Making Rob Gordon proud in the blog era.
Proyecto Playlist is the brainchild of Ma. Elizabeth (Marie) Hernández and the Maracaibo lovechild of High Fidelity character Rob Gordon (neé Fleming). The blog, born out of a hybrid need to share – Marie is the youngest of six children – and to self-express, has attracted the attention of many Venezuelans looking for curated tunes from local taste-makers. And so what was once a monthly post by Marie was transformed into a hub for local taste-makers and music connoisseurs with highly global tastes. Today, Marie tells us why playlists are superior to singles and why music can replace writing. And she even created a special playlist just for us!!!
How did this project come about?
Proyecto Playlist started as a way to share music with my friends, I have the luck –to call it somehow, but it’s more like a blessing- to be surrounded by friends, who, like me, enjoy listening to music a lot. Every time we get together, 70% of our conversations are about music: what bands are we listen to, fights –well let’s say discussions- about old school vs. new school, what it would have been like to party in The Hacienda or The Groucho and how thanks to Tumblr and Zoey Deschanel everyone is a hardcore Smith’s fans –we can get a little hater sometimes, but it’s pretty harmless.
This project is the aftermath of all those conversations I have with my friends, with so many bands coming out and generating buzz so quickly, keeping up with everything that is happening in music and finding -among all the hype and buzz- really good records that deserve to be heard, has become more difficult. So I thought that the best way to know what was going on for me and my friends was to create monthly playlist with the music we have heard the most during that past month, that way we could know what was everyone listening to and have more things to talk about the next time we would hang out.
Then there’s the fact that I’m addicted to the Internet and of course, I’m a Blogger like everyone nowadays. I started to upload these playlists to my personal blog to have something different from other blogs. After two months, I saw that the visits to the site would increase tremendously every time I posted a playlist. As a marketing student, I saw the great potential this project had and gave it his own website.
But in essence it’s a tribute to my friends.
The return of old friends for The Gopher Illustrated.
There’s nothing like the return of old friends, those whose stories are also our stories, those that know what we are thinking just by looking at us. The excitement of meeting an old friend after years without seeing each other is something I can only compare to when a band I love and miss has a new record coming out. This year, I have been lucky enough to see and hear the return of my favorite bands, those that know me better than anyone.
How does Proyecto Playlist work? How do playlist makers become involved with the site?
Alongside music, sharing is one key element in Proyecto Playlist and it is what keeps it going. At first, there would be only playlists made by my friends or acquaintances, but as the site spread around the Internet, I started to receive playlists from people all over the country, Latin America and even Europe who wanted to share a playlist and post it on the site.
Everyone can be a part of Proyecto Playlist, there’s no genre or music style associated to it – though most of our collaborators tend to be on the indie side of things-. I feel that I’m no one to tell what bands or songs should be on a playlist, every person who sends a playlist picks the 10 songs make it up. I love getting playlists with music that is different from what I usually hear and discover new sounds from other people’s playlists.
To be featured on the site, you just have to send me an email with your playlist and the story behind it.
- Why playlists? Why not records or singles?
For me playlists are special, every time I make one it’s like I’m telling a story. A long time ago, I would just a lot, when I stopped I found that by making playlists, I could still exteriorize all the feelings and emotions that I would have put on paper before. But instead of using my words, I use songs that – as a friend of mine always says- I feel they were written by me.
I always joke saying that creating playlists is not easy, for many people it’s about taking some songs, picking a topic and putting them together in shuffle mode. For me it’s almost a science, every single song that is on a playlist has a purpose and a reason to be there, each song is placed strategically to develop an emotion and help me write the story that I want to tell.
For a band a record is a book, it’s their way to tell us a story. All the songs or singles that are on a record are chapters in that book. Since I can’t sing or play an instrument, a take a chapter from that book and put it together with other chapters from other books to tell my story. Sometimes, I think is like making an Exquisite Corpse but with music.
Tell us about a typical day for you.
My days start pretty early, I wake up and to go work –I work as a content and web editor for a local magazine-. When I get there, I visit all the music blog and look for new record leaks and start downloading music compulsively. I start working around 10am –I’m gonna get fired if my boss read this- and while I’m at that, I listen to the records I’ve downloaded and give stars to the songs that I like, that way I can keep track of them later on.
At noon, I stay at the office and take that time to post new playlists on the site, write back to the people that send playlists and look for new collaborators.
I’m also graduating –well almost there- of Marketing and Advertising in La Universidad del Zulia and spend most of my nights going to class, after that you can found me at a friend’s house talking or trying to sleep –thank you, insomnia- if is a weeknight. On the weekends I have a tendency to go party, but due the lack of choices on bars or pubs in this town, having a beer at a friend’s house is the best way to go.
A pretty normal twenty-something life.[Playlist courtesy of Marie Hernández and Proyecto Playlist. Tracklist image and photo compositions by Valentina Alvarado for Proyecto Playlist. ]