On a recent shopping trip, the sales person assisting me was making small talk and asked about my job. Music Designer isn’t a job title most people encounter too often, so I usually add a brief explanation. Even people I know, to whom I’ve explained my job multiple times, sometimes don’t remember what I do. A relative once asked me if I was still working “at the music store” – maybe she just wasn’t listening. Uninterested family members aside, Music Designers do a lot of careful researching, writing, planning, and of course listening, in order to create and update the final product: the playlist.

With iTunes and various music apps, anyone can make a playlist. Your favorite workout jams, music to study by, a road trip playlist – the ability to make and listen to playlists so easily means we can have personal soundtracks for whatever activity we choose. When I explain that I design in-store music programs for stores, restaurants, etc., I think many people relate that to personal playlists. But personal playlists are just that: personal. Aside from the size difference (our programs contain considerably more songs than a personal playlist), our playlists aren’t designed with the music designer’s personal preferences in mind. It doesn’t matter if I personally like Katy Perry’s newest single, if it’s perfect for the brand and the customer demographic, and if it’s a good fit with the overall design concept, I’ll add it to the program. I may love Coldplay’s latest offering, but if it isn’t right for the program, I’m not going to use it.

The personal touch in Music Design comes from the fact that we personally hand pick songs to suit the brand, the in-store space, and the customer. The music program we create becomes the brand’s personal (very large) playlist, and a unique musical soundtrack for customers to experience.

 – Submitted by Erin Yousef, Music Design