Thursday, April 5, 2012

Who Makes the AE Store Playlists?

Ever wonder who creates the awesome playlists you hear while shopping in AE Stores? Today we have the answer for you. We sat down with Brad S., who manages the music program, to learn about how an in-store playlist is made.

Brad S. creates all the AE in-store playlists and the AE Pandora station.

What goes into making a playlist for AE?
I spend time looking at music blogs and music magazines to see what’s new that sounds like it will work for us. I also look at the Billboard charts to see what is popular and incorporate music that people will know. Our music partner also sends over lists each season of their recommendations. We go through a few rounds of edits to get it where we want it.

What is your background in music?
I’ve just always really liked music. I knew the guy who used to do this job. We had another girl, too. When she left, I jumped on it right away.

What is the coolest thing you have ever done with your job?
Just getting to travel – going to SXSW and Coachella this year. That’s probably the coolest part about it. I also work on seasonal brand videos and putting a song to that, so I work on getting suggestions and putting songs to the video.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?
I saw Paul McCartney a few years ago. Even though he’s older now, it was still pretty awesome. He played a lot of Wings and Beatles songs. SXSW is just a ton of fun and I’ve seen bands there before they’ve gotten big. This year I’m going to Coachella, which I’ve never been to. I saw this band Real Estate in a really small, dirty building a few months ago and they’re starting to get attention and they’re really good, so that’s cool.

What are some of your favorite songs?
This year:
Dirty Gold – California Sunrise
Lana Del Rey – Video Games
tUnE-yArDs – Gangsta
Guineafowl - Botanist
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (how could you not?)

All-Time:
Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Na├»ve Melody)
Arrested Development – Everyday People
The Beatles – Norwegian Wood
LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
MGMT – Time To Pretend

Besides music, what are your other hobbies?
I do some screen printing t-shirts. I have a small little line that I sell at a local store (Decade). I home brew beer in my kitchen. I made a great Christmas ale called “Santa’s Little Helper”. And I snowboard.

One of Brad's Screen-Printed shirts, available at Decade.

Where are you headed for vacation this summer?
I’ve been wanting to go to Burlington and Montreal, but those are probably better Winter trips. I want to try and start going to places I’ve never been before – maybe New Mexico or some islands. I love going to the beach anytime I can – down to Carolina.

What is your must-see spot in Pittsburgh?
If someone is coming to Pittsburgh, I would probably recommend Round Corner Cantina. They have really refreshing cocktails and great Mexican food, plus you can sit outside.

You have a really cute dog.
My dog’s name is Dugan. He’s half Dalmatian, half German Short-Haired Pointer. I wasn’t sure what he was when I got him because he was a rescue, so I got his DNA tested. Someone found him and tried to find the owner for a few months and couldn’t find it. I found him on Craigslist. He’s real friendly and laid back. He’s taking on his owner’s personality.

Dugan, Brad's dog.