Drake takes the cake in Toronto subway soundtracks
Drake arrives at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP / Chris Pizzello)
Published Monday, July 9, 2012 1:15PM EDT
If you are wondering what your fellow Toronto subway riders are listening to, there is a very good chance it is local hip hop star Drake.
That artist affectionately known as Drizzy was being played in nearly half of Toronto’s subway stations, according to informal surveys held in Toronto’s subway stations.
The survey was part of the Stationary Groove project, an initiative by Meagan Perry to compile a soundtrack for each Toronto subway station.
Perry, the head of MAP Communications Consultion, returned to Toronto after living in the Yukon for six years, and was curious about the number of people listening to music in the subway.
She informally questioned headphone-wearing riders at 60 of Toronto’s subway stations (along the Bloor-Danforth line and Yonge-University-Spadina line) and compiled playlists to stand as musical representations of each station.
“Toronto has such a diversity of people and such a diversity of spaces and neighbourhoods,” Perry told CTV Toronto on Monday. “I was curious to see what people were listening to on the subway.”
The results, she said, suggested that riders in most areas of the city preferred upbeat music during their commutes.
There were pockets of eclectic tastes, such as Christian rock at Woodbine station and prevalence toward independent bands in the west end. But for the most part, hip hop and dance music took the cake.
Toronto hip hop star Drake was by far the most common artist, with his tunes reaching ears in almost half (26) of the surveyed stations.
Adele, LMFAO, Rihanna and Chris Brown were also popular transit soundtracks.
Aside from hinting at general music popularity in Toronto, it is questionable exactly how accurate the playlists can actually be.
While the playlists are listed under the names of specific subway stations, there is no way to say whether the songs being at the time of the survey accurately reflect an area of the city.
For example, does New Kids on the Block’s 1990s hit Step by Step represent Bay Street because one person listened to it on the subway platform?
And what about Summerhill, where only one rider was found listening to music over the course of a two-hour study? The song, by the way, was Third Dimension, by Toronto electronica musician Cold Trap.
Perry said the playlists stand more as a “moment in time” than a musical representation of a specific subway station.
“The nature of the subway is that people are on the move. So there is a mix there,” Perry said. “It is more like a poll, a snapshot of that moment.”
Perry added that people are now submitting their music online, and are more likely to groom the image of their chosen station.
The playlists are downloadable at iTunes. Those who visit the Stationary Groove site are also free to add their own selection to subway stations they frequent.