Gen Z Should Add These Songs To Their Wedding Playlist
As an experienced and seasoned wedding DJ, it is my duty to ensure that modern brides and grooms and their guests have the time of their lives by putting together the best wedding playlist. I also believe that if you have the means of a great platform (i.e. wedding DJ blog) to provide quality content and even push the envelope, you should not be afraid to do so. What exactly do I mean by pushing the envelope? Well, I gotta be honest with you, here in the fall of 2023, the new music inventory is about as bad as its been in my entire life. And if you've been paying attention to this blog, you know that I just turned 50. And actually part of the inspiration for this blog was due to my 50 th birthday. With the lack of new music inventory available today to start mixing in for weddings, I truly believe that this is the ideal time for experienced professional wedding DJs to begin to dig deeper to freshen up the wedding playlists across the country.
If you have hit my age in 2023, you were born at the perfect time. You have lived through the 80s and 90s. If I look at the website analytics for my blog, I see that 33% of the traffic to my blog views the posts I've put together about 80s music on wedding playlists. While I am not able to drill down and get the exact demographics on those page views, the fact that 80s music still has that kind of popularity in 2023 does not surprise me. Chances are if you are in Gen Z age group, you may have a greater appreciation for older music. In case you missed it, I put together a post that spoke about younger couples preferring older music on their wedding playlists. Be sure to click on the preceding link. Based on the conversations I have regularly with couples about their wedding playlists, it's safe to say most Gen Z will fall in the 70th percentile of young people who prefer older music. Yep, older music is currently out-selling new music. Modern couples tell me all the time that they love music from the 80s and 90s. Ok, then I believe it's time to embrace those likes and place some of that music on your wedding playlist.
Unless something dramatically changes, we will never see another period of extreme creativity with music that we experienced back in the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, the way music is distributed today, the younger generations are being bombarded with a ton of country music. While I'm not trying to tell you which kind of music to like, I am telling you that no matter how cool you think Morgen Wallen or Jason Aldean are, you and your guests aren't going to be able to dance to them. Couples approach me all the time that they don't want their wedding to sound like the 3 or 4 weddings that they went in the time since they got engaged. If you don't want your wedding to sound like anyone else's you've been to, you may consider stepping outside the box and adding some great music that you may not think about putting on your wedding playlist.
Stay Clear Of Top 200 Wedding Songs Playlists
In order to mix things up at weddings, experienced wedding DJs really need to stop gravitating to these Top 200 Wedding Songs list you see all over the internet. I'm not gonna lie, years ago (10+ years ago) these lists served as a great guide. Since modern brides and grooms have over-leveraged these lists, extreme burnout has occurred with many of the songs. In a world where people want to be different, I believe it's time pull out some great dance music from an era that seems to be neglected, but yet scored so many Top 5 positions in the late 1980s up through the mid 1990s. What would you say if I told you there was a time where high energy "club" dance music was at the top of the charts? I'm talking about music that a club DJ may drop at 11pm to really get the crowd going. Would you want to know what it was or who it was? Please continue to read on. If experienced wedding DJs continue to treat these Top 200 Wedding Song playlists like they are the Holy Grail of music selections, weddings will continue to sound the same as they did 5 -10 years ago.
"I was born in 2002 --- All of my favorite music is from the 90s era......"
You can learn a lot about the musical tastes of the Gen Z age group by looking at the comments of popular You Tube videos. The comment you see up above was seen in the comments of a very mainstream 90s music video and it's certainly not the only comment I've seen of its type in regards to the love that Gen Z has for 90s music.
"I was born in 1994 and wish I got to experience this song when it came out......."
Being born in 1973, I sometimes sit back and wish some of the same things you see in these comments. I think about how much great music was released in the late 60s and the 70s. I was thinking the other day how cool it would have been to be old enough in 1977 to go see Led Zeppelin, KISS, and Fleetwood Music in concert. Some of the songs that I will share were released in the late 80s and early 90s when I had not yet reached age 21 where I could enter a club. It would have been epic to hear some of this amazing music in a club setting for the first time.
You like Indie pop. You like Electronic. Awesome.
As an experienced wedding DJ, I find myself trying to read the minds of people. I find myself saying "Well, if they like Empire of The Sun", then they should like this....Over the past 10 years, I've seen a lot of Indie pop and Electronic music get placed on wedding playlists. While it's my recommendation that your entire wedding playlist can't be comprised of these two genres, the fact we're having this discussion means that Gen Z really do want to gravitate away from the Top 200 Wedding Song playlists, and make their wedding music experience truly unique. Part of being a wedding DJ is blending music together. Say for instance you placed "Walking On A Dream" on your wedding playlist. Personally, I think that it's a really cool song. I like the vibe of the song. What if we took your love of Indie pop and electronic one step further and added a side of epic dance songs? If this sounds like something that interests you, you'll want to continue reading. What if we took this classic song from Empire Of The Sun and mixed in some other electonic music with it? I think I know your answer. You would like that. :)
I saw a commercial recently for the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and they were using an electronic version of "Please Don't Go". I immediately began to think about KWS releasing their electronic dance music version of the song in the late summer and early fall of 1992. The song would peak at #6 on the Hot 100 chart. I see so much marketing that includes reminders of 80s and 90s music, it's not even funny. I hear so many new songs that employ synthesizers. Having grown up in the 80s and being drawn to music that used a lot of synth, it's those new songs I am more likely to develop an attachment to. Just click the link down below to take a listen.
