To make it through the frigid spring months of Chicago (seriously, what’s HAPPENING?), DDPP ran our own Music Madness. The brackets were painstakingly put together by Den Mother DJ Hotdish, who freely admits that this first round was highly influenced by her own DDPP dance taste. It’s a mix of all time favorites and one-hit wonders, but the main feature of the selections was the premise, “Does this artist have a song that has made the women of DDPP freak out on the floor?” This is how I ended up including Bonnie Tyler but not Cardi B. And how I accidentally ended up with Ed Sheeran on this mix (I thought he sang that “Shut Up and Dance with Me” song. I need to do more research next year).
I’d also like to apologize to some fabulous artists that I COMPLETELY forget. Sia and M.I.A., I am SO SO sorry. Dua Lipa, maybe next year.
When we got down to the sweet sixteen, it was agreed that a playlist should be made. I took the task on with some trepidation. I figured that finding a variance of pace would be easy, but how to play with genre and diversity of sound? How to make a playlist of the greats without including LIZZO? All of these artists have MANY hits? How to build a playlist that would let people breathe, but also scream sing?
I figured that the easiest thing to do would fist pick out my non-negotiable songs. The pace and vibe of my non-negotiable choices would help me figure out what the pace of the other songs needed to be. Here were my first picks: Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae, All Night by Chance the Rapper, Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore, We Found Love by Rihanna, Blow by Kesha, and Perm by Bruno Mars. It felt like starting with two of the final four was the right move – so I let Missy open it up HARD, let Chance keep that vibe flowing, and then let Macklemore push us up a notch. The first three songs of this mix may be my favorite that I’ve ever put together.
I’m also particularly proud of Make me Feel into The Way You Make Me Feel. Those songs are a perfect compliment to one another. I also knew that I wanted to put two “jumpers” together, which is how Blow & We Found Love ended up being together in the mix. This meant that a lot of the work I was doing was going through the rest of the picks and attempting to find things that either let us go mid-tempo, or let us change up our dance moves. That made Express Yourself, Million Dollar Bill, and Modern Love really easy picks. I went back and forth on the Beyonce song MANY times (should she let us breathe or do I just go with my all-time favorite COUNTDOWN? Y’all know what happened).
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this mix. The best part about this was how many different versions I made with equally amazing songs by the same artists. These 16 are truly golden – although, if I had to open it up a bit, I would toss in some Robyn, Lizzo, and Carly Rae. Y’all know they have my heart.
I ended the mix by cheering on the final two, Beyonce and Prince. I don’t think anyone was surprised that these two made it all the way – we’re already putting our heads together in the DDPP headquarters to revamp the way we build brackets for Music Madness #2 (coming to ya in 2019). BUT – based on the success of the party, I suspect we’ll be doing more DDPP participation style mixes this summer! Let us know if you have any ideas for how we set up our next mix!