The Art of Mix-Tape!

Have you ever created a Mix-tape for someone special? At least a playlist?? No? Then you are missing out a little on the ‘romance’ aspect.

Yes! Mix-tapes are like sending a part of your love letter to that special person, in the form of music. These are nothing but a bouquet of hand-picked beautiful music that you want to dedicate to the person you love – The songs that you want the other person to listen to/the lyrics that you want to quote for the other person.

A deftly crafted mixtape is an ‘extraordinary’ work of art and you are NOT supposed to compromise on anything when you begin to make one. You shouldn’t be skipping a song just because it’s not available on any platform. It’s best if you can download that song legally and then add it to your list.

Just call it a Mix-tape, even if you are burning it on a CD. Because when you call it so, it adds a nostalgic sense of romanticism, since nobody really uses tapes/CDs anymore.

Being a 90’s kid, I’m happy that I’ve actually got myself one. It was a period when the cassette shops were actually a hub where people would gather and give a list of their favorite songs to get it on a tape. (I know, it’s illegal. But I’ve done that. Nobody realised it was illegal). The shopkeepers also had beautiful handwritings to decorate their cassette covers with the song names. Back in the day when I got my first ever mix-tape, it costed me 50 rupees. It was a HUGE amount (atleast for me!). I used to save every single penny of my pocket money to get these kinda cassettes. TDK, Sony & T-Series were the popular cassette companies those days and they had 60 and 90 versions which ran 60 minutes and 90 minutes respectively. Obviously, the 90 minute cassettes help accommodate more songs.

A mix-tape is actually a “very” personal thing; so please don’t make one for a stranger. Make sure it is only for your ‘SPECIAL’ one. Stop looking at playlists on the streaming platforms for reference, they are crap. Yes, absolute crap! Avoid the popular songs on the radio as well. Nobody wants a mix-tape full of top hits. Go find some rare, under-rated, unnoticed songs.

Sit down, make a list of 25 songs that you’d like to dedicate to that one person. Now shortlist to 14 songs from that list (that’s the safest run-time one Audio CD can accommodate). Get good quality audio files of those songs (MP3 or WAV work. But it would be good if it’s WAV) & burn the tracks on a CD. Customise the overlay of the CD and hand it over to the person with a note or maybe by telling them something sweet.

Why not Playlists? I understand we are running in a fast paced world. Everyone is streaming music now. But, nothing matches like handling a physical copy of music. Trust me and try this once. The quality and the feeling is impeccable! Also, for someone sitting in India and consuming a lot of regional music, not all labels deploy all the songs on streaming platforms. Half of the greatest music isn’t even available on any of them.

40 years down the line, when you and your better half spend your retirement days together I’m sure these mix-tapes will give you beautiful memories to look back, cherish and you’ll remember the timelines exactly and discuss how you guys fell for each other. That is one big fat reason why you should make Mix-Tapes.

So what are you waiting for??

Go ahead, start making one!

Yours truly, Pattukkaaran 🙂 bye!