Creating niche playlists on Spotify to capture a certain mood or vibe is nothing new, but recently, a lot of users have been creating playlists to capture the energy of fictional characters from movies and TV shows.
While this might seem silly, many of these playlists get thousands of followers and have an especially strong listener base. By envisioning the type of music your favorite character would listen to, these playlists allows users to vicariously live as them. And the people who choose to listen share a common interest, creating an easy but powerful way to connect with others.
Some of the most popular ones utilize their characters with a mix of simple titles and stick to a certain vibe or energy that they believe the character has.
For example, the playlist “draco malfoy vibes” by Spotify user ekinkulturr has more than 8,000 followers and captures their version of what antagonistic Slytherin Draco Malfoy from "Harry Potter" would listen to if he had a playlist.
Staying true to his character, this list consists mainly of indie rock anthems, mostly by the bands The Neighbourhood or the Arctic Monkeys, with a depressing tone and a very rebellious sentiment throughout.
Another popular playlist is “the side character” by Spotify user David Welch. This track list focuses on capturing the feeling of being a character in a movie, a soundtrack for those of us who are just not the stars of the show.
Featuring hits from Kali Uchis and girl in red, this mixture of indie pop and art rock make this playlist a genuinely enjoyable experience, and it boasts a sizable 15,000 followers. The lighthearted nature and genuinely good songs from this playlist makes it one that I come back to, and it truly captures the feeling of being on the sidelines.
The playlist “harry potter vibes” by Spotify user sophie wathen follows a similar format to the previous two, but it focuses on capturing the entire "Harry Potter" franchise instead of focusing on a specific character, allowing this playlist to be slightly more genre-fluid.
Consisting of early 2010s rock songs and remastered songs by The Beatles, this track list has both a nostalgic and adventurous vibe, encapsulating the theme and energy of the "Harry Potter" franchise. While there have been several remakes, this iteration is the most popular with more than 7,000 followers.
“finn wolfhard” by Spotify user petraknupp focuses exclusively on what she thinks the actor and Stranger Things star would listen to. Wolfhard has his own band called Calpurnia, so this playlist is a bit more realistic and grounded.
With a mixture of songs from independent artists like Dayglow and Whitney, this list maintains a good mix of current and older songs from the '60s and '70s. It's both a genuine way to discover new music and maintains its quality from beginning to end, and with more than 3,000 followers, it is one of the most popular playlists dedicated to Wolfhard.
These character playlists on Spotify occupy a fascinating avenue of the internet. They're both specifically niche where you would have to purposefully search for them, but they offer a broad appeal with the specific songs they choose in order to illustrate a certain vibe.
It's simultaneously archiving an emotion towards a franchise and living vicariously through the music you listen to. Human nature naturally enables us to create, and these playlists are a popular and interesting method to turn a mental fantasy into a real and genuine creation. Whether this is a trend is regardless of its effect: It captures an energy that can't really be put into words in a truly unique way.