The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Analysis of Spotify playlists shows happiest songs of summer 2023

An analysis done earlier this summer has analyzed hundreds of playlists along with thousands of songs, albums and artists to determine what music Spotify users search for most to boost their mood.

The project was taken on by Shiny Smile Veneers with the goal of bringing big smiles to music lovers by compiling the summer’s happiest songs.

A good summer anthem has the power to uplift our spirits, making us show off our radiant smiles with pride,the company said on their website.

Shiny Smile put together a list of 250 playlists through a large scale search using certain key words such as upbeat and positive vibes.  The first 25 playlists displayed for each set of key words were analyzed by recording the frequency certain songs and artists appeared.

The analysis didn’t stop at singles, but additionally examined the most popular artists, albums and genres on playlists indicating positivity and happiness.

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    With 38,210 total songs being analyzed, the title of happiest song was awarded to Blinding Lights by The Weeknd. Other podium spots went to Shape of You by Ed Sheeran and Dance Monkey by Tones and I.

    Not every song in the top 25 list from the study portrayed a happy and peppy melody. Noticeable standouts include Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi at number seven and Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper at number 25.

    These tracks delve into various moods and experiences, ranging from love and heartbreak to personal growth and self-reflection, highlighting the complexity and multifaceted nature of ‘happy’ music, Shiny Smile said in their article.

    The 25 happy artists also displayed a diverse selection of music. According to the Spotify data, rapper Drake came in at the number one spot, followed by Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Post Malone.

    The artists ranged from rappers such as Travis Scott (10) and Nicki Minaj (21) to DJs such as Calvin Harris (18) and David Guetta (23), but mostly stayed within the pop genre.

    Some artists from the top 25 list are clearly keeping their relevance despite being absent from the music scene for a while. Pop artist Ariana Grande came in sixth place, despite her last album Positions being released in 2020.

    Seeing the trend among the happiest songs and artists, the most popular of the happy genres is unsurprisingly pop. Rap, hip-hop, dance pop and rock made up the rest of the top five.

    Different branches of pop music such as pop rap and pop dance genres also placed fairly high, coming in at number seven and number eight respectively.

    Finally, the happiest albums came from many of the artists already named above. Of the 16,133 albums analyzed, The Weeknd’s After Hours placed first with Divideby Ed Sheeran coming in second and BRAVO Hits by Tones and I taking third.

    Shiny Smile reported that a common thread among these mood-lifting albums is their association with movies, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse(5), Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack) (20) and A Star Is Born Soundtrack (22) being cited as examples.

    The article additionally pointed out that many of the albums included collaborations between artists, such as Señorita (11) by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello and “lovely (single) (12) by Billie Eilish and Khalid.

    Shiny Smile Veneers clarifies that what one person may consider to be happy music could be completely different for somebody else.

    The beauty of ‘happy’ music lies in its widespread presence across a diverse range of genres, catering to various tastes and preferences, the company said.


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    About the Contributor
    Maaike Niekerk, buzz Editor
    My name is Maaike Niekerk, and I am a sophomore majoring in English with minors in music and journalism. I began working with The Daily Illini during the fall semester of my freshman year as a buzz staff writer, and joined the editorial team last summer. I love bringing live event coverage to you from Champaign-Urbana’s vibrant music scene and sharing stories of local artists and musicians. Outside of The Daily Illini, you’ll find me performing at every football game with the Marching Illini or cycling with the 2024 Illini 4000 bike America team.
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