What Song Are You Listening To?


The music you listen to can align you and define you. I should know.

A few days a week as I walk from class to class, I check the ears of people who walk by me to see if they have ear buds in. If they do, I pull out my phone, press record, and ask them what they are listening to. I assemble the clips into a one-to-two-minute video and post it on TikTok.

I started doing this last Spring. Similar videos had been popping up on my TikTok feed, and found myself watching every single one I could find, so I was inspired to bring these entertaining videos to Williston.

Junior Chase Livingston was among my first subjects in a video I made on March 27. I caught him off guard but he responded nonetheless, and later told me he was happy to be asked.

“I had a good song playing: Finesse by Pheelz.”

Pheelz is an up-and-coming Nigerian producer. He released Finesse in early March of this year and has accumulated over 14 million plays on Spotify according to Billboard. Pheelz is currently sitting at two million monthly listeners on Spotify.

I asked a few more people and assembled the short clips into a minute-long video. This started off as a joke, but as I posted the videos on TikTok, they began to gain some traction and people would talk to me about them with excitement. Are you posting a new video today? How many views did the last one get?

Kevin Mwangi, a Junior boarder from Wilbraham, Mass., and a regular feature in Williston Tunes, loves watching the series on Tiktok.

“I love to see what the community is listening to,” he said. “We’re all brought together by Willy Tunes.”

Kevin has been in a few videos himself, listening to artists such as Drake, Playboi Carti, and Lil Yachty. These artists have 63, 15, and eight million monthly listeners respectively on Spotify.

In a video I posted on April 11, Sophomore, Jack Mettey was listening to “What’s Next” by Drake. Sophomore Will Vachet, a friend of Jack’s, commented that Jack was an “npc”, a term used to describe people who do not think for themselves. The term is used in the gaming world to mean “nonplayer character.”

“He was listening to the most basic rap song at that time,” Vachet said.

The comment feature gives viewers an insight into what others are thinking about the music people are listening to. I wondered if comments on my videos persuaded or dissuaded viewers on campus from listening to certain songs.

I asked Jack if Will Vachet’s comment affected how he listened to What’s Next going forward.

“I feel the song choice wasn’t the reason Will called me an npc,” Jack said, “So no, it did not change how I listened to the song.”