Being a professional musician, I’m often asked what music I listen to. Most people find it surprising when I tell them that I actually don’t listen to a lot of music. Part of that stems from the fact that I’ve been trained to be an active listener, which makes having music on just in the background nearly impossible and fairly distracting when I’m trying to focus on another task, like writing. In other words, listening passively is something I have trouble doing. However, I obviously love music.

Coming from a classic music and jazz background, I think people also find it interesting when I tell them the music that I like. Of course I could go on and on about classical music—from the truly classical to the modern—as well as jazz. Both have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. But if I had to make a current playlist, you might be surprised. I’m a huge fan of hip-hop, classic soul, and bad pop music. Hey, even a professional musician needs to have guilty pleasures, right? There’s just something about the use of language, turns of phrase, and groove just really intrigues me. Here are 10 tunes that are always on rotation:

Common – Blue Sky
Astor Piazzolla – Tango Etude No. 4
Curtis Mayfield – Move on Up
J Dilla – Two Can Win
Peter Fox – Alles Neu
Joshua Redman – Jazz Crimes
Jay-Z – Can’t Knock the Hustle
Maze feat. Frankie Beverly – Before I Let Go
Astor Piazzolla – Oblivion
J Dilla – So Far To Go (soundtrack to this)

What are you listening to? And would you be interested in more playlists?

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo.


Chime In