This month we were joined by James Kinnear from Double J Music. As well as running several busy record labels, Double J also curate a series of highly popular Spotify playlists. We spoke to James about how playlist curation works, and how you can improve your chances of getting that all important playlist addition…
How do you work with artists/labels/distributors and their releases?
We receive playlist submissions from all types of companies and creatives – from major labels to independent unsigned artists, and everyone in between. We have a submission form on our web site which allows people to pitch their tracks to us directly.
What does a typical day look like in your job?
Every day we receive hundreds of song submissions for our playlists (which keeps us busy!), so much of my day here in Bristol is spent listening to new music! I like to playlist on the go too, and a change of scene is always good. For example, updating our coffee house playlist in a local café, or curating one of our feel-good playlists down by the harbourside when the sun is shining. We also hook up with labels and management companies on a regular basis, and find ourselves in London most weeks for meetings, events and gigs.
What’s the biggest misconception about what you do?
I think there’s a misconception that with the rising popularity of streaming, music is becoming more algorithmic and just created to fit a mould. I believe good curation involves keeping a heart to the process, and putting the music first, remembering why we set up the playlists in the first place. We cater to a pretty wide range of genres, so if we get sent a great track, I like to think there’s always a home for it.
If I’m an artist or manager, what can I do to get the most out of your area of work?
I would encourage anyone to send us music directly via our website. We focus primarily on fresh new music, so prefer to receive tracks on release or when they’re on the rise. It’s good to connect on socials as well – our handle is @dbljmusic