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Darcy’s official guide to aux

There’s one question I find myself asking more often than not, which is “can I aux?” The term “aux” is a shortened version of the word auxiliary, coined by Gen Z as a way of playing music. Someone can be in charge of aux, on aux or passing the aux. I truly believe that I can ask that question confidently regardless of my audience because I have playlists to fit every possible listener as well as a rolodex of a song library in my head. 

Because this is my second to last-ever edition of Monthly Music, it’s time I reveal my secrets to the aux. The knowledge of the auxiliary is such a powerful tool especially when used confidently, as you can dictate the energy of your car ride or gathering.

Darcy, what should I NOT play? Nothing is off limits, but keep this in mind: People want to hear music they know. If you find that the music you listen to is more of a niche taste, I would not recommend playing that on aux. The responsibility of aux means that you are the DJ and creating the soundtrack for that setting, which is why in between crowd-pleasing songs, I’ll sneak one of my favorite, but not extremely popular, songs into the mix. By sneaking in a more underground song a few times during your aux, you can put people on new music, with an increased probability of their enjoyment because it’s being heard between songs they already know. 

Darcy, what should I play in front of the middle-aged and above crowd? This question can be answered simply. For the middle-aged and above crowd, I would recommend songs that are not extremely explicit in profanity as well as avoiding lyrics with sexual topics. Upbeat, happier tunes are always appealing and non-controversial for this audience. I would go with some Grateful Dead, ABBA, Sublime, Billy Idol, America, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Blind Melon and Arctic Monkeys — if you’d like to throw some modern music in there. 

Darcy, what rap should I play with people who listen to rap but I DEFINITELY do not? Funnily enough, I have been asked this question. Before I get into my answer, play whatever your heart desires, but if you want to impress rap-listeners when you’ve never listened to rap a day in your life, I got you. There are a plethora of subgenres of rap, however to keep it plain and simple, I’ll stick with the go-to albums: “Self Titled” by Playboi Carti, “Take Care” by Drake, “Artist” by A Boogie, “Without Warning” by Metro Boomin, “4:44” by Jay-Z, “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight’’ by Travis Scott and “2014 Forest Hills Drive” by J. Cole. I promise you, no matter what crowd of rap listeners you happen to be in the presence of, they will one hundred percent know multiple songs on all of these albums.

Darcy, what should I play at a social gathering? To answer this, you really need to understand what audience you’re playing music for. Sometimes it’s a dancing vibe while other times it’s a sing-along vibe. If your social gathering is in a dancing mood, I try to stick with EDM (electronic dance music) as well as house music (more relaxed beats of electronic dance music). I would definitely say FISHER, Disco Lines, LF SYSTEM, Galantis, Flume/Disclosure remixes and DR. GABBA are your best bet for dancing. For classic sing-alongs, Pitbull, Usher, Rihanna, Flo Rida, LMFAO, David Guetta, Fergie and Kesha can guarantee the members of your gathering will sing their hearts out. 

To conclude my guide to the auxiliary, I want to make sure that I’m not influencing anyone to play music they don’t like in order to please other people. Aux is something really fun for me, because I find the commonalities between songs that everyone knows and loves. It truly is really special seeing people sing or dance to songs that I put into the queue, and I hope that the next time you are prompted with aux, you can confidently connect to the Bluetooth and have a lineup perfectly suited for your audience.

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