Relentless Beats

The Art of Ranking Your Favorite Artists

If you are like me, the question of “who are your favorite artists?” has always thrown me for a loop.  How was I, someone who loves multiple genres and artists, able to accurately answer the question? One night, I cracked the code, and I am happy to share with you the five questions I use to rank my favorite artists.

Before we get into it, I do want to acknowledge that not everything can be gamified. Sometimes an artist touches your soul, and you cannot explain why you love that artist and hold them above the rest.  I want you to lean into that—your feelings are valid, and music is meant to provide different experiences and stories for all.  But I do think these five questions factor in those indescribable feelings, and when I step back and look at my list, I am content with it. Therefore, I am excited to share my criteria with you!

Process: I look at two artists at a time, and ask the five questions below. The winner is moved above the other artist. Repeat until you have a top five (or 10, feel free to get crazy with it).

Questions (note that you do not have to weigh each question the same):

  1. Who would you rather see live?
  2. Whose overall collection of work do you enjoy more?
  3. Who has the most meaningful song(s) to you personally?
  4. Whose vibe is “better”?
  5. Who has had a better “live” moment for you?

The resulting list is meant to be organic and ever-changing, just like you. That is the beauty of the list. Through its subjectiveness, it gives room for growth. 

My current top 10 artists are (in order): GRiZ, Subtronics, Skrillex, Ganja White Night, Seven Lions, ILLENIUM, Au5, Rezz, Troyboi, and Similar Outskirts

Now some may ask, what value does this provide? Is this list really going to compel me to miss Au5’s set when Subtronics is playing at the same time? The answer to that is whatever it means to you. Maybe ranking your favorite artists does nothing. But maybe it embeds you even further into the culture in which you found a home. Regardless, I hope you try it yourself—maybe you’ll learn a thing or two about your music taste!

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