Playlist: Wake Me Up For Online School


  1. “Level Up (Twice as Tall)” by Burna Boy
  2. “Pressure in My Palms” by Aminé
  3. “Untitled 06 | 06.30.2014.” by Kendrick Lamar
  4. “Amphetamine” by Smino
  5. “Don’t Cry” by Octavian 
  6. “TWIST & TURN” by Popcaan
  7. “seven” by Taylor Swift
  8. “Diane Young” by Vampire Weekend

The first, and arguably most effective, song on the playlist is Burna Boy’s “Level Up (Twice as Tall)” featuring Youssou N’Dour. The opening song of his new album is the best song to listen to during your morning shower before those pesky early classes. The track begins with a playful sample from 1956’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” then slowly leads into the actual beat. The buildup throughout the song is so effective that in just three minutes I go from crawling out of bed to belting out the lyrics to the dismay of my roommate. 

At eight minutes long, Smino’s “Amphetamine” is a journey of a song. The first part of the song, “Amphetamine,” is slow and hypnotic as Smino drops one verse and sings the bridge and chorus. For the second part of the song, “Krash Kourse,” the energy picks up with the help of Bari, Jean Deaux and Noname. The transition from the first to the second part of the song is absolutely infectious and guaranteed to give you a kick before classes.

Wrapping up my playlist is the 2013 indie hit “Diane Young.” If the rest of the playlist hasn’t gotten you up yet, Vampire Weekend will. “Diane Young” opens up with high energy immediately and only toys more with the listener from there. The tone and tempo of the track change throughout the song to keep the listener engaged and on their toes the entire time. 


  1. “We Stayed Up All Night” by Tourist
  2. “Fuzzybrain” by Dayglow
  3. “Politics & Violence” by Dominic Fike
  4. “Lovers Rock” by TV Girl
  5. “Myth” by Beach House
  6. “Beach Baby” by Bon Iver
  7. “Marcel” by Her’s
  8. “White Teeth Teens” by Lorde

“We Stayed Up All Night” (feat. Ardyn) by Tourist is a song that reminds me of what it means to be alive and to feel everything. With school, clubs and other extracurriculars, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we’re alive. When we can all get back on campus, it’s important to realize how lucky we are to be getting this incredible education in New York City. It’s a dream that we’re all living. I don’t think this song will ever get old because no matter when, how or where you’re listening to it, it brings the absolute best energy to everything. I’ll be listening to this song during strenuous hours of homework, reminding me that I’m one assignment closer to living a beautiful life in the city and meeting so many new people. This is the song that gives me something to look forward to these next few months. 

When my mind is completely scattered and overloaded with stress from studying and homework, the song “Fuzzybrain” by Dayglow seems to be the only thing to bring me back to normal. The name of the song itself explains how I feel after hours upon hours of staring at my computer screen. When I can finally shut my computer, I’ll put this song on and enjoy every minute of it. The voice of Dayglow, Sloan Struble’s soothing voice doesn’t exactly sing about school but the lyrics “The sun has been set for hours and she’s rising again / scattered mind, I call it a friend,” are something that every college student can relate to. The song is a nice reminder to take breaks every once in a while and clean out that “fuzz” in your brain. 

Politics & Violence” is a powerful song off of Dominic Fike’s album “What Could Possibly Go Wrong.” He had delayed the release of this album after witnessing protests against racism and police brutality. Just the sound of the song is incredible. It’s smooth and groovy in a way that makes it so good for studying, focusing and also for winding down at the end of a long night or study session. Yet, the actual lyrics hold a deeper meaning that it isn’t exactly about politics or violence. The chorus repeats, “Mileage, politics and violence, at least somebody’s driving, all you need to fall in love.” It’s a very serene song that could make us think a little more.


  1. “Labyrinthine” by Julianna Barwick
  2. “Därför jag vill inte” by Solen
  3. “Like I Loved You” by Caribou
  4. “Teenage Birdsong” by Four Tet
  5. “The Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd
  6. “Jig of Life” by Kate Bush
  7. “The Lovecats” by The Cure
  8. “Same” by Oneohtrix Point Never

This playlist begins with the almost-ambient sounds of Julianna Barwick’s “Labyrinthine” and eventually builds into the crashing sound of Oneohtrix Point Never’s “Same.” I find that while an aggressive alarm may be effective, I prefer a slow, calm awakening. The soft whispering vocals of “Labyrinthine” provide exactly that. These vocals evoke a sense of mystery, subtly raising expectations about what the day holds for the listener. The careful blend of sounds in “Labyrinthine” soothes the listener out of sleep as gently as possible. 

“Teenage Birdsong” by Four Tet is the perfect step from darkness to dawn. The flute sounds off of this electronic track echo sounds of morning bird calls. The acute sense of “morning” these sounds create surrounds the listener with a sense of readiness for the day. It is not aggressive, but it keeps listeners up and motivated. Simultaneously soft and upbeat, “Teenage Birdsong” is the perfect morning song. 

After the initial wake-up process, Kate Bush’s “Jig of Life” arrives on the scene. I have always loved this song for its stirring energy. As the folk-inspired vocals absorb the listener, there is no choice but to dance. The melody is upbeat, but the lyrics are what keep listeners engaged. These lyrics recount a conversation, but leave the identities of the participants uncertain. This uncertainty gives a seemingly happy, upbeat track an ambiguous edge. The intriguing quality to “Jig of Life” keeps even morning-haters awake and engaged. 


  1. “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra 
  2. “Elevate” by DJ Khalil 
  3. “Dance, Baby!” by boy pablo
  4. “Perfectly Marvelous” by Sutton Foster
  5. “Mr. FEAR” by SIAMÉS
  6. “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy” by Queen
  7. “Never Enough” by Rex Orange County
  8. “Queen of Peace” by Florence + The Machine

If anyone knows anything about me, I consider “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra to be my personal superhero anthem and theme song. From start to finish, “Mr. Blue Sky” is an epic that you can’t get bored listening to. It tells a story about the start of a brand new day, so how could it not be on a wake up playlist? The beat is infectious and immediately fills you with energy and pep. The track almost feels like 8D audio before it became a YouTube trend. The song is unpredictable and keeps you guessing with different melodic turns and modified voices. The choir blending into the powering instrumental finish never fails to make me feel like I just completed a grand quest by getting myself presentable for online classes. 

Speaking of superheroes, “Elevate” by DJ Khalil feat. Denzel Curry & YBN Cordae & SwaVay & Trevor Rich from the “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” album transitions listeners from 1978 to 2018. Featured in the credits of the aforementioned Oscar-winning film, “Elevate” makes me relive my favorite movie in a single song that’s less than four minutes long. The different collaborators all bring their own rap style that blends together in an energetic and fun track that captures the fantastic elements of comic books and NYC. No matter where I am, listening to “Elevate” takes me back to the NYC streets. Anyone can wear the mask, no matter how far they may be.  

Did summer just end? I know I’m listening to this playlist to wake up for classes, but listening to “Dance, Baby!” by boy pablo keeps the summer alive with added quarantine vibes, especially with lyrics concerning loneliness and the desperation for human connection. Like the title suggests, the harmonies encourage you to get up and daydream about dancing with that college crush you never had the courage to ask out. The added effects like the air horn help make the tune fresh and light. This song has been praised for transporting listeners into their personal indie film where they can flaunt their main character energy. What more can you want?