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DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Genius

The theme this month is “Genius”, selected by the great folks from the “Guadalajara chapter” chapter, (hola Susana y Adriana). As I was scanning my brain for potential contenders, I soon discovered there are really very few songs about genius. Sure there are plenty of tracks about intelligence, but genius is special kind of intelligence. Genius is not simply about smarts. Beyond intellect, a true genius must be creative, inventive and original. Geniuses are radicals and vanguards.

Now, I probably could have scraped together a playlist of genius themed songs, but with the scarcity of selections, quality curation would have been a bit of a challenge. So instead, I refocused the playlist, on songs created by musicians who I think are geniuses. Here was my criteria for picking geniuses: the artist is a creative vanguard, not simply an iconic, popular or successful artist; the artist is a prolific creator and has significant influence beyond their own projects, and finally I was looking for individual visionaries, not collectives, so bands with shared contributors were out, sorry Mick and Keith.

Genius often takes time to reveal itself, so this playlist is going to tend to skew towards older, more established artists. There are, of course, the obvious picks: Bowie, Prince, Michael, Dylan, Jimi, however, I also made an effort to include a number of emerging artists that I think are showing early signs of genius, like Kendrick Lamar, Courtney Barnett, NAO, Kilo Kish and others. Time will tell if they leave their mark on music as genius artists.

This playlist is a bit long, twice the length of the typical CreativeMornings playlist actually. And I’m sure I missed so many genius artists. If you have some to add, please leave a comment with your recommendation.

Thanks for listening and if you like these playlists, please share them, give me a shout on Twitter and follow me on Spotify. See you next month!

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