cera’s cover of Blaze Foley’s Clay Pigeons sounds like it should be smack dab in the middle of a coming of age movie. Enjoy your warm chai with this homely cover. 

I hope you enjoy this song recommendation guide and feel inspired to try a new drink! Linked here is a Spotify playlist with all of these songs.

<3 dj mozzie


My Music Wishlist

It is nearly the holiday season, so I’ve been brainstorming gifts to get for my loved ones as well as items I may want for myself. But there are some things that I want that can’t be fulfilled by a gift wrapped up in a box, and most of those things are weird music concepts. Like for example, how is one supposed to ask for a Taylor Swift cover of the entire “XO” album by Elliott Smith? I’ve deemed these things my music wishlist, and I’d like to share it with you all.

The following is my music wishlist:

  • For the band Rilo Kiley to get back together and tour
  • A Fiona Apple Tour
  • For me to be able to see every artist I like in an intimate venue
  • Concert tickets to be less expensive
  • A Maggie Rogers and Phoebe Bridgers collaborative album
  • A time machine to see old artists/bands at their prime
  • A Taylor Swift “Hot Ones” Interview
  • “All I Wanted” by Paramore to be performed live
  • Fiona Apple to cover the entire “Let It Be” album by The Beatles
  • A Frank Ocean Tour

There are legitimate reasons that most (if not all) of these things will never happen, but, in my dream world, those barriers wouldn’t exist. Do you have any music-related pipe dreams that’ll probably never happen?

Happy dreaming,


Blog Miscellaneous

Soundtrack Comparison: “Blade Runner” and “Palm Springs”

I recently watched “Blade Runner” and “Palm Springs” back to back. These are two movies that, while both technically being sci-fi, are very different in tone and worldbuilding. And when viewed so close together, it becomes a lot easier to compare elements of the two, such as their soundtracks. 

For all the flying cars and flashing button panels of “Blade Runner”, the world depicted is not an optimistic version of the future. Characters are lashed with rain the moment they step outside into a grimy world of corporate overlords and murderous androids, and all of this is evoked in the soundtrack. Composer Vangelis was playing with synthesizers before it was cool and from the get-go his mark was made on the movie. “Opening Titles”, the iconic theme, hits with the intensity of a heavy guitar solo but with a futuristic bent that never veers into cheesiness, instead ringing out over the bustling streets and feeling if not triumphant, at least pioneering.

The presentation of “Palm Springs” is in sharp contrast to this. Where the rainclouds of “Blade Runner” felt like a weight on that movie’s shoulders, there is barely a cloud in the California sky, with bright and warm colors that contribute to the movie’s generally upbeat atmosphere. The soundtrack mirrors this with a playful backing that glides over the unfolding scenes. The track playing during the movie’s climax (whose title I won’t give away because it’s kind of a spoiler) was the high point: a subtle melody  not so much propelling the action along as matching it step for step.

These are distinctly different experiences, but there’s a reason I’m comparing them here. Both stay with the listener long after the credits roll with sneaky but very present earworms present. Being soundtracks, they rely heavily on repeated motifs and even tracks being used multiple times to create a narrative just through music and to call back to earlier scenes. “Blade Runner” uses these thematic threads to turn up the tension as the titular android hunter closes in on his targets. “Palm Springs” does this in a similar fashion, but as this is a romantic-comedy first and foremost, it races alongside the plot towards the inevitable conclusion without ever feeling formulaic.

A soundtrack is maybe a movie’s most underrated asset. When a soundtrack really hits, you often won’t consciously notice it because of how interwoven it is with the events onscreen. “Blade Runner” and “Palm Springs” both use music to skillfully walk the line between letting the plot play out without interruption and enhancing the emotions the audience takes away from the movie. The dark dystopia of 2019 Los Angeles and the sunny, maybe even too sunny, titular desert come to life with strings and synthesizers and without the works of Vangelis and Cornbread Compton, these amazing movies wouldn’t be the same.



CD Collection of a Recently Inherited Car

I recently was loaned/given a car by my family to bring to campus this semester since I’d be living driving distance away from campus. This car was previously owned by my sister, who inherited it from my dad, who had it after my mom. Essentially, everyone in my immediate family has owned this car before I have, thus meaning there’s random things that belong to everyone scattered around my car. Particularly, in the center console there are thirteen CDs that belong to individuals in my family. Let’s take a look at those CDs.


