It’s Friday night and your guests are about to knock on the door. Your food looks and smells incredible, but what about the tunes? With the entire history of recorded music now at our fingertips, you’ve got no excuse not to nail a playlist. But where to start?
Before you click play on the Spotify “top 100”, take into account the wise words of Lazerpig’s Rohan Rebeiro. He is the curator of Lazerpig’s DJs, an occasional DJ himself and the drummer in My Disco. We asked him for some tips for creating a playlist that matches the quality of your meal.
A date with someone you’re trying to impress
Rebeiro says the key is to go for something “a little obscure but not too experimental”. You want some easy fuel for conversation with your date, but you don’t want to scare them away.
“You want to inspire some curiosity,” Rebeiro says. “I’d probably go for something a bit percussive, in the Afro-disco realm. Something with cool basslines.”
Obviously the basic rules for impressing a date apply too, so remove all meditation tracks, gardening podcasts and Right Said Fred singles that may auto play on your iTunes.
A dinner party with family
No one knows your family’s music taste better than you, but if in doubt Rebeiro says jazz is a safe bet.
“Start with the ’50s and ’60s: maybe a vocal Chet Baker album, some Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald or some bossa nova. Depending on how wild the party gets, you can amp it up with some salsa and disco.”
Of course, there’s room to chuck in the family favourites – for Rebeiro’s family, that means UB40.
A dinner party with 10+ friends
With lots of mates in one room, the mood is naturally going to be more upbeat. This is where you can turn up the volume to keep everyone in a party mood (and the option of going out afterwards alive).
He cautions playing the bangers or recognisable hits, and recommends hiding your laptop. “When you have a group of people together and allow your friends control over the music, everyone tries to put their jam on, so you end up getting 45 seconds of a hit song before someone grabs it and changes it to another hit,” he says.
He also says it’s worth saving the R‘n’B and ’90s hip-hop jams for the club. “Once you start playing all the classics, you’ll end up staying home all night and reminiscing about the old days,” he says.
An intimate dinner party with close friends
There’s no harm in getting a bit weird here. “I’d look for something ambient,” Rebeiro says. “You can just chill and listen to bizarre sounds with your friends. Everyone will be chatting, so don’t have anything too driving in the background. Let the conversation come to the fore.”
After dessert is when you can consider winding it up. “Test the waters with the tunes, and get people tapping a bit so, when someone suggests going out, it won’t come as a surprise,” says Rebeiro. “If you continue with chilled music, people will get too relaxed and won’t want to go out.”
If he had it his way, dinner-party music on the whole would be less reserved. “It would be fun to match what we’re eating to what we’re listening to,” he says. “But that’s getting pretty deep.”
Re-create Lazerpig at home by ordering its pizza via Deliveroo and putting Rebeiro’s playlist tips into action.
This article is presented in partnership with Deliveroo.