The Guide to Creating a Modern-Day Mixtape

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Contributing Writer
Photography by: YiorgosGR

"Happy Valentine's Day. I made you a mixtape." Remember when that was actually a thing? Get nostalgic this Valentine's Day with a personalized mixtape for your S.O. Ari Rosenfield, founder of Beat Train Productions, and Simon Tai, Chief DJ at Remixologists, give the low down on creating a modern-day mixtape.

Go digital

Sure, cassette tapes are the classic mixtape go-to, but it's not so functional today. "Instead of making an actual tape or CD, present it in a unique USB drive or even a custom Spotify playlist," says Tai.

Sneak in an inside joke

When it comes to making your mixtape intimate and personal, Rosenfield suggests adding an inside joke to your playlist. Does your fiancé have a weakness for Saturday morning cartoons? Slip in The Flintstones theme song or an audio rip from one of their favorite shows.


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Don't overdo it on the love ballads 

We all love an Adele song, but your mixtape will definitely lack spunk if you keep it strictly to slow tempo tunes. "Slow jams are a must, but include upbeat songs as well to give your story depth. Remind your partner of the fun times you shared on the dance floor," says Tai.


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Include a new twist from your Valentine's favorite artist 

All it takes is a little Googling to find unlimited remixes, mash-ups, covers, and live recordings from an artist. "If you know your special someone loves a particular band, try to dig something up that's related to the band that they've never heard before," says Rosenfield.

Remember: It's all about presentation

Every standout mixtape comes with a cool cove. Tai suggests finding an easy-to-use smartphone app where you can make personalized photos or posters.

Tell a story with your playlist

Your mixtape should be filled with songs that define your relationship and all the special moments you've shared. "Include songs from the first night you met, your first vacation, or the time you were stuck in an elevator together," says Tai.

Whatever you do, do not regift

Regifting a mixtape seems like a pretty obvious no-no, but just in case any part of you is tempted to regift an old mixtape from an ex: don't do it. Ever. "The biggest mixtape faux-pas is to copy and paste one that you've already given to someone … make sure to curate something hand-tailored by choosing songs that have meaning for you both," says Rosenfield.


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