I created a Spotify soundtrack for my novel Ungrateful. It’s a two-playlist soundtrack called RED/BLACK, based on the promotional images’ red and black color scheme and the colors’ symbolism in the book. I played certain songs while writing particular scenes. Like creating a score for a movie or TV show, I selected music that best fit certain dramatic or important scenes.
The BLACK playlist officially celebrates Black artists and other POC of this generation performing alternative rock and other rock subgenres. This playlist also includes new wave, industrial, experimental, and rap-rock.
The RED playlist consists of genre-bending, edgy, and moody alt-R&B and alternative hip-hop tracks by Black and other POC artists. Many of these tracks have a lot of rock influence, which is relevant to the book’s theme. Even though Alimah focuses on rock music the most, she has performed alternative R&B (hate that name) and indie later in her career, starting in 2019 to the present.
The rock tracks represented how I imagined Alimah’s style of alternative rock, but the alternative R&B and new wave tracks represent her sound when occasionally performing those genres as well. Her personality, style, and experiences inspired the brooding and visceral tracks. Some upbeat tracks represented her strength, confidence, and feminist variance. The dark hip-hop tracks represented Elliot and New York City. He’s a hip-hop mogul, even though he signs pop, R&B, alternative, and rock artists. Being the antagonist, these types of hip-hop tracks were inspired by his trickster role.
Even though the novel’s timeline spans from 2007-2011 (with the epilogue starting in 2019), the playlists are mostly made up of artists from the 2010s. This was intentional since many of the artists on these playlists performed styles of music repackaged from 2000s alternative rock, EDM, hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul.
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