In 1988, there was an electronic dance group from Minneapolis, MN that hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a song that would sound good mixed in after "Walking On A Dream". If you are interested in late 80s electronic / synth pop, click the link down below for the biggest hit from Information Society. You'll thank me later. I still get chills when I hear the song today and think to myself "This has to be some British group". Nope, this group from the same town as Prince created such a banger for the club.
"What's On Your Mind" (Pure Energy)"
I've written about it before. 1991. One of the absolute greatest years of 90s music. Don't believe me? Check out this post about The Best 90s Music - 1991 <--Click HERE. One of the many times I wish I was of age to enter a club legally would have been the summer of 1991 when this song down below was released. For those modern brides and grooms who are lovers of house music, I'm adding the Bambataa House Remix of "Unbelievable" by EMF. If you are a fan of the movie Coyote Ugly, you may remember the song. The song was originally released in the fall of 1990 in the UK. When it was released in America, the song peaked at #1 in July 1991. If you head over to You Tube and search for the official music video, watch it and you'll see DJ MILF.
"Unbelievable" (Bambataa House Mix)
In the early 90s, dance groups continued to pop up all over the Hot 100 music chart. Black Box was an Italian house band that reached mainstream success in America after the release of their album Dreamland in 1990. "Strike It Up" became one of the band's signature songs released as the 5th single from Dreamland. The song would peak at #8 on the Hot 100 by the spring of 1991. When I first stepped foot in a club (legally) in 1994, the DJs at that time were still playing the song as a recurrent and 3 years after its release, it was still filling the dance floor. Be sure to click the link down below to
In the late summer of 1994, we were still seeing a surge of dance groups from Europe climbing up the charts and filling dance floors at clubs all across America. Real McCoy originated from Germany and was a mixture of Eurodance and pop. In the summer of 1994, "Another Night" would be released as a single and eventually peak at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was released at the perfect time because I turned 21 and got legal for clubs at that time. I still remember it like it was yesterday that the dance floor was filled to the brim when this banger was dropped by the DJ.
At the time of this blog post, this next song is actually 41 years old. I promise you though when you hear it, you'll think it was released in the last 5-10 years. You'll also might go to Spotify and look it up and put it in your "liked songs". Yazoo is a synth-pop, new wave duo from England that would release the album Upstairs At Eric's in the summer of 1982. "Situation" would peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and stay there for 4 weeks. Be sure you click on the link down below to sample this 80s dance classic.
Dead or Alive were a synth / dance group from the UK whose signature song could be seen in nightclubs back in the summer of '85. "You Spin Me Like A Record" would peak at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Feel free to click the link down below. For more of the The Most Popular Songs From 1985 <----CLICK HERE
This next song is Eurodance that shows up on a lot of modern wedding playlists. Haddaway is a Trinidadian / German eurodance singer who would would score a Number 1 song in 13 countries. "What Is Love" was released in America in the late summer of 1993 and would become a staple in dance clubs during that fall.
This next song was introduced to me by veteran program director Bryan Schock of 105.5 The Bridge, a triple A radio station in Charleston, SC. The Knocks are an electronic duo from New York City who teamed up with Foster The People on this track. I've added a remix down below that has a more favorable BPM than the radio version. The song was released during the pandemic in the fall of 2020 and would peak at #20 on the Hot Dance Club chart.
I know what you are probably saying right now. Why is he forcing all of this old style club dance music on me? First and foremost, I would never do that. I never force any of my clients to do anything that they don't want. I am only taking this opportunity to speak about an era of dance music that tends to be forgotten, but it really should not be. I am using my platform to dust off these dance music hits of long ago to raise awareness to the young Gen Z population who is getting married and wants their wedding to sound different. I am sharing this perspective because I truly believe this music has been forgotten because of the emphasis on the overplayed Top 200 Wedding Song lists. That is all. The couple who adds "What Is Love" to their wedding playlist could easily add the other songs you see here. And believe me, there are plenty more that I don't have to time to mention because of time constraints. I've got you covered though by providing the links to posts I created back in 2018, as well as the Spotify playlists. Click the links to those posts down below. Yep, even 5 years ago I was already beginning to dust off this music. It was my new found perspective that I am enjoying at age 50 that inspired me to talk more about this music. Click this link to learn more about that new perspective.
Ready To Sit Down With DJ Mike Bills To Discuss Your Wedding Playlist?
So you see I asked you up above if you liked Indie pop and Electronic music. There was a reason why I did that. It was because I feel this music could easily be mixed in with the Indie pop of the 2020s. I wanted to thank you for making it all the way to the end of this post. I suppose since you did make it all the way to the end that you were not repulsed by some of these selections. I'll say it one more time. I honestly feel it's the responsibility of reputable, experienced wedding DJs to use their platform to share their love of music in the hopes that they will make an impact on younger generations. Perhaps you are Gen Z and this type of music is not your jam, that's OK. But if Indie pop and electronic music is your jam and you want to talk to me further about my musical experience, I would love to speak with you. Having conversations about music with strangers is one of my favorite things to do. If you are interested in hiring me to be your wedding DJ, just click the link up above to be taken over to my contact form. There, you'll be asked a few questions abourt your special day, and soon we'll be talking about your big day.
One more thing. Special thanks to Cottonbro Studio who uploaded their photo of two lovely Gen Z girls who look to be checking their Spotify for cool new music. If you head over to Pexels, their work has seen close to 43 billion views and millions of downloads. Just click the link up above.