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Arts 9 Essential Summer Playlists for 2020

9 Essential Summer Playlists for 2020

What's your song of the summer? Take inspiration from these travel-inspired playlists (photo: Getty Images)
What's your song of the summer? Take inspiration from these travel-inspired playlists (photo: Getty Images)
By Danica Lo
By Danica Lo
June 09, 2020
Yearning for a summer escape? Check out these nine transportive playlists, hand-picked and curated by some of the best creative minds in the travel, hospitality, and culture space

What's your song of the summer? We know, it's... complicated. For anyone who's been missing and craving travel this year, our friends at CatchOn, a Finn Partners Company, has tapped into some of our favourite people from all across the region—global voices and thought leaders in creative spaces—to curate "Anywhere and Here," an immersive, evocative, wanderlust-inspired series of Spotify playlists. Yearning for the wide-open desert and the dunes of Africa, idyllic late afternoons along the French Riviera, or long weekend jaunts to Bali? Just close your eyes, kick back, and hit play.

JJ Martin

JJ Martin's summer playlist  (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)
JJ Martin's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)

Who: Founder of La Double J

Instagram: @jjmartinmilan

An unforgettable place you would revisit if you could? The place I’d most like to visit right now is Bali. I have so many cherished memories from that place, but mostly it involves the water. Weirdly not the ocean water, but rather the sacred water temples where I was doing night time ceremonies with many local priests and spiritual leaders as well as the healing waterfalls in Punggul Abiansemal. So much has happened to me during this period of isolation and I now feel a deep need to be cleansed and cleared in water.

The last song you listened to and loved? Bill Withers’ "Lovely Day." It is my go-to lift-my- spirit tune. Next, I’ve been playing my own Tibetan sound bowls and making my own music in my home. The vibration is fantastic. I also love the yoga tunes of Snatam Kaur. They are so calming to me. When I want to dance in my socks by myself at home I blast Whitney Houston or George Michael.

If you could have any musician or band play for you in private, who would it be? I would want it to be a very intimate, inward journey so I would say Snatam Kaur.

Find JJ Martin's summer playlist on Spotify here.

Bill Bensley

Bill Bensley's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners Company)
Bill Bensley's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners Company)

Who: Eco-architect and landscape designer, founder of the Bensley Collection

Instagram: @billbensley

A cherished travel memory? Fishing in Mongolia for a month or so every summer. We travel to the most remote plains by foot and horseback, set up camp by the river and fly-fish (catch and release) all day. It is heaven, and the perfect place for social distancing!

An unforgettable place you would revisit if you could? South Georgia Island in Antarctica. When we were there we had the place pretty much to ourselves—unless you count 20,000 penguins and about 5,000 seal cubs! It was magic.

The last song you listened to and loved? Todrick Hall, "Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels"

If you could have any musician play for you in private, who would it be? Aretha Franklin

This playlist transports you to: Travels across Namibia, Botswana and South Africa

Find Bill Bensley's summer playlist on Spotify here.

Ramdane Touhami

Ramdane Touhami's summer playlist  (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)
Ramdane Touhami's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)

Who: Founder of L'Officine Universelle Buly

Instagram: @ramdanet

A cherished travel memory? Waking up in the north of Iceland with my kids after sleeping in a tent... in the middle of the night I woke up and saw northern lights. Crazy moment!

An unforgettable place you would revisit if you could? Lake Titicaca in Peru, South America.

The last song you listened to and loved? Chicago, "25 or 6 to 4"

If you could have any musician or band play for you in private, who would it be? Roy Ayers by far.

This playlist transports you to: Heaven

Find Ramdane Touhami's summer playlist on Spotify here.

Levison Wood

Levison Wood's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)
Levison Wood's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)

Who: Photographer, documentary producer, and bestselling author

Instagram: @levison.wood

A cherished travel memory? Waking up in the desert ruins of Meroe Pyramids in Sudan.

An unforgettable place you would revisit if you could? The Amazon rainforest. I’ve only explored a tiny portion in Brazil.

The last song you listened to and loved? Para for Cuva, "Cupa Cupa"

If you could have any musician play for you in private, who would it be? Guns N' Roses

This playlist transports you to: To Latin America, to Africa, all over the world

Find Levison Wood's summer playlist on Spotify here.

Dan Mitchell

Dan Mitchell's summer playlist  (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)
Dan Mitchell's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)

Who: Creative director of Potato Head and Katamama

Instagram: @danmitchl

A cherished travel memory? In more recent times I’d say a trip to Tokyo with my sons who are still young. It was eye-opening for them to go from rice fields of Bali to Tokyo's neon sensory explosion. And a recent trip to Flores, one of the most magnificent places in the world. Lisbon was also a good one recently. Great energy, weather, and vibe.

An unforgettable place you would revisit if you could? Toraja in Indonesia. The ancient culture is very much unchanged and the rituals there are very unique to the Toraja people. They live amongst the dead, literally.

