How to Make a Killer Playlist

Words and graphic by Jo Guelas

Have you ever wanted to make a playlist for the world to enjoy but didn’t know where to begin? Well, in three easy steps you can *master* the art of playlists. Don’t worry, your girl Jo (me!) has your back.

  1. First things first, decide what you want your playlist to be about. For example, it could be a playlist about romance, adventure or it could be inspired by your interests. Fandom-inspired mixes are quite popular. Here’s a few more ideas for inspiration…
  • Romance
    • You could base a playlist on your OTP.
  • Adventure / Fantasy
    • An example would be making your own life’s soundtrack inspired by your favorite movie or director.
  • Exercising / Dancing
    • Feel-good music that has a great beat and keeps you on your toes.
  • Studying / Writing / Chill
  • Vintage
    • Like 90s or older music.
    • A throwback, basically!
  • Fandom
    • Based on characters, or the interest itself.
    • Another popular idea is making mythology-based playlists!


  1. The next step is choosing a genre. Playlists sound great if the songs come from similar genres. It would feel a bit weird if one minute you were listening to a soul song, then the next you were catapulted into a heavy metal song. But anything that floats your boat will be fine! Genres can be your chosen subject as well. You don’t always need an idea for making a playlist, you can literally just choose a bunch of songs that sound great together and turn that into a playlist. Here’s a few genres to get your mind workin’:
  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Indie
  • Rock
  • Pop
  • EDM
  • Hip Hop
  • R&B
  • Folk
  • Soul
  • Blues


  1. After choosing your songs, sharing your playlist is the final step! It’s 2016- you can literally publish your playlist anywhere. Here are a few great options for sites to host your amazing playlist…
  • Spotify
    • It’s really convenient and easy to use Spotify, especially because it’s free!
    • No need to make album art, but you totally can if you want to.
    • Spotify might not have all the songs you want, but its convenience makes it worth a try!
  • 8tracks
    • You’re free to upload your own music or use SoundCloud.
    • Plus you can add album art, so yay for the aesthetic!
    • Keep in mind that due to copyright laws, it now only streams to the US and Canada, but you can still stream internationally via YouTube.
  • SoundCloud
    • You can upload your very own music for the playlist (and to share with the WORLD!) or use preexisting tunes.
    • There’s a large variety of different music, which is great for discovering your new favorite indie artists!
  • YouTube
    • It’s easy to pull other videos from different channels to make playlists.
    • YouTube is mainly a video platform, but you can still use it to your playlist-making heart’s content!


The last thing left to tell you is to always remember that these aren’t the official™ rules, so don’t stress if your playlist doesn’t fit perfectly into this mold! These are only suggestions to help get your musical gears turnin’. Playlists can be anything. I like to throw in Beyoncé and Twenty One Pilots, then proceed to call it art! To each their own. ✿

Jo Guelas is a 14 year old journalist and musician from Melbourne, Australia. She currently writes for Sonic Blume Zine and Draft Magazine, as well as playing saxophone for numerous ensembles. Her key motivation is the PokeStop down the street from her house that she passes whenever she walks to school.