Listening to Music While Doing Creative Work //

This question comes up again and again: do you listen to music while writing or otherwise working?

People will fight over whether or not this increases productivity or stunts it to such a big extend that they could’ve written a book in the time spent arguing with strangers on the internet. Studies and anecdotes get tossed around, but it’s all in vain. At the end of the day everyone has their preferences. With experience, we should all be able to determine what works best. Especially writing is a process that can be vastly different from occupation to occupation and especially person to person.

Personally, I never really liked listening to music as background noise. I always have something running while at my desk, be it a TV show, a podcast, or a gaming stream. With my discovery of this has changed quite a bit.

It’s a “radio” station that plays songs from the Jet Set Radio franchise (developed by Smilebit and published by Sega) and a variety of hand-picked songs from all over the world that have a similar vibe to them. Jet Set Radio is futuristic and retro at once and has a very lively but grounded tone.

It kinda helps steer my mind in the right direction. It’s upbeat enough to get my spirits up while still having a reflective sort of quality to it that doesn’t get in the way of forming thoughts and sentences.

I contacted the elusive DJ Professor K on Twitter to get some more information about the project, and it seems to be a labour of love for fans of the game series. The music however stands on its own.

The game is known best for its artistic style and soundtrack. My goal was to use the combination of both soundtracks to get a FEEL for what makes Jet Set Radio style music what it is. The soundtracks alone wouldn’t be enough content though so I began to seek things that sound like the proper style and continually add and edit to nail that specific sound Jet Set Radio the video game contained.

While I still marathon Seinfeld or other sitcoms, at least while writing for this blog I have found myself listening to it a lot.

On a related note, if anyone ever says “you should listen to video game music while writing since it has been composed to be a stimulating background and doesn’t mess with your concentration” I’m going to scoff and keep scrolling. Brains are complex, writing is complex, the thoughts behind them are complex – figure it out yourself, like everything else.

Definitely consider game music though. People who don’t play video games usually don’t really think about how it’s fully fledged music and not just beeps and boops. Don’t miss out!


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