The last song you listened to and loved? Polyrock, "Your Dragging Feet"

If you could have any musician or band play for you in private, who would it be? I always love Jonny Nash’s guitar playing so he’s someone I’d like to see live again soon.

This playlist transports you to: The deep mystical and magical islands of Indonesia

Find Dan Mitchell's summer playlist on Spotify here.

Daria Reina

Daria Reina's summer playlist  (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)
Daria Reina's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)

Who: Co-founder of Chez Dédé in Rome, author of Italian Chic

Instagram: @dariareina

A cherished travel memory? Years ago, end of June, a lunch at Hotel Lido Mediterranee in Taormina, Sicily, on the terrace above the beach, in the shadow of the trees, just the two of us, served by the legendary Mister Mario. An unforgettable feeling of pure bliss.

An unforgettable place you would revisit if you could? We would go back to Tsavo Est in Kenya every year if we could. The most incredible skies, nature, and people.

The last song you listened to and loved? Raphael Gualazzi, "L’estate di John Wayne." Even if it’s from a couple of years ago, it still makes us feel good when we listen to it!

If you could have any musician or band play for you in private, who would it be? Paolo Conte would be very welcome in our small Roman flat whenever he’d like to come.

This playlist transports you to: From Rome to La Camargue passing by the Italian and French Riviera

Find Daria Reina's summer playlist on Spotify here.

Graz Mulcahy

Graz Mulcahy's summer playlist  (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)
Graz Mulcahy's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)

Who: DJ, composer, and eyewear designer

Instagram: @itsgraz

A cherished travel memory? About halfway along my two-week drive to the Kumbh Mela, I stopped in a small village where a boy about five years old had asked me for a cigarette. When I said no, he was upset, and little to my knowledge had a trained monkey just out of sight. He ordered the monkey to attack and I ran for my life into the closest restaurant while the security outside scared away the angry monkey with chairs. I couldn’t believe my eyes that a trained monkey attacked me on the orders of a youthful smoker. I’ll never forget that.

An unforgettable place you’ll like to visit if you could? I’ve never been to Cuba, I’d love to visit and see what it’s like, a world with almost no internet.

The last song you listened to and loved? Robert Wyatt, "At Last I Am Free"

If you could have any musician or band play for you in private, who would it be? Bill Evans, without a doubt

This playlist transports you to: Sunrise on the banks of the Ganges

Find Graz Mulcahy's summer playlist on Spotify here.

Syed Asim Hussain

Syed Asim Hussain's summer playlist  (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)
Syed Asim Hussain's summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)

Who: Co-founder of Black Sheep Restaurants

Instagram: @blacksheepasim

A cherished travel memory? My best friend from school and I have been traveling together and we are now in the garden of Fede’s mother’s house in a valley in Panzano, 50 miles south of Florence. She is cooking dinner as the sun is going down, but it has been a long drive, so Fede fixes us a snack picking tomatoes, chilli and basil from the garden and grabs fresh mozzarella from the kitchen made from the milk of the cows that roam their fields. He slices it all up and tops it with their own small-production olive oil and salt. Total bliss.

An unforgettable place you’ll like to visit if you could? Gilgit in the north of Pakistan. My mother is from the north, but Gilgit is even further into the mountains than her hometown and I think it is one of the most picturesque and unspoilt places on earth. It looks like Switzerland but even more beautiful.

The last song you listened to and loved? I’ve been listening to a lot of the origins of hip-hop for a new restaurant soundtrack and have not been able to get "The Message," by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, out of my head.

If you could have any musician or band play for you in private, who would it be? The maestro sulfi signer Abida Parveen. You don’t have to understand the language to understand her music, she sings to your soul.

This playlist transports you to: A 10-day road trip across Sicily. These were some of the songs I listened to on repeat that summer while discovering yet another beautiful part of my favorite country to travel to.

Find Syed Asim Hussain's summer playlist on Spotify here.

Kate Jones

Kate Jones' summer playlist  (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)
Kate Jones' summer playlist (photo: courtesy CatchOn, a Finn Partners. Company)

Who: Founder of At Liberty Studio

Instagram: @kateatliberty

A cherished travel memory? Hitchhiking through Cuba in the early 2000s with my best friend, one ride that stands out is in a classic old car (in much need of repair), listening to "Gasolina" on repeat as the CD skipped over the numerous pot holes. Wind in our hair, no plans and our faces hurting from smiling—until we realised we left our passports in Habana!

An unforgettable place you would revisit if you could? Lamu in Kenya, where there are no motor vehicles except two ambulances—one for donkeys and the other for humans.

The last song you listened to and loved? Otis Redding & Carla Thomas, "Tramp"

If you could have any musician or band play for you in private, who would it be? Marlena Shaw

This playlist transports you to: Summertime in New Zealand, road trips, hide and seek in the sand dunes, sunburn, ice cream and the best sleeps!

Find Kate Jones' summer playlist on Spotify here.

For all the playlists from CatchOn, check out their Anywhere and Here website.

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Arts song of the summer summer playlist spotify playlist best spotify playlists best driving playlist driving spotify playlist travel songs summer travel inspiring songs

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