  • “River of Dreams” — Billy Joel (two copies)
  • “Whitney” — Whitney Houston
  • “Best Shots” — Pat Benatar
  • “21” — Adele
  • “Hell Freezes Over” — Eagles
  • “25” — Adele
  • “Daydream” — Mariah Carey

Best Of’s

  • “20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best Of ABBA” — ABBA
  • “The Essential Bruce Springsteen” — Bruce Springsteen
  • “Greatest Hits” — Elton John


  • Tune Time 2013
    • One of my mom’s old coworkers would make mixtapes every year for the best/most popular songs of the year. 2013 included the likes of “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, and “Feel This Moment” by Christina Aguilera and Pitbull.
  • My Mom’s Favorite Songs
    • My dad used to love making mixtapes back when CDs were still culturally very relevant. This particular burned disc is 12 of my mom’s favorite songs including: “Last Dance” by Donna Summer, “Brandy” by Looking Glass, and “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

So, clearly my family has taste (although I’m fairly certain most of these are my mom’s, they were enjoyed by all). Next time I drive I’ll pop in one of these at random and see what they have to offer. 

Until next time,


Blog Miscellaneous Music Education

The Power of the Playlist

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning this October, and have been reorganizing the way I listen to my Apple Music library. And it hit me that the way I, and most people my age, organize songs into a genre or mood based playlist that we can carry around in our pockets would not have been possible 15 years ago. Playlists as not just a way of listening but as an art form are so ubiquitous now that they’re just a fact of life, a noun that we all use. Both Google search trends and mentions of the word in books actually peaked in the late 2000s to early 2010s, right around the time Spotify was really entering the public consciousness. So despite the fact that we’re using playlists more than ever, we think about the fact that we use them less, you just throw one together without considering what the alternative might be.

This massive trend has completely reshaped how the music industry presents itself to the listener, with a varying degree of subtlety. The biggest albums of the year now see a 20+ song tracklist as a bare minimum, with more songs meaning a guaranteed increase in streams regardless of the average quality of the record. Even with records that stay around my personal sweet spot of 10-15 songs, I find myself listening through once, seeing which songs really stand  out to me, and then extracting those to a playlist whose theme fits the music of that artist, something I explored as well in my review of latest album by TORRES.

This approach to listening to music has its pros and cons. For one, I don’t really get a chance to have an album and all of its quirks really grow on me unless it’s already an album I really liked being revisited and becoming an album I love. “Suck It And See” from Arctic Monkeys is an album that transcended the way I’ll often leave the album behind; it went from being a cover I would see when the few songs I had from it played off my Arctic Monkeys playlist to being one of my favorites of the last decade. But the reason I went back and got to connect with the album is because Arctic Monkeys have been my favorite artist since sophomore year of high school, and I can only imagine how many albums that, had I been willing to give them another chance, would have become an integral part of my memories the way my favorite albums have.

On the flip side, I find playlists make for a more consistent listening experience on a day to day basis, especially when I just want to get something done and music isn’t my main focus at the time. Very few albums have zero filler, but all those hours spent perfectly sculpting a playlist late at night pay off when you’re doing homework and don’t need to switch through five windows to find the music player to skip a mediocre track. Your personal playlist is ideally nothing but battle-tested songs that will always come through. There’s a level of artistry involved too; building smaller playlists and carefully choosing which songs make the cut lets me engage with music in a way I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

Playlists have also become a way of discovering music that’s very interesting to think about. Discover Weekly on Spotify is a lot of people’s go to for finding new songs they would probably like, but all streaming services have pre-made playlists that fit specific moods to draw from as well. Finding new music has less of a barrier in front of it than ever before, a new song is no longer an individual financial investment, like buying a record or downloading an individual iTunes track. On the contrary, if you’re paying for Spotify Premium, you want to get the most out of your monthly subscription and listen to as much as possible.

Being able to look at a homepage of a streaming service and seeing an algorithmically curated “for you” section in some ways lets individual listeners have more power over how they listen to music, but in other ways little has changed from when record companies started to dominate the industry. Algorithmically generated is key here, platforms can get you listening to a lot of music in a very narrow breadth within a wider genre or subgenre without ever having to leave one’s auditory comfort zone. Also many of those genre playlists on Spotify have their slots bought and paid for by record companies to promote their new material anyways, making music discovery in some ways no more organic than in the past, just with a new coat of paint.

