I’m on Aux

A few weeks ago, I went on the Verci retreat to upstate New York. During the car ride, one of my friends took control of the aux and played trap music from artists like Playboi Carti, Future, and Lil Baby. Most of us in the car, including myself, did not enjoy his music choice, so we took away his aux privileges after a few songs. He wasn’t good on the aux because he was playing music he liked without considering others’ music tastes.

Whether it be a car, a cafe, or a party, the person who controls the aux sets the vibe. It’s important to be considerate when you’re on the aux. You’ve got to know what vibe you’re trying to set and gauge how people react to it.

When I’m on aux, I first try to understand who’s in the room. What’s their age? What’s their background? If I’m in a Gen Z crowd, maybe I’ll play some pop music. If I’m with a millennial crowd, I’ll throw in a few 2000s throwback tracks. Or if I’m with a crowd with older tastes, I’ll play some throwbacks like the Beatles or Michael Jackson.

Then I’ll understand the setting. Is it a car ride? A party? A writing event? For example, at the writing events that I host, I’ll exclusively play instrumentals. Maybe something jazzy or a lofi beat playlist.

Some songs are crowd-pleasers that will always get the crowd growing. In NYC for example, no matter how many times we hear Empire State of Mind, we’ll always turn up.

But I also enjoy sharing my personality and unique taste when I control the aux. I like to play lesser-known or older songs that might be a bit risky. It can either be a hit or miss. A good indicator of success is when people use Shazam or ask about the song I’m playing. There’s no better feeling when someone asks, What song is this?” while I’m in control of the aux.

April 21, 2024

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