A curated playlist to match the personality of Sokyo is now available for listening on Spotify. Here’s how our entertainment team went about curating the playlist…
Putting together a playlist to suit the mood and environment of a venue is no easy feat. We asked Duane Duriani-Gennai of The Star Sydney’s entertainment team to put together a playlist that encapsulates the Sokyo mood.
When curating a playlist, how important is the order of songs?
It’s important to have your aim and objective for the playlist as a whole –the theme, overall sound, feel and flow. The order of the songs and the individual song selection are instrumental in bringing the playlist to life. I always approach a playlist like I would a DJ set. You want to create a musical journey for the listener. I personally like to set the tone early with a good record to start, one that draws people into the mood and soundscape you are trying to create, but isn’t too heavy. In this case, we wanted the order of the songs and the flow of the playlist to highlight what a night out experience at Sokyo feels and sounds like, from the opening right through to the late night.
Do you ever listen to a playlist someone has created, on shuffle?
It really depends on the playlist. If there if a playlist I’ve listened to a few times and I like most of the songs on it, I’ll shuffle just to surprise myself and sometimes you hear something that makes you think these songs flow well in this order. Also, some curators of playlists don’t concentrate on order, so listening on shuffle can enhance that experience.
Do you believe in a one song per artist rule for a playlist?
No. Absolutely not!
A good record is a good record and if an artist has multiple songs that fit a playlist, they should be included on it. Often that can really tie a playlist together. Sometimes you might have a record from different producers that use the same vocalist or the same producer that wrote and collaborated with different artists. It can be really interesting. It all comes down to selecting the songs that are the best fit for what your ultimate objectives are with the playlist.
Where do you source music from?
I’ve been a DJ for nearly 20 years, so discovering music has been part of my life for a very long time now. When I was in my late teens, I would go to the specialist record stores every weekend and spend four to five hours at a time in the store and just scour through vinyls and listen to everything I could until I selected the songs I liked to curate my DJ sets with.
Nowadays it’s a similar process. I get a lot of promos sent to me from record labels prior to release. I listen to a lot of specialist DJs and radio shows, I go through Spotify regularly – particularly the Discover Weekly feature which delivers me music I may like based on my algorithmic listening. I’ll also Shazam songs I hear when I’m out in a restaurant, a shop, or hear another DJ play. But to be honest, I’ve trained my ear over such a long time so I’ve got methods where I can probably go through more music faster than most people. I can’t give away all my trade secrets though!
How does music contribute to a venue space?
Music is one of the key elements that contribute to a venue space. From the genre of music, volume, clarity, speaker positioning, speaker quality, etc. It complements and enhances (or detracts) from the overall experience. There are a lot of venues which really let themselves down by not placing enough thought or emphasis on the overall experience. It’s obviously more complex and nuanced.
Especially when trying to achieve that ‘vibe dining’ experience. That’s something we have been addressing at The Star, to ensure that our signature dining restaurants, in particular Sokyo, has a specific sound that elevates the dining experience and enhances the atmosphere to make you want to stay longer, vibe and come back next week.