Pros and cons aside, playlists aren’t going anywhere. Spotify has more than 30 million new listeners worldwide since 2020 and it’s not alone in this wider industry trend. As someone who grew up in the streaming era, I’ve never known life without them and I’m always looking for the next song to really tie the whole playlist together. I just have to make sure I know why my listening habits are the way they are, and to never listen to an album on shuffle.


Blog Miscellaneous Playlists

dj mozzie’s itchiest picks #1

Howdy y’all! Formerly known as museum maddie on the exhibition, I’ve done some rebranding after some soul searching and now bring to you dj mozzie and my itchiest picks! I’m not currently doing a set this semester but still wanted to share the music I love and hope you’ll love too. I’ve been trying to discover music that sits with me for a while, and I’ve put together the 12 songs that have made me feel warm and fuzzy as of late. I’ve been in sort of a transition period with my taste in music. During the exhibition, I was into more bedroom pop and indie rock. Fall usually reminds me of the stomp-and-holler-Mumford-and-Sons-or-The-Lumineers-type-music, but it feels a bit tired out for me.

I’ve put together a little fall playlist meant to be listened to during this time of transition, change, and (most importantly) Halloween. These songs are homely and buttery, perfect for the colder temperatures. Playlist #1 of many. Nothing says fall to me like classic rock. I started this playlist off with Season of the Witch by Donovan, which I played for a Halloween set when I was doing the exhibition. This song reminds me of warm apple cider and spices. I snuck in So Far Away by Carole King, which is definitely a personal favorite of mine. Carole’s voice is so unique, and this song matches the changing colors of the leaves. I leave you with dj mozzie’s itching picks!

  1. Season of the Witch by Donovan
  2. Flower Power by Greta Van Fleet
  3. Wish I Knew You by The Revivalists
  4. Elenore by The Turtles
  5. Witchy Woman by Eagles
  6. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
  7. Spooky by Classics IV
  8. Love Potion No.9 by The Searchers
  9. Top Of The World by The Carpenters
  10. So Far Away by Carole King
  11. Who’ll Stop The Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  12. Tangerine by Led Zeppelin

<3 mozzie


Screen Time: What to do Instead of Doom-Scrolling

I treasure my screen time (my weekly screen time report is an embarrassing number). But sometimes, even when I want to be taking a break, scrolling through all of my endless feeds can be very emotionally and mentally draining. When I want to be on my phone or computer, but don’t want to scroll myself into the void, here’s what I do instead.

Phone Games

I feel like everyone is entitled to at least one silly little phone game that they are way too into. For me, it’s the app/website (right now I am going through a major Farkle phase but I have played most games on there). Whether it be a card game, an adventure game or something where you have to tend to crops, let yourself have a game or two on your phone. It’s all in good fun.

Make A Playlist

If you’re in a creative mood, check out my blog “Struggle Making Playlists? Have Some Playlist Prompts.” It could potentially give you some new ideas for ways to freshen up your music library. 


There are two types of quizzes I frequent in my free time: personality quizzes and knowledge quizzes. Recently, I’ve been loving the Taylor Swift Sporcle quiz where you have 11 minutes to try and name every song on every album. Sporcle is a generally good resource for the knowledge/trivia based quizzes, but you can find them on all corners of the internet. 

The “Wikipedia Game”

You know the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” phenomenon? It’s kind of like that, but with Wikipedia. As Wikipedia describes it on the Wikipedia page for the game the objective is: “Players (one or more) start on the same randomly selected article, and must navigate to another pre-selected target article, solely by clicking links within each article. The goal is to arrive at the target article in the fewest clicks (articles), or the least time.” This is fun on your own, but is especially fun racing a friend. 

Catch Up On Favorite Podcasts/Current Audiobook

I feel like all I do is recommend my own blogs but I have written a blog with some podcast recommendations, as well as several blogs with book reviews (“You Have A Match,” “Tweet Cute,” “The Unhoneymooners”).  But if you have your own personal favorite that you haven’t listened to in a while: do it, it’ll be worth it.

Set The Phone Down

If you’ve exhausted all of these, maybe screen time should come to a close. Or not, I won’t tell you what to do. 

Here’s to no more doom-scrolling,