DJs and lead guitarists are turning to music curation – we asked them, why?
By Annie Konieczny
Aside from its industry-disrupting AI capabilities – a gamechanger when it comes to controlling a venue’s audio environment – at its core, Qsic is a music streamer licensed for use in public. The company’s central ethos is to create bespoke audio environments through a careful curation of music most suited to a clients’ needs – no easy task when you’re working with some 1,200 plus venues, many with their own look, feel and commercial purpose. Whether it be choosing laid-back acoustica, old-school rock n’ roll or – as is the case for one of their clients – 60’s psychedelic Greek tunes, Qsic’s content creators are tapped into an abundance of music and are formulating new playlists constantly.
So, who are these music maestros whizzing up hours and hours’ worth of perfect tunes? From whence do they hail? What experience and talents do they bring? What are their favourite tunes of 2018? What are their favourite tunes ever? And, perhaps most importantly, how does one create a 60s psychedelic Greek playlist? To answer these questions we spoke to Todd Watson, Qsic’s Head of Content and Lorenzo Sillitto, a principle music curator at the ground-breaking company.
Todd Watson, Head of Content
Both as a recording artist signed to Neon Records with a string of Top 20 singles and national radio play, and as a DJ enjoying residencies at some of Melbourne’s most prestigious clubs, Todd’s experience of the music scene is unsurpassed. Luckily for Qsic, he has funnelled this experience and passion into a body of work that now makes up the framework of the Qsic content library.
Favourite tune of 2018: Don’t Matter To Me – Drake ft. Michael Jackson
Favourite tune ever: M83 – Wait
- What brought you to Qsic?
As an obsessive-compulsive music librarian, it just made sense to join a music service that needed someone who could catalogue and find homes for all the wonderful music available on the Qsic platform. That and, of course, the co-founders Matt and Nick, who create such a great energy around them and the company.
- What does your average day look like?
I like to be the first one in to the office, have a quick read on some music websites before getting stuck in to all the emails from both our valued customers and future clients. I’ll spend a decent part of the day working on bespoke curation for the national brands we supply and also trawling through all the new content flooding in from all the record labels that makes its way into the playlists available to all our subscribers.
- What did you bring from your previous work in music to your role at Qsic?
As a DJ, the primary modus operandi is to know your audience. You could have all the music known to man at your disposal, but it’s knowing what song goes where and when. That is most certainly the overall strategy when curating playlists for both national retailers with 500+ locations and the local pub down the road. Thankfully for the curation team at Qsic, our AI engine and data flowing in from our customers is helping take the in-store curation to a whole new level.
- What’s the best part of your job?
I get a real buzz when going out to see our customers in their businesses and seeing the Qsic system add such a great vibe to their in-store experience. I absolutely love the Qsic team, we are all so excited to share more Qsic innovations with our clients in the very near future.
Lorenzo Sillitto, Music Curator
Former guitarist and songwriter for Australian band The Temper Trap, Lorenzo has also worked in artist management and bookings before joining the content team. Bringing his unique experience and knowledge of the Australian and international music industry to Qsic makes him a vital contributor to the organisations musical setup.
Favourite tune of 2018: Sticky – Rayvne Lenae, After the Storm – Kali Uchis, The Wave – Lion Babe. The list could go on and on
Favourite tune ever: Constantly changing
- Is there anything similar about curating for Qsic and playing in a band?
I would say curating a playlist is similar to writing a set list. There is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into preparing a set list, getting the peaks and troughs of the show right and sending the audience on a journey. Creating playlists that suit different segments of the day and can fit into a variety of settings requires the same thought and consideration.
- How does the music curation process start?
The curation process usually begins by sitting down with the client to discuss the aesthetic of their brand, key demographics and what type of experience they are looking to create in their venue. We use this information to inform the style, genre and tempo of the music required and then send out a range of playlists we feel best suit their needs.
- What’s the most difficult thing about music curation?
Finding and deciding what tracks to put in a playlist. SO MUCH MUSIC!
- And, what do you know about 60’s Psychedelic Greek tunes
All I know is that it’s rad and I want to find